Category Archives: Contemporary

Would you like world-ending pink topping with that? Lost is a Good Book is a generous second helping of Thursday Next from Jasper Fforde

Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde is the second book in the Thursday Next series. Despite a sudden celebrity for saving Jane Eyre and improving the ending, not every one is happy with what Thursday has done. A … Continue reading

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Wit and wordplay, parody and playfulness, allusion and appropriation: Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair is to classic literature what Hitchhiker’s Guide is to sci-fi and fantasy

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde is set in an alternate England, where home-cloned dodos are common house pets and the public’s passion for literature occasionally erupts in street violence. Thursday Next is a literary detective, part of a specialised … Continue reading

Posted in British, Comedy, Contemporary, Crime fiction, Fantasy, Fiction, General adult audience, Novel, Speculative Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Universities and uni students are changing: Lukianoff and Haidt provide a compelling argument for some of the fundamental beliefs that are driving the changes in The Coddling of the American Mind

What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. If you feel it, it must be true. People are either good or evil. In The Coddling of the American Mind Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff argue that belief in these three ‘Great … Continue reading

Posted in American, Contemporary, General adult audience, Nonfiction, Social Commentary/Analysis | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Apologetics Updated for our Age and My Favourite Christian Book of 2019: Confronting Christianity by Rebecca McLaughlin

Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World’s Largest Religion was probably my favourite Christian book that I read in 2019. Using an engaging mix of research, anecdote and personal story, McLaughlin gives nuanced answers to some of the big … Continue reading

Posted in American, British, Christian, Christian Apologetics, Christian Non-fiction, Contemporary, General adult audience, Nonfiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Insightful, practical, wise and biblical: Untangling Emotions by Groves and Smith

Untangling Emotions is a helpful exploration of feelings and what to do with them from a Christian perspective. Solidly biblical and extremely practical, it challenges some of our unhelpful approaches to emotions and unpacks what different emotions actually tell us. … Continue reading

Posted in American, Christian, Christian Living, Christian Non-fiction, Contemporary, General adult audience, Nonfiction | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Problem-solving run amok in Stuck, a quirky picture book by Oliver Jeffers

Stuck, written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, is an absurd picture book about a boy named Floyd, whose kite gets stuck in a tree. The book follows his outrageous problem solving as he tries to get it down.

Posted in 2 years and up, American, Contemporary Children's, Irish, Picture Books, Under 7 years | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pleasant, light reading that leaves me with a warm feeling towards my fellow-human beings: The 44 Scotland Street series by Alexander McCall Smith

The 44 Scotland Street series by Alexander McCall Smith is a modern serial novel published daily in the Scotsman and subsequently in book form. It follows a number of characters in Edinburgh as they drink coffee, negotiate childhood with a … Continue reading

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Is it possible to have a high powered job and a functioning family? It’s a lot easier if you have a ‘Wife’, according to discussion-provoking book, The Wife Drought by Annabel Crabb

The Wife Drought by Annabel Crabb is an intriguing look at work, home, family balance and gender in modern Australia. Why do men, on average, work an extra four hours a week after the birth of their first child? Why … Continue reading

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A book doing justice to a complex place: Darwin by Tess Lea

Darwin by Tess Lea is an intriguing, beautifully written exploration of the unique history, geography, beauties, tensions and contradictions of Australia’s smallest and remotest capital city. It’s been on my bookshelf for awhile, read, recommended and bequeathed by my father … Continue reading

Posted in Australian, Contemporary, General adult audience, Nonfiction, Travel and Geography Non-Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Take themes of bureaucracy and greed, add non-stop word-wit and shellfish-references, throw in the waning of magic and a very old dragon and you have The Last Dragonslayer: teen fantasy Jasper Fforde-style

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde is a story about magic, dragons and red tape. After reading it I concluded that my ideal pet would be a quarkbeast (no fur, funny-looking, loyal and affectionate, not exactly huggable but still better … Continue reading

Posted in 13 years and up, Contemporary YA, Fantasy, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment