Friday, August 19, 2016

Truly Madly Guilty

Liane Moriarty's books are just awesome. I almost said "just keep getting better and better" but that would imply that her earlier books are in some way inferior. And so, her latest offering "Truly Madly Guilty" is just as much of a masterpiece as "Big Little Lies" or "What Alice Forgot".


I pre-purchased "Truly Madly Guilty" and read it on the day it came out (luckily I was on annual leave). While the author sticks to tried-and-tested themes in most of her books (mystery, family, love, family love, infertility, parenting), she never fails to amaze me with the richness of her characters. In her latest book we have a professional cello player, a hoarder, a woman with an unusual past who made a fortune on real estate (I'm being purposefully vague here to avoid spoilers), a charming larger-than-life extrovert, an intriguing child/teen. As soon as I finished the book, I wanted to start at the beginning in order to be with them again.


Now, a caveat. If you're expecting a gritty thriller along the lines of Gone Girl or the Jack Reacher series, you'll be disappointed. Liane Moriarty doesn't rely on gore, shock or the yuck-factor to keep you reading. Her pacing is more psychological, her delivery compassionate, and the power of her observation of the human nature second-to-none.


OK, I'll stop gushing now.



Monday, August 08, 2016

Catch Me If You Can - the book

I never realised "Catch Me If You Can" the movie was based on a book. I went to see it when it was showing on the big screen (primarily because Leo di Caprio said "I concur" so sexily in the trailer) and loved it, but only now have I happened upon the original semi-biography in book form.

The book is well-worth a read, even if (or perhaps especially if) you've seen the movie. The two are quite different, but in a good way. Neither is an accurate reflection of reality - and it doesn't matter.

Some cool quotes:

  • “Former police chief of Houston once said of me: “Frank Abagnale could write a check on toilet paper, drawn on the Confederate States Treasury, sign it ‘U.R. Hooked’ and cash it at any bank in town, using a Hong Kong driver’s license for identification.” 
  • “I learned early that class is universally admired. Almost any fault, sin or crime is considered more leniently if there’s a touch of class involved.” 
  • “It’s not what a man has but what a man is that’s important.” 




Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Widow by Fiona Barton

The Widow by Fiona Barton is a page turner. I don't usually pick up books where children go missing, and - warning - this is one of those, but I started reading before I realised.

Please don't expect "Gone girl" or "Girl on the train". I'm not sure why the publisher decided to slot this book with the other two - not indeed what "Gone girl" has in common with "Girl on the train". They're all British. They all have female protagonists. They all have black covers. Therein end the similarities.

The blurb, for those who need one:

When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her and her husband to carry on, when more bad things began to happen...
 
But that woman’s husband died last week. And Jean doesn’t have to be her anymore.
 
There’s a lot Jean hasn’t said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment. 
 
Now there’s no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage. 
 
The truth—that’s all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything…


Saturday, July 09, 2016

Scorpion - TV series

Scorpion - to watch or not to watch? I like stories about genius misfits such as Sherlock and The Big Bang Theory. Scorpion's dialogue isn't as clever as Sherlock's, and it's not as charming as The Big Bang Theory. At least the plot seems less formulaic than The Mentalist, and it's not as cringy as the IT Crowd.

3 episodes down. Decisions, decisions.


Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Person of Interest - Season 5

Person of Interest has had its ups and downs. More ups and the downs weren't deep valleys, more like lower hills. Season 5 is going strong. My favourite so far is Episode 4, titled 6,741.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

We were liars

"We were liars" by E. Lockheart is the kind of book that sends me to online book club chats because I can't wait for my next face-to-face bookclub meeting. It's the kind of book that stays with me for weeks. And, despite the sad themes, it's the type of book I'm glad to have read,

I'm not saying anything more on purpose. But here's the blurb:

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Blindspot Season 1

*** SPOILERS ***

So I've finished watching season 1.

Overall feeling: addictive
Consistency: good writing, though towards the last quarter the plots seemed a bit too unbelievable (e.g., shoot a lot of innocent students because you hate one person?)
Favourite moment: the anniversary treasure hunt
Least favourite moment: David getting killed
Biggest question: why not relate the information directly to the FBI, without all the puzzles?