Monthly Archives: October 2012

Book 28 (Kindle 1) – A Wanted Man

“A Wanted Man” by Lee Child (2012)

Woo hoo – my first ever book read on my Kindle. Before I get to the book… man, I love my Kindle! I have been so dubious about e-books and using an e-reader, but I’m a total convert. I mean, real books are still delicious, but the Kindle is light, easy to use and the perfect accessory for the camping trip we’ve just been on. Best of all, the font size is adjustable which meant I could relax and read the book in a comfortable manner, even in the lower light of our unpowered nights at Bathurst. Since the Kindle is not back-lit, it means lighting is still important, but by being able to enlarge the font, it meant I could read by the light of my cute little string of LED lanterns. And for a novel I will only ever read once, it was cheaper this way too.

So, “A Wanted Man”, the latest Jack Reacher novel. As usual, Child delivers a lovely formulaic, no-thinking-required, holiday read of Reacher stumbling into the middle of a problem and single-handedly solving it. The only new twist in this edition is that, for the first time in 17 books, Reacher does NOT have sex! There are two women with him on the journey through the book. As usual, they are clever, athletic, sexy and accomplished. However, in this novel, they are actually more effective and engaged than in any previous novels. Perhaps Child has realised women can come in handy for something else apart from a little light relief (or making the sandwiches). Or maybe, like a lot of ‘airport novel’ writers, he’s found himself a ghost writer who has a stronger feminist streak. Whatever the reason, this was another pleasant, mindless, holiday read. The perfect book, in every way.

I know who my Child/Reacher friends are, and I know they don’t need me to tell them to read it.

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Book 27 – Con-Nerd

“Con-Nerd” by Oliver Phommavanh (2011)

Last year I read Phommavanh’s first book, “Thai-riffic” and I loved it so much that I bought a class set to teach to year 7. This is Phommavanh’s second book. It is about a Chinese boy called Connor who is torn between the cute Korean girl and the cool, sporty boys at school and his totally devoted mother who sees nothing more important than Connor’s success in the upcoming selective school exam.

Connor has a secret, one that would cause his mother untold misery. He doesn’t want to be a doctor. He wants to draw. This story is about the difficult journey that so many Australian-Chinese children experience – trying to make their parents proud and live up to their expectations without coming across as the world’s biggest nerds. Connor does a pretty good job in the end.

Still sitting on my ‘waiting to be read’ shelf is Phommavanh’s third book, “Punchlines” and last week he published the sequel to Thai-riffic. He has definitely found a market with his witty and insightful exploration of Asian children in Australian settings. I’m a fan.

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Filed under YA fiction