December 2019

Hello again, and thank you for dropping by.

As we approach the end of the year I look back on goals attained and decisions made throughout 2019, and, while not everything went to plan, I am content with how I have finished the year. My plans for 2020 are based on memoir writing; expanding the number of classes I run and establishing an on line course for those who want to write their story in the comfort of their own home and in their own time. More work ahead on that one. Finally, I aim to make more time for my own writing – something that has taken a back seat for a while.

Can you believe 2020 will be ten years since the Millennium? Remember when the world was on the edge of flux as it waited for Y2K to trigger chaos throughout entire computer systems and, allegedly, cause aircraft to fall out of the sky. Companies had been frantically investing millions of dollars on their IT systems to try and safeguard themselves against the anticipated catastrophe. Midnight saw the new millennium arrive. To say it was an anti-climax on the anticipated disaster front is an understatement. The year arrived without a hitch - and apart from a few spectacular fireworks displays in cities across the world, the new decade continued on its way.

For me it has been the first decade of my retirement, and back then I could not possibly have imagined the life I am living now. That’s the great thing about retirement isn’t it? It’s an opportunity to begin again in many ways.


So what book to choose for the final review of 2019? It has to be something special, because when I look back at the books I have read this year there are so many good authors amongst them it is difficult to choose. Australian women feature well – Jane Harper, Leigh Sales and Karen Viggers. Some authors were recommended – Mark Brandi, Michael Dobbs and Stephen Leather. Others are old favourites – Val McDermid, Ann Cleves, and Peter James. Out of the sixty books I read this year, only one was a disappointment – Jeffrey Archer whose latest novel Nothing Ventured had me wondering why I bothered to venture.

But there is one real standout author - Icelandic novelist Yrsr Sigurdardottir. Please don’t be put off by not being able to pronounce her name or the thought of having to remember the Icelandic names of her characters. Having read the first book The Legacy, I was hooked, and immediately read the second The Reckoning. Despite being translated from the original Icelandic, the books are easy to read, smooth and well written. The characters are believable and gritty, the plots modern and intriguing. I think all crime readers develop an inner sense that often leads them to correctly identifying the perpetrator part way through the story, but with both these books, I was completely surprised at the ending. Both these are an absolute 10/10 recommendation from me.

That’s all for this month, but I can’t let the year end without thanking you for staying with me throughout 2019 and wishing you all the best for a happy Christmas and a bright New Year.

Bye for now.

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