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Staff Reads: Book of the Month

Where'd you go, Bernadette? by Maria Sempel

Dee Cunninghame

If you loved the dark humour of "Big little lies", this satirical romp surpasses that! Bernadette has disappeared and we piece together the story of her disappearance and learn about her through a collection of different formats (bills, letters, email, correspondence, phone transcripts). Her relationship with the alpha school mom, Audrey is a hoot. When she actually deigns to turn up at the school at all, Bernadette remains in her car and can only be seen from the waist up through the window.

There is Bernadette's very clever long suffering daughter Bee and her stereotype supportive husband Elgie, plus a cast of memorable characters, including Bernadette's "virtual assistant" from India.

This novel is definitely character driven and points a finger at certain Seattle Microsoft lifestyles. Maria Sempel the author has written screenplays for TV shows "Arrested development" and "Mad about you" and I have been waiting to see how it translates to film.

Enjoy the book - then go and see the film, which has our own Cate Blanchette in the lead role as Bernadette. 

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The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Dee Cunninghame

This was a Book Club selection a couple of years ago... It is the most delightful read - perfect for devouring in one go during the holidays. At the time I read it, my family's beloved Cavalier King Charles spaniel was coming to the end of her life. This book combined our love of racing and dogs. The story is narrated by the dog, Enzo, as he reflects on his life in retrospect. The film, which stars Amanda Seyfried, Milo Ventimiglia, Kevin Costner, Gary Cole & Kathy Baker is sure to be an uplifting tear jerker. 

The author has written a delightful series of books for little kids and the puppy Enzo has his own website ENZO KIDZ!

The Girl who saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson

Dee Cunninghame

Perfect holiday read - I can't wait for the film! How the "girl" (an illiterate 14 year old maths genius called Nombeko) manages to get from the slums of Soweto to a top secret nuclear facility and evade the likes of Mossad makes for entertaining and very "tongue in cheek" reading. Add to this the fact that if you grew up in Apartheid South Africa, you would recognise the biting criticism of the old regime.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Dee Cunninghame

READ THIS BOOK - you won't regret it... Last January holidays, I was flicking through iBooks looking for something as exciting as Gone Girl and came across this novel. What a great holiday read it was - a one sitting page turner! This is the novel my non reading daughter powered through on her holiday last month (and then was totally indignant that they changed the story for the film).. 

The Lake House by Kate Morton

Dee Cunninghame

I love Kate's novels and this did not disappoint. A great holiday read - in fact, I did read it on holidays... Her novels always have an author, actor or movie maker embroiled in a secret from the past which covers a crime. Absorbing and relaxing.

Blue Dog by Louis de Bernieres

For release Boxing Day 2016  Blue Dog by Louis Des Bernieres

Dee Cunninghame

The prequel to the book Red Dog, Blue Dog is a delightful read for all ages. Told with dry humour and set in the rugged north of WA, it is a fabulous story of a boy sent to live with his tough, old gradfather. The characters are colourful and well drawn.  A lovely slim little hardcover book, it would make a great Christmas present. 

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Ok - not a film. It is a episode HBO miniseries starrinbg the wonderfully ascerbic Frances McDormand in the title role, Richard Jenkins as her husband and Bill Murray as Jack Kennison.

Jack Reacher One Shot by Lee Child