It's taken me a good part of the week to sit down to flick through the book-related pages of the weekend press, but finally, here is what I liked:
Damien Leith is about to release his second book, Remember June. Could a person be more talented than this? Biochemist, Australian Idol winner and author. Like his first novel, One More Time, Damien is quick to point out it is entirely a work of fiction, although it is set in his homeland of Ireland and obviously drawing on some of his experiences there. While marketed as romantic, the book is dark, containing themes of poverty, violence and alcoholism.
Alexander McCall Smith has finished the twelfth book in the No. 1 Ladies Detective series, of which I'm a fan (although making slow progress through Precious Ramotswe's adventures). The review of The Double Comfort Safari Club by Theo Chapman highlights an interesting trade-off with this series, in that the prolific writing my McCall Smith, who satisfies his fans by publishing several books per year, doesn't tend to develop his characters. "To ensure each book stands alone there is a degree of repetition, but it tends to be of the same few points. In the case of Mma Ramotswe, we are frequently reminded that she is fat (traditionally built is her preferred description), was proud of her dead (she prefers the term late) father and is kind-hearted", and concludes that, "Like many long-running dramas, it is sliding towards soap opera..."
I only introduced myself to Jack Reacher last month, in Nothing to Lose, so the retired military cop with a petulance for coffee (black, no sugar), is still very much the cool action man to me. But, with the release of 61 Hours, reviewer Nick Galvin questions whether Lee Child's laid back hero is slowing. The violent scenes (I read with the equivalent of one eye shut and the other half open, but this isn't my usual style of book) and short, clipped sentences, he feels, have become tired and the use of a 61 hour countdown ineffective in building tension.
Did you know Lee Child has a brother? If Reacher is becoming an old soldier to you, maybe this presents a new series of thrillers for you to turn to. Jim Grant, the man behind the pen name Lee Child, has a brother named Andrew Grant has written two books centering on tough guy David Trevellyan, a British Royal Navy Intelligence Operative, Even and Die Twice.
The most interesting non fiction book I saw profiled in the weekend papers was The Checklist Manifesto. In brief the book explains how implementation of this simple tool has made profound improvements in various environments where it have been implemented from cockpits to operating theatres. Imagine what it could do in my life!