#5Books: Book recs and getting my nerd on

#5Books for the week ending 30 September 2018

So I am happy to announce I totally got my nerd on this weekend at Oz Comic Con and it was most definitely the weekend for it as we’ve had a run of horrible winter weather, when really, it should be spring. The sky was a crisp blue, and it was wonderfully warm in the sun walking to the ICC in Sydney at Darling Harbour.

One of the ways you know you’re heading the right way on convention day, is the cos-playing. Srsly just follow the cosplayers and you’ll get to the con. In addition to some zombies and apparently, a guy called Kenny who travels around because… toilets? I don’t know, my sister was telling me all this, I saw the best cosplay of the day: Catwoman — as in Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman, which to this day is the definitive version of her on screen IMO (yes, I am the heart-eyes emoji right now).

There was a Shredder and Predator as well, and someone managed to get MANY Disney Princesses together for a shot, when I snuck in a photo as well (Anyone know who the princess in purple is?) There was an AMAZING C3PO. This costume was insanely detailed and the guy in there had someone with him who was translating, sort of bc it was so hard to understand him in it. Ooooh, and an Orc from Bright, which I feel I might be the only person ever to like that movie (shrugs).

The con was more video-game centric this year — there was a huge bit of the floor devoted to it, and there was a DJ in that section too. There were Harry Potter and Marvel displays, and a DC thing happening somewhere because there were tons of kids with these cool backpacks, and I was busting to get a pair for my nephews, but couldn’t find where that was happening. Instead I got a lonely Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles bag upon entry, and haven’t been able to get the theme song out of my head since then.

The guests… well, I’d hoped for better. I technically only went because my book club was there, as well as Matthew Daddario from Shadowhunters, who my BFF in Belguim loves. I ended up getting a photo of myself with him, which she’s going to put up somewhere at her house — which you know, her two favourite people!

I did sit in on a session with him and the Dominic Sherwood, I think it is, who plays Jace. Can I just say, I think DS needs a romantic comedy because the guy is seriously funny. FUNNY. Matt just sounded tired, as much as he was trying to get into the groove of things. …. or it could be how he naturally sounds, I don’t know heh!

I was utterly exhausted by the end, but a thoroughly enjoyable day!

So that was my weekend! How was yours?

Guess Who

A debut thriller that offers a fresh, modern twist on the classic “locked room” mystery novel, for readers of Noah Hawley and Jeffery Deaver

The rules are simple.

But the game is not.

At eleven years old, Morgan Sheppard solved the murder of a teacher when everyone else believed it to be a suicide. The publicity surrounding the case laid the foundation for his reputation as a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. He parlayed that fame into a gig as TV’s “resident detective,” solving the more typical tawdry daytime talk show mysteries like “Who is the father?” and “Is he cheating?”

Until, that is, Sheppard wakes up handcuffed to a bed in an unfamiliar hotel room. Around him, five strangers are slowly waking up, as well. Soon they discover a corpse in the bathtub and Sheppard is challenged to put his deductive skills to the test. One of the people in the room is the killer. He has three hours to solve the murder. If he doesn’t find the killer, they all will die.

An ingenious, page-turning debut, Chris McGeorge’s Guess Who matches the high-wire plotting of classic “locked room” mysteries into the unstoppable pacing of the modern-day thriller.

How spooky does this sound? But how intriguing is Morgan? 

Zero Sum Game

Cas Russell is the geek’s Jack Reacher… ZERO SUM GAME is a smart, accessible sf thriller with blockbuster appeal.

Cas Russell is good at math. Scary good. The vector calculus blazing through her head lets her smash through armed men twice her size and dodge every bullet in a gunfight, and she’ll take any job for the right price.

As far as Cas knows, she’s the only person around with a superpower…until she discovers someone with a power even more dangerous than her own. Someone who can reach directly into people’s minds and twist their brains into Moebius strips. Someone intent on becoming the world’s puppet master.

Cas should run, like she usually does, but for once she’s involved. There’s only one problem…
She doesn’t know which of her thoughts are her own anymore.

I hate math. With a passion. Which given my father was a math teacher is utterly, painfully hilarious –– but it’s also why the math aspect caught my attention. Not to mention the superpower aspect, of course! That last line? Ominous isn’t it?!

Mandela and the General

Will the freedom struggle end in a bloodbath? Only two men can avert it. . . .

Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid hero and first leader of the new South Africa, is an international symbol of the power of a popular movement to fight structural racism. But that nonviolent struggle for equality and justice very nearly spiraled into an all-out race war that would have only ended in “the peace of graveyards.”

As the first post-apartheid elections approach in 1994, with South African blacks poised to take power, the nation’s whites fear reprisal. White nationalist militias claiming 50,000 well-armed former soldiers stand ready to fight to the death to defend their cause. They need someone who can lead and unite them. That man is General Constand Viljoen, former chief of apartheid South Africa’s military.

Mandela knows that he can’t avert a bloodbath on his own. He will have to count on his archenemy. Throughout those historic months, the two men meet in secret. Can they trust each other? Can they keep their followers and radical fringe elements from acts of violence? The mettle of these two men will determine the future of a nation.

The drama of this contest and the history that pivoted on it comes vividly to life in visual form. Veteran British journalist John Carlin teams up with Catalan artist Oriol Malet to create a historically and artistically rich graphic novel with obvious relevance to today’s polarized politics.

I was born in South Africa and I watched Mandela walk free but I can’t claim to know the details of everything that happened after — so this? This is a must read.

For Better and Worse 

Till death do us part

When they fell in love back in law school, Natalie and Will Clarke joked that they were so brilliant, together they could plan the perfect murder. After fifteen rocky years of marriage, they had better hope they’re right.

Their young son Jacob’s principal is accused of molesting a troubled student. It’s a horrifying situation—and the poison spreads rapidly. One night before bed, Jacob tells Natalie he is a victim, too. In that moment, her concept of justice changes forever. Natalie decides the predator must die.

To shelter Jacob from the trauma of a trial, Natalie concocts an elaborate murder plot and Will becomes her unwilling partner. The Clarkes are about to find out what happens when your life partner becomes your accomplice—and your alibi.

Good parents murder together it seems. Everything about this sounds so improbable, but still a delicious read watching these two murder together.

Alice isn’t Dead

From the New York Times bestselling co-author of It Devours! and Welcome to Night Vale comes a fast-paced thriller about a truck driver searching across America for the wife she had long assumed to be dead.

“This is not a story. It’s a road trip.”

Keisha Lewis lived a quiet life with her wife, Alice, until the day that Alice disappeared. After months of searching, presuming she was dead, Keisha held a funeral, mourned, and gradually tried to get on with her life. But that was before Keisha started to see her wife, again and again, in the background of news reports from all over America. Alice isn’t dead, and she is showing up at every major tragedy and accident in the country.

Following a line of clues, Keisha takes a job with a trucking company, Bay and Creek Transportation, and begins searching for Alice. She eventually stumbles on an otherworldly conflict being waged in the quiet corners of our nation’s highway system—uncovering a conspiracy that goes way beyond one missing woman.

Why did Alice disappear? What does she have to do with this secret war between inhuman killers? Why did the chicken cross the road? These questions, and many more will be answered in Alice Isn’t Dead.

Oh Alice, what have you done. And how on earth are you involved in a secret war between inhuman killers? Soooo many questions, and also humour, it seems! And interestingly, this is borne out of a podcast by the Night Vale people.


  • Jen Mullen says:

    My weekend could never match yours! I did go to a local Comic-con last year and was amazed at the costumes–especially of kids! Always had trouble with math, and my father was an engineer who decided I took after my mother. True. She was a reader. Anyway, the idea of a female geek Jack Reacher is still right up my alley. So…Zero Sum Game and Alice Isn’t Dead are the books that appeal most to me. 🙂

  • I think I really want to read Alice Isn’t Dead. It sounds too fun to pass up. And no, you’re not the only one to like Bright – my husband and I loved it. So there, you are not alone. Looks like you had a lot of fun at the Comic Con and I’m so glad you shared so many wonderful pictures!

  • Rachel says:

    Sounds like you had some fun at Comic Con. Those big events always tire me out, too. Guess Who sounds like a meld of YA Sherlock Holmes and Saw. Hope it’s good! 🙂

  • Sounds like you had a good time at the convention! I’m afraid I know nothing about Disney Princesses so I’m sorry I can’t help you there!

  • I saw your pics on Instagram and it looked like so much fun. Glad you had a great time!

    Great recs this week too. Guess Who intrigues me because I do enjoy a good locked room mystery. I’d also like to know more about Mandela so the book that focuses on him really caught my eye as well.

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