Icarus by Deon Meyer
I know that I reviewed a mystery thriller last month but when Deon Meyer’s new book came out just after I finished The Girl on the Train, I could NOT resist. I have literally been waiting for the English translation of this book to come out for months. The South African “king of crime” is one of my all-time favourite authors and the fact that he is South African (and bases all of his stories in South Africa) makes his books that much more appealing.
His latest offering, Icarus, picks up with Detective Benny Griessel, a recovering alcoholic and member of the Hawks based in Cape Town. Together with his team, Griessel has to investigate the murder of a seemingly dodgy Cape Town businessman all the while dealing with his own personal demons (there are a lot of them), sobriety and the relentless media.
As with all the other books in the Benny Griessel series (there are four others), this one is set in Cape Town and I loved all of the references to the Cape Town wine industry and even the banting diet and Tim Noakes (one of my favourite characters, Major Mbali Kaleni, is on the diet). Meyer also makes use of a number of colloquial expressions and proves that there are some situations that can only be summed up by a good ‘jussie’
I mentioned previously that I had been eagerly awaiting the release of this book and it was definitely worth the wait. It is fast paced, well written and literally thrilling. I managed to get through the whole book in under a week, not an easy feat with two small children to look after (the late nights were totally worth it).
Now, if only I didn’t have to wait so long for the next Deon Meyer novel.
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (27 Aug. 2015)
Image Courtesy deonmeyer.com
Children’s Activity Books
This month I decided to review a different kind of children’s book: the activity book. Activity books are wonderful for use both at home as well as when you are out and about. Find the right book and you can keep your children engaged and busy while sparking their creativity and imaginations.
When I choose activity books for my children I like to try to find ones that include short stories, colouring in, puzzles (for my four year old) and, perhaps most importantly, stickers.
My current favourite ones are Fairy Tales Sticker Activity Book by Roger Priddy for my four year old and the Busy Busy Things That Go with 2000 Stickers by Parragon for my two year old.
The Fairy Tales Sticker Activity book has a number of short fairy tales that are nice quick stories for me to read to both children; a balance of colouring pages and activities that my four year old can do with minimal assistance and tons of stickers (which inevitably end up all over the car, the house and even me).
My two year old is such a copycat and loves doing the same thing as her big sister and although most activity books are aimed at the 3-5 year old market I found that the Busy Busy Things That Go activity book is suited to a slightly younger age group. The pages that require colouring in have large, chunky images and the same goes for the pages that have (very basic) puzzles. The main feature of this book of course, is the 2000 stickers that range in size from large to tiny little squares. These are great for fine motor skills and I love watching the concentration as my daughter tries to get the stickers off the page.
What I really love about both of these books (and all activity sticker books I suppose) is that my little ones always end up asking me for blank paper and I end up with these wonderfully creative pictures that they have drawn and stuck their left over stickers on.
Fairy Tales Sticker Activity Book by Roger Priddy
Paperback: 80 pages
Publisher: Priddy Books (1 May 2011)
Image Courtesy Priddy Books
Busy Busy Things That Go with 2000 Stickers Perfect Paperback by Parragon
Perfect Paperback: 48 pages
Publisher: Parragon; Csm Stk edition (Dec. 2014)
Image Courtesy Amazon.com