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Jessica

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A book for every Australian household

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-10-2019

This book should be compulsory reading in Australian households.

It is at times equally frustrating, infuriating, inspiring and hopeful.

I'm listening to the follow up Quarterly Essay now even though I know nothing has changed.

As a nation, like in so many things, we need to do better.

Stasiland cover art

Fascinating

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 19-07-2019

My knowledge of German history is fairly restricted to the first and second world wars so I was fascinating to learn about the modern history of things that have happened in my lifetime.

I listened to this while watching Chernobyl and it must be said, both have given me a new appreciation for democracy.

Love, love, love this book!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-07-2019

As someone who gives zero Fs about cleaning and has a million better things to do than organise and clean my house, I freaking love this book.

It's realistic and recognises that most cleaning and organising books are written by people who love to clean and organise. Therefore those books are not very helpful for creative, sentimental people whose first reaction is to keep something that they don't know what to do with, rather than get rid of it.

So yup, if you feel like you're drowning in stuff and can never get on top of your housework, this is the book for you!

Lower your expectations

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-07-2019

I was really disappointed with this book. I've only listened to the Rivers of London series on Audible so I don't know if it's possible that I was just missing Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, or missing Peter Grant, or missing London's sprawling presence in this book.

The narration never captured my attention, and try as I might I just couldn't keep the characters and the plot straight. The German names sounded too similar to my ears and with no clear difference between the characters voices when they spoke in dialogue, I just couldn't tell them apart and remember who was supposed to be who.

In terms of the plot, I didn't understand as the book went through and then when it ended I realised I still didn't understand wtf had happened.

Big chunks of dialogue were just slabs of exposition, like the Basil Exposition character in Austin Powers, but that still didn't make things clear.

So, yes. I think I'll just hold tight until Peter Grant and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith can be reunited.

Narration so terrible I had to return the book

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-04-2019

I honestly don't understand how this book has so many positive views. It is the most repetitive, poorly organised collection of thoughts, anecdotes and examples that I have ever encountered in a published book. If there was an editor, they didn't do their job. This book could have been cut down and condensed into a really awesome 20 minute TED talk.

Speaking of how this book should have been edited, where was the editing on the audio? It is so slow, with so many L O N G pauses that I was playing it at 1.5x speed by the time I gave up and abandoned it. The tone is patronising and the sing-song cadence of the author narrating it reminded me of the way the presenters speak on Play School.

I was so excited to read this book but was (obviously) bitterly disappointed by it.

Greatest take down ever

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-04-2019

I loved this book. It's a deliciously slow burn that builds into an amazing crescendo and ultimately, the most satisfying take down I have ever read.

Reconnecting with an old friend

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-02-2019

I "met" Lily through MySpace, when I was in highschool. I loved her. I used to read her brutally honest blogs and just feel in awe of her. I listened to her albums on repeat, I saw her perform at Big Day Out, but as we bith for older and grew up I sort of lost track of her. I saw photos of her beautiful garden wedding and felt so happy for her. I heard about the loss of her child and my heart broke for her. But I don't read tabloid news or gossip magazines and honestly, I had no idea what she's been up to for the last 10 years of so.

This is as brutally honest as her blogs ever were. Just as compelling although now written from a place of strength and confidence. After all this time, I'm still just as in love and in awe as I ever was.

A must read

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-02-2019

The most important book you're going to read this year. That's a big call to make in early February but I'm making it.

The fact that it took me five years to hear about this book says everything. I don't know if it's on any education syllabus in this country but it should be. Every Australian needs to read this book.

I listened on Audible (an easy, five hour listen) and am going to buy a couple of physical copies. One to keep at home to highlight and underline and one to keep in my classroom. Hell, I should buy a box of this book and give a copy to everyone I know.

There are so many incredible quotes (which I'm unable to share with you because, Audible) but it is such an accessible collection of eye witness accounts of Aboriginal agriculture, architecture and society at the time of first contact with Europeans. I can't believe that the observations of Burke and Wills and so many others are not more well known. My mind was blown by the depth of my ignorance.

I started listening to this book on a Monday morning and I was telling my class parts of what I had learned by Monday afternoon.

If you're only going to read one book this year, make it this one.

14 people found this helpful

Not as good as Crazy Rich Asians

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-09-2018

I was disappointed with this initially because I loved Crazy Rich Asians so much and I just didn't enjoy the China story anywhere near as much.

I was really irritated by the narration (especially Rachel's accent!) but I must have gotten used to it a bit because it didn't annoy me as much in the end.

The book did pick up the pace in the end and I did really enjoy the end of the book more than the middle, which dragged a bit for me.

Overall I really like the characters and am looking forward to the third book in the series.

Fantastic!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 14-09-2018

So much better than I expected! I thought it would be good to read the book before I saw the movie but I was so thoroughly engrossed in the whole world, I can't wait to read more by the author!