John Maytham's Book Reviews

John Maytham's Book Review: Suicide notes, family dramas and penguins...

Take a listen to John's book picks for the week...

Don't Turn Out the Lights by Bernard Minier

"You did nothing."

Christine Steinmeyer knows the suicide note she found in her mailbox on Christmas Eve has nothing to do with her. But the man calling into her radio show seems convinced otherwise.

"You let her die..."

That's only the beginning. Bit by bit, her life is turned upside down. But who among her friends and family hates her enough to want to destroy her? And why?

Commandant Martin Servaz is on leave when he is sent a key card to a hotel room - the room where an artist committed suicide a year earlier. He soon uncovers evidence of a truly terrifying crime. Could someone really be cruelly, consciously hounding women to death?

Both he and Christine will find out...but it may not be in time.

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

'Dazzling . The combination of lightness, warmth and remarkable incisiveness creates a novel that is life-affirming and compulsively readable' Sunday Times.

A powerful story of two families brought together by beauty and torn apart by tragedy, the new novel by the Orange Prize-winning author of Bel Canto and State of Wonder is her most astonishing yet.

It is 1964: Bert Cousins, the deputy District Attorney, shows up at Franny Keating's christening party uninvited, bottle of gin in hand. As the cops of Los Angeles drink, talk and dance into the June afternoon, he notices a heart-stoppingly beautiful woman.

When Bert kisses Beverly Keating, his host's wife, the new baby pressed between them, he sets in motion the joining of two families whose shared fate will be defined on a day seven years later.In 1988, Franny Keating, now twenty-four, has dropped out of law school and is working as a cocktail waitress in Chicago.

When she meets one of her idols, the famous author Leon Posen, and tells him about her family, she unwittingly relinquishes control over their story. Franny never dreams that the consequences of this encounter will extend beyond her own life into those of her scattered siblings and parents.

Told with equal measures of humour and heartbreak, Commonwealth is a powerful and tender tale of family, betrayal and the far-reaching bonds of love and responsibility.

The Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell

Set against Argentina's turbulent years following the collapse of the corrupt Peronist regime, this is the story of Juan Salvador the penguin, rescued by English schoolteacher Tom Michell from an oil slick in Uruguay just days before a new term.

When the bird refuses to leave Tom's side, the young teacher has no choice but to smuggle it across the border, through customs, and back to school.

Whether it's as the rugby team's mascot, the housekeeper's confidant, the host at Tom's parties, or the most flamboyant swimming coach in world history, Juan Salvador transforms the lives of all he meets - in particular, one homesick schoolboy. As for Tom, he discovers in Juan Salvador a compadre like no other...


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
John Maytham's Book Reviews: Serial killers, slavery and sieges

John Maytham's Book Reviews: Serial killers, slavery and sieges

John's three weekly book picks.

John Maytham's Books: Nuclear secrets, a Rome celebration, and a story about war

John Maytham's Books: Nuclear secrets, a Rome celebration, and a story about war

John's three book picks for the week.

John Maytham's book reviews: Mystery, marriage and childbirth

John Maytham's book reviews: Mystery, marriage and childbirth

John's three book picks for the week. Take a listen.

John Maytham's Book Reviews: Murderers, weed dealers, social justice activists

John Maytham's Book Reviews: Murderers, weed dealers, social justice activists

John's three book picks for the week.

John Maytham's Book Reviews: Murder, spies, and family feuds

John Maytham's Book Reviews: Murder, spies, and family feuds

John's four book picks for the week.

John Maytham's Book Reviews: Killers, poets, public servants and ingrates

John Maytham's Book Reviews: Killers, poets, public servants and ingrates

John's three book picks for the week.

Popular articles
[LISTEN] New Visa regulations could change the face of South African tourism

[LISTEN] New Visa regulations could change the face of South African tourism

Lecturer at TUT's Dept of Tourism, Unathi Henama says that the tourism sector is at the center of the economic policies in SA.

'My hubby is 75 and we still do it' - stories about sex on the other side of 50

'My hubby is 75 and we still do it' - stories about sex on the other side of 50

Is biology putting the brakes on your sexuality? Callers share their experiences of sex and growing older.

'Some weed plants with high levels of chemicals have been linked to psychosis'

'Some weed plants with high levels of chemicals have been linked to psychosis'

Naked Scientist, Chris Smith shares his insights on some of the risks associated with smoking marijuana.

DStv Premium on a downward spiral, warns tech guru

DStv Premium on a downward spiral, warns tech guru

DStv has lost about 140 000 Premium subscribers to Netflix over the past two years, tech expert Arthur Goldstuck.

17-year-old learner killed teacher for not allowing him to jump the food queue

17-year-old learner killed teacher for not allowing him to jump the food queue

Spokesperson for Education department says the fact that this learner is still in Grade 10 at 17 may indicate there is a problem.

Tell me what you want: Study reveals most common sexual fantasies

Tell me what you want: Study reveals most common sexual fantasies

What are your sexual fantasies? Disclosure can bring sexual freedom, but it can also have downsides. A study lists the top trends.

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

These are the emergency numbers you should have on your cellphone and this is what you must understand about how they work.