Jeff Popple recommends five books to put under the tree this Christmas. More of Jeff’s reviews can be found on his blog: murdermayhemandlongdogs.com
Blue Moon by Lee Child
Jack Reacher is the classic action figure. A former military policeman who roams America like a modern-day Western hero, Reacher appeals to a wide range of readers and his books are regularly found on the top of bestseller lists. In Blue Moon, Reacher becomes caught between two rival criminal gangs when he tries to help an old couple in debt to a loan shark. Briskly paced and full of action, it hurtles towards the violent climax. A good, light holiday read, with some unexpected touches of humour. A must for the Reacher aficionado in your family.
The Golden Era by Rod Laver and Larry Writer
Allen & Unwin, $39.99
Tennis is an essential part of Australia’s summer and this attractive book is a lovely reminder of the period between 1952 and 1973 when we were a tennis superpower. Written by Rod Laver, one of the greatest players to come out of Australia, and journalist, Larry Writer, it is a fascinating account of the golden period of Australian tennis. Drawing on Laver’s personal experiences and insights, and interviews with many of the stars from that time, such as John Newcombe and Margaret Court, it provides a fresh perspective on those years. A great Christmas gift and a good book to dip into over the summer of tennis.
488 Rules For Life by Kitty Flanagan
Allen & Unwin, $29.99
Those after some light humour this Christmas will appreciate this guide to modern behaviour by Kitty Flanagan. Based on her popular TV segment on The Weekly, it proposes a set of rules to make life less irritating and the world more pleasant. From advising old men to cut off their ponytails, “it probably wasn’t even cool way back when you were young”; to flying advice, “only people in the aisle seats may stand up before the door is opened”; to office decorum, “don’t write ‘pleased to e-meet you’ at the top of an email. You lost me at ‘e’”, it is full of painfully funny and honest tips for life.