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The Tale of Genji
Murasaki Shikibu, Royall Tyler
She Rises
Kate Worsley
Morgan's Run - Colleen McCullough Not long ago I read The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough and so I surprised myself by reading this book so soon afterwards as I do not tend to read the same author twice in such close proximity.

In The Thorn Birds I recognised a good author although the story itself did not interest me. In Morgan's Run the two were combined together - a great story written by a good author.

McCullough has a very definite style and voice in the way she writes. I think the most important part of a book is the author and how he or she writes because in the end, it doesn't actually matter what the book is about eventually - a good author could make watching paint dry sound riveting. Not that either of these books was like watching paint dry!

Morgan's Run is about the first convicts to be sent to Australia after the American revolution put a stop to them shipping them over there. So, merry olde England decided that it would be a good idea to ship them out to an unknown country and leave them there.

The story follows Richard Morgan, a character of whom you will fall in love with - it's impossible not to. I get the feeling that McCullough seems to like tall men with long dark curly hair as that is how she described Father Ralph in The Thorn Birds too. In fact, it seems all the decent, good attractive characters in this book happen to have long dark curly hair - which is absolutely fine by me as I happen to like that in men too.

One thing that seems to be a running criticism with McCullough is that she can spend ages describing certain things in such detail and then quickly rush through something else that is quite important in about a paragraph, so much that if you're not careful you could miss it.

She writes with a calm confidence that I find very trustworthy - part of her style feels as if she is nurturing you, the reader and then sometimes there is a harder edge - more straight forward and informative. It is a rather peculiar style I think but I like it and it works. It makes me feel as if I am really there, part of the history and the 'world' she has created - but not quite lost or abandoned to it.

I have not read very much about Australia, I confess it is a very hot country and I feel more comfortable reading books in cold or wet countries, which I know makes very little sense on the face of things. Australia always seems so far away and you do not hear of it very much which should be more of a reason to go out and read more about it, which I fully intend to do.

I really enjoyed Morgan's Run and can't wait to startThe First Man in Rome soon - sometime this year!