August 5, 2012 14 Comments
Netgalley is too tempting! I keep requesting books from it. All good books, I’m sure, but I do then commit myself to more reading, and more reviews. Sigh! But hey, luxury problem!
Books for review
The Tall Tale of Tommy Twice by Nathan Leslie
I got this book from Atticus books via Netgalley (ebook). I read it on holiday and found it a fun book, 4.5 stars.
From the publisher’s website: “When Tommy’s parents abandon him as a baby, his grandmother Gaga takes him to her reclusive house at the top of Pike’s Peak. Gaga’s parenting methods are extreme, but Tommy soon learns her eccentricities are nothing compared to the rest of his family. As he’s passed between his outlandish aunts, Tommy’s journey takes him to the country homestead of Aunt Tess (who hides surprising objects in her voluminous hair), the four city houses of Aunt Penny (who prefers to communicate by ESP), and the cave-like desert home of Aunt Chelsea the coyote hunter. As his cross-country romp reveals how bizarrely different families can be, Tommy begins to wonder if the conventional home he’s dreamed of might not be for him after all.
The Tall Tale of Tommy Twice captures the unmoored feelings of young adulthood and the complexities of American identity. It’s a dazzling novel about the ineffability of childhood and the nature of family and relationships in the increasingly rootless American experience.“
This is How it Ends by Kathleen McMahon
For review from Grand Central Publishing via Netgalley (ebook). This sounds like a great read and I’m very curious about it.
From the author’s website: “A heartbreaking love story, This Is How It Ends is set in the winter of 2008. The novel tells the story of two people who collide with each other just as the whole world seems to be caught between the drama of Obama’s election and the catastrophic collapse of the global economy.
Bruno is a middle-aged American banker who has come to Ireland as a refugee from the financial meltdown in his own country. Addie is an out of work Irish architect. When she meets Bruno, her life seems to be on a downward spiral.
Addie and Bruno’s story is a story of nationality and identity, of the power of optimism to defeat despair and the unstoppable march of time. It’s the story of two people who find joy together when they were least expecting it. It’s about family and dogs and swimming in the sea. It’s about the past and the future and the elusive skill of living in the moment. “
Genus by Jonathan Trigell
I got this book for review from the publishers, Corsair. It’s a dystopian story, and as you probably know, I love dystopian stories!
From the publisher’s website: “In the Britain of a few tomorrows time, physical perfection is commonplace and self improvement has become an extinct expression: all the qualities men and women could aspire to can be purchased prior to birth.
GENUS is a time of genetic selection and enrichment – life chances come on a sliding scale according to wealth. For some there is no money or choice, and an underclass has evolved; London’s King’s Cross, or The Kross as it is now known, has become a ghetto for the Unimproved. In The Kross, the natural, the dated, the cheap and the dull, live a brittle and unenviable existence. But unrest is growing; tension is mounting and a murderer is abroad in these dark quarters…
Acclaimed author Jonathan Trigell’s third novel is a breathtaking tour de force, exploring a dystopia of the not-too-distant-a future which will leave readers wondering not ‘what if’, as the original audience of Huxley’s Brave New World did, but ‘when’.”
The War of the Wives by Tamar Cohen
For review from Transworld Books. I’ve heard a lot about this book and was keen to read it myself!
From amazon.co.uk: “Imagine being happily married for 28 years. You have three children, a lovely house and a husband who travels a lot – but even after all this time, you still love each other.
Or: imagine being happily married for 17 years. You have one daughter, a lovely home and though your husband travels a lot, you still love each other passionately.
Then one day you get a call that turns your world upside down: your husband is dead. You are devastated. You go to the funeral… And come face to face with his other widow. Another wife, another family. It can’t be true. It must be a mistake.It has to be her fault – all of it. Or: is it?
With the sharp and witty scalpel she used in The Mistress’s Revenge, Tamar Cohen lays bare the raw emotions thart underpin so-called normal family life and explores the hearts of two women forced to re-evaluate everything they thought they knew.”
Book from the library
You Remind Me of Me by Dan Chaon
I borrowed this from the library for my Reading Around the USA in 90 days challenge. It’s good for a few states. I’ve “been to” 33 states so far. I’ve read this book already and enjoyed it, but it was darker than I expected. A 4 star book.
From the publishers website: “You Remind Me of Me begins with a series of separate incidents: In 1977, a little boy is savagely attacked by his mother’s pet Doberman; in 1997 another little boy disappears from his grandmother’s backyard on a sunny summer morning; in 1966, a pregnant teenager admits herself to a maternity home, with the intention of giving her child up for adoption; in 1991, a young man drifts toward a career as a drug dealer, even as he hopes for something better.
With penetrating insight and a deep devotion to his characters, Dan Chaon explores the secret connections that irrevocably link them. In the process he examines questions of identity, fate, and circumstance: Why do we become the people that we become? How do we end up stuck in lives that we never wanted? And can we change the course of what seems inevitable?
In language that is both unflinching and exquisite, Chaon moves deftly between the past and the present in the small-town prairie Midwest and shows us the extraordinary lives of “ordinary” people.”
The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings
Another book for the Reading Around the USA in 90 days challenge. I think the book only covers Hawaii, but that’s one of the states I haven’t had yet! I don’t know much about this book, except that it’s a recent movie, too. Have you seen it?
From the author’s website: “Matthew King was once considered one of the most fortunate men in Hawaii. His missionary ancestors who came to the islands were financially and culturally progressive—one even married a Hawaiian princess, making Matt a royal descendant and one of the state’s largest landowners.
Now his luck has changed. His two daughters are out of control—ten-year-old Scottie has a smart-ass attitude and a desperate need for attention, and seventeen year-old Alex, a former model, is a recovering drug addict. His thrill seeking and high maintenance wife, Joanie, lies in a coma after a boat racing accident, and will soon be taken off life support. The King family can hardly picture life without their charismatic mother, but, as they come to terms with this tragedy, their sadness is mixed with a sense of freedom that shames them—and spurs them into surprising actions.
Before honoring Joanie’s living will, Matt must gather her friends and family to say their final goodbyes, a difficult situation made worse by the sudden discovery that there is one person who hasn’t been told—the man with whom Joanie had been having an affair—quite possibly the one man she ever truly loved. Forced to examine what he owes not only to the living but to the dead, Matt takes to the road with his daughters to find his wife’s lover, on a memorable journey which leads to both painful revelations and unforeseen humor and growth.”
Have you read any of these books? Which of these would appeal to you?