January 9, 2011 15 Comments
In the last two or three weeks, I got nine new books that I bought, won or downloaded for free. Here they are:
Just before Christmas, I got Nigella Christmas by Nigella Lawson in the post. I was so pleasantly surprised! It turned out I’d won it at a Dutch website, watleesjij.nl, but I hadn’t been notified. So it was a big surprise to open the package and find this lovely book. I posted about the book here, including a recipe.
This is a cook book by the well-known English t.v. cook Nigella Lawson. The book focuses on Christmas but there are many recipes that can be made any time of year, for a festive occasion or just a nice evening with the family. The book has lots of glossy pictures so you can see what it’s supposed to look like (which I find important in a cook book). Not only that, the pictures certainly entice the reader to stock up and start cooking straight away!
I also won The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland Age 42 and Three-Quarters by Barbara Silkstone (e-book). This was a giveaway by Shelleyrae at Book’d Out. I also won three extra copies to hand out to friends!
Description (from Book’d Out): A murder by beheading sends Alice Harte, reluctant real estate broker for thugs, running into the arms of Nigel Channing, a charming British con man. Readers will cheer for Alice as she watches her back in attempts to keep her head while being stalked by Nigel’s daft ex-wife and a team of inept, but dangerous, mobsters. Alice’s world is filled with real characters strangely reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland as she’s guided through her dangerous adventure by her own Cheshire Cat.
When I was in England over the Christmas period, I wasn’t allowed to buy any books. That is, I told myself so. I only went into Waterstone’s bookstore to have a look at all those lovely books and maybe get some ideas for future purchases (as if I don’t have a wish list as long as my arm!). Anyway, husband liked to look around too and found this book for me: Your Presence is Required at Suvanto by Maile Chapman.
My husband knows I like books about Scandinavia and this story takes place in a convalescence hospital in a remote area of Finland. Set in the 1920s, there is a ward for Finnish women and one for foreign, mainly American women. The arrival of one patient and rumours about changes to be implemented at the hospital, disturb the tranquil life on the wards.
Then I said: “I’d love to have that book, but then I also want this one.” And that was A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks. I had my eyes on it a few times already in various book shops.
Description (from bol.com): London, the week before Christmas, 2007. Over seven days we follow the lives of seven characters: a hedge fund manager trying to bring off the biggest trade of his career, a professional footballer recently arrived from Poland, a young lawyer with little work and too much time, a student led astray by Islamist theory, a hack book-reviewer, a schoolboy hooked on skunk and reality TV, and a Tube train driver whose Circle Line train joins these and countless other lives together in a daily loop.
This book, Tikkop by Adriaan van Dis [Dutch; I don’t know what “Tikkop” means so can’t give you the English translation] was a free download from Augustus Publishers in the Netherlands. It’s a book by an established Dutch writer, but I have never read any of his work. This is my chance to get acquainted with him.
Description: About a Dutch man called Mulder and the South-African Donald who both got involved in the fight against apartheid when they were students. Forty years on they meet again and reminiscence about the past. The reality of the new South-Africa is different from the expectations they had at the time.
Sukkwan Island by David Vann is an e-book that I downloaded for free. It’s available for free until Jan 25th – check out my review (plus download information).
Description: A twice-divorced man, Jim, takes his estranged son Roy on a year-long adventure on a remote island in Alaska. They bring the basics but expect to survive on what they can catch and shoot. Jim is a troubled man, and Roy has doubts about the whole thing. A dramatic event changes everything. Beautiful literary fiction.
What a bad reason to download an e-book: it was free. Yes, another one. The Blasphemer by Nigel Farndale was free for download for one day only from ebook.nl and it’s in Dutch. Now, afterwards, I felt very smug for downloading it, because Jackie of Farmlanebooks enjoyed it a lot (and we have a similar reading taste) and it’s also a Richard and Judy Spring 2011 Book Club title (see Jackie’s post).
Description (from bol.com):
On its way to the Galápagos Islands, a light aircraft crashes into the sea. Zoologist Daniel Kennedy is confronted with a stark Darwinian choice. Should he save himself, or Nancy, the woman he loves? But how can one moment of betrayal ever be forgiven? And after he escapes the plane and swims for help, who is the elusive figure who guides him away from certain death?
Back in London, Daniel thinks he finds the answer; it is connected with his great grandfather and the first horrific day of Passchendaele. But as the past collapses into the present, the fissures in his relationship with Nancy show through. Until he is given a second chance to prove his courage and earn her forgiveness. The Blasphemer is a novel that speaks to the head as well as the heart of the reader.
In the Dewey’s Read-a-thon of October I won two books as part of the end of event meme. I was allowed to choose form a whole list of books that were donated by the read-a-thon’s sponsors and The Blessings of Animals by Katrina Kittle (donated by Harper Perennial) stood out, because the author’s other book, The Kindness of Strangers, is on my wish list.
Description (from the back cover): Veterinarian Cami Anderson has hit a rough patch. Stymied by her recent divorce, she wonders if there are secret ingredients to a happy, long-lasting marriage or if the entire institution is outdated and obsolete. […] But as she struggles to come to terms with her own doubts amid this chaotic circus of relationships, Cami finds strange comfort in an unexpeted confidant: an angry, unpredictable horse in her care. With the help of her equine soul mate, she begins to make sense of marriage’s great mysteries – and its disconnects.
The other book I won from Dewey’s read-a-thon end of event meme was Up from the Blue by Susan Henderson. This book was donated by Harper.
Description (from the back cover): Tillie Harris’ life is in disarray – her husband is away on business, the boxes in her new home aren’t unpacked, and the telephone isn’t even connected yet. Though she’s not due for another month, sudden labor pains force Tillie to reach out to her estranged father for help, a choice that means facing the painful memories she’s been running from since she was a little girl.