April 19, 2013 23 Comments
I’ve got some really nice books recently. Here they are… .
Books I got for review
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
The new Joe Hill, for review from William Morrow. I am not really into the horror genre, but I previously read Horns by this writer, which I enjoyed a lot. And this sounds like another good, if strange, book.
The publisher says: “NOS4A2
Don’t slow down
Victoria McQueen has an uncanny knack for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. When she rides her bicycle over the rickety old covered bridge in the woods near her house, she always emerges in the places she needs to be. Vic doesn’t tell anyone about her unusual ability, because she knows no one will believe her. She has trouble understanding it herself.
Charles Talent Manx has a gift of his own. He likes to take children for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the vanity plate NOS4A2. In the Wraith, he and his innocent guests can slip out of the everyday world and onto hidden roads that lead to an astonishing playground of amusements he calls Christmasland. Mile by mile, the journey across the highway of Charlie’s twisted imagination transforms his precious passengers, leaving them as terrifying and unstoppable as their benefactor.
And then comes the day when Vic goes looking for trouble . . . and finds her way, inevitably, to Charlie.
That was a lifetime ago. Now, the only kid ever to escape Charlie’s unmitigated evil is all grown up and desperate to forget.
But Charlie Manx hasn’t stopped thinking about the exceptional Victoria McQueen. On the road again, he won’t slow down until he’s taken his revenge. He’s after something very special—something Vic can never replace.
As a life-and-death battle of wills builds—her magic pitted against his—Vic McQueen prepares to destroy Charlie once and for all . . . or die trying. . . .”
Books I won in a giveaway
Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole
A win from Hutchinson, part of Windmill Books, my favorite UK publishers. A book in letters between two very different people. It sounds interesting!
The publisher says: “March 1912: Twenty-four-year-old Elspeth Dunn, a published poet and a fishermans wife, has never seen the world beyond her home on Scotlands bucolic Isle of Skye. So she is astonished when a fan letter arrives from an American college student, David Graham.
As the two strike up a correspondence sharing their favorite books, wildest hopes, and deepest secrets their exchanges blossom into friendship, and eventually into love. But as World War I moves across Europe and David volunteers as an ambulance driver on the Western front, Elspeth can only wait for him on Skye, hoping he comes back alive.
June 1940: More than twenty years later, at the start of World War II, Elspeths daughter, Margaret, has fallen for her best friend, a pilot in the Royal Air Force. Her mother warns her against finding love in wartime, an admonition Margaret doesnt understand. And after a nearby bomb rocks Elspeths house, and letters that were hidden in a wall come raining down, Elspeth disappears.
Only a single letter, sent decades before by a stranger named David Graham, remains as a clue to Elspeths whereabouts. As Margaret sets out to discover who David is and where her mother has gone, she must also face the truth of what happened to her family long ago . . .”
Books I bought
The Donor by Helen Fitzgerald
I’ve had my eye on this book for a while, since I love Helen Fitzgerald’s books (I read The Duplicate and Bloody Women). I got it (in the Dutch translation) from a book sale at a publisher’s on their open day last week.
From the publisher: “Will’s 47. His wife bailed out when the twins were in nappies and hasn’t been seen since. He coped OK by himself at first, giving Georgie and Kay all the love he could, working in a boring admin job to support them. Just after the twins turn sixteen, Georgie suffers kidney failure and is placed on dialysis. Her type is rare, and Will immediately offers to donate an organ. Without a transplant, she would probably never see adulthood. So far so good. But then Kay gets sick. She’s also sixteen. Just as precious. Her kidney type just as rare.
Time is critical, and he has to make a decision. Should he buy a kidney – be an organ tourist? Should he save one child? If so, which one? Should he sacrifice himself? Or is there a fourth solution – one so terrible it has never even crossed his mind?”
The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyer
Another book I got from the publisher’s book sale. I have seen this book around and I love the Dutch cover, very curious about the book.
From the publishers: “Five years ago, Tia fell into obsessive love with a man she could never have. Married, and the father of two boys, Nathan was unavailable in every way. When she became pregnant, he disappeared, and she gave up her baby for adoption.
Five years ago, Caroline, a dedicated pathologist, reluctantly adopted a baby to please her husband. She prayed her misgivings would disappear; instead, she’s questioning whether she’s cut out for the role of wife and mother.
Five years ago, Juliette considered her life ideal: she had a solid marriage, two beautiful young sons, and a thriving business. Then she discovered Nathan’s affair. He promised he’d never stray again, and she trusted him.
But when Juliette intercepts a letter to her husband from Tia that contains pictures of a child with a deep resemblance to her husband, her world crumbles once more. How could Nathan deny his daughter? And if he’s kept this a secret from her, what else is he hiding? Desperate for the truth, Juliette goes in search of the little girl. And before long, the three women and Nathan are on a collision course with consequences that none of them could have predicted.
Riveting and arresting, The Comfort of Lies explores the collateral damage of infidelity and the dark, private struggles many of us experience but rarely reveal.”
Wink Murder by Ali Knight
Yet another book from the publisher’s sale. Yes, it was a “3 for…” sale (10 euros, only!) so this was my third book. I had not heard of it although the author’s name does sound familiar.
From the publisher: “Kate Forman has an enviable life: a loving family and a perfect husband, Paul. But one night she finds Paul drunk and covered in blood, mumbling about having killed something – or someone.
When a young and attractive woman who works for Paul is found murdered, Kate’s suspicions about what he has really done send her on an increasingly desperate search for the truth that threatens to smash her carefully constructed life.
Doing the right thing should seem obvious, but as the lies multiply, the truth is not as straightforward as it seems; how well do you know the person you’re married to?“
Books I swapped
Fiona Range by Mary McGarry Morris
From bookmooch, this book had been on my wishlist for a while. I read two or three other books by Mary McGarry Morris, A Hole in the Universe, which I positively loved, and Songs in Ordinary Time which I loved first time I read it, and enjoyed the second time.
From the publisher: “Abandoned by her young mother, unsure of her father’s identity, and raised by her prominent aunt and uncle near Boston, thirty-year-old Fiona Range has developed a high threshold for emotional pain. Her recklessness, generosity, and poor judgment have landed her in more scrapes than her affluent family-or small-town community-can tolerate.
Beautiful, volatile and smart-tongued (or trashy, erratic, and wild, depending on whom you ask), Fiona hits rock bottom after she ends a party with a strange man in her bed. Alienated from relatives and friends but determined to change, Fiona turns to the men in her life-among them, cruel and unstable Patrick Grady, who denies she is his daughter. The arrival home of her gentle cousin Elizabeth with fiance in tow sparks a storm where past mistakes and current passions collide.”
Books I was gifted
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
This book I got from the same publisher’s as where I bought the books above. It was an open day with lots of author talks and this book is from the goodie bag. It’s a flipback edition, which actually is quite nice to read (I read The Dinner by Herman Koch as a flipback book recently). I am not sure I’d like this book but some people in my book group read and loved it.
From the publishers: “In a country ruled by fear, no one is innocent.
Stalin’s Soviet Union is an official paradise, where citizens live free from crime and fear only one thing: the all-powerful state. Defending this system is idealistic security officer Leo Demidov, a war hero who believes in the iron fist of the law. But when a murderer starts to kill at will and Leo dares to investigate, the State’s obedient servant finds himself demoted and exiled. Now, with only his wife at his side, Leo must fight to uncover shocking truths about a killer-and a country where “crime” doesn’t exist.”
The People of Forever Are Not Afraid by Shani Boianjiu
This was another book in the goodie bag (a paperback format this time). I’ve heard of this book and I am curious about it. A great find in the goodie bag!
From the publishers: “Yael, Avishag, and Lea grow up together in a tiny, dusty Israeli village, attending a high school made up of caravan classrooms, passing notes to each other to alleviate the universal boredom of teenage life. When they are conscripted into the army, their lives change in unpredictable ways, influencing the women they become and the friendship that they struggle to sustain.
Yael trains marksmen and flirts with boys. Avishag stands guard, watching refugees throw themselves at barbed-wire fences. Lea, posted at a checkpoint, imagines the stories behind the familiar faces that pass by her day after day. They gossip about boys and whisper of an ever more violent world just beyond view. They drill, constantly, for a moment that may never come. They live inside that single, intense second just before danger erupts.
In a relentlessly energetic and arresting voice marked by humor and fierce intelligence, Shani Boianjiu, winner of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35,” creates an unforgettably intense world, capturing that unique time in a young woman’s life when a single moment can change everything.”
Have you read any of these books? Which of these would appeal to you?