June 13, 2013 28 Comments
Oh, I forgot to tell you all about these new books I got. It was before I went on holiday. I read two of them while I was away.
Books I got for review
Perfect by Rachel Joyce (ebook)
I read this one while on holiday and it was very good. It’s very different from The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry so I can’t promise you’ll like this one if you liked that. But it’s another good read. From Netgalley (Random House UK) (ARC). It’s out in July.
The publishers say: “In 1972, two seconds were added to time. It was in order to balance clock time with the movement of the earth. Byron Hemming knew this because James Lowe had told him and James was the cleverest boy at school. But how could time change? The steady movement of hands around a clock was as certain as their golden futures.
Then Byron’s mother, late for the school run, makes a devastating mistake. Byron’s perfect world is shattered. Were those two extra seconds to blame? Can what follows ever be set right?”
If You Were Here by Alafair Burke
From Harper for review (ARC). This sounds like a good mystery.
The publishers say: “Manhattan journalist McKenna Jordan is chasing the story of an unidentified woman who heroically pulled a teenaged boy from the subway tracks. When she locates a video that captures part of the incident, she thinks she has an edge on the competition scrambling to identify the mystery heroine, but is shocked to discover that the woman in the video bears a strong resemblance to Susan Hauptmann, a close friend who disappeared without a trace a decade earlier.
What would have been a short-lived metro story sends McKenna on a dangerous search for the missing woman—a search that will force her to unearth long-buried truths much closer to home…”
Big Brother by Lionel Shriver
From Harper for review (ARC). I read this one on holiday too and I thought it was very good. My first book by this writer and I will put the others on my wishlist!
The publishers say: “For Pandora, cooking is a form of love. Alas, her husband, Fletcher, a self-employed high-end cabinetmaker, now spurns the “toxic” dishes that he’d savored through their courtship, and spends hours each day to manic cycling. Then, when Pandora picks up her older brother Edison at the airport, she doesn’t recognize him. In the years since they’ve seen one another, the once slim, hip New York jazz pianist has gained hundreds of pounds. What happened? After Edison has more than overstayed his welcome, Fletcher delivers his wife an ultimatum: It’s him or me.
Rich with Shriver’s distinctive wit and ferocious energy, Big Brother is about fat: an issue both social and excruciatingly personal. It asks just how much sacrifice we’ll make to save single members of our families, and whether it’s ever possible to save loved ones from themselves.”
Borrowed from a friend
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
I borrowed this book from Ciska of Ciska’s Book Chest. She’s the newest member of my real-life book group and brought this book along to her first meeting with us. I have read several other books by Atkinson and this one in particular sounds very intriguing.
From Dutch online bookstore bol.com: “During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath. During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale.
What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?
Life After Life follows Ursula Todd as she lives through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. With wit and compassion, she finds warmth even in life’s bleakest moments, and shows an extraordinary ability to evoke the past. Here is Kate Atkinson at her most profound and inventive, in a novel that celebrates the best and worst of ourselves.”
A book I bought
Shift by Hugh Howey
I bought this at the English (UK) bookshop Waterstone’s of which we have a store in Amsterdam. It seemed to be part of a trilogy and the shop assistant looked to see is there was a certain order to them. Well, he said, this is a prequel to Wool. I’d heard of Wool but got a bit confused: a prequel is something you read before the main story, right? But if the prequel is written after the main story, what then? Anyway, I liked this cover better and went for it. If it’s a prequel it should at the least be possible to read this independently of the other book(s). We’ll see!
Amazon.com says: “In 2007, the Center for Automation in Nanobiotech (CAN) outlined the hardware and software platform that would one day allow robots smaller than human cells to make medical diagnoses, conduct repairs, and even self-propagate. In the same year, the CBS network re-aired a program about the effects of propranolol on sufferers of extreme trauma.
A simple pill, it had been discovered, could wipe out the memory of any traumatic event. At almost the same moment in humanity’s broad history, mankind had discovered the means for bringing about its utter downfall. And the ability to forget it ever happened. This is the sequel to the New York Times bestselling WOOL series. Contains First Shift, Second Shift, and Third Shift.”
Have you read any of these books? Which of these would appeal to you?