New Arrivals!

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

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

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

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

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 “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

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! 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?


About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

28 Responses to New Arrivals!

  1. Book Blather says:

    I didn’t like Harold, so I’m glad Perfect has a different tone. 🙂

  2. Judith, I’ve read books by Alafair Burke in the past and she does write good mysteries/thrillers. Did you get this one through NetGalley?
    I recently received Shift for review but haven’t read it yet. I did read Wool and enjoyed it so I’m hoping this one will be as good.
    Heard great things about the Atkinson book but, again, haven’t read it yet. Lots of goodies on your list, Enjoy.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Marleen, I got the Alafair Burke book as a paper ARC. Good to hear that you like her work. And that you enjoyed Wool. I have no idea what to think about Shift, but it caught my eye in the book shop and I like to try something new sometimes.

  3. Care says:

    I really enjoyed Life After Life and now want to read more Atkinson. I have read some Shriver and she is a very smart writer. I haven’t heard much buzz on this one – look forward to your thoughts.

  4. Suzanne says:

    I just finished Life After Life last week and really liked it, I hope you will too.
    Big Brother is on my to-read list, and I think I will be adding the new Rachel Joyce book to it as well.

  5. Melinda says:

    Enjoy LIfe after Life!

  6. Jennifer @ The Relentless Reader says:

    I really, really liked Life After Life! I hope you do too 🙂

  7. harvee says:

    Bib Brother is book I’ve been curious about. Nice review books.

  8. Laura Caldwell says:

    Only one that I’ve read (or heard of) is Life After Life which I recently finished. My favorite book this year, so far!

  9. Charlie says:

    Looking forward to hearing what you think of Life After Life. I’m one of those who wasn’t so keen, but regardless it makes a great discussion so yes, I’ll be on the look out 🙂 Perfect sounds very good, the situation very possible.

  10. Marie says:

    I just read Wool and really enjoyed it, but I only heard of the existence of Shift today. I hope you enjoy it – I’ll definitely be picking it up.

  11. Andi Miller says:

    I watched a video interview with Lionel Shriver yesterday, and I’m completely onboard to read Big Brother now. Fascinating! And I definitely want to try Life After Life. So cool that you and Ciska are real life book group buddies!

  12. Monika says:

    I loved Life After Life. The UK cover is soooo pretty!
    And whaaaat? There’s a prequel to Wool?! I must get read it.

  13. Leslie says:

    I just started reading If You Were Here and so far it’s good. I read Life After Life a few months ago. I liked it but I wanted to know more about how and why Ursula was being reborn but the author was very vague.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Leslie, I also prefer to understand the technicalities of things like that. Although, in a book I started yesterday the “science” was so impossible, that I had to stop reading the book after about 10 pages. The writer obviously had no idea! 🙂

  14. Roxanne says:

    The cover of ‘Perfect’ is really pretty. Maybe not the best reason to read a book but it does work that way sometimes.

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