New Books…

I received some new books recently. The ones for review will be read soon, but the others? What do you think? Are they worth putting at the top of the reading pile?

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The Book of You by Claire Kendal

The Book of You by Claire Kendal

For review from Harper.

The publisher says: “His name is Rafe, and he is everywhere Clarissa turns. At the university where she works. Her favorite sewing shop. The train station. Outside her apartment. His messages choke her voice mail; his gifts litter her mailbox. Since that one regrettable night, his obsession with her has grown, becoming more terrifying with each passing day. And as Rafe has made clear, he will never let her go.

Clarissa’s only escape from this harrowing nightmare is inside a courtroom—where she is a juror on a trial involving a victim whose experiences eerily parallel her own. There she finds some peace and even makes new friends, including an attractive widower named Robert, whose caring attentions make her feel desired and safe. But as a disturbingly violent crime unfolds in the courtroom, Clarissa realizes that to survive she must expose Rafe herself. Conceiving a plan, she begins collecting the evidence of Rafe’s madness to use against him—a record of terror that will force her to relive every excruciating moment she desperately wants to forget. Proof that will reveal the twisted, macabre fairy tale that Rafe has spun around them . . . with an ending more horrifying than her darkest fears.”

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A case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif

A case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif

I won this book with the amazing title from Nishita of Nishita’s Rants and Raves in the Literary Giveaway Blog Hop. It sounds like an interesting read for sure!

The publisher says: “Intrigue and subterfuge combine with bad luck and good in this darkly comic debut about love, betrayal, tyranny, family, and a conspiracy trying its damnedest to happen.

Ali Shigri, Pakistan Air Force pilot and Silent Drill Commander of the Fury Squadron, is on a mission to avenge his father’s suspicious death, which the government calls a suicide.Ali’s target is none other than General Zia ul-Haq, dictator of Pakistani. Enlisting a rag-tag group of conspirators, including his cologne-bathed roommate, a hash-smoking American lieutenant, and a mango-besotted crow, Ali sets his elaborate plan in motion. There’s only one problem: the line of would-be Zia assassins is longer than he could have possibly known.”

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The Home Place by Carry la Seur

The Home Place by Carry La Seur

For review from William Morrow via Edelweiss (ebook).

The publisher says: “The only Terrebonne who made it out, Alma thought she was done with Montana, with its bleak winters and stifling ways. But an unexpected call from the local police takes the successful lawyer back to her provincial hometown and pulls her into the family trouble she thought she’d left far behind: Her lying, party-loving sister, Vicky, is dead. Alma is told that a very drunk Vicky had wandered away from a party and died of exposure after a night in the brutal cold. But when Alma returns home to bury Vicky and see to her orphaned niece, she discovers that the death may not have been an accident.

The Home Place is a story of secrets that will not lie still, human bonds that will not break, and crippling memories that will not be silenced. It is a story of rural towns and runaways, of tensions corporate and racial, of childhood trauma and adolescent betrayal, and of the guilt that even forgiveness cannot ease. Most of all, this is a story of the place we carry in us always: home.”

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All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld

All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld

For review from Knopf publishers.

The publisher says: “Jake Whyte is living on her own in an old farmhouse on a craggy British island, a place of ceaseless rain and battering wind. Her disobedient collie, Dog, and a flock of sheep are her sole companions, which is how she wants it to be. But every few nights something—or someone—picks off one of the sheep and sounds a new deep pulse of terror. There are foxes in the woods, a strange boy and a strange man, and rumors of an obscure, formidable beast. And there is also Jake’s past, hidden thousands of miles away and years ago, held in the silences about her family and the scars that stripe her back—a past that threatens to break into the present. With exceptional artistry and empathy, All the Birds, Singing reveals an isolated life in all its struggles and stubborn hopes, unexpected beauty, and hard-won redemption.”

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The Painter by Peter Heller

The Painter by Peter Heller

For review from Knopf publishers. After reading The Dog Stars, which I very much enjoyed, I am really curious about this new book by Peter Heller.

The publisher says: “Jim Stegner has seen his share of violence and loss. Years ago he shot a man in a bar. His marriage disintegrated. He grieved the one thing he loved. In the wake of tragedy, Jim, a well-known expressionist painter, abandoned the art scene of Santa Fe to start fresh in the valleys of rural Colorado. Now he spends his days painting and fly-fishing, trying to find a way to live with the dark impulses that sometimes overtake him. He works with a lovely model. His paintings fetch excellent prices. But one afternoon, on a dirt road, Jim comes across a man beating a small horse, and a brutal encounter rips his quiet life wide open. Fleeing Colorado, chased by men set on retribution, Jim returns to New Mexico, tormented by his own relentless conscience.

A stunning, savage novel of art and violence, love and grief, The Painter is the story of a man who longs to transcend the shadows in his heart, a man intent on using the losses he has suffered to create a meaningful life.”

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Bred in the Bone by Christopher Brookmyre

Bred to the Bone by Christopher Brookmyre

A review book via Edelweiss (Ebook). I have already reviewed this mystery/thriller (4 stars) HERE.

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The Silver Dark Sea by Susan Fletcher

The Silver Dark Sea by Susan Fletcher

We’re reading this for my book group next week. I got my copy from the library.

Amazon says: “A profound tale of love, loss and the lore of the sea.

The islanders of Parla are still mourning the loss of one of their own. Four years since that loss, and a man – un-named, unclothed – is washed onto their shores. Some say he is a mythical man from the sea – potent, kind and beautiful; others suspect him. For the bereft Maggie, this stranger brings love back to the isle. But as the days pass he changes every one of them – and the time comes for his story to be told…

Tender, lyrical and redemptive, THE SILVER DARK SEA is the dazzling new novel from the author of EVE GREEN (winner of Whitbred First Novel award) and WITCH LIGHT. It is a story about what life can give and take from us, when we least expect it – and how love, in all its forms, is the greatest gift of all.”

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What should I read first?

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New Books…

I received some new books recently. The ones for review will be read soon, but the others? What do you think? Are they worth putting at the top of the reading pile?

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The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.

I loved this YA dystopian! I borrowed it from the library. My review is HERE.

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Natsume Soseki

Light and Dark by Natsume Soseki

I won this book from Tony’s Reading List. It’s a beautiful hardback, very exquisite. I’m looking forward to reading it but not to the ending, because there isn’t one!

From the publishers: “Light and Dark, Natsume Sōseki’s longest novel and masterpiece, although unfinished, is a minutely observed study of haute-bourgeois manners on the eve of World War I. It is also a psychological portrait of a new marriage that achieves a depth and exactitude of character revelation that had no precedent in Japan at the time of its publication and has not been equaled since. With Light and Dark, Soseki invented the modern Japanese novel.”

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Gould's Book of Fish by Richard Flanagan

Gould’s Book of Fish by Richard Flanagan

Another win! This was a Literary Giveaway Blog Hop win, from Joanne at Book Lover Book Reviews. The subtitle is A Novel in Twelve Fish. Doesn’t that sound fun?

From the publishers: “Once upon a time that was called 1828, before all the living things on the land and the fishes in the sea were destroyed, there was a man named William Buelow Gould, a convict in Van Dieman’s Land who fell in love with a black woman and discovered too late that to love is not safe. Silly Billy Gould, invader of Australia, liar, murderer, forger, fantasist, condemned to live in the most brutal penal colony in the British Empire, and there ordered to paint a book of fish.Once upon a time, miraculous things happened…”

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Not the End by Kate Vane

Not the End by Kate Vane

A review book to read at my leisure. Hmm, I hope to get round to it soon as it sounds fun. It seems to be quintessential English, just as I like it. I received it directly from the author.

From Amazon: “There’s a summer heatwave in Dormouth, the Devon seaside town and former home of the artist Hugh Bonnington. No one pays much attention to octogenarian sea swimmer Maud Smith, recently arrived from Portugal. But when she drowns and her body is washed up on the beach, she changes the lives of three people she never met. Brenda, insomniac dog walker, finds Maud’s body and loses a husband.

Jim, reluctant heir hunter and committed birdwatcher, thinks he’s found love, if he can only escape London. Philosopher-drunk Neil, the cemetery manager, plans Maud’s funeral then finds that art has a funny way of interfering with life.

With wry humour and sharp observation, Not the End is a contemporary novel about love, loss and the therapeutic possibilities of knitting.”

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The Sweetness of Liberty James by Janey Lewis

The Sweetness of Liberty James by Janey Lewis

A review book from a small publisher ‘just around the corner’ from where I used to live. Well, almost. They’re in Hove, Sussex, which is next to Brighton, where I spent several years. As you know I love chick-lits, and this sounded good fun.

From amazon: “Sweet-natured Liberty believes the recipe for her own happiness is making others happy, and she sets about gathering the ingredients for the perfect life. She does well at school, makes glamorous friends and marries her university sweetheart Percy, the heir to the Radley Bank fortune. Now all that’s missing is the icing on the cake: a baby.

When a traumatic event changes everything, she finds herself on a journey to rediscover her love of food that takes her from Florence to the French Riviera and finally back home to the Sussex village of Littlehurst, with a crazy plan to open her own patisserie. With flirtatious Fred the blacksmith and the dark, brooding Edmund on her doorstep, will she finally find that elusive ingredient: love? “

What should I read first?

New Arrivals!

My new books! I want to dive into them right now – actually, I already read one or two… couldn’t wait. 

Books for review

Buzz by Anders de la MotteBubble by Anders de la Motte

Buzz by Anders de la Motte & Bubble by Anders de la Motte

Buzz is the sequel to Game, which I read and reviewed in Dutch. I only liked the first book so-so, but I did like the premise of the story, and was curious to see how the story would continue in this next book. Bubble is the third and last installment of the series. From Netgalley for review (ebook).

The publisher says (Buzz): “It’s been four months since HP Pettersson was dragged into a ruthless Alternate Reality Game that nearly cost him his life. Although he now has everything he ever wished for—freedom, money, and no responsibilities—he isn’t satisfied. He’s plagued by insomnia and paranoia, and misses the adrenaline rush of the Game. He misses the attention. At times, he even hopes the Game Master will find him. And when HP catches the eye of a rich and powerful CEO for all the wrong reasons, he may get his wish. But he quickly learns that sometimes, you have to be careful what you wish for . . .”

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Mind of Winter By Laura Kasischke

Mind of Winter bLaura Kasischke

This book I got from review from Harper publishers. It sounds like a good thriller. It’s my first book by Kasischke.

The publisher says: “On a snowy Christmas morning, Holly Judge awakens with the fragments of a nightmare floating on the edge of her consciousness. Something followed them from Russia. Thirteen years ago, she and her husband Eric adopted baby Tatty, their pretty, black-haired Rapunzel, from the Pokrovka Orphanage #2. Now, at fifteen, Tatiana is more beautiful than ever—and disturbingly erratic.

As a blizzard rages outside, Holly and Tatiana are alone. With each passing hour, Tatiana’s mood darkens, and her behavior becomes increasingly frightening . . . until Holly finds she no longer recognizes her daughter.”

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From the library

The Universe versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence

The Universe versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence

I’ve seen this book on other people’s blogs and when I noticed it in the library I decided to take it home. I have no time to read it, so let me know if you think I should definitely make time for this book. Or if I shouldn’t.

The publisher says: “Alex Woods knows that he hasn’t had the most conventional start in life. He knows that growing up with a clairvoyant single mother won’t endear him to the local bullies. He also knows that even the most improbable events can happen – he’s got the scars to prove it.

What he doesn’t know yet is that when he meets ill-tempered, reclusive widower Mr Peterson, he’ll make an unlikely friend. Someone who tells him that you only get one shot at life. That you have to make the best possible choices.

So when, aged seventeen, Alex is stopped at Dover customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of ashes on the passenger seat, and an entire nation in uproar, he’s fairly sure he’s done the right thing . . .

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A Book I Was Given

Lexicon by Max Barry

Lexicon by Max Barry

Suzanne of Bibliosue asked whether I was interested in reading this book. She didn’t like it too much but thought I might. And since Leslie said she loved it, I thought I probably also would. I read another book by this author a few years ago, Jennifer Government, that I enjoyed a lot. The book is a lovely hardover with author’s notes! Thanks so much, Suzanne!

The publishers say: “At an exclusive school somewhere outside of Arlington, Virginia, students aren’t taught history, geography, or mathematicsthey are taught to persuade. Students learn to use language to manipulate minds, wielding words as weapons. The very best graduate as poets, and enter a nameless organization of unknown purpose.

Whip-smart runaway Emily Ruff is making a living from three-card Monte on the streets of San Francisco when she attracts the attention of the organizations recruiters. Drawn in to their strage world, which is populated by people named Brontë and Eliot, she learns their key rule: That every person can be classified by personality type, his mind segmented and ultimately unlocked by the skilful application of words. For this reason, she must never allow another person to truly know her, lest she herself be coerced. Adapting quickly, Emily becomes the schools most talented prodigy, until she makes a catastrophic mistake: She falls in love.

Meanwhile, a seemingly innocent man named Wil Parke is brutally ambushed by two men in an airport bathroom. They claim he is the key to a secret war he knows nothing about, that he is an outlier, immune to segmentation. Attempting to stay one step ahead of the organization and its mind-bending poets, Wil and his captors seek salvation in the toxically decimated town of Broken Hill, Australia, which, if ancient stories are true, sits above an ancient glyph of frightening power.”

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Have you read any of these books? Which of these would appeal to you?

New Arrivals!

My loot for the last six weeks! Yes, my last post was 6 weeks ago. That’s fine because it’s sort of relaxing not to get so many books every week. Relaxing, because I always want to start reading them straight away. 🙂

Books for review

Shovel Ready by Adam Sternbergh

Shovel Ready by Adam Sterbergh

I received this book from the Dutch rep for Random House USA. I’m always interested in dystopia and this sounded good. I read a few positive reviews about the book and I’m really looking forward to this one. I’m hoping it’s a bit like Ready Player One, which I loved.

The publisher says: “Spademan used to be a garbage man.  That was before the dirty bomb hit Times Square, before his wife was killed, and before the city became a blown-out shell of its former self.

Now he’s a hitman.

In a near-future New York City split between those who are wealthy enough to “tap in” to a sophisticated virtual reality, and those who are left to fend for themselves in the ravaged streets, Spademan chose the streets.  His new job is not that different from his old one: waste disposal is waste disposal.  He doesn’t ask questions, he works quickly, and he’s handy with a box cutter.  But when his latest client hires him to kill the daughter of a powerful evangelist, his unadorned life is upended: his mark has a shocking secret and his client has a sordid agenda far beyond a simple kill.  Spademan must navigate between these two worldsthe wasteland reality and the slick fantasyto finish his job, clear his conscience, and make sure he’s not the one who winds up in the ground. 

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A Highly Unlikely Scenario by Rachel Cantor

A Highly Unlikely Scenario by Rachel Cantor

This book I also received from the Dutch rep for Random House USA. This is a fun, but rather weird book. It plays is the near future, but because of time travel, some of it is set in the 13th or so Century. I read it already, and I liked it for its weirdness. My review is HERE.

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Cold Storage, Alaska by John Straley

Cold Storage, Alaska by John Straley

I got this book from Soho Press. I love stories in cold places, so the title, Alaska, immediately made me sit up. It’s a mystery but I expect it’s more than that!

From the publishers: “Reformed with the dream of opening a bar-slash-church, Clive “The Milkman” McCahon returns to his Alaska hometown of Cold Storage after a 7-year jail stint for dealing coke. He has a lot to make up to his brother, Miles, who has dutifully been taking care of their ailing mother—and, really, all of Cold Storage.

Miles is a Physician’s Assistant and the closest thing to a doctor this side of Sitka.

But Clive doesn’t realize the trouble he’s bringing home. His vengeful former business partner is hot on his heels, a stick-in-the-mud State Trooper is dying to bust him for narcotics, and, to complicate everything, Clive might be going a little insane—lately, he’s been hearing animals talking to him.

Will Clive’s arrival breathe new life into the dying town and its hard-drinking, no-nonsense inhabitants? Or will the trouble he brings along be the last nail in Cold Storage’s coffin?

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From the library

To Be a Cat by Matt Haig

To Be a Cat by Matt Haig

I happened to come across this children’s book in my local library. Since I love the other two (adult) books I read by the author, I thought it would be fun to try this one. This is a book from the writer of The Humans and The Radleys.

The publisher says: “Barney Willow’s life couldn’t get any worse. He’s weedy, with sticky-out ears. Horrible Gavin Needle loves tormenting him – Barney has no idea why. And headteacher-from-hell Miss Whipmire seems determined to make every second of Barney’s existence a complete misery! Worst of all, Dad has been missing for almost a year, and there’s no sign of him ever coming home.

Barney just wants to escape. To find another life. To be a cat, for example. A quiet, lazy cat. Things would be so much easier – right?

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A Book I Bought

Salvation of a Saint by Keigo Higashino

Salvation of a Saint by Keigo Higashino

I read The Devotion of Suspect X last year and I really loved that for being quite different from what I was used to. This book, which I’ve read already, was not quite so intriguing, but still a good read. My review is HERE.

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And one in Dutch

The Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

The Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

For all Murakami Fans! A new book is out: in Japanese, in Chinese, in German, in Dutch… But I haven’t discovered an English translation yet. I’m sure it’s on its way!  I got this from the Dutch publishers for review. 

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Have you read any of these books? Which of these would appeal to you?

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