Friday, 30 December 2016

A Month in Books - December 2016

I've read seventeen books this month including crime fiction, thought-provoking novels and a trio of Christmas-themed novellas.

I am also delighted that Literary Flits hosted its first two Guest Reviews. This is something I would like to do more of in the future and have already started reaching out to keen readers and authors I know. If you would be willing to contribute a book review or three to the project please do get in touch! Details of how to do so are Here. I am particularly interested in reviews of indie author, small press and global literature and I look forward to hearing from you!


Guest Reviews

The Land Without Color by Benjamin Ellefson, illustrated by Kevin Cannon

Buy the book via Abebooks
Buy the book via Alibris
Buy the ebook via Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

See John Darryl Winston's review on Literary Flits

This children's book, intended for kids from 7-10 years old, is a magical fantasy adventurye set in a world where everything is grey.


Valencia Noir: The Beautiful, the Fantastic and the Grotesque of Valencia, Spain by Isis Sousa and Ove Neshaug

Buy the ebook from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the physical book directly from Tragic Books

See Harry Whitewolf's review on Literary Flits

This dark art book explores the lesser-known medieval towers, gothic temples, artistic wonderlands and city of the dead of Valencia, Spain. It is illustrated with 160 bw photographs.


My Reviews

The Food Of Love by Amanda Prowse

Buy the book via Abebooks
Buy the ebook from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

Read my original review on Literary Flits

Published on the 1st December, this new novel explores the emotional subject of teenage anorexia as seen through the eyes of a family that struggles dangerously to cope with this illness in their midst.


The Midwife by Katja Kettu

Buy the book via Abebooks
Buy the book via Alibris
Buy the ebook from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

Read my original review on Literary Flits

Set in 1940s Finland, this incredible Finnish novel follows an outcast midwife as she suddenly finds both herself and her skills in demand when a Nazi prison camp is opened near her home. I loved Kettu's vivid and insightful writing and gave The Midwife five stars.


Heart Of Granite by James Barclay

Buy the ebook from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository
Buy the paperback from Waterstones

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

I won Heart Of Granite in a Goodreads giveaway and wasn't sure how I would get on with military science fiction. However, once I got past people actually living inside giant reptiles (ewww!), I enjoyed the exciting adventure.


The Automaton's Wife by Vered Ehsani

Buy the book via Abebooks
Buy the ebook from from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the ebook from from Smashwords
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

The second of Ehsani's Kenya-set steampunk series, this novella is part murder mystery and part hilarious wedding preparation. I love Beatrice Knight!


Mr Thorne And The Witch by Diana Green

Buy the book via Abebooks
Buy the ebook from Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

The second of Ehsani's Kenya-set steampunk series, this
The first of my book tour reads this month, Green's novella is a light fantasy romance with a wintry peudo-Victorian vibe that made it a suitably seasonal read.


Missing by Karin Alvtegen

Buy the book from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository
Buy the paperback from Waterstones

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

I liked the initial premise of this Swedish thriller which follows a homeless women accused of a murder. The book later swerves into far more predictable, but unrealistic fare, but is still an entertaining read.


The Angels Die by Yasmina Khadra 

Buy the ebook from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository
Buy the paperback from Waterstones

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

1930s Algeria is the setting for this thought-provoking novel in which Khadra explores how much of a person's life belongs to their employer through the eyes of a street kid who becomes a championship boxer.


Good People by Nir Baram 

Buy the ebook from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository
Buy the paperback from Waterstones

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

I found this book scarily topical considering the Brexit and Trump victories of 2016. Set in WW2 Berlin and Leningrad, two ordinary people's attempts to blend in and not rock the status quo of their countries end up costing many lives. Good People is a fascinating 'what would you do' novel.


Mistletoe At Moonglow by Deborah Garner

Buy the book via Abebooks
Buy the book via Alibris
Buy the ebook from Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

The first of my trio of Christmas novellas is this charming story of disparate guests being brought together by great cooking and the magic of the season in a small-town Montana hotel. There's a batch of cookie recipes at the back too!


Saigon Dark by Elka Ray 

Buy the ebook from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

The first of a new quartet of thrillers and mysteries from Crime Wave Press, Saigon Dark is a satisfying psychological thriller set in Vietnam.


The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga  

Buy the book from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository
Buy the paperback from Waterstones

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

This quirky novel of an Indian entrepreneur making his way up in the world has great humour despite its darker side. Murdering one's employer isn't always the best way to the top!


Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell

Buy the book from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository
Buy the paperback from Waterstones

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

I've finally read my first Wallander novel and this is the first book in the series too. I was surprised by how topical some of themes still are - twenty-five years after publication - but overall I wasn't as impressed as I thought I would be. Good but not great.


The Road To Purification: Hustlers, Hassles And Hash by Harry Whitewolf

Buy the book via Abebooks
Buy the book via Alibris
Buy the ebook from Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

I enjoyed the poetic writing in this pre-Arab Spring backpacker memoir of a month in Egypt. Sometimes on the tourist trails and sometimes well off the beaten track, Harry uncovers a lesser seen side to Egyptian life.


Christmas Is Murder by Carolyn Arnold

Buy the book via Abebooks
Buy the ebook from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the ebook from Smashwords
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

My second Christmas novella is a fun, if not completely believable, cosy mystery with a great seasonal feel. I even found myself sympathising with grumpy old Rudolf! Carolyn Arnold is giving away copies of this book until the end of December. Details are on my review post!


Silver Bells At Moonglow by Deborah Garner

Buy the book via Abebooks
Buy the book via Alibris
Buy the ebook from Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

This second in Garner's Moonglow series is set exactly one year later than Mistletoe At Moonglow. We return to the hotel for more sumptuous Christmas preparations and good cheer - and more cookie recipes.


Nineveh by Henrietta Rose-Innes

Buy the book from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository
Buy the paperback from Waterstones

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

I enjoyed this South African novel of a young woman running her own business while trying to overcome past demons. Rose-Innes uses her story to explore attitudes and ideas about the concept of home, of who and what should be allowed to live where.


The Courtship Of Jo March by Trix Wilkins

Buy the ebook (pdf) or the paperback from Payhip
Buy the ebook in other formats via Books2Read



Read my original book review on Literary Flits

In this romantic variation of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, Trix Wilkins rewrites elements of the March girls' story to provide a more Austen-esque conclusion. I thought it very well done and Wilkins evokes Alcott's original novel excellently. This book also has a giveaway running. You could win a signed copy and last entries are the 15th January.


That's all my books for December and I am now looking forward to January's selection. There will be at least two Guest Reviews on Literary Flits, WorldReads from New Zealand on this blog, and I plan to read books from Jamaica and Norway as well as my first ever Jane Austen novel!

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