Thursday, 30 November 2017

A Month in Books - November 2017


Click on the book cover images or on the book titles to visit the original Literary Flits blog posts.
Bookshop links will take you to the relevant pages of their websites and, if you make a purchase whilst there, I would receive a small commission!

This month we've got one Guest Review, eleven Spotlight posts and fifteen of my own reviews including that rarest of books - a Did Not Finish! I've read Finnish crime fiction, Australian Christmas romance, Syrian poetry, Moroccan fantasy fairy tale and American science fiction. There's a couple of historical fiction novels too so I'm pretty confident that there should be something to appeal to almost everyone!


Guest Review



Anatomy Of A Soldier by Harry Parker

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Imagine if your whole life changed in the blink of an eye . . .
Captain Tom Barnes is leading British troops into a war zone when he is gravely injured by an exploding IED. This devastating moment and the transformative months that follow are narrated here by forty-five objects, telling one unforgettable story.

Guest review by Charlie Laidlaw

I met Charlie Laidlaw on Twitter and have his novel, The Things We Learn When We're Dead, to read and review for next month. I'm planning to post about it on Literary Flits on the 5th December to coincide with WorldReads from Scotland on this blog.


Spotlights

Don't forget you could win a Spotlight post by following me and retweeting my pinned tweet on Twitter! October's winner never replied to their notification tweets so they've sadly missed out however November's winner will be notified tomorrow...



London Noir by Ann Girdharry

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Memory loss, nightmares, the urge to kill – Sophie has it all. Is it really Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? Or something more sinister? Kal is about to find out…




Mick And Michelle by Nina Rossing + Giveaway + Extract

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Fifteen-year-old Mick Mullins has a great life: his parents are sweet, his sister is tolerable, and his friendships are solid. But as summer descends on Queens, he prepares to turn his carefree existence upside down by disclosing a secret he has kept long enough. It’s time to work up the courage to reveal that he is not a boy, but a girl—and that her name is Michelle. 



Winter's Siren: A Dark Reimagining of Swan Lake by Krystal Jane Ruin + Giveaway

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For the last five years, Fawn has been the star soprano of a secluded opera house, forced to sing for her kidnapper.
His daughter, Devi, waits patiently in the shadows, hiding a face so horrible that no one who’s seen it will look at it again.




The Painter's Apprentice: A Novel of 16th-Century Venice by Laura Morelli + Giveaway

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Would you rather sacrifice your livelihood, your lover, or your life? When the Black Death comes knocking on your door, you’d better decide quickly.




AnguiSH by Lila Felix + Giveaway + Extract

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The help-wanted ad on the bulletin board at Ashland’s college was simple enough: mother seeks live-in maid for son. But it turns out Breaker James is a mess in more ways than one. He’s confined to a prison of his own making, crippled by his fear of people and any social interaction whatsoever.




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Twofer murder? What’s a twofer murder?
Twofer Murder is a treat for fans of best-selling author Lauren Carr’s fast-paced mysteries! Lauren’s latest novel contains the main characters from her three successful series: Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose mysteries.





Ours Is The Winter by Laurie Ellingham

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Erica, Molly and Noah are embarking on the challenge of a lifetime, driving Siberian huskies across the frozen wilderness of the Arctic. Cut off from the world and their loved ones and thrown together under gruelling conditions, it isn’t long before the cracks start to show. 



Enchant by Micalea Smeltzer + Giveaway

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Mara Pryce never imagined that her life was anything but normal and then a strange gray-eyed young man appears at her graduation. When he vanishes without a trace, she’s convinced he’s a figment of her imagination. Then he appears again and shatters her whole world. 




Ghost Owl by Nancy Schoellkopf + Giveaway

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Ghost Owl is a magical story of discovery, as a young woman seeks to understand her potential and confront her own shadow. Mariah Easter wakes up in the middle of the night to discover the world is as bright as noon—but for her eyes only.



The Haunting of Hattie Hastings by Audrey Davis

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Hattie Hastings is happily married, even if husband Gary drives her up the wall at times. When tragedy strikes, she is left alone and heartbroken, with only an assortment of family and friends to prop her up. Struggling to cope, she is left reeling when her deceased other half returns, popping up at the most inappropriate times.



The One Apart by Justine Avery

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Only one obstacle stands in his way of enjoying a normal life. He remembers every life he's lived before.
Tres is about to be born... with the biggest burden any has ever had to bear. He is beginning again - as an ageless adult trapped in an infant body.


My reviews



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Lumikki Andersson may be innocent, but she's no Snow White . . . Three and a half months have passed since Lumikki was left for dead in a snowdrift, a bullet wound in her thigh and frostbite creeping into her skin. But the scorchingly hot streets of Prague in summer provide a welcome contrast to that terrifying time, and now Lumikki just wants to move on.






Below The Surface by Leena Lehtolainen

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When a woman’s body turns up in a lake—a bullet to the back of her head—Violent Crime Unit commander Maria Kallio, freshly back from maternity leave, is fast to get on the case. The victim is ID’d as Annukka Hackman, wife of a prominent publisher and author of an upcoming unauthorized tell-all book on Sasha Smeds, Finland’s celebrated racing rally driver.



Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen + Free Book

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Seventeen-year-old Catherine Morland is one of ten children of a country clergyman. Although a tomboy in her childhood, by the age of 17 she is "in training for a heroine" and is excessively fond of reading Gothic novels.




The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart

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The rules are down to you. The rules that stop you seducing your neighbour downstairs, that stop you hitting your boss, that stop you leaving your family and leaving the country. The rules that stop you living.



Dreams Of Maryam Tair by Mhani Alaoui


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My Book of the Month!

Outside of time, the legendary queen Sheherazade tells a little girl a story that has happened, and is yet to happen. Dreams of Maryam Tair brings readers to a Casablanca of myth and metaphor, of curses, witches, djinns and demons. But it is also a very present-day Casablanca: a raw, pitiless landscape of crumbling urbanism and rusty ports, of bureaucrats and student revolts, and of a deep human solitude.



Venetian Blood: Murder In A Sensuous City by Christine Evelyn Volker


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Struggling to forget a crumbling marriage, forty-year-old Anna Lucia Lottol comes to Venice to visit an old friend—but instead of finding solace, she is dragged into the police station and accused of murdering a money-laundering count with whom she had a brief affair. 





The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

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Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. All the slaves lead a hellish existence, but Cora has it worse than most; she is an outcast even among her fellow Africans and she is approaching womanhood, where it is clear even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a slave recently arrived from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they take the perilous decision to escape to the North. 



A Treacherous Paradise by Henning Mankell


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Hanna Lundmark escapes the brutal poverty of rural Sweden for a job as a cook onboard a steamship headed for Australia. Jumping ship at the African port of Lourenço Marques, Hanna decides to begin her life afresh.






A Nocturnal Expedition Round My Room by Xavier de Maistre

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The sequel to de Maistre's A Journey Round My Room is another parody set in the tradition of the grand travel narrative, but this time is set over a period of only four hours.





IA Union by John Darryl Winston + Giveaway


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Naz has lost everyone that he loves. And while he may have found refuge and pause at International Academy, he has found no peace and certainly no answers. All that he knows calls to him from the streets of the Exclave and Union High School where he reunites with friends and mentors. 





Heart Note by Cassandra O'Leary + Giveaway

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Love is like a fine perfume. The top note draws you in, an instant attraction, but the Heart Note is the true essence. Like true love – a great perfume should be a woman’s perfect match. At least, that’s what perfume counter manager, Lily Lucas, tells her customers in one of Australia’s largest department stores.






African Me And Satellite TV by Jo Robinson

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For many years Suzette has managed very well to live her life without actually taking part in it, avoiding any possibility of pain by very carefully ignoring reality. Until something happens. Something so terrible that she has no choice but to abandon her cocoon of safety.



Concerto Al-Quds by Adonis

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A cri de coeur or fully imagined poem on the myth and history of Jerusalem/Al-Quds from the author revered as the greatest living Arabic poet. At the age of eighty-six, Adonis, a Syrian poet, critic, essayist, and devoted secularist, has come out of retirement to pen an extended, innovative poem on Jerusalem/Al-Quds.


The Architect's Apprentice by Elif Shafak

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Sixteenth century Istanbul: a stowaway arrives in the city bearing an extraordinary gift for the Sultan. The boy is utterly alone in a foreign land, with no worldly possessions to his name except Chota, a rare white elephant destined for the palace menagerie.



Passing by Nella Larsen

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Irene Redfield is a woman with an enviable life. She and her husband, Brian, a prominent physician, share a comfortable Harlem town house with their sons. Her work arranging charity balls that gather Harlem's elite creates a sense of purpose and respectability for Irene. But her hold on this world begins to slip the day she encounters Clare Kendry, a childhood friend with whom she had lost touch.


That's it for this month and I know I have already got some great books lined up to read and review in December including the new Festival Of The Spoken Nerd book The Element In The Room, the last novel of my Jane Austen Challenge, and my first French-book-actually-read-in-French since college (yes, over 20 years ago!) Keep up daily on Literary Flits or I will see you here at the end of the month for another round up.

Don't forget the Giveaways!

5 comments:

  1. Wow, it looks like you got a lot of reading and blogging done this month. The Underground Railroad is on my TBR list. I’ve heard so many good things about it.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. I hope you get to read it soon! Whiteheads really opened my eyes to the realities of this period in the different Southern states.

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  2. Years and years ago I bought a secondhand copy of The Dice Man from a market stall and found it a thoroughly enjoyable read. I'm still not convinced it changed my life but that may be because when I got to the final page it was missing; someone had torn it out! 40 years later and I have still never read the ending.

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    1. You got a lot further than I did! I gave up at about 1/5 of the way through because the central character's attitudes to rape and child abuse, together with his whiny refusals to take any responsibility for himself, were sickening me!

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  3. Thank you so much, Stephanie for including TWOFER MURDER, in November's list. Now I need to add the rest of this list to my TBR pile.

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