Monday, 30 April 2018

A Month In Books - April 2018

Welcome to April's Month In Books roundup! I'm linking this post up with the March/April Wrapup Roundup over at Feed Your Fiction Addiction.

I read sixteen books this month, several of which were amazing and only one was a DNF. It's been National Poetry Month in America so I was glad to have reviewed three excellent poetry books including one by a book blogger (waves to Camillea!).

Literary Flits hosted two Guest Reviews and twelve Spotlight Posts. As a BTW, authors thinking about booking a Literary Flits Spotlight Post, please be aware that I currently have No Availability Until June and that month's filling up fast too!

I highlighted Dutch books in WorldReads - Five Books From The Netherlands on the 5th of April and started a new blog post series, Reading Women, on the 10th. Pop back and have a look before their new editions arrive in May!


Guest Reviews

Journey To The Center Of The Dream by Ted Prokash
Guest Review by Tony Nesca:

The Book Depository : from £8.75 (PB)
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Amazon : from £2.28 (ebook)
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Journey to the Center of the Dream follows four brave Midwestern rubes on a dogged march through America’s dyspeptic underbelly, via the twisted bowels of her underground rock n’ roll scene. A sublime first-person odyssey. An epic poem of our New Dumb Age. Journey is an exploration of the America not pimped by the Department of Tourism or the Chamber of Commerce, a search for all that remains worthy in the hearts of men.


The Comfortable Courtesan by L A Hall
Guest Review by Kathleen Jowitt:

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Apologia for my temerity in writing this memoir:
I shall not say how, and why, at the age of 15 I became the mistress of the Earl of Craven, because I never had the kind of opportunities that Harriette Wilson wast’d.
However, I enjoy’d the patronage of a number of generous suitors, and in particular, at the age of 27 I fell in with a wealthy Northern ironmaster, whose sound financial advice even more than his generosity ensur’d me the means for comfortable living without the need for writing scandal-monging memoirs, indeed enabling me to support a number of charitable enterprises.


My Reviews

Happiness by Aminatta Forna

The Book Depository : from £11.02 (HB)
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Waterstones : from £16.99 (HB)
Amazon : from £7.95 (used HB)
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Waterloo Bridge, London. Two strangers collide. Attila, a Ghanaian psychiatrist, and Jean, an American studying the habits of urban foxes. From this chance encounter in the midst of the rush of a great city, numerous moments of connections span out and interweave, bringing disparate lives together.


Perfect World volume 1 by Rie Aruga

The Book Depository : from £5.62 (PB)
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Amazon : from £7.67 (ebook)
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Tsugumi Kawana (26 years old) reunites with her first crush from high school, Itsuki Ayukawa, at a get-together with an architecture firm and the interior design company she works at. He sends her heart aflutter, until she realizes he's now disabled, and in a wheelchair. At first she feels she couldn't date a guy in a wheelchair, but then her feelings begin to change.


Giant by Richard Georges

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Giant is a manifestation, a creation story born of the ocean. Words turn over and under, shipwrecked then safe-shored. A blend of ghosts and myths meld and coalesce into being, as headstrong as the mountains, as wavering as the sea.


Someone To Talk To by Liu Zhenyun

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Tofu peddler Yang Baishun is a man of few words and few friends. Unable to find meaningful companionship, he settles for a marriage of convenience. When his wife leaves him for another man he is left to care for his five-year-old stepdaughter Qiaoling, who is subsequently kidnapped, never to be seen by Yang again.


No Live Files Remain by András Forgách

The Book Depository : from £11.09 (PB)
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Amazon : from £7.50 (used HB)
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Thirty years after the fall of communism in Hungary, as acclaimed writer, translator, dramatist and visual artist Andras Forgach investigated his family's past he uncovered a horrifying truth. His mother, whom he deeply loved, had been an informant for the Kadar regime. She had informed not only on acquaintances but on family, friends and even her children.


The Tiger And The Acrobat by Susanna Tamaro

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Little Tiger is not like other tigers. She is curious about the world and always questions everything, not content to simply follow in her mother’s footsteps and spend her days hunting around their home in the snow forests of Siberia. Instead, she embarks on a remarkable journey, intent on discovering the secrets of the Earth and eventually finding the creature she has heard most about: man.



El Hacho by Luis Carrasco

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The brilliant debut novel by Luis Carrasco, El Hacho is a timeless evocation of inheritance, duty and our relationship to the landscape that defines us. Set in the stark beauty of the Andalusian mountains it tells the story of Curro, an olive farmer determined to honour his family tradition in the face of drought, deluge and the lucrative temptations of a rapidly modernising Spain. Wonderfully crafted, El Hacho is a poignant and compelling story of struggle and hope.


Territory Of Light by Yuko Tsushima
My Book of the Month!

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It is Spring. A young woman, left by her husband, starts a new life in a Tokyo apartment. Territory of Light follows her over the course of a year, as she struggles to bring up her two-year-old daughter alone. Her new home is filled with light, streaming through the windows, so bright you have to squint, but she finds herself plummeting deeper into darkness; becoming unstable, untethered. As the months come and go, and the seasons turn, she must confront what she has lost and what she will become.


The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

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Amazon : from £0.32 (used HB)
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For Penelope, wife of Odysseus, maintaining a kingdom while her husband was off fighting the Trojan war was not a simple business. Already aggrieved that he had been lured away due to the shocking behaviour of her beautiful cousin Helen, Penelope must bring up her wayward son, face down scandalous rumours and keep over a hundred lustful, greedy and bloodthirsty suitors at bay...


Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga

The Book Depository : from £6.11 (PB)
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Amazon : from £0.91 (used HB)
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A modern classic in the African literary canon and voted in the Top Ten Africa's 100 Best Books of the 20th Century, this novel brings to the politics of decolonization theory the energy of women's rights. An extraordinarily well-crafted work, this book is a work of vision. Through its deft negotiation of race, class, gender and cultural change, it dramatizes the 'nervousness' of the 'postcolonial' conditions that bedevil us still. In Tambu and the women of her family, we African women see ourselves, whether at home or displaced, doing daily battle with our changing world with a mixture of tenacity, bewilderment and grace.


Heirloom by Camillea

Available for free download from Payhip

HEIRLOOM is a collection of 10 poems about lambs, mothers, and sleeping gods. Poems on finding the ancient in our skin.




The Little Book Of Hygge: The Danish Way To Live Well by Meik Wiking

The Book Depository : from £5.29 (HB)
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Amazon : from £0.52 (used HB)
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Denmark is often said to be the happiest country in the world. That's down to one thing: hygge.
'Hygge has been translated as everything from the art of creating intimacy to cosiness of the soul to taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things. My personal favourite is cocoa by candlelight...'



On The Cold Coasts by Vilborg Davidsdottir

The Book Depository : from £5.74 (audio CD)
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Amazon : from £0.01 (used PB)
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When a fleet of one hundred English ships is caught in a horrible storm off the cold coasts of fifteenth-century Iceland, twenty-five ships are lost. For Ragna, the daughter of a respected family and betrothed to Thorkell, her relationship with one of the seamen washed ashore results in pregnancy. Now barren due to a traumatic childbirth and stigmatized as a fallen woman, she is left with no prospects for marriage when the betrothal is ultimately canceled.


Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

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An extraordinary story of love and hope from the bestselling, Man Booker-shortlisted author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
Nadia and Saeed are two ordinary young people, attempting to do an extraordinary thing - to fall in love - in a world turned upside down. Theirs will be a love story but also a story about how we live now and how we might live tomorrow, of a world in crisis and two human beings travelling through it.


The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya with Elizabeth Weil

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Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when her mother and father began to speak in whispers, when neighbours began to disappear, and when she heard the loud, ugly sounds her brother said were thunder. In 1994, she and her fifteen-year-old sister, Clare, fled the Rwandan massacre and spent the next six years wandering through seven African countries, searching for safety—perpetually hungry, imprisoned and abused, enduring and escaping refugee camps, finding unexpected kindness, witnessing inhuman cruelty. They did not know whether their parents were dead or alive.



Last Stop To Saskatoon by Tony Nesca

Available directly from Screaming Skull Press

One Book. One epic poem. An unadulterated, uncensored, stream-of-consciousness protest against the state of the world.



Spotlights

Losing Adam by Adrienne Clarke

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Adam and Jenny’s world is falling apart. Their dream of attending college together away from home quickly becomes a nightmare when Adam begins hearing the voice of the Snow Queen. Adam’s startling transformation from popular drama student into a withdrawn, suspicious stranger leaves Jenny frightened and confused. How can the person she loves most in the world suddenly become someone she doesn’t recognize? As Adam drifts farther and farther away into the Snow Queen’s mysterious world of ice and snow, Jenny believes she must fight to bring him back or risk losing him forever.


Through The Glass by Erica Kiefer

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Still reeling from the discovery of her twin sister, Olivia struggles to face her mother’s betrayal. As Olivia and her friends seek to unravel the dark mystery of how and why the twins were separated, tensions escalate when Emma runs into her sister’s ex —who assumes she’s Olivia. When honesty is abandoned for more secrets and lies, the fallout between the sisters only intensifies. As they sift between truth and deception, it becomes clear that matters of the heart are not as transparent as they may seem.


88° North by J F Kirwan

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The deadliest kind of assassin is one who is already dying…
As the radiation poisoning that Nadia Laksheva was exposed to in Chernobyl takes hold of her body, she knows she has mere weeks to live. But Salamander, the terrorist who murdered her father and sister has a deadly new plan to ‘make the sky bleed’. Nadia is determined to stop him again, even if it is the last thing she ever does.


The Sting Of The Bee by K E Lanning

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Amazon : from £3.68 (ebook)
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Catastrophic global warming has melted the ice caps—John Barrous will stop at nothing to stake his claim on the rich, virgin continent of Antarctica.
After the murder of his wife, John escapes urban strife for the quiet life of farming. He and his fifteen-year-old daughter join in a United Nations PR event, but the Oklahoma-style land rush turns into a race against ruthless, armed competitors ... and a corrupt politician determined to control this new land.


Whisper by Krystal Jane Ruin

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Jade has been hearing voices since she was five. No, not voices. One voice. After her twin brother is appointed vice president of their father’s company at the old age of twenty-two, the family starts falling apart. Her parents hate each other. Her brother is stressed. His girlfriend is a gold-digger if Jade’s ever seen one. And worse yet, it turns out she isn’t crazy-the voice in her head is real.


Then There Were None by B P Smythe

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Lydia Perkins is a struggling actress desperately looking for work. Drifting from one unsuccessful audition to the next and always being pipped at the post by younger and prettier actresses for good drama parts that could enhance her career. However, her agent Maurice Weinstock informs her that a fantastic part has just come up for grabs. It’s to play the wife in a TV sitcom. There are four other actresses after the part so he can’t promise anything. Lydia knows the actresses. She will stop at nothing including murder to get the right part for money and fame.


The Last Letter by Kathleen Shoop

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Katherine Arthur's mother arrives on her doorstep, dying, forcing her to relive a past she wanted to forget. When Katherine was young, the Arthur family had been affluent city dwellers until shame sent them running for the prairie, into the unknown. Taking her family, including young Katherine, to live off the land was the last thing Jeanie Arthur had wanted, but she would do her best to make a go of it. For Jeanie's husband Frank it had been a world of opportunity. Dreaming, lazy Frank. But, it was a society of uncertainty—a domain of natural disasters, temptation, hatred, even death. 




Sons Of Gods by Arthur J Gonzalez

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Long ago, the wrath of the three God brothers marked the onset of the Great War. The other Gods watched in horror, until they, too, were forced to take sides. Their beloved Mt Olympus collapsed, ruin was brought to all Divine, and the Age of Darkness gripped the world in its clutches. But a group of Gods was wise, and before their impending deaths, they had crafted a pact, committing to one day rebuilding the Territories – the Heavens, Seas, and the Underworld. It would usher in the world they protected and honored out from its darkness. And from it would rise the new Greats: the Sons of Gods.


Dimension Drift by Christina Bauer

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Truth time. I go to a Learning Squirrel High School. Don’t judge. On second thought, judge away. Learning Squirrel is one step above attending class in a junkyard. But what do you expect? Everything’s made out of garbage these days. At least, I have my freelance work to keep Mom and me housed, clothed, and fed. How? I’m your regular high school science geek for hire, except my work manipulates space-time. The good news is that these gigs pay really well; the bad news is that the government likes to kill people like me. Whatever. I’m not worried; hiding from their detection systems is easy for me.


Hatchet Hollow by Amanda McKinney

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After an afternoon of mind-numbingly boring surveillance in the woods, Private Investigator Raven Cane goes for a twilight jog to clear her head, only to discover a gruesome murder in the town’s most notorious cave, Hatchet Hollow. Minutes later, the impossibly handsome Lieutenant Zander Stone arrives at the scene to take over, but Raven has a hard time letting the case go. Why did the killer cut off the victim’s fingers? More importantly, who would do such a thing?


All the Way to Italy by Flavia Brunetti


The Book Depository : unavailable
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Amazon : from £3.51
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Until her dad died, Little considered herself a Californian. Now, thanks to half a letter, a symbol she can’t quite remember, and writer’s block, she finds herself back in Italy, the country of her birth. In a headlong rush to return to her beloved San Francisco, Little will journey throughout Italy, hoping to find the answers she needs to move on with her life so she need never look back. She’ll enlist the help of the woman who raised her, Sira, her father’s sister; but Sira has secrets she’s kept for decades, and Little underestimates the power of the country she fled years before.


Medium Wave by Rose Zolock

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Amazon : from £1.99 (ebook)
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Becky Moran has built a career claiming to talk to the dead. A successful clairvoyant medium, a Cambridge graduate with her own radio show ‘Medium Wave’ and a team dedicated to crafting the celebrity myth – because Becky Moran is a fake. Until, one night, something supernatural, inexplicable, breaks through live on air as she is broadcasting. Becky Moran discovers the paranormal is real, the dead can indeed speak and she is being pursued relentlessly towards a battle for her very survival.


I hope you have found some books to tempt you in this selection? You can keep up with my daily book posts on Literary Flits and don't forget all the Giveaways are listed in my Giveaway Linkup. There's a lot of Amazon gift cards up for grabs at the moment!

10 comments:

  1. You had an outstanding month, reading wise. I wish I can say the same for me. But I'm happy to be back in the swing of things so that's silver lining.

    I hope your May will be just as splendid!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks Joy!
      Glad your reading mojo is back for you!

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  2. What a great month of reading! I read about the same number of books which was a bit of a surprise. I hope you have a great May!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carole!
      Fingers crossed our May reads live up to expectations :-)

      Delete
  3. Wow, sounds like you had a very good month! Good reading months are the best ones, when you like the majority of what you read. I'll have to add some of these to my list, since I really like Asian lit, and I loved Exit West!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. April's reading was so great! May's been a bit lacklustre so far, but there's still time!

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  4. You always read so much every single month! I am so glad you really liked a lot of them and that only one wasn't one for you. I'm also happy that you read poetry during April. I love poetry and love seeing it appreciated <3

    My recent post: http://oliviascatastrophe.com/2018/05/the-girl-in-the-broken-mirror-review-guest-post/

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    Replies
    1. I was very happy with my poetry finds this month :-)

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  5. You had such a great reading month! Medium Wave sounds pretty intriguing so I'm putting that on my TBR. I hope you have a wonderful May.

    Tina @ As Told By Tina

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    Replies
    1. That's great Tina! I hope you enjoy it :-)

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