Wednesday, 30 August 2017

A Month in Books - August 2017


I was approached by another bookseller in August so you will now also see Wordery as a choice for purchasing books reviewed on Literary Flits. Wordery was established by five friends in 2012. They believed that online retail had diminished the enjoyment of buying books so they decided to recapture its spirit with an ambitious venture to establish an alternative online bookshop. I love their ethos and am impressed with the variety of books available. Wordery's prices are good too and they offer free shipping to anywhere in the world!

The immediate upshot of this blogwise is changes to my 'Where to buy this book' links. Instead of choosing up to four retailers for each book, I will now link to as many of the ten I promote as have stock at the time of writing. Hopefully this wider choice will appeal to my readers!

I completed two reading challenges in August. Firstly my third year of the Goodreads / BookCrossing Decade Challenge for which I read these books:

1903 - The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
1914 - Rosshalde by Hermann Hesse
1929 - The Last September by Elizabeth Bowen
1938 - The Fashion in Shrouds by Margery Allingham
1940 - The Rights of Man by H G Wells
1959 - Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
1963 - The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
1974 - Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said by Philip K Dick
1987 - The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera
1996 - Berta La Larga by Cuca Canals
2001 - There Were Many Horses by Luiz Ruffato
2015 - Pierced by the Sun by Laura Esquivel


I also took part in an informal reading challenge set up by Olivia of Olivia's Catastrophe. The idea was simply to read an average of 50 pages a day throughout August. I managed 112 pages-a-day average and read 17 books in total! Scroll down to find my reviews and my Book of the Month.


Guest reviews

Literary Flits hosted one Guest Review this month. If you have an indie author, small press or global literature book review that you would like to share please do get in touch.


Jade by Rose Montague reviewed by C H Clepitt

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Wordery

Read author C H Clepitt's book review on Literary Flits


Spotlights

Do also get in touch if you want a Spotlight post. Further details through This Link. You could win a Spotlight by following me and retweeting my pinned tweet on Twitter! July's winner was Lynne Morley who chose to promote her ancestral biography Finding Thomas Dames.


Finding Thomas Dames by Lynne Morley

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Read the original post on Literary Flits



The Woodlands Series Box Set by Lauren Nicolle Taylor + Giveaway

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Read the original post on Literary Flits



Crescent Calling by Axelle Chandler + Giveaway

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Wordery

Read the original post on Literary Flits



Amnesty (Amnesia #2) by Cambria Hebert + Giveaway

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Read the original post on Literary Flits




The Invitation: To Journey Through a Conscious Mind by Tyfany Janee + Giveaway

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Read the original post on Literary Flits


My reviews


Goblin by Ever Dundas


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A macabre novel of abandonment and loss, unreliable memory and the fragility of the human mind. It jumps netween its two time periods, confusingly at first, as the elderly incarnation of Goblin attempts to unravel and understand the events in her childhood that drove her to the edge of insanity. She is a compelling character, all the more so as I began to understand her past tragedies, and her inventiveness meant I could never quite believe everything she told me.

Read my original book review on Literary Flits



Midwinter Break by Bernard MacLaverty

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I loved this novel! MacLaverty has written a sensitive, thoughtful portrayal of Stella and Gerry's relationship, the deep cracks in which are exposed during a long weekend holiday in Amsterdam. I visited the city at the same time of year, maybe a decade ago now, so enjoyed MacLaverty's evocative descriptions. I remember the bitter cold and cosy restaurants, the fearless cyclists and the strange mist of an evening that lingers over the canals.
My Book of the Month!

Read my original book review on Literary Flits



Rusticles by Rebecca Gransden + Giveaway

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Rusticles is an eerie collection of eleven short stories all set in or around a town named Hilligoss. Through each of the tales we catch glimpses of its people and the darker side of life there. Gransden has a talent for evoking places, expertly presenting ordinary scenes, but then just twisting them enough to result in a recognisable yet unnerving situations.

Read my original book review on Literary Flits



Three Hours Past Midnight by Tony Knighton

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A breathtaking ride through the muggy streets of a Philadelphia night, Three Hours Past Midnight is an atmospheric and exciting thriller. Narrated by our anti-hero, a violent thief, the story follows his attempts to discover who set up him and his recently deceased partner before he too ceases breathing. This is classic crime writing with a powerful sense of its location.

Read my original book review on Literary Flits



Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan

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I can imagine how shocking Bonjour Tristesse must have been to a 1950s audience, but I don't think that it has dated well. Its reputation means I am glad to have finally read this novella, but to the claims for its brilliance that usually centre around Sagan only having been seventeen when she wrote this I would reply that yes, that shows!

Read my original book review on Literary Flits



31 Day Plastic-Free Living Challenge by Lindsay Miles

Buy directly from the author

Having already read Lindsay Miles' free eguide Enough Is Enough, I was aware of the overall ideas included in Miles' 31 Day Plastic-Free Living Challenge. The latter is a great little book for more specific inspiration.

Read my original book review on Literary Flits



Body And Soul by Roddy Murray

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A macho adventure novel revolving around science fiction themes. The book was diverting, but wasn't really to my taste.

Read my original book review on Literary Flits



Mind Verses by Deena Mehjabeen + Giveaway

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Kobo FREE

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Deena Mehjabeen writes intense personal poetry exploring her life, family and romantic relationships, yet manages to make her poems universal. Despite Bangladesh being five thousand miles from Britain, its culture very different, I could easily identify with Mehjabeen's grief and longing, anger and love.

Read my original book review on Literary Flits



Child Of Tibet by Soname Yangchen with Vicki MacKenzie

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Child Of Tibet is an inspiring autobiography, an uplifting tale of one woman's unceasing attempts to make a better life for herself in the face of extreme circumstances.

Read my original book review on Literary Flits



City Folk and Country Folk by Sofia Khvoshchinskaya

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A lovely comedy of class, manners and snobbery, I think City Folk And Country Folk should appeal to Jane Austen fans the world over. Khvoshchinskaya's writing, especially her dialogue, is wonderfully modern in style, sharp and vivacious, and her wickedly well observed characters are tremendous fun to spend time with.

Read my original book review on Literary Flits



The Story Of My Life by Helen Keller

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For a woman to go to college at all in the early 1900s was achievement enough that a memoir of her struggle to get there would be of interest to me. When I think that Helen Keller was also deaf and blind, her determination becomes all the more incredible. An inspirational memoir.

Read my original book review on Literary Flits



Forbidden Fruit by Stanley Gazemba

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Gazemba provides us with a striking portrait of rural Kenyan village life in this novel. Following his cast of landowners and villagers through their days allowed me to understand and empathise with them - as well as reinforcing my desire to only ever buy FairTrade tea.

Read my original book review on Literary Flits



The Second Deadly Sin by Asa Larsson

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The Second Deadly Sin is an entirely self-contained Rebecka Martinsson crime story and a thrilling one at that. Larsson grabbed my attention from the first pages and hardly let up until the end.

Read my original book review on Literary Flits



The Art Of Hiding by Amanda Prowse

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I struggled to review The Art Of Hiding, so much so that I postponed putting my words out there for three days running while I attempted to coherently marshall my thoughts. On the one hand, Prowse's writing is - as always - immensely readable, but this novel felt too superficial and formulaic for me.

Read my original book review on Literary Flits



The Sin Of Choice (Part 1) by Paul Rudiak

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Set mostly in affluent middle-class Cheshire, The Sin Of Choice is a crime novel, but (for Part 1 at least) far from the usual genre offerings. Rudiak's central character, lawyer Peter Thornton, doesn't rush around one step ahead of the police, gunwaving and unearthing serial killers. Instead he is grappling with the implications of a terminal medical diagnosis and most of the book depicts his and his family's attempts to come to terms with the news. I liked Rudiak's in depth character portrayals - although frequently not the characters themselves!

Read my original book review on Literary Flits



Murder In Montego Bay by Paula Lennon

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I have only previously read one Jamaican novel, A Brief History Of Seven Killings, and although this book also revolves around murder, it provides a very different perspective on island life. Lennon sets her tale within the grossly underfunded Jamaican police service and I appreciated that her team of detectives really are portrayed as a team. Their leader, Preddy, does have shades of the dysfunctional-older-detective-against-the-world crime fiction cliche, but at least he isn't an alcoholic who never eats!

Read my original book review on Literary Flits



Ghettoside by Jill Leovy

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Read my original book review on Literary Flits

True to close the month and I was impressed by Leovy's thoughtful and thought-provoking reportage on black homicide in south Los Angeles.


That's it for this month and I know I have already got some great books lined up for review in September including C H Clepitt's new novel, Everything Is Better With A Cape. 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!

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