Review Round-Up - September

Tuesday, 25 September 2018


In August, I referred to myself as the Simon Cowell of the book-reviewing world and that seems more true than ever this month. It just seems as though the universe is employing some sort of shit book quota in my life, either for its own personal amusement, entertainment value, or just to torture me. Because, in a month that started and ended so damn well, the middle did its damned-well best to make me never want to pick up another book.


The Incendiaries
Phoebe Lin and Will Kendall meet their first month at prestigious Edwards University. Phoebe is a glamorous girl who doesn't tell anyone she blames herself for her mother's recent death. Will is a misfit scholarship boy who transfers to Edwards from Bible college, waiting tables to get by. What he knows for sure is that he loves Phoebe. Grieving and guilt-ridden, Phoebe is increasingly drawn into a religious group—a secretive extremist cult—founded by a charismatic former student, John Leal. He has an enigmatic past that involves North Korea and Phoebe's Korean American family. Meanwhile, Will struggles to confront the fundamentalism he's tried to escape, and the obsession consuming the one he loves. When the group bombs several buildings in the name of faith, killing five people, Phoebe disappears. Will devotes himself to finding her, tilting into obsession himself, seeking answers to what happened to Phoebe and if she could have been responsible for this violent act. The Incendiaries is a fractured love story and a brilliant examination of the minds of extremist terrorists, and of what can happen to people who lose what they love most.


In Intimate Detail
A comprehensive and accessible illustrated guide to lingerie from intimates expert Cora Harrington, founder of The Lingerie Addict , the internet's top intimate apparel blog. While many love the idea of wearing special underthings, lingerie can be intimidating. How is it supposed to fit? How do you take care of it all? Is lingerie really for me? In this beautiful and empowering guide, lingerie expert Cora Harrington demystifies intimate apparel, making it accessible to all sizes, ages, and budgets. Covering everything from basic bras and panties to special occasion wear, shapewear, hosiery, corsets, and more, this no-nonsense handbook empowers you to confidently buy, wear, and care for the underpinnings of your dreams.


The Promise
When troubled teen Connor moves to Exeter from the US to escape his past, he finds himself embroiled in a world of popular kids and easy girls. Everyone wants to be his friend, but they don’t know about what he did…and they don’t know about his father. As Connor’s life in England begins to unravel, DS Adrian Miles and his partner Imogen Grey are working up against the clock to catch a serial killer who dates his victims before he kills them. Determined to uncover the truth, Imogen is forced to act as bait – but will she take it too far and risk her own life?


School Tales
Contemporary legend says the business of high school is boring and must forever be that way―that its sole purpose is to deposit tidbits of knowledge into young minds and standardize the way each attacks the world. School Tales begs to differ. As is made clear by its five spunky student narrators, high school, the home-base social institution for teenagers, exerts powerful agency over answers to fundamental questions―Who am I? What do I want to learn? Am I able to direct my life? Can I trust friends to be there for me? How do I find a sense of purpose in contributing to our world?―and is a time of struggle with life’s questions amidst intense pressure to make decisions by graduation and launch into adulthood. Students in School Tales, living in a small town of the southern Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, encounter a number of personal and public issues including racism, anxiety, shame, a cross-country move, gender identity, immigration, family instability, depression, lack of self-direction, abuse, and law enforcement. The lessons they learn in school include the meanings of freedom, success, friendship, exploration, inquiry, confidence, false either/or choices, and dreaming. As these students take charge of their learning, the true goal of high school emerges―and the result is a truly heart-warming view of students building what they would call “a life worth living.”


Jealousy 
HATRED LEADS TO OBSESSION
It's taken time for the plan to unfold, years spent waiting, watching, hating. . . . And after the first victim, the killing gets easier and easier.
OBSESSION LEADS TO JEALOUSY
The Crissmans, owners of Crissman & Wolfe department store, were once one of Portland's most powerful families. There's still enough fortune left to sow mistrust between Lucy, her bohemian sister Layla, their brother Lyle, and his grasping wife Kate. When a charity event at the Crissman Lodge ends in a fatal poisoning, Lucy becomes a prime suspect. But the truth is even more twisted, and Lucy can't be sure which of her family is being targeted... or who to fear.
AND JEALOUSY LEADS TO MURDER
Renowned defense attorney Dallas Denton has been hired to clear Lucy's name, unaware of the secret that ties them together or of the deep cracks in the Crissman legacy. Someone is ready to eliminate every obstacle to get what they most covet, and prove that envy runs deeper than blood...
Review


Titans of History
Simon Sebag Montefiore presents the lives of the giants who have made our world. The cast varies from conquerors, poets, kings, empresses and whores to psychopaths, prophets, composers and explorers. Informative, entertaining, inspiring and sometimes horrifying, this is a history of the world that contains the characters everyone should know and the stories no one should forget.


A Little Bird Told Me
Besides, if you were one half evil, wouldn’t you want to know about the other half? In the scorching summer of 1976, Robyn spends her days swimming at the Lido and tagging after her brother. It’s the perfect holiday – except for the crying women her mum keeps bringing home. As the heatwave boils on, tensions in the town begin to simmer. Everyone is gossiping about her mum, a strange man is following her around, and worst of all, no one will tell Robyn the truth. But this town isn’t good at keeping secrets… Twelve years later Robyn returns home, to a house that has stood empty for years and a town that hasn’t moved on, forced to confront the mystery that haunted her that summer. And atone for the part she played in it.

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