June Book Haul

Sunday, 30 June 2019


June, as most months seem to be when I have my debit card to hand, was a time that presented a plethora opportunities to expand my physical and digital libraries - a confused foray into the databases of Edelweiss, a stint volunteering at Bradford Literature Festival (let me know if you, at any point, want to read about my sticky, overheated hours there) and, yet more background information books for the novel I will probably never write.
Although, even my grandma has to admit that they both look beautiful - all overflowing and cluttered and likely never to be read. At least, never to be read anywhere close to their actual release dates.


Growing Things and Other Stories*
From global catastrophe to the demons inside our heads, Tremblay illuminates our primal fears and darkest dreams in startlingly original fiction that leaves us unmoored. As he lowers the sky and yanks the ground from beneath our feet, we are compelled to contemplate the darkness inside our own hearts and minds.

Told with gripping intensity, It Would be Night in Caracas chronicles one woman’s desperate battle to survive amid the dangerous, sometimes deadly, turbulence of modern Venezuela and the lengths she must go to secure her future.

The Silent Companions
Inspired by the work of Shirley Jackson and Susan Hill and set in a crumbling country mansion, The Silent Companions is an unsettling gothic ghost story to send a shiver down the spine A Victorian ghost story that evokes a most unsettling kind of fear, its is a tale that creeps its way through the consciousness in ways you least expect—much like the companions themselves.
Bringing sixteenth-century Languedoc vividly to life, Kate Mosse's The Burning Chambers is a gripping story of love and betrayal, mysteries and secrets; of war and adventure, conspiracies and divided loyalties...

Emma
Beautiful, clever, rich - and single - Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protegee Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected. With its imperfect but charming heroine and its witty and subtle exploration of relationships, Emma is often seen as Jane Austen's most flawless work.

Richard III: Brother, Protecter, King
By stripping back the legends that surround Richard's life and reign, and returning to original manuscript evidence, Chris Skidmore rediscovers the man as contemporaries saw him. His compelling study presents every facet of Richard's personality as it deserves to be seen: as one of the most significant figures in medieval history, whose actions and behaviour underline the true nature of power in an age of great upheaval and instability.

How to be a Dictator*
In How to Be a Dictator, Frank Dikötter returns to eight of the most chillingly effective personality cults of the twentieth century. From carefully choreographed parades to the deliberate cultivation of a shroud of mystery through iron censorship, these dictators ceaselessly worked on their own image and encouraged the population at large to glorify them. At a time when democracy is in retreat, are we seeing a revival of the same techniques among some of today’s world leaders? This timely study, told with great narrative verve, examines how a cult takes hold, grows, and sustains itself. It places the cult of personality where it belongs, at the very heart of tyranny.


I Am Heathcliff*
16 modern fiction superstars shine a startling light on the romance and pain of the infamous literary pair Heathcliff and Cathy. Curated by Kate Mosse and commissioned for Emily Brontë’s bicentenary year in 2018, these fresh, modern stories pulse with the raw beauty and pain of love and are as timely as they are illuminating.

White Teeth
Set against London’s racial and cultural tapestry, venturing across the former empire and into the past as it barrels toward the future, White Teeth revels in the ecstatic hodgepodge of modern life, flirting with disaster, confounding expectations, and embracing the comedy of daily existence.

Full Throttle*
Featuring two previously unpublished stories, and a brace of shocking chillers, Full Throttle is a darkly imagined odyssey through the complexities of the human psyche. Hypnotic and disquieting, it mines our tormented secrets, hidden vulnerabilities, and basest fears, and demonstrates this exceptional talent at his very best.
Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town. Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under. Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into. Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters. But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

Heroes
In this companion to his bestselling Mythos, Stephen Fry brilliantly retells these dramatic, funny, tragic and timeless tales. Join Jason aboard the Argo as he quests for the Golden Fleece. See Atalanta - who was raised by bears - outrun any man before being tricked with golden apples. Witness wily Oedipus solve the riddle of the Sphinx and discover how Bellerophon captures the winged horse Pegasus to help him slay the monster Chimera. Filled with white-knuckle chases and battles, impossible puzzles and riddles, acts of base cowardice and real bravery, not to mention murders and selfless sacrifices, Heroes is the story of what we mortals are truly capable of - at our worst and our very best.

Sarong Party Girls*
A brilliant and utterly engaging novel - Emma set in modern Asia - about a young woman's rise in the glitzy, moneyed city of Singapore, where old traditions clash with heady modern materialism. Vividly told in Singlish - colourful Singaporean English with its distinctive cadence and slang - Sarong Party Girls brilliantly captures the unique voice of a young, striving woman caught between two worlds.

Aphrodite Made Me Do It*
Bestselling and award-winning author Trista Mateer takes an imaginative approach to self-care in this new poetry and prose collection, Aphrodite Made Me Do It. In this empowering retelling, she uses the mythology of the goddess to weave a common thread through the past and present. By the end of this book, Aphrodite will make you believe in the possibility of your own healing.

Dear Edward*
A luminous, life-affirming novel about a 12-year-old boy who is the sole survivor of a deadly plane crash. Dear Edward depicts Edward's life in the crash's aftermath as he struggles to make sense of the meaning of his survival, the strangeness of his sudden fame, and find his place in the world without his family. In his new home with his aunt and uncle, the only solace comes from his friendship with the girl next door, Shay. Together Edward and Shay make a startling discovery: hidden in his uncle's garage are sacks of letters from the relatives of the other passengers, addressed to Edward. As Edward comes of age against the backdrop of sudden tragedy, he must confront some of life's most profound questions: how do we make the most of the time we are given? And what does it mean not just to survive, but to truly live?

The Nickel Boys*
Based on the history of a real reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped and destroyed the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative by a great American novelist whose work is essential to understanding the current reality of the United States.

A People’s History of Heaven*
Welcome to Heaven, a thirty-year-old slum hidden between brand-new high-rise apartment buildings and technology incubators in contemporary Bangalore. In Heaven, you will come to know a community made up almost entirely of women. They live hand-to-mouth, constantly struggling against the city government's plans to bulldoze their homes and build yet more glass high-rises. This is a story about geography, history, and strength, about love and friendship, about fighting for the people and places we love – even if no one else knows they exist.

The Man Who Saw Everything*
Electrifying and audacious, an unmissable new novel about old and new Europe, old and new love, from the twice-Man Booker-shortlisted author of Hot Milk and Swimming Home. Slipping slyly between time zones and leaving a spiralling trail, Deborah Levy's electrifying new novel examines what we see and what we fail to see, until we encounter the spectres of history - both the world's and our own.

Meat Market
Jana Novak's history sounds like a classic model cliché: tall and gangly, she's uncomfortable with her androgynous looks until she's unexpectedly scouted and catapulted to superstardom. But the fashion industry is as grimy as it is glamorous. And there are unexpected predators at every turn. Jana is an ordinary girl from a south London estate, lifted to unimaginable heights. But the further you rise, the more devastating your fall... Honest and raw, this is a timely exposé of the dark underbelly of the fashion industry in an era of #TimesUp and #MeToo. It might just be Juno Dawson's most important book yet.

The Name of the Wind
'I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep. My name is Kvothe. You may have heard of me'

How It Was*
In a 1970s village in rural Kent, lives go on in an unremarkable way. But Marion Deacon, struggling with being a wife and mother, is about to set events in motion that she cannot control in a story of love, motherhood, betrayal, and long-hidden secrets. In How it Was, Janet Ellis writes of the exquisite pain of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, the complexity of family and mother-daughter relationships.

Beneath the Surface*
After a chaotic childhood, Grace Vermuyden is determined her own daughters will fulfil the dreams denied to her. Lilly is everyone's golden girl, the popular, clever daughter she never had to worry about. So when she mysteriously collapses in class, Grace's carefully ordered world begins to unravel. Dark rumours swirl around their tight-knit community on the edge of the Fens as everyone comes up with their own theories about what happened. Consumed with paranoia, and faced with increasing evidence that Lilly has been leading a secret life, Grace starts to search for clues. Left to her own devices, ten-year-old Mia develops some wild theories of her own that have unforeseen and devastating consequences for the people she loves most.

Instructions for a Heatwave
Maggie O'Farrell writes with exceptional grace and sensitivity about marriage, about the mysteries that inhere within families, and the fault lines over which we build our lives—the secrets we hide from the people who know and love us best. In a novel that stretches from the heart of London to New York City's Upper West Side to a remote village on the coast of Ireland, O'Farrell paints a bracing portrait of a family falling apart and coming together with hard-won, life-changing truths about who they really are.

Lost in the Spanish Quarter*
In this poignant, atmosphericcoming of age tale of first love—of a place, of a person—languages and cultures collide while dreams soar and crash in spectacular ways. Told with intimacy and ferocity  and set in the passionate, intense, and crumbling neighborhood known as the Spanish Quarter of Naples, comes a tale of two students searching for love and belonging in the city they so desperately want to call home.


Head on over to http://bit.ly/2y7JSWV for all of these books, as well as all of the others featured in my reviews, complete with the added bonuses of free worldwide shipping and bringing a little joy to my life.

*Thanks to NetGalley, Edelweiss and the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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