July Book Haul

Sunday, 28 July 2019


I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited.” ― Sylvia Plath


The Memory Police*
Hat, ribbon, bird, rose. To the people on the island, a disappeared thing no longer has any meaning. It can be burned in the garden, thrown in the river or handed over to the Memory Police. Soon enough, the island forgets it ever existed. When a young novelist discovers that her editor is in danger of being taken away by the Memory Police, she desperately wants to save him. For some reason, he doesn’t forget, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for him to hide his memories. Who knows what will vanish next?

Beneath the Tamarind Tree*
The kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls by Boko Haram in 2014 made global headlines. From poor Nigerian families, these girls had defied the odds and pursued an education, but daring to dream resulted in one of the most high-profile abductions in modern history. Award-winning CNN anchor Isha Sesay was on the front lines as the story broke, and when 21 of the girls were released, she was the only journalist to accompany them on their dangerous journey back home. In Beneath the Tamarind Tree, having developed unprecedented access to the Chibok girls, Sesay shares an intimate account of the night Boko Haram attacked, exclusive details about their years in captivity, and their daring tales of escape. Sesay delves into the inadequate Nigerian government response to the kidnapping, while synthesizing lessons about global national security. She also reminds us of the personal sacrifice required of journalists to bring us the truth, at a time of growing mistrust of the media.

Talking to my Daughter
‘Why is there so much inequality?’ Xenia asks her father, the world famous economist Yanis Varoufakis. Drawing on memories of her childhood and a variety of well-known tales – from Oedipus and Faust to Frankenstein and The Matrix – Varoufakis explains everything you need to know in order to understand why economics is the most important drama of our times. In answering his daughter’s deceptively simple questions, Varoufakis disentangles our troubling world with remarkable clarity, while inspiring us to make it a better one.

Hot Milk
Two women arrive in a village on the Spanish coast. Rose is suffering from a strange illness andher doctors are mystified. Her daughter Sofia has brought her here to find a cure with the infamous and controversial Dr Gomez - a man of questionable methods and motives. Intoxicated by thick heat and the seductive people who move through it, both women begin to see their lives clearly for the first time in years. Through the opposing figures of mother and daughter, Deborah Levy explores the strange and monstrous nature of womanhood. Dreamlike and utterly compulsive, Hot Milk is a delirious fairy tale of feminine potency.

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat
Here Dr. Sacks recounts the case histories of patients lost in the bizarre, apparently inescapable world of neurological disorders. If inconceivably strange, these brilliant tales remain, in Dr. Sacks’s splendid and sympathetic telling, deeply human. They are studies of life struggling against incredible adversity, and they enable us to enter the world of the neurologically impaired, to imagine with our hearts what it must be to live and feel as they do.

The Trick to Time
Mona is a young Irish girl in the big city, with the thrill of a new job and a room of her own in a busy boarding house. On her first night out in 1970s Birmingham, she meets William, a charming Irish boy with an easy smile and an open face. They embark upon a passionate affair, a whirlwind marriage - before a sudden tragedy tears them apart. Decades later, Mona pieces together the memories of the years that separate them. But can she ever learn to love again? The Trick to Time is an unforgettable tale of grief, longing, and a love that lasts a lifetime.

Warrior*
Warrior tells the story of forgotten man, a man whose bones were found in an Anglo-Saxon graveyard at Bamburgh castle in Northumberland. It is the story of a violent time when Britain was defining itself in waves of religious fervour, scattered tribal expansion and terrible bloodshed; it is the story of the fighting class, men apart, defined in life and death by their experiences on the killing field; it is an intricate and riveting narrative of survival and adaptation set in the stunning political and physical landscapes of medieval England. Warrior is a classic of British history, a landmark of popular archaeology, and a must-read for anyone interested in the story of where we've come from.

North lives on a circus boat with her beloved bear, keeping a secret that could capsize her life. Callanish lives alone in her house in the middle of the ocean, tending the graves of those who die at sea. As penance for a terrible mistake, she has become a gracekeeper. A chance meeting between the two draws them magnetically to one another - and to the promise of a new life. But the waters are treacherous, and the tide is against them.

One Night in Georgia*
At the end of a sweltering summer shaped by the tragic assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Bobby Kennedy, race riots, political protests, and the birth of Black power, three coeds from New York City—Zelda Livingston, Veronica Cook, and Daphne Brooks—pack into Veronica’s new Ford Fairlane convertible, bound for Atlanta and their last year at Spelman College. It is the beginning a journey that will change their lives irrevocably. Joined by Veronica’s family friend Daniel, they rely on the Motorist Green Book to find racially friendly locations for gas, rest, and food. Still, with the sun on their cheeks, the wind in their hair, and Motown on the radio, the girls revel in their freedom. Yet as the miles fly by, taking them closer to the Mason-Dixon line, tension begins to rise and the conversation turns serious when Daphne shares a horrifying secret about her life. When they hit Washington, D.C., the joyous trip turns dark. When the car breaks down in Georgia they are caught up in a racially hostile situation that leaves a white person dead and one of the girls holding the gun.

The House of Mirth
Lily Bart is beautiful and charming, living among the wealthy families of New York City, but reluctant to finally commit herself to one. In an endless search for freedom and the happiness she feels she deserves, she becomes embroiled in a scandal, and is ultimately ruined. A searing study of woman as a passive creature, existing only as a consumer item in a man's world, The House of Mirth created controversy on its publication in 1905 with its scathing portrayal of the wealthy and the lack of freedom that marriage and society offered women.

Tangerine
The last person Alice Shipley expected to see since arriving in Tangier with her new husband was Lucy Mason. After the horrific accident at Bennington, the two friends - once inseparable roommates - haven't spoken in over a year. But Lucy is standing there, trying to make things right. Perhaps Alice should be happy. She has not adjusted to life in Morocco, too afraid to venture out into the bustling medinas and oppressive heat. Lucy, always fearless and independent, helps Alice emerge from her flat and explore the country. But soon a familiar feeling starts to overtake Alice - she feels controlled and stifled by Lucy at every turn. Then Alice's husband, John, goes missing, and Alice starts to question everything around her: her relationship with her enigmatic friend, her decision to ever come to Tangier, and her very own state of mind.

American Royals*
HRH Princess Samantha has always been a royal rebel. She's the spare not the heir, so no one minds too much who she dates or how hard she parties. It helps that her sister, Princess Beatrice, is literally perfect. She's demure, sweet and beautiful, and she knows that the crown always comes first - no matter what her heart might really want. But they're not the only ones with their eye on the throne. Daphne Deighton might be 'newly noble' but she won Prince Jefferson's heart once, and she'll do anything to get back into the court's favour - and his bed. If only she knew that her competition was a common nobody - plain little Nina Gonzalez, the daughter of the king's secretary. Together these four young women must navigate the drama, gossip, scheming and sizzling romance of the most glorious court in the world. There's everything to play for - but there can only be one queen.

Impossible Causes*
The arrival of three strangers on Lark, a remote island with a population of 300, is the cause of much speculation. The first, a young teacher – the only male teacher on the island – the other two, a mother and her teenage daughter. What have they come to escape? And what will they find waiting for them in Lark? In Julie Mayhew's mesmerising and compelling thriller, an isolated and deeply religious island with a history of paganism is riven when a man is found dead in a stone circle. As rumours spread and tensions rise, three Lark teenage girls and the new arrival from the mainland find themselves accused of witchcraft – and murder.

The Hiding Game*
In 1922, Paul Beckermann arrives at the Bauhaus art school and is immediately seduced by both the charismatic teaching and his fellow students. Eccentric and alluring, the more time Paul spends with his new friends the closer they become, and the deeper he falls in love with the mesmerising Charlotte. But Paul is not the only one vying for her affections, and soon an insidious rivalry takes root.  As political tensions escalate in Germany, the Bauhaus finds itself under threat, and the group begins to disintegrate under the pressure of its own betrayals and love affairs. Decades later, in the wake of an unthinkable tragedy, Paul is haunted by a secret. When an old friend from the Bauhaus resurfaces, he must finally break his silence.

This Must Be the Place
Meet Daniel Sullivan, a man with a complicated life. A New Yorker living in the wilds of Ireland, he has children he never sees in California, a father he loathes in Brooklyn, and a wife, Claudette, who is a reclusive ex–film star given to pulling a gun on anyone who ventures up their driveway. Claudette was once the most glamorous and infamous woman in cinema before she staged her own disappearance and retreated to blissful seclusion in an Irish farmhouse. But the life Daniel and Claudette have so carefully constructed is about to be disrupted by an unexpected discovery about a woman Daniel lost touch with twenty years ago. This revelation will send him off-course, far away from wife, children and home. Will his love for Claudette be enough to bring him back? This Must be the Place is a novel about family, identity, and true love: an intimately drawn portrait of a marriage, both the forces that hold it together and the pressures that drive it apart.

After the Flood*
The world is mostly water when Pearl is born. The floods have left America a cluster of small islands with roving trade ships and raiders. Pearl knows little of her father Jacob and elder sister Row, who left her mother Myra when she was pregnant with her. Between them they make do, with Myra fishing and trading to make ends meet, travelling from island to island on Bird, the boat Myra’s grandfather made before he died. Whilst their life is a tranquil one, Myra still aches for the daughter she once lost. When a chance encounter reveals that Row might still be alive, Myra packs up six-year-old Pearl and together they begin a dangerous voyage to The Valley, where rumours of violence and breeding ships run rampant. Along the way they encounter death and strangers, finally finding solace on board Sedna – full to the brim with supplies and an able crew – where Myra feels like she might be closer to finding Row than she has ever been. But to get to Row she will have to deceive everyone around her, betraying the trust of those she’s come to love, and ask herself if she’s willing to sacrifice everything and everyone for what might be nothing at all.

Parable of the Sower*
America is a place of chaos, where violence rules and only the rich and powerful are safe. Lauren Olamina, a young woman with the extraordinary power to feel the pain of others as her own, records everything she sees of this broken world in her journal. Then, one terrible night, everything alters beyond recognition, and Lauren must make her voice heard for the sake of those she loves. Soon, her vision becomes reality and her dreams of a better way to live gain the power to change humanity forever.

Grand Union*
Interleaving eleven completely new and unpublished stories with some of her best-loved pieces from the New Yorker and elsewhere, Zadie Smith presents a dizzyingly rich and varied collection of fiction. Moving exhilaratingly across genres and perspectives, from the historic to the vividly current to the slyly dystopian, Grand Union is a sharply alert and prescient collection about time and place, identity and rebirth, the persistent legacies that haunt our present selves and the uncanny futures that rush up to meet us.


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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