Newsletter No 11 (Oct 29th, 2010)


Here is another selection of books we want to bring to your attention. Visit Curious Book Fans site and you can find out more about the rude Santa comic book, historical novel about Alexander the Great’s successor in India, another Scandinavian crime fiction book labelled as so much more readable than Stieg Larsson by our reviewer. We present here only a small cross section of over 360 reviews we have published so far, all of them neatly listed on the Index page.

And don’t forget that there are only two days left to enter our October competition and win one of six exciting new books.

Yours, Curious Book Fans

Three Seconds by Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom

With the novels of Stieg Larsson riding high in the bestsellers charts, it’s hardly surprising that Three Seconds” is being mentioned in the same breaths. It’s been a long time since Swedish crime fiction enjoyed so much international success with recent output tending to emulate Henning Mankell’s highly popular Wallander series of atmospheric police procedurals.

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Book Giveaway October 2010 – “How to Get the Right Book”

Curious Book Fans have “How to Get the Right Book” book giveaway competition in October. We are curious to know your best tips on how to get your friends and family to buy you the books you actually want instead of the ones they think you do? Please post examples of the worst book presents you’ve had – the things that just showed people didn’t know or understand you – and the best ones that really surprised you.

An interesting book may be yours just in time for the biggest gift giving ocassion of the year…

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A Discovery of Witches by Deborah E. Harkness

A Discovery of Witches” is a novel that combines the best of historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy and mythology – and a good deal of romance. It is for the most past well paced and engagingly written, and Harkness has managed to create an intriguing underworld that fits in well with our own known world and history, making it come to life in an entirely believable and rather clever way.

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Shadow Sister by Simone van der Vlugt

Shadow Sister is an excellent book that, although not flawless because of the overly complicated ending, is really well worth a read. The back cover of the book suggests that fans of Nicci French will love the story – and for once, that is absolutely right. However, I think it’s a little stronger that most of Nicci French’s work. If you like a good thriller, then this is a really great choice of book.

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364 Days of Tedium: Or What Santa Gets Up To On His Days Off by Dave Cornmell

364 Days of Tedium is a funny book. I wouldn’t rank it as one of my favourite cartoon books, but it’s certainly funny and silly, and I enjoyed it. I’ve just read it in October, and I’m one of these people who doesn’t get Christmassy until December – so it’s not a book just for Christmas, although I’m sure it will do best in the Christmas novelty present market. It would make a good present for those who like slightly rude and silly humour – or for that secret Santa gift you’re stuck on…

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World change starts with educated children

We’d like to invite you to help support a charity that works to educate girls in Asia and Africa.

Female education is a powerful tool in the fight against poverty. When girls learn, their families and communities benefit. Education for girls is directly linked to a number of positive outcomes including: lower birth infant mortality rates, increased wages, and improved family health and nutrition.

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Shame by Jasvinder Sanghera

Despite her parents’ rejection, Jas always wanted to go home to her family even though her mother had refused to take her back and declared that “In our eyes you are dead”. Shame is the story of causing shame, living with shame, the refusal of others to recognise their own shame and the constant fight for the love that her parents had so totally withdrawn.

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My Last Duchess by Daisy Goodwin

My Last Duchess by Daisy Goodwin is an historical novel, set in the 1890s in America and England, about a young American heiress, Cora Cash, her mother’s quest for an English title for her daughter and her marriage. Cora lives with every possible luxury in Newport, Rhode Island, and New York. She is said to be the richest girl in the world, but money can’t buy her freedom from her mother.

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The To-Do List by Mike Gayle

It seems that Mike Gayle is one of those not uncommon people who seems to have procrastinated for most of his adult life. He has often had high aspirations that have come to nothing as he has failed to complete one task or another. In his attempt to behave in a more adult way, having just turned thirty six, he assesses all these things and writes his to–do list that eventually totals 1,277 different actions. Some are quite easily attainable but others are more time consuming and also costly.

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Looking for America by Avirook Sen

Sen’s book is actually a Simon and Garfunkel song. ‘I’ve gone to look for America / Laughing on the bus / Playing games with the faces’. Or perhaps it may be fairer to say that Avirook Sen’s book starts from a Simon & Garfunkel song. With some money to spend he took off on a bus to look for America and covered the country from Michael Jackson’s hometown, Gary Indiana to Saginaw …

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The Baby Dragon Tamer by Jan Fearnley

This wonderful book tells the delectable tale of a big bad tempered dragon who is looking for treasure. He doesn’t reckon on coming across one small baby though who is determined not to give him any. Well he is just a baby and he doesn’t yet know that he is supposed to be frightened of dragons!

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The Emissary by Aniruddha Bahal

Ask him why an Indian wrote a historical novel and Aniruddha Bahal says something like, “Because it was there!” Well, not exactly that but because he wanted to write about Alexander the Great and chose not to use his travels in India and that famous encounter with Porus, though that may happen in a later book.

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The Twin” is written in such a way that it could only be of Northern Europe; the tone and pace are as flat as the Netherlands yet there’s something utterly compelling about this book. It has a constantly unsettling feeling created by the silence not only in the farmhouse but out in the fields too.  The silence of Helmer’s dreary existence is broken by occasional visitors…

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An Idiot Abroad – The Travel Diaries of Karl Pilkington by Karl Pilkington, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant

I have never heard of or seen Karl Pilkington before getting this book. His role in the Idiot Abroad project is that of ‘Everyman’. He’s the innocent abroad, the Englishman abroad or in this case, the ‘idiot’ of the title. He is not by any stretch of the imagination a man you could describe as ‘worldly’; he prefers Devon to Dubai, a caravan park to a camel caravan and thinks eating a full English on the Costa del Sol is exotic.

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