Newsletter No 16 (Feb 23rd, 2011)

Hi,

Here is another selection of fine books Curious Book Fans reviewed recently.

Our Faulks on Fiction book giveaway will end when the last episode on BBC2 ends on Saturday February 26th. There is still a chance that you win one of five copies. Be aware – another book giveaway starts in our Forum when this one finishes.

It was exciting watching 50 reviews of Penguin Mini Moderns popping out all over UK blogosphere during February. We contributed two reviews and followed the progress of this unique celebration of 50 years of Penguin Modern Classics. You can find the links to all reviews here.

Yours, Curious Book Fans

Youth by Joseph Conrad

The Mini Moderns is a series of very small books, containing short stories or novellas, and can accurately be described as pocket size. In this form Youth is only 53 pages long, the kind of story you could read easily in one sitting. Yet despite this, Conrad packs a huge amount into the story. This isn’t an overview, this is a full story of the complexity you would expect to find in a novel.

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Faulks on Fiction by Sebastian Faulks

I hope that the series does well on television – ideally well enough to get Faulks a second volume of his ‘On Fiction’ with another set of characters. I’d love to seem him analyse characters under groupings like Survivors, Outsiders, Best Friends and Sidekicks but I hope he can get a bit more freedom outside the constraints of fitting his writing to a television programme.

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La Grosse Fifi by Jean Rhys

The sleek, stylish design chosen for Penguin Mini Modern Classics is perfect for Jean Rhys’s ‘La Grosse Fifi’ and other stories. Within a few lines I was transported to another place and time – in the case of the title story it’s the south of France just after the end of the First World War; the silver cover of the book seemed to me like an extravagant novelty …. Quite simply, the packaging fits this little gem!

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Sleights of Mind by S Macknik, S Martinez-Conde

About a year ago, the BBC screened an episode of Horizon called “Is Seeing Believing?”, which explored optical illusions and how they work in our minds. These illusions revealed many loopholes, short-cuts and inconsistencies in the way we perceive the world, which the designers of the tricks had mercilessly exploited in order to create something that simply shouldn’t be possible.

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Hypothermia by Arnaldur Indridason

The sixth of Icelandic author Arnaldur Indridason’s novels featuring the lugubrious Erlendur, ‘Hypothermia’ is something of a departure from the format of those that preceded it. Here Erlendur more or less goes it alone as he carries out his own off the record investigation into the case of the apparent suicide of a woman at her holiday home in Iceland’s Lake District…

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Invitation by Shehryar Fazli

Noir – the word conjures up images of blazing guns or sleazy ladies of the night clutching swathes of blue velvet – pace David Lynch. Fast paced action and mean streets. If that is the definition of noir then Shehryar Fazli’s debut novel has ample noir and more than enough to spare.

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Harry and the Dinosaurs First Sleepover by Ian Whybrow

“Harry and the Dinosaurs” may seem to be more of a boys’ book but in fact is likely to appeal to most young children. Sleepovers seem to be popular even at the age of three or four these days, and children in a group can talk about their experiences either before or after hearing the story.

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William Walker’s First Year of Marriage by Matt Rudd

William Walker’s First Year of Marriage is a thoroughly enjoyable read, not at all taxing and great to relax with. You’ll find yourself rooting for William and Isabel, hating Alex and Saskia, and despairing of his friends advice, as well as giggling at all his mishaps.

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The Kenneth Williams Diaries

Kenneth Williams kept a diary for more than forty years and in 1993, five years after his death, these diaries were published in an edited form. The diaries revealed a more complex figure than the comedian who became much loved through his Carry On roles and famous appearances on the chat show circuit.

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Wide Angle National Geographic Greatest Places by Ferdinand Protzman

The pictures are taken from the National Geographic archive of more than 10 million pictures. You can only wonder how they ever chose the ones they included. Many of the pictures have never appeared in print before which is a crying shame for both viewers and the photographers who took them.

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Indian Takeaway by Hardeep Singh Kohli

I first became aware of Hardeep Singh Kohli though the Channel 4 television series ‘Meet the Magoons’ which was set in a Glaswegian curry house and starred a bunch of great British Asian comic actors. I thought the series was hilarious and I loved the weirdly eccentric turban-wearing kilted Kohli. Unfortunately it seems that only I, my husband and another three viewers thought it was funny and the show was pulled after just one series.

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The Emperor Of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee

In that context, Siddhartha Mukerjee’s book came to me as a kind of revelation. The first thing I did was show it to my father who asked if he was a doctor and in that case why didn’t it say ‘Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee’. Siddhartha Mukherjee is an oncologist who wrote the book to find a life outside cancer, to survive the ordeal of cancer treatment which I had taken more or less for granted when it came to my father.

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Sister is Rosamund Lupton’s first novel and I enjoyed it so much that I hope she is going to be writing lots more. From the moment I started reading it I was so drawn into the story that I was reluctant to put it down for anything! It is a compelling crime thrilling that had me on the edge of my seat and kept me guessing from start to finish.

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Promote your books
 

We have opened the section for authors and publishers in our Forum with the aim to provide a place where they can promote their new books. We hope that would be the place where readers can pop in and get some interesting ideas from both main stream and self publishing authors. Please feel free to visit and post…

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