Newsletter No 17 (Mar 30th, 2011)

Hi,

Curious Book Fans had very exciting and fruitful March. Our site was buzzing with fresh and entertaining articles. The biggest challenge is fitting all that in a single e-mail newsletter.

Thirty two new books, presented to you during March, with two very insightful and entertaining authors’ interviews and a very popular book giveaway made us well known among book loving web surfers.

If you would like to keep up to date with our new articles I would recommend you to subscribe to our RSS feed or a daily e-mail update. Until then enjoy the selection of articles chosen by Sincerely Yours, Curious Book Fans

The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht

Reading The Tiger’s Wife it’s hard to believe not only that this is Tea Obreht’s debut novel, but that she is still only twenty five years old; she writes with such an air of wisdom that one would think that this was the work of a much more experienced writer. In fact, Obreht has been named as one of The New Yorker’s Top Writers Under 40 and she’s actually the youngest of those nominated.

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Five Minutes with Oliver Burkeman

CBF: Have you ever read a book that claimed “This book will change your life” which actually delivered on the promise?
Oliver Burkeman:
It depends on your definition of “change”! We’ve become seduced, I think, by this notion that change only counts if it’s sweeping and instantaneous.

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You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me by Sarra Manning

Although ‘You Don’t Have to Say You Love’ me is very light and easy to read, it is also quite heartbreaking at times. Neve’s feelings about her body and her failure to see it as anything less than hideous is so very sad and highlights what is a real issue for so many people. I felt that this element of the story was dealt with extremely sensitively…

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Q&A with Christie Watson

CBF: Can you tell us a bit about your own experience with Nigeria, particularly the Niger Delta where Tiny Sunbirds Far Away is mainly set?
Christie Watson:
I first travelled to Nigeria over ten years ago after I met my Nigerian partner. I’d travelled to various other African countries before, and parts of West Africa, but nothing quite prepared me for how amazing a place Nigeria is.

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Tiny Sunbirds Far Away by Christie Watson

Despite the poverty and the tragedy which befall the family, Tiny Sunbirds Far Away has a light feeling to it. It is not a difficult or time-consuming read, and I think this is due to the child’s narration and her sense of innocence and enjoyment in the world, even through everything her family suffers.

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A Pack of Lies by Urmilla Deshpande

Deshpande’s language is partly responsible for this – she manages to freshen her four letter words with strikingly poetic descriptions. Like for example when she is talking about a cabbage green swimsuit and she writes about ‘The smell of chlorine, french fries, the feel of a rubber bathing cap. The sense of rich people.”

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Little Hands Clapping by Dan Rhodes

The interweaving of the stories of the different characters is quite cleverly done. In my mind I could clearly picture both the German and Portuguese towns, could imagine the inside of the museum (which was probably more exciting than many I’ve been to) and the characters are painted with conviction but without sympathy.

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Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

The book is both shocking and redemptive. We see a man get eaten up by a corrupt system and we’re left wondering if he can possibly get out the other side. We watch his wife tormented by anxiety but never giving up on her belief in her husband or her determination to see him again.

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Why We Lie by Dorothy Rowe

Why We Lie: The Source of Our Disasters” is a book, unsurprisingly, about lying. Psychologist Dorothy Rowe takes us through various aspects of lying, from how we can know what is true, to how children learn to lie, when lying might be necessary, types of lies, the effects of being lied to and the hard truths of deceitful behaviour. … Rowe draws together her argument for lying being a mechanism to protect our sense of self…

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Janez Bogataj’s The Food and Cooking of Slovenia

Janez Bogataj’s The Food and Cooking of Slovenia has the look and feel of a fairytale book and, looking at the beautiful photographs and reading the names of some of the dishes, you might be forgiven for thinking there’s something almost other worldly here. Famed for its beautiful mountain scenery and picturesque medieval towns Slovenia is not a country that springs to mind when talking about the great culinary traditions of Europe.

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The Woman He Loved Before by Dorothy Koomson

As you can probably tell I loved this book. I just had to keep reading on to find the answers to my questions but equally I did not want it to finish. There are so many words to describe this book – gripping, poignant, shocking, heart warming – but most of ‘The Woman He Loved Before’ is a book that you just won’t want to put down!

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CrocAttack! by Assaf Gavron

CrocAttack! by Assaf Gavron is a novel set in the midst of the Israel – Palestine conflict, and focuses on suicide bomb attacks made in Israeli cities such as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The novel opens with our “hero” Eitan, known as Croc, travelling to work in Tel Aviv on the Little No. 5 – a minibus which follows the route of the No. 5 but which his girlfriend Duchi believes to be safer.

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Chanakya’s Chant by Ashwin Sanghi

Chanakya’s Chant follows very definitely in the footsteps of The Da Vinci Code and other historical thrillers. Ashwin Sanghi brackets past and present to create his page turner, throwing in an ancient chant as a leitmotif. It’s amazing that no one thought of using India’s Machiavelli as the subject or partial subject of novel before…

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Dexter Bexley and the Big Blue Beastie

In Dexter Bexley and the Big Blue Beastie” Joel Stewart has created an original and imaginative story that most young children will find delightful. The idea of them launching a successful partnership that leads to stocks and shares going up will go over their heads while causing some amusement to the grown-ups reading aloud.

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The Book of Lies by Mary Horlock

The Book of Lies is a book filled with betrayal but not always by the obvious people. When Nic betrays Cat’s friendship we’re encouraged to think that the revenge is almost acceptable.
…the book certainly impressed me and left a lingering sense of discomfort that has me still thinking about the plot more than a week after I finished reading.

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New York Valentine by Carmen Reid

New York Valentine’ is a light and easy read and is likely to appeal to those readers who also enjoy Sophie Kinsella’s Shopoholic books. The story is good enough to make you read on and there are a few unexpected twists too. Most of the characters are quite entertaining…

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