Newsletter No 2 (April 10th 2010)


Welcome to the second edition of the Curious Book Fans newsletter. Since our first newsletter there are more books on our site, there are more fans of the site and they are curiouser and curiouser. You can read reviews of some exciting, new books, join discussions on our Forum or take part in the book giveaway competition. We are glad to announce a long awaited Curious Book Fans Facebook page.
Sincerely yours, Curious Book Fans

Burying the Bones - Pearl Buck's Life in China by Hilary Spurling Burying the Bones – Pearl Buck’s Life in China by Hilary Spurling

This is an exceptional book that anyone with an interest in China and/or well-written biographies should ensure they read. Others will also be impressed by the standard of writing and the fascinating woman that Pearl Buck became. My interest in Pearl Buck has most certainly been awakened and I plan to re-read The Good Earth and Pavilion of Women, as well as some of her other books very soon. I have also been so impressed by Spurling’s writing that I intend to read some of her other work as soon as possible. This book is highly recommended.

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Interview Hilary Spurling Hilary Spurling talks to Curious Book Fans

Pearl Buck (1892-1973) was the first person to make China accessible to the West. She recreated the lives of ordinary Chinese people in “The Good Earth“, an overnight worldwide bestseller in 1932, later a blockbuster movie. “The Good Earth” still sells around 10,000 copies in the UK every year. Buck went on to become the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938.

The biography of Pearl Buck has been published by Profile Books on April 1st, 2010. Apart from reviewing the book “Burying the Bones – Pearl Buck in China” we were curious to hear a little bit more from Hilary Spurling, the author of this extraordinary biography.

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Choose favourite books and win a book!

Another reminder that our book giveaway compettion is still open.

You can win one of the recently published books. The prize list features latest book from Orange prize winner Kate Grenville – ‘The Lieutenant’ and ‘One Day’ by David Nichols – great bestseller, currently No 11 bestselling book on

Rules are simple and competition is open until April 16th.

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The House of the Mosque By Kader Abdolah The House of the Mosque By Kader Abdolah

The House of the Mosque is home to three brothers and their families and has been in the hands of the family for eight centuries. It’s easy to imagine that very little has changed in all that time. Aqa Jaan is the eldest brother and patriarch of the clan. His brother Imam Alsaberi is the priest at the mosque attached to the house and the final brother, a blind man known to family and townsfolk alike as ‘Muezzin’ is, as his name suggests, the muezzin of the mosque who calls the faithful to prayer.

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Curious Book Fans has new Facebook page

If you are one of the 400 million active users of Facebook you can get updates from our site, post comments and discuss various topics on our Facebook page. Now you can share articles from our site with your Facebook friends…

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The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives By Lola Shoneyin The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives By Lola Shoneyin

Bolanle, a graduate, disappoints her ambitious mother when she announces her intention to marry. Not only is Bolanle rejecting the path her mother hoped for her, she’s going to become the fourth of a polygamous man. The other wives, illiterate all of them, treat Bolanle with suspicion; they don’t like the way that Bolanle is regarded as some kind of trophy because of her academic achievements and they make no secret of their dislike.

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives” is narrated in turns by the adult members of the household.

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The Last Station By Jay Parini The Last Station By Jay Parini

Jay Parini’s “The Last Station” is a semi-fictional account of the final year in the life of the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy. It reads very much as fiction but is actually a tapestry of voices of those closest to Tolstoy at the end of his life. At the heart of the story is the struggle for the attentions of Tolstoy between his wife, Sofya Andreyevna, and his loyal friend and promoter Vladimir Chertkov. Although Tolstoy was from a privileged family – he was actually a Count though he renounced the title …

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Forum - eBooks, eReaders and eBaths - Bathtime reading Forum eBooks, eReaders and eBaths Bathtime reading

If you want to have a say on eBooks, eReaders or eBaths join the discussion on our Forum. Or simply start the book related topic you are interested in…
OK, just in case you’re wondering about the title, this thread has been created after a heated debate between myself and Vlad about whether the eReader could ever replace a book.
From my side, until there’s a waterproof one with an eternal battery and access to second hand ebooks, the answer’s No! but I have to say he’s talking me round to the idea that such things might have a place in my life. He has pointed out that books aren’t waterproof either – which is a good point…

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Under the Skin By Michel Faber Under the Skin By Michel Faber

Isserley spends much of her time driving up and down the A9 in Scotland in her old Toyota Corrolla, looking for male hitchhikers. After driving past a hitchhiker two or three times looking to see if he is well built and alone, she stops and offers them a ride. Why does she do this? Of course, this is not something you come across every day and it did sound intriguing. Along with the words ‘macabre mystery’ on the cover, it was enough to make me want to find out more.

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Leiths Baking Bible Leiths Baking Bible

I was on the lookout for a good baking recipe book, mainly because I thought it would be good to do some baking with my daughter like my mum used to do with me. I already knew of Leiths Cookery Bible so when I saw Leiths Baking Bible I didn’t need to look any further! The recipes are actually compiled by Susan Spaull and Fiona Burrell but are all tested at Leiths School of Food and Wine.

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The Road By Cormac McCarthy The Road By Cormac McCarthy

A man and a boy are on the road, heading south towards the coast. We never find out exactly what disaster befell the world several years previously, but the landscape is covered in dust and ash. Nothing is alive except for a few people desperately trying to survive; some have turned to cannibalism, while others search for canned food or remains of grain in long-abandoned buildings. Will the man and the boy survive the trek through mountainous terrain in the winter snows, and will they find a better world if they do reach the coast?

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Purple Hibiscus By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Purple Hibiscus By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Based in Nigeria, 15 year old Kambili is desperately trying to keep her head above water, alternating between tip-toeing around her father and trying her hardest to make him proud (and keep him happy). Kambili is different to most girls her age in Nigeria, and even her cousin thinks that she is a stuck up snob with everything she can wish for from her big-shot father.

The truth of the matter is, Kambili is just plain terrified, and her family life is not what its cracked up to be.

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Emergency by Neil Strauss Emergency by Neil Strauss

At first glance, “Emergency” – “one man’s story of a dangerous world and how to stay alive in it – appears to fall firmly into the genre of stunt books. Stunt books – in which the author does something strange/unusual/insane in order to get a book deal out of writing about their experiences – are nothing new. … Neil Strauss, music journalist by day, scored a bestselling hit in his previous stunt book “The Game” in which he infiltrated the world of pick-up artists who teach geeks algorithms for picking up women…. His latest offering “Emergency” appears to offer something similar, only this time he is heading into the territory of survivalist culture.

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Girl, Interrupted By Susanna Kaysen Girl, Interrupted By Susanna Kaysen

This is a fascinating book. It is very different from the type of fiction I would usually choose – straightforward and to the point, but that made it refreshing, and I will most certainly be looking out for other books by the same author. I would recommend that people go into it with an open mind and see where it takes them – I have my opinion of what it all means, but it is up to the individual to make up their own minds. It probably won’t sound like most people’s idea of a good read, but it actually is surprisingly readable.

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