Newsletter No 21 (August 8th, 2011)

Hi,

July was a busy month at Curious Book Fans and the number of reviews on the site has now passed the 600 mark. July had an international flavour with reviews taking us all around the British Isles, off to north America, India, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. If books clocked up airmiles Curious Book Fans would be ready for a few free flights. This month’s author interview was with Patrick Bishop, author of Follow Me Home who told us about what it’s like for a writer to go to war with the British Army. And to show how much we love to share our curiosity, Curious Book Fans gave away two copies of “The Somnambulist” by Essie Fox. Read on for extracts from some of July’s reviews.

Sincerely Yours, Curious Book Fans

Q&A with Patrick Bishop

CBF: What conclusions should we draw about the divided loyalties of the young jihadi?
Patrick Bishop:
I am of the view that most Talibs are fighting for the same reasons that young men fight – for the excitement of it and to test themselves. In this respect they are not much different to their British and American opponents. 

[read more…]

To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal

To Be Sung Underwater is the story of Judith and Willy and is a classic story of girl meets boy, girl leaves boy, girl goes looking for boy again – but with a heck of a twist in the tail.

This book needs word of mouth recommendation and I think that’s what it will get.

[read more…]

The Free World by David Bezmozgis

The Free World opens in a bustling railway station, Vienna’s Western Terminal, where a family struggles to pack their luggage on to a train. It is the late 1970s, and the Krasnanskys are a family of Latvian Jews on their way to the US, or so they think.

[read more…]

One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson

“Matryoshka is the word of the day”, says one of the characters in One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson, her second crime novel to feature Jackson Brodie. And the structure of the book does seem to take its lead from the Russian nesting dolls which crop up from time to time throughout the story.

[read more…]

The Coffee Trader by David Liss

It is a skilled author that can create a central character who is quite deceitful and ruthless yet still manages to have the readers rooting for him. Miguel Lienza tries to fix the markets by selling things he doesn’t actually own

[read more…]

The Good Muslim by Tahmima Anam

The Good Muslim is the third book I’ve read about the war and its impact on civilians and like the others (Noor by Sorraya Khan and A Golden Age, also by Tahmina Anam) I was shocked and utterly fascinated by the abuses of the war and the impact of their aftermath.

[read more…]

Wild Abandon by Joe Dunthorne

Wild Abandon is the second novel by Joe Dunthorne, after the very successful (and funny) Submarine, which was also made into a good independent film. Submarine was about adolescence, and Wild Abandon in part is set in similar territory, reflecting the fact that Dunthorne is still a very young writer.

[read more…]

Signs of Life by Natalie Taylor

 

Signs of Life by Natalie Taylor is an autobiographical account of sixteen months of the authors life, starting on the day her husband Josh died, and ending on their sons first birthday. At the age of 24, Natalie suddenly found herself widowed and pregnant.

[read more…]

The Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman

How do you even begin to write about a book like this? A book so unlike any you have read before, a book so absorbing, so original, so intelligent and so magnificently written? A book that makes you want to rush home from work just so that you can pick it up again and find out what happens next?

[read more…]

Fashion since 1900 (World of Art) by Valerie Mendes and Amy de la Haye

Fashion since 1900” is an authoritative study that has obviously been extremely well researched. This is a book that could be invaluable to fashion students or to anyone working in the fashion industry. I feel, however, that it also has a wider appeal for people who want to revisit the looks of their younger days or learn more about fashion in the early twentieth century.

[read more…]

Instructions for Bringing up Scarlett by Annie Sanders

Instructions for Bringing up Scarlett‘ is the latest book from Annie Sanders, who is in fact two people – Annie Ashworth and Meg Sanders – who write together very successfully. In this book, a young girl is tragically orphaned when her parents are killed in a car accident and it is left to her mum’s best friend, Alice Mclean to bring her up as she is now the legal guardian.

[read more…]

Broken by Karin Fossum

Deep in the stillness of a remote Norwegian forest, there stands a house with a view over a lake. A quiet queue of people stands at the door to the house, patiently waiting their turn. Old and young, male and female, in small groups or alone, everyone waits silently for the person in the house to answer their unspoken pleas.

[read more…]

The English German Girl by Jake Wallis Simons

Anxious to avoid being accused of “bumming a ride on the back of the Holocaust” as he describes it, Jake Wallis Simons, author of “The English German Girl”, writes from the point of view of Rosa Klein who, at the age of fifteen, leaves Berlin on a train bound for England in the hope that, once there, she can find an escape route for the rest of her family.

[read more…]

Waterline by Ross Raisin

Ross Raisin’s Waterline is the story of Mick, a former worker in the shipyards on the Clyde, who has recently lost his wife. This is the story of his grief, and takes him from Glasgow to London.

[read more…]

The East Indian Kitchen by Michael Swamy

The recipes he showcases covers basic every day dishes which are a byword in East Indian kitchens, recipes that have almost vanished from the kicthen and innovative experimental ones inspired by the eclectic traditions of the cuisine.

[read more…]

The Art of the Picts by George and Isabel Henderson

The Art of the Picts by George Henderson and Isabel Henderson is an in-depth look at the art of the Pictish peoples, who lived in Scotland in the 6th to 9th centuries. Both authors are renowned experts in the field, so we can be assured that we are in good hands.

[read more…]

The Beautiful and the Damned: Life in the New India by Siddhartha Deb

The Beautiful and the Damned is a collection of five essays by Siddhartha Deb which lifts the lid on aspects of Indian life that are outside the experience and exposure of most outsiders who visit the country. In some respects, Deb himself is an outsider, coming from the far north east of the country in Shillong… 

[read more…]