Newsletter No 32 (August 29th, 2012)


Here are some books we reviewed in July. Our Newsletter team is struggling to keep up with our Reviews team hence some delay. It does not help that both are edited by one (occasionally two) curious book fans on a very casual basis. Despite our curiously casual aproach we have managed to produce 32 newsletters in the last 28 months and you can read them all here.

Sincerely Yours, Curious Book Fans

Every Contact Leaves a Trace by Elanor Dymott

 Every Contact Leaves a Trace is Elanor Dymott’s first novel, and is best described as a literary whodunit. The setting is the University of Oxford. The main characters are students or academic staff, or closely associated with the University and the story is narrated by Richard, now a lawyer in early middle age.

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Tuk-Tuk to the Road by Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent and Jo Huxster

When I read that two young women had driven a bright pink tuk tuk (auto-rickshaw) overland from Bangkok to Brighton to raise money for charity, I knew that I would have to get a copy of their book and find out more. That book is Tuk Tuk to the Road: Two Girls, Three Wheels, 12,500 Miles by Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent and Jo Huxter.

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The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles by Madeleine Miller is a novel which retells part of the Iliad, from the perspective of Patroclus, companion of Achilles. The Iliad, of course, is a complex story, and many readers are put off by the multitude of characters.

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Wicked Business by Janet Evanovich

In Wicked Business, the second instalment in the Lizzie and Diesel series, the mysterious death of Harvard Professor Gilbert Reedy (thrown off his fourth floor balcony with nothing but his socks and a magical burn to the back of his neck) sets them on the trail of the Luxuria stone.

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Meerkat Mail by Emily Gravett

Sunny the meerkat lives in the Kalahari Desert, and he does not appreciate the hot, dry weather there. His family’s motto is “Stay safe, stay together,” but Sunny sometimes feels his siblings are too close to him.

[read more…]

A Brief History of the Private Life of Elizabeth II by Michael Paterson

With a cover picture of a carefree, laughing and relaxed Queen Elizabeth II, on the deck of Britannia and wearing a bright summery blouse, it was such a lovely picture that I immediately wanted to read the book.

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Sky Train: Tibetan Women on the Edge of History by Canyon Sam

The strange thing is that very few people were aware that women were marginalized in Tibet and then brought to the forefront after the Chinese occupation. You realize it reading through Sky Train.

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A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin

The third novel in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, A Storm of Swords continues where A Clash of Kings left off. The saga is set in the medieval world of Westeros, and following the death of King Robert Baratheon in the first novel, the Seven Kingdoms have been at war, with four kings declaring themselves the true king.

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The Taj Conspiracy by Manreet Sodhi Someshwar

Move over Da Vinci, the Taj Mahal’s here. Half Persian half Indian scholar Mehrunnisa stumbles on a murder during an early morning meeting at the Taj. The supervisor is dead and someone’s been at work altering the calligraphy on Mumtaz Mahal’s tomb to make it seem as if the tomb is a fake.

[read more…]

Kiss the Dead by Laurell K. Hamilton

Anita Blake has a complicated life. Born a necromancer and endowed with all manner of strange supernatural powers, she lives in a St Louis where Federal law has made it legal for vampires and all manner of were-animals (leopards, tigers, lions and well as wolves) to co-exist with humans – as long as they don’t break the humans’ laws.[read more…]

The Other Half of Me by Morgan McCarthy

The Other Half of Me is Morgan McCarthy’s first novel and it’s an intriguing tale about an unusual and dysfunctional family. Jonathan and his sister Theo have grown up in Wales in a large old house called Evendon, brought up by a series of housekeepers while their mother lives in her own little world.

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Underground, Overground by Andrew Martin

Underground, Overground by Andrew Martin is subtitled “A Passenger’s History of the Tube”. Since he was young, Martin has been fascinated by the tube, and this is his attempt to tell its history, not from the historian’s point of view, but as a passenger.

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The Misfit by Rosie Goodwin

If you own a charm bracelet, every individual charm is meant to tell a story. That is the premise behind Melissa Hill’s latest wonderful novel, The Charm Bracelet. Births, marriages, graduation, moving home, a new job – all of these can be remembered and treasured by a small and well thought out charm.

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The Snagglegrollop by Daniel Postgate

Sam asks his parents if he can have a pet, but Dad thinks he would have to keep taking a dog for walks and Mum is afraid a cat will leave bits of fur all over the house. Sam asks if he can have a snagglegrollop; he tells his parents he made the name up, so they say he can have one.

[read more…]