Newsletter No 37 (April 30th, 2013)


This month we celebrated 1000th review published. It has been a long and eventful journey since December 2009. Thank you for being a loyal follower of our site.
Below is a list of few interesting, mostly just published, books but for more serious research you can find links to 1001 stories about books we read on our Index page.

Sincerely Yours, Curious Book Fans

Peaches for Monsieur le Curé by Joanne Harris

Peaches for Monsieur le Curé is the third in Joanne Harris’s series of novels featuring Vianne Rocher. It resumes Vianne’s story four years after readers left her and her partner Roux and her two daughters, Anouk and Rosette, living on a houseboat on the Seine in Paris (in ‘The Lollipop Shoes’) and eight years after she and Anouk left the village of Lansquenet-sur-Tannes.[read more…]

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth L. Ozeki

We’ve all read books where the first thing we’ve wanted to do when we finished reading the last page was to start over again from the beginning. Ruth Ozeki’s latest novel A Tale for the Time Being is certainly one of those books; but it also isn’t one of those books.

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A Fabulous Liar by Susann Pásztor

Susann Pasztor’s debut novel A Fabulous Liar is brilliantly funny but also very moving; it reminded me very much of Jonathan Safran Foer’s ‘Everything is Illuminated’, which tackles a similar subject, in the way that it uses memorably unique characters to allow humour to be injected into what is a difficult theme.

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In Falling Snow by Mary-Rose MacColl

In Falling Snow is a book which peels away the layers of lies and hidden past, gradually leading the reader to suspect they know what’s going on but repeatedly taking us in unexpected directions. I guessed some of the revelations but was always only partially right. It really kept me hooked

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Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser

Often at the end of a week I can’t even remember what I’ve read because I get through so many books. But only relatively rarely – perhaps half a dozen times a year – does a book take over my life, forces me to put all the non-essential things on hold and focus all my attention on it. When I received Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser back in October last year, it took over my life.

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The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Yesterday I finished reading one of the most remarkable books that I have read for a long time. Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize and given rave reviews in pretty much every broadsheet newspaper going, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is a growing word-of-mouth book phenomenon that seems to be popping up everywhere I go…

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Bedsit Disco Queen by Tracey Thorn

Tracey Thorn’s Bedsit Disco Queen (Subtitled: How I Grew up and Tried to be a Pop Star) is as much an analysis of the fickle and ever changing face of pop music from the 1970s onwards, as it is the author’s own honest, and often moving account, of her life first as a founding member of a vaguely successful but hugely influential all girl indie band, and then, with her partner Ben Watt, one half of the band Everything But the Girl.

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Q&A with Shaheen Ashraf-Ahmed

Shaheen Ashraf-Ahmed: The disadvantage of writing a short story is how disciplined you need to be to make the story work in a small ‘space’. It is hard work to keep the flow of the writing when you move from one time period (or point of view) to another in a limited number of words.

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The Guest List by Melissa Hill

I am a massive fan of the Irish writer, Melissa Hill, and always await her new books with the anticipation of a fantastic read. Her latest book, The Guest List is a fabulous and absorbing tale about the stress of getting married especially when families start to interfere.

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The Scent of Death by Andrew Taylor

Andrew Taylor is a writer known for producing a small number of high quality books that straddle the historical/crime divide, and The Scent of Death is no different. Having previously read and rather enjoyed his best-known novel The American Boy, I was eager to get stuck in to his new offering, a 470 page hardback novel: reassuringly weighty, handsomely covered and embellished with accurate colour period maps inside…

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Settled Blood by Mari Hannah

Reading crime fiction that’s set in your own home town or region can be a frustrating activity; instead of concentrating on the plot and characters, you can find yourself criticising the dialogue (‘No one round here would talk like that!’) or wondering how someone on foot could get from one local landmark to another in such a short time. This is one of the reasons I like to read foreign crime fiction…

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Raffles by Victoria Glendinning

When I visited Singapore in 2009, I was of course aware of the world famous Raffles Hotel. I even visited it, as many tourists do, to enjoy a Singapore Sling or two in the renowned Long Bar. During the course of my trip, I began to notice that the name Raffles popped up in many other places around the city-state: a hospital, a leading school, a shopping mall and numerous businesses, not to mention the elegant statue on the quayside of the man who bore this name, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles.

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Bella Summer Takes A Chance by Michele Gorman

Michele Gorman’s Bella Summer Takes A Chance is a novel about the title character, her friends, her relationships, and her life in general. The novel opens with Bella breaking up with her boyfriend of ten years, and continues as she makes other changes in her life, ultimately trying to find happiness.

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Daddy Love by Joyce Carol Oates

Dinah Whitcomb is out shopping at the mall with her five year old son Robbie when she realises she can’t find the family car. In a bit of a panic, she hunts for the car only for something far worse to happen. She is attacked by a man with a hammer who hits her over the head. Her son is abducted and when she chases the van in which his captor is driving she is run over, her body and face badly mutilated.

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Tamburlaine Must Die by Louise Welsh

Christopher Marlowe is a bit of a mystery. He was a famous playwright during the Elizabethan era whose works are today mostly overshadowed by those of Shakespeare. One reason for this is because Marlowe was murdered at the height of his career when he was not yet 30 years old. Although his infamous life has been the subject of several non-fictional studies, it seems that the only hard facts we have about his life are the fact that he was murdered, when and where his body was found, and the injuries that killed him.

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