As promised yesterday, here’s part two of my January book haul, enjoy!
If you missed part one, you can find it here.
White Oleander by Janet Fitch
White Oleander is a painfully beautiful first novel about a young girl growing up the hard way. It is a powerful story of mothers and daughters, their ambiguous alliances, their selfish love and cruel behaviour, and the search for love and identity.Astrid has been raised by her mother, a beautiful, headstrong poet. Astrid forgives her everything as her world revolves around this beautiful creature until Ingrid murders a former lover and is imprisoned for life. Astrid’s fierce determination to survive and be loved makes her an unforgettable figure.
Becoming Bonnie by Jenni L. Walsh
The summer of 1927 might be the height of the Roaring Twenties, but Bonnelyn Parker is more likely to belt out a church hymn than sling drinks at an illicit juice joint. She’s a sharp girl with plans to overcome her family’s poverty, provide for herself, and maybe someday marry her boyfriend, Roy Thornton. But when Roy springs a proposal on her and financial woes jeopardise her ambitions, Bonnelyn finds salvation in an unlikely place: Dallas’s newest speakeasy, Doc’s. Living the life of a moll at night, Bonnie remains a wholesome girl by day, engaged to Roy, attending school and working toward a steady future. When Roy discovers her secret life, and embraces it – perhaps too much, especially when it comes to booze and gambling – Bonnie tries to make the pieces fit. Maybe she can have it all: the American Dream, the husband, and the intoxicating allure of jazz music. What she doesn’t know is that her life – like her country – is headed for a crash. She’s about to meet Clyde Barrow.
A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
A Place for Us catches an Indian Muslim family as they prepare for their eldest daughter’s wedding. But as Hadia’s marriage — one chosen of love, not tradition — gathers the family back together, there is only one thing on their minds: can Amar, the estranged younger brother of the bride, be trusted to behave himself after three years away?
A Place for Us tells the story of one family, but all family life is here. Rafiq and Layla must come to terms with the choices their children have made, while Hadia, Huda and Amar must reconcile their present culture with their parents’ world, treading a path between old and new. And they must all learn how the smallest decisions can lead to the deepest betrayals.
Saving Beck by Courtney Cole
There comes a time when offering your life for your child’s doesn’t work, when you realize that it’ll never be enough.
The cold needle in his warm vein was a welcome comfort to my son at first. But then it became the monster that kept us apart.
Heroin lied, and my son believed. It took him to a world where the last year didn’t happen, to a place where his father was still alive. What Beck didn’t understand was that it couldn’t bring his father back from the dead. It couldn’t take away his pain, not permanently.
You think it can’t happen to you, that your kids, your family, will never be in this situation.
I thought that too. But you’re wrong. Step into our world, and see for yourself. Watch my golden boy become a slave to this raging epidemic. Watch me try and save him. Drug addiction comes with a price. Trust me, you’re not equipped to pay it.
Don’t miss this heartwrenching, evocative, yet hopeful novel–it will leave you forever changed.
Little by Edward Carey
There is a space between life and death: it’s called waxworks
Born in Alsace in 1761, the unsightly, diminutive Marie Grosholtz is quickly nicknamed ‘Little’. Orphaned at the age of six, she finds employmet in Bern, Switzerland, under the charge of reclusive anatomist, Dr Curtius. In time the unlikely pair form an unlikely bond, and together they pursue an unusual passion: the fine art of wax-modelling.
Forced to flee their city, the doctor and his protégée head for the seamy streets of Paris where they open an exhibition hall for their uncanny creations. Though revolution approaches, the curious-minded flock to see the wax heads, eager to scrutinise the faces of royalty and reprobates alike. At ‘The Cabinet of Doctor Curtius’, heads are made, heads are displayed, and a future is built from wax.
From the gutters of pre-revolutionary France to the luxury of the Palace of Versailles, from casting the still-warm heads of The Terror to finding something very like love, Little is the unforgettable story of how a ‘bloodstained crumb of a girl’ went on to shape the world…
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor, is summoned to attend the funeral of Mrs Alice Drablow, the sole inhabitant of Eel Marsh House. The house stands at the end of a causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but it is not until he glimpses a wasted young woman, dressed all in black, at the funeral, that a creeping sense of unease begins to take hold, a feeling deepened by the reluctance of the locals to talk of the woman in black – and her terrible purpose.
Frankenstein: The 1818 Text by Mary Shelley
This edition is the original 1818 text, which preserves the hard-hitting and politically charged aspects of Shelley’s original writing, as well as her unflinching wit and strong female voice. This edition also includes a new introduction and suggestions for further reading by author and Shelley expert Charlotte Gordon, literary excerpts and reviews selected by Gordon and a chronology and essay by preeminent Shelley scholar Charles E. Robinson.
The Binding by Bridget Collins
Imagine you could erase your grief.
Imagine you could forget your pain.
Imagine you could hide a secret.
Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a letter arrives summoning him to begin an apprenticeship. He will work for a Bookbinder, a vocation that arouses fear, superstition and prejudice – but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.
He will learn to hand-craft beautiful volumes, and within each he will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, he can help. If there’s something you need to erase, he can assist. Your past will be stored safely in a book and you will never remember your secret, however terrible.
In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, row upon row of books – and memories – are meticulously stored and recorded. Then one day Emmett makes an astonishing discovery: one of them has his name on it.
THE BINDING is an unforgettable, magical novel: a boundary-defying love story and a unique literary event.
Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers
It was the body of a tall stout man. On his dead face, a handsome pair of gold pince-nez mocked death with grotesque elegance. The body wore nothing else.
Lord Peter Wimsey knew immediately what the corpse was supposed to be. His problem was to find out whose body had found its way into Mr Alfred Thipps’ Battersea bathroom.
The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths
Dr Ruth Galloway’s forensic skills are called upon when builders, demolishing an old house in Norwich, uncover the bones of a child – minus the skull – beneath a doorway. Is it some ritual sacrifice or just plain straightforward murder? Ruth links up with DCI Harry Nelson to investigate.
The house was once a children’s home. Nelson traces the Catholic priest who used to run the place. He tells him that two children did go missing forty years before – a boy and a girl. They were never found.
When carbon dating proves that the child’s bones predate the home and relate to a time when the house was privately owned, Ruth is drawn ever more deeply into the case. But as spring turns into summer it becomes clear that someone is desperate to put her off the scent by frightening her to death…
The Mangle Street Murders by M.R.C. Kasasian
125 Gower Street, 1882.
Queen Victoria may sit on the throne and Robert Peel’s bobbies walk the street, but London is still haunted by the spectre of Spring-heeled Jack.
The demons of vice and poverty rule the capital: ruffian gangs, pickpockets, prostitutes and vagrants clog the streets with their iniquity.
But in one particular Gower Street residence – home to the famous personal investigator Sidney Grice – order presides.
Until, that is, the arrival of his ward March Middleton and the vicious Whitechapel murder that follows hard on her heels…
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death.
When Laia’s grandparents are brutally murdered and her brother arrested for treason by the empire, the only people she has left to turn to are the rebels.
But in exchange for their help in saving her brother, they demand that Laia spy on the ruthless Commandant of Blackcliff, the Empire’s greatest military academy. Should she fail it’s more than her brother’s freedom at risk . . . Laia’s very life is at stake.
There, she meets Elias, the academy’s finest soldier. But Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined – and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.
Mortal Instruments Boxset by Cassandra Claire
The Mortal Instruments collection is a fantastic compilation of six internationally bestselling books about the Shadowhunters from the incredible young adult author, Cassandra Clare.
The series starts with City of Bones, a novel that introduces the heroine, 16-year-old Clary Fray, and explains how she’s starting to see things she shouldn’t – including vampires in Brooklyn and werewolves in Manhattan.
After witnessing a horrific incident, Clary finds herself drawn to the Shadowhunters, a secret group who are determined to rid New York’s underworld – and the rest of the world – of demons. Full of mystery, intrigue and betrayal, Clary also finds herself falling for someone she shouldn’t…
How to Survive Your Quarter-Life Crisis by Jodanna Bird (from the author)
Hello and welcome to your quarter-life crisis. Let me guess: you’ve dyed your hair purple and can’t decide how to ask your boss for a ‘find yourself’ sabbatical. No purple hair? Good. I got here just in time. I’ll cut to the chase. Yes, a quarter-life crisis is a thing. No, you are not on your own. My name is Jodanna Bird and I’m a fellow quarter-life crisis sufferer. I’ve written ‘How to Survive Your Quarter-Life Crisis’ for people just like you and I. Using scientific research, genuine case studies and a smidge of humour, this book will help you: – Understand what a quarter-life crisis is and why you might be having one, – Realise your life purpose and how to reach it, – Unlock your greatest potential and be more successful than you ever imagined’
‘How to Survive Your Quarter-Life Crisis’ will help you create a roadmap to clarity. It will tackle topics such as work, self-worth, habits and mindset, allowing anyone who is feeling lost and confused to regain control over their lives and enjoy the exciting opportunities that await them. By the end of this practical self-help book, you will feel reassured that you are not alone in your period of anxiety, have clearly defined #lifegoals and be ready to truly survive your quarter-life crisis. Ready? Let’s go!
And the Swans Began to Sing by Thora Karitas Arnadottir (Wild Pressed Books)
The swans on the lake began to sing. It was singing so loud they were almost screaming as if they were encouraging me to release what I had been keeping inside for so long.
Gudbjorg Thorisdottir has been hiding from the ghost of an ugly secret for most of her life. When she finally faces the truth of what happened in her childhood, the ghost floats away. Painting an evocative picture of life in Iceland, this is the story of a little girl who didn’t know how unnatural it was to experience both heaven and hell in the same house.
Rise Up by Stormzy
‘It’s been a long time coming, I swear…’
In four years Stormzy has risen from one of the most promising musicians of his generation to a spokesperson for a generation. Rise Up is the story of how he got there. It’s a story about faith and the ideas worth fighting for. It’s about knowing where you’re from, and where you’re going. It’s about following your dreams without compromising who you are.
Featuring never-before-seen photographs, lyrics and contributions from Team #Merky, Rise Up is the #Merky story, and the record of a journey unlike any other.
Romantic Outlaws by Charlotte Gordon
English feminist Mary Wollstonecraft and author Mary Shelley were mother and daughter, yet these two extraordinary women never knew one another. Nevertheless, their passionate and pioneering lives remained closely intertwined, their choices, dreams and tragedies eerily similar.
Both women became famous writers and wrote books that changed literary history, had passionate relationships with several men, were single mothers out of wedlock; both lived in exile, fought for their position in society, and interrogated ideas of how we should live.
Romantic Outlaws takes the reader on a vivid journey across revolutionary France and Victorian England to explore in this ground-breaking dual biography of the author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman and the author who wrote Frankenstein – mother and daughter – a pair of visionary women, who should have shared a life, but who instead share a powerful literary and feminist legacy.
Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo
Dambisa Moyo’s Dead Aid reveals why millions are actually poorer because of aid, unable to escape corruption and reduced, in the West’s eyes, to a childlike state of beggary.
We all want to help. Over the past fifty years $1 trillion of development aid has flowed from Western governments to Africa, with rock stars and actors campaigning for more. But this has not helped Africa. It has ruined it.
Dead Aid shows us another way. Using hard evidence to illustrate her case, Moyo shows how, with access to capital and with the right policies, even the poorest nations can turn themselves around. First we must destroy the myth that aid works – and make charity history.
Daring to Drive by Manal Al-Sharif
Manal al-Sharif was born in Mecca the year fundamentalism took hold in Saudi Arabia. As a young girl she would burn her brother’s boy band CDs in the oven because music was haram: forbidden by Islamic law.
By her twenties she was a computer security engineer. But as she became older, the unequal way in which women are treated became too much to bear: she was branded a slut for talking to male colleagues at work; her school-age brother had to chaperone her on business trips and, while she kept a car in her garage, she was forbidden from driving down Saudi streets.
Her personal rebellion began the day she got behind the wheel of a car: an act that ultimately led to her arrest and imprisonment. Manal’s Women2Drive campaign inspired other women to take action. Manal has been lauded by the Oslo Freedom Forum, described by Time Magazine as one of the most 100 most influential people in the world, and she was awarded the Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent.
Daring to Drive is an account of Manal al-Sharif’s fight for equality in an unequal society. A visceral coming-of-age tale, it is also a celebration of resilience, the power of education and the strength of female solidarity in the face of hardship.
Black Privilege by Charlamagne The God (audiobook)
Charlamagne Tha God – the self-proclaimed “Prince of Pissing People Off”, cohost of Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club, and “hip-hop’s Howard Stern” – shares his unlikely success story as well as how embracing one’s truths is a fundamental key to success and happiness.
In his new book, Charlamagne Tha God presents his comic, often controversial, and always brutally honest insights on how living an authentic life is the quickest path to success. Beginning with his journey from the small town of Moncks Corner, South Carolina, to his headline grabbing interviews with celebrities like Justin Bieber, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, and Hillary Clinton, he shares how he turned his troubled early life around by owning his (many) mistakes and refusing to give up on his dreams, even after his controversial opinions got him fired from several on-air jobs. Combining his own story with bold advice and his signature commitment to honesty at all costs, Charlamagne hopes this book will give others the confidence to live their own truths.
Did you see any books that take your fancy?
Did we haul any of the same books?