Book Finds: November 2016

Curl up with one of this month's books

I hope that you all sampled widely from last month's recommendations. What do I have for you this month? Well hopefully another mix of things you might have heard of (but not necessarily read) and perhaps some things you've never heard of. Since I gave you 11 to choose from last month, I'll give you just three this month. Let you catch up!

This month's reads are:

Patrick Ness: More Than This

"A boy called Seth drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments, losing his life as the pounding sea claims him. But then he wakes. He is naked, thirsty, starving. But alive. How is that possible? He remembers dying, his bones breaking, his skull dashed upon the rocks. So how is he is here? And where is this place? It looks like the suburban English town where he lived as a child, before an unthinkable tragedy happened and his family moved to America. But the neighbourhood around his old house is overgrown, covered in dust and completely abandoned. What's going on? And why is it that whenever he closes his eyes, he falls prey to vivid, agonizing memories that seem more real than the world around him? Seth begins a search for answers, hoping that he might not be alone, that this might not be the hell he fears it to be, that there might be more than just this..."

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love Patrick Ness books. Don't ever decide not to read one of his books because you think it's for Young Adults. His books have something for everyone in them and this is no exception. Even at the end of the book I was wondering exactly what had been going on and what would happen to Seth. It was odd and had riddles inside of riddles and I loved it.

Leo Marks: Between Silk and Cyanide

"In 1942, with a black-market chicken under his arm, Leo Marks left his father's famous bookshop, 84 Charing Cross Road, and went to war. He was twenty-two and a cryptopgraher of genius. In Between Silk and Cyanide, his critically acclaimed account of his time in SOE, Marks tells how he revolutionised the code-making techniques of the Allies, trained some of the most famous agents dropped into France including Violette Szabo and 'the White Rabbit', and why he wrote haunting verse including his 'The Life that I have' poem. He reveals for the first time the disastrous dimensions of the code war between SOE and the Germans in Holland; how the Germans were fooled into thinking a Secret Army was operating in the Fatherland itself, and how and why he broke General de Gaulle's secret code. Both thrilling and poignant, Marks's book is truly one of the last great Second World War memoirs."

The author was very self-deprecating at times but also evidently moved by his work. I cried several times, but it was also very amusing in places. Well worth a read.

Karen Joy Fowler: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

"Rosemary's young, just at college, and she's decided not to tell anyone a thing about her family. So we're not going to tell you too much either: you'll have to find out for yourselves, round about page 77, what it is that makes her unhappy family unlike any other.
Rosemary is now an only child, but she used to have a sister the same age as her, and an older brother. Both are now gone - vanished from her life. There's something unique about Rosemary's sister, Fern. And it was this decision, made by her parents, to give Rosemary a sister like no other, that began all of Rosemary's trouble. So now she's telling her story: full of hilarious asides and brilliantly spiky lines, it's a looping narrative that begins towards the end, and then goes back to the beginning. Twice.
It's funny, clever, intimate, honest, analytical and swirling with ideas that will come back to bite you. We hope you enjoy it, and if, when you're telling a friend about it, you do decide to spill the beans about Fern - it's pretty hard to resist - don't worry. One of the few studies Rosemary doesn't quote says that spoilers actually enhance reading."

I found this book moving, entertaining, well written and great fun. I laughed and yes, I cried.

Other Book Finds:
August 2016
September 2016
October 2016