Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Believers by Zoe Heller

When Audrey makes a devastating discovery about her husband, New York radical lawyer Joel Litvinoff, she is forced to re-examine everything she thought she knew about their forty-year marriage. Joel's children will have to deal with this unsettling secret themselves, but meanwhile, they are trying to cope with their own dilemmas. Rosa, beautiful, disillusioned revolutionary, is grappling with a new-found attachment to Orthodox Judaism.

Unhappily married Karla is falling in love with an unlikely suitor at the hospital where she works. Adopted brother Lenny is back on drugs again. In the course of battling their own demons and each other, every member of the family is called upon to decide what - if anything - they still believe in.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Silver Linings Play Book

Eight hours of hard core exercise a day, watching Eagles football with a father that does not look at you let alone say one word to you, fantasising about the woman you think is your wife and completing a long list of lifestyle changes you think will please her is everyday life for Pat Peoples.

Broken out of a mental health facility by his mother, Pat tries to settle into life back at his parents until “apart time” is over and he can be reunited with his wife, Nikki.

Life as Pat knew it is over. However, with the power of positive thinking and positive actions he is determined that his silver lining is only around the corner.

With a tone that is warm and inviting, Matthew Quick tells a story of eternal optimism in the face of dark adversity.

The Silver Linings Play Book is both weighty and light - a perfect read.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Orange Prize 2010

The Orange Prize shortlist for 2010 was announced this week. Here is the shortlist:

Rosie Alison The Very Thought of You

Barbara Kingsolver The Lacuna

Attica Locke Black Water Rising

Hilary Mantel Wolf Hall

Lorrie Moore A Gate at the Stairs

Monique Roffey The White Woman on the Green Bicycle

An eclectic mix of books, I have read The Lacuna and I loved it, its set in Mexico during the 30s and features the artist Frieda Kahlo and Leon Trotsky, the Russian revolutionary. I have also read Black Water Rising, which is like a literary John Grisham.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A new Peter Carey book!!

Peter Carey's new novel "PARROT & OLIVIER IN AMERICA" seems to be getting good reviews, Im hoping to read it in the next few weeks...until then here is an extract from the New York Times review:

Olivier is Olivier-Jean-Baptiste de Clarel de Barfleur de Garmont the son of a French noble family in the years after the revolution, overshadowed by his family tree — a stallion, as he describes himself, “bred for racing, now condemned to pull a cart of night soil.” Parrot is the son of a British journeyman printer, with a knack both for drawing and mimicry. They are linked by the Marquis de Tilbot, a one-armed hero of the Loyalist forces who, in this picaresque inspired by Alexis de Tocqueville’s journey to America, conspires to send them both to the New World. Peter Carey, a two-time Booker Prize winner, notes in his acknowledgments that “squirreled away among the thatch” of his own sentences, are “distinctive threads, necklaces of words that were clearly made by the great man himself.”

Also I just discovered Peter Carey's very cool website have a look.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Getting Warmer... May 2010 New Releases Preview

Getting Warmer... May 2010 New Releases Preview

Summer is a brilliant time for book lovers as lots of new and paperback releases come out at this time and the choices are growing every day. Plenty of the big reads that were out coming up to Christmas time last year are just starting to appear in paperback now too. Here’s a preview of some new releases, original and paperback, on their way next month that you might want to add to your reading list:

The Sunset Limited by Cormac McCarthy
A startling encounter on a New York subway platform leads two strangers to a run-down tenement where a life-or-death decision must be made. In that small apartment, ‘Black’ and ‘White’, as the two men are known, begin a conversation that leads each back through his own history – mining the origins of two diametrically opposing world views, they begin a dialectic redolent of the best of Beckett. White is a professor whose seemingly enviable existence of relative ease has left him nonetheless in despair. Black, an ex-con and ex-addict, is the more hopeful of the men – though he is just as desperate to convince White of the power of faith as White is to deny it. Their aim is no less than this: to discover the meaning of life.

I Remember You by Harriet Evans
Rich, witty and moving, I Remember You is for anyone who likes to dream about a new life -- and for anyone who still remembers their first love! For Tess Tennant, spring brings the promise of a fresh start. She's moving back to her picture-perfect home town to take up a teaching job. Langford is a place of pretty stone cottages, friendly locals in oak-beamed pubs and of course Adam, her best friend since childhood. But Adam is preoccupied with a new girlfriend, and the past - which Tess thought she'd put behind her - is looming large again. So by the time she has to take her class on a trip to Rome, Tess is feeling reckless. She is swept off her feet by a mysterious stranger, and finds herself falling in love. But her magical Roman Holiday is about to turn into a nightmare! Back in Langford Adam is gone and everything has changed.Tess has to decide, once and for all, where she belongs and with whom.

The Quickening Maze by Adam Foulds
After a lifetime's struggle with alcohol, critical neglect and depression, in 1840 the nature poet John Clare is incarcerated. The asylum, in London's Epping Forest, is run on the reformist principles of occupational therapy. At the same time, the young Alfred Tennyson, moves nearby and became entangled in the life of the asylum. This historically accurate, intensely lyrical novel, describes the asylum's closed world and Nature's paradise outside the walls: Clare's dream of home, of redemption, of escape.

The Dog Who Came in from the Cold by Alexander McCall Smith
Following on from the huge success of the '44 Scotland Street' series, Alexander McCall Smith has 'moved house' to a crumbling four-storey mansion in Pimlico - Corduroy Mansions. It is inhabited by a glorious assortment of characters: among them, Oedipus Snark, the first every nasty Lib Dem MP, who is so detestable his own mother, Berthea, is writing an unauthorised biography about him; and one small vegetarian dog, Freddie de la Hay, who has the ability to fasten his own seatbelt.

A Change in Altitude by Anita Shreve
Newlyweds Margaret and Patrick set off on a great adventure - a year living in Kenya in a dizzying and sometimes dangerous city. Shuttling between expat suburbs and squalid shantytowns, Margaret realizes there is a great deal she doesn't know about the complex culture of her new home, and about her husband. The newlyweds eagerly take part in a climbing expedition to the summit of Mount Kenya. But during their arduous ascent a horrific accident occurs. In its aftermath, Margaret struggles to understand what happened on the mountain and how it has transformed her and her marriage, perhaps for ever. When small actions have unintended, catastrophic consequences, where does responsibility lie, and can blame ever truly be laid to rest? With stunning language and striking emotional intensity, A Change in Altitude illuminates the inner landscape of a couple, the irrevocable impact of tragedy and the elusive nature of forgiveness.


The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Enter a vanished and unjust world: Jackson, Mississippi, 1962. Where black maids raise white children, but aren’t trusted not to steal the silver... There’s Aibileen, raising her seventeenth white child and nursing the hurt caused by her own son’s tragic death; Minny, whose cooking is nearly as sassy as her tongue; and white Miss Skeeter, home from College, who wants to know why her beloved maid has disappeared. Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny. No one would believe they’d be friends; fewer still would tolerate it. But as each woman finds the courage to cross boundaries, they come to depend and rely upon one another. Each is in a search of a truth. And together they have an extraordinary story to tell...

Death in the Latin Quarter by Raphael Cardetti
Early one morning in Paris the magnificent tranquillity of the Sorbonne university is shattered by a death. But why would Albert Cadas, a crumpled professor of medieval literature, have any reason to kill himself? Meanwhile, Valentine Savi, a talented young restorer, receives a visit from an enigmatic elderly gentleman with a unique commission: to restore a priceless medieval manuscript whose timeworn pages promise to reveal the truth of a mystery that has fascinated scholars and writers for centuries. Valentine soon learns that the shadowy figures who seek to possess the book's secrets are far darker and more ruthless than she could ever have imagined...Together with her friend Hugo Vermeer -- aristocrat, epicure, crook -- and David Scotto, Cadas's doctoral student, Valentine finds herself on a terrifying and thrilling adventure through the narrow streets and gloomily palatial mansions of the Latin Quarter.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Irish Book of the decade

This is a new prize called the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards’ prize. The winning title will be chosen through an online vote on the Irish Book Awards’ website at and announced at the end of May.

Shortlist for the Irish Book of the Decade Award:

The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor
Star of the Sea by Joseph O'Connor
Winterwood by Patrick McCabe
Paula Spencer by Roddy Doyle
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
Tenderwire by Claire Kilroy
The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
Heart and Soul by Maeve Binchy
Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín
Molly Fox's Birthday by Deirdre Madden
Stepping Stones by Dennis O'Driscoll and Seamus Heaney
Let The Great World Spin by Colm McCann
The Builders by Frank McDonald and Kathy Sheridan
This Charming Man by Marian Keyes
The Speckled People by Hugo Hamilton
The New Policeman by Kate Thompson
Memoir by John McGahern
A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry
The Pope's Children by David McWilliams
Back From The Brink by Paul McGrath
The Gathering by Anne Enright
Walk the Blue Fields by Claire Keegan
Should Have Got Off at Sydney Parade by Ross O'Carroll Kelly
The Truth Commissioner by David Parks
The Parish by Alice Taylor
Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd
Lessons in Heartbreak by Cathy Kelly
Forgive and Forget by Patricia Scanlan
The Lovers by John Connolly
It's a Long Way from Penny Apples by Bill Cullen
The Stolen Village by Des Ekin
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Yours, Faithfully by Sheila O'Flanagan
The Sea by John Banville
With My Lazy Eye by Julia Kelly
Connemara: Listening to the Wind by Tim Robinson
In the Woods by Tana French
Tatty by Christine Dwyer Hickey
A Secret History of the IRA by Ed Moloney
The Master by Colm Tóibín
There Are Little Kingdoms by Kevin Barry
In the Forest by Edna O'Brien
Keane by Roy Keane
Havoc in Its Third Year by Ronan Bennett
Judging Dev by Diarmaid Ferriter
Netherland by Joseph O'Neill
That They May Face The Rising Sun by John McGahern
PS I Love You by Cecelia Ahern
Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
Foolish Mortals by Jennifer Johnston

Impac shortlist 2010

The Impac shortlist came out last week. Here are the titles....will read and review them over the next few weeks!

1. The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker
2. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
3. In Zodiac Light by Robert Edric
4. Settlement by Christoph Hein
5. The Believers by Zoë Heller
6. Netherland by Joseph O’Neill
7. God’s Own Country by Ross Raisin
8. Home by Marilynne Robinson

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Michael Connelly researching Nine Dragons and making the same journey through Hong Kong that Harry Bosch makes

After yesterdays discovery of Harlan Coben's website and twitter page, I did a google for Michael Connelly another one of my favourite crime writers and found his website: which is pretty interesting and found this great youtube video about his recent novel "Dragon", this video follows Michael Connelly making the same journey as Harry Bosch through Hong Kong....enjoy!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Caught-Harlan Coben introduces the book

Caught- Harlan Coben

Cobens latest novel introduces a new detective Wendy Tynes, she is a persistent television news reporter who exposes an internet paedophile. The thriller takes place in a New Jersey suburb and centers on the disappearence of Haley McQuaid.

Seventeen-year-old Haley McWaid is a good girl, the pride of her suburban New Jersey family, captain of the lacrosse team, headed off to college next year with all the hopes and dreams her doting parents can pin on her. Which is why, when her mother wakes one morning to find that Haley never came home the night before, and three months quickly pass without word from the girl, the community assumes the worst.

For serious fans, check Harlan Cobens website:

Book Crossing

At my classics bookgroup last week, some of the members were talking about "Book Crossing". Have you heard of it? Book crossing is a way of sharing books. You register the book you would like to share on the website and you say when and were you will leave the book, it could be in a park or a coffee shop, anyone can pick up the book!

Dublin: One City One book

This years book for One City One Book festival is "A Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde , there is loads of events on all month celebrating Oscar Wilde and Dorian Gray!! The aim is to get Dublin designated as a UNESCO City of Literature.

Friday, April 2, 2010

New thrillers for April

For all those fans of blood and guts there is new Harlan Coben called "Caught". A new Robert Crais "The First Rule"  and a new Lee Child "61 Hours"  All rivting reads for Easter.