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Saturday, 29 April 2017

Seven Diverse Books to read this summer if you don't want to read YA (Part 1)

1.An Ishmael of Syria by Asaad Almohammad
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Adam is a tortured soul. Exiled from his homeland, forced to watch the horrors unfold from afar. His family, still living – or surviving – in war-torn Syria struggle daily to feed, clothe, and educate their children.

Adam tries to be a ‘global citizen’ and become a part of his new community in Malaysia, but is constantly faced with intolerance, bigotry, and plain old racism. Opportunities are few and Adam finds himself working long hours for poor pay so that he can help his family.

The increasingly distressing news bulletins, along with Adam’s haunting childhood memories, compel him to examine his own beliefs; in God, in humanity, in himself and his integrity as a reluctant bystander in the worst human catastrophe of the twenty-first century
A must read. Shocking,insightful and moving. The book explores the theoretical and ideological conflicts of Syria and its residents. This is not an easy read but you certainly emerge better for reading it. A solid 4.8 stars. The narrative was engaging and poignant with topics that needed to be addressed. I would certainly recommend it.

2.Fall In One Day by Craig Terlson

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n the summer of 1973, fifteen-year-old Joe Beck lives in a small Canadian city near the U.S. border where he watches dark-suited politicians lie on TV during something called Watergate. So when his best friend Brian goes missing, Joe has a hard time believing that adults ever tell the truth. 

Joe learns that Brian left town with his father after Brian's mother ended up in the hospital. He listens to the news reports for information, but nothing is being said. Eventually, Joe launches his own investigation, using a tape recorder—just like the American president—to help sift through the clues. Feeling that everything is up to him, Joe embarks on a perilous and enlightening journey to decipher a mental institution diary full of secrets about a drug called LSD, and uncover the truth about Brian's father and save his best friend
A sharp narrative with a hooking and well realised plot and a knack that keeps the reader wanting to read more and more. The book masterfully links the events of 20th century with the life of a small town boy and his friend.  The book is targeted for a younger audience.  This was a 3.7 stars read with vivid description and well crafted characters.

3.The Skin Above My Knee by Marcia Butler
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The unflinching story of a professional oboist who finds order and beauty in music as her personal life threatens to destroy her.

Music was everything for Marcia Butler. Growing up in an emotionally desolate home with an abusive father and a distant mother, she devoted herself to the discipline and rigor of the oboe, and quickly became a young prodigy on the rise in New York City's competitive music scene. 

But haunted by troubling childhood memories while balancing the challenges of a busy life as a working musician, Marcia succumbed to dangerous men, drugs and self-destruction. In her darkest moments, she asked the hardest question of all: Could music truly save her life?

A memoir of startling honesty and subtle, profound beauty, The Skin Above My Knee is the story of a woman finding strength in her creative gifts and artistic destiny. Filled with vivid portraits of 1970's New York City, and fascinating insights into the intensity and precision necessary for a career in professional music, this is more than a narrative of a brilliant musician struggling to make it big in the big city. It is the story of a survivor. 

A stunning, emotional and moving lyrical memoir that touches you to the very core. A whooping 4.5 stars read that will remain with you for a longtime. The writing was raw,immersing and engaging with a sharply written story that teaches us how art can heal life and make it beautiful. 

4. The Confusion of Languages by Siobhan Fallon
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Both Cassie Hugo and Margaret Brickshaw dutifully followed their soldier husbands to the U.S. embassy in Jordan, but that's about all the women have in common. After two years, Cassie's become an expert on the rules, but newly arrived Margaret sees only her chance to explore. So when a fender-bender sends Margaret to the local police station, Cassie reluctantly agrees to watch Margaret's toddler son. But as the hours pass, Cassie's boredom and frustration turn to fear: Why isn't Margaret answering her phone, and why is it taking so long to sort out a routine accident? Snooping around Margaret's apartment, Cassie begins to question not only her friend's whereabouts but also her own role in Margaret's disappearance.
Written with emotional insight and stunning prose, The Confusion of Languages is a shattering portrait of a collision between two women and two worlds, as well as a poignant glimpse into the private lives of American military families living overseas.

Beautiful, fascinating and gripping.  The book is written from the dual narrative of two army wives and is a roller-coaster ride of mystery, intrigue and insight. A definite 4 stars read that was a one sit read for me.I loved it and would recommend it to everyone. The book was a great read. 

5. The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak
A dazzling debut novel—at once a charming romance and a moving coming-of-age story—about what happens when a fourteen-year old boy pretends to seduce a girl to steal a copy ofPlayboy but then discovers she is his computer-loving soulmate.

Billy Marvin’s first love was a computer. Then he met Mary Zelinsky.

Do you remember your first love?

The Impossible Fortress begins with a magazine…The year is 1987 and Playboy has just published scandalous photographs of Vanna White, from the popular TV game show Wheel of Fortune. For three teenage boys—Billy, Alf, and Clark—who are desperately uneducated in the ways of women, the magazine is somewhat of a Holy Grail: priceless beyond measure and impossible to attain. So, they hatch a plan to steal it.

The heist will be fraught with peril: a locked building, intrepid police officers, rusty fire escapes, leaps across rooftops, electronic alarm systems, and a hyperactive Shih Tzu named Arnold Schwarzenegger. Failed attempt after failed attempt leads them to a genius master plan—they’ll swipe the security code to Zelinsky’s convenience store by seducing the owner’s daughter, Mary Zelinsky. It becomes Billy’s mission to befriend her and get the information by any means necessary. But Mary isn’t your average teenage girl. She’s a computer loving, expert coder, already strides ahead of Billy in ability, with a wry sense of humor and a hidden, big heart. But what starts as a game to win Mary’s affection leaves Billy with a gut-wrenching choice: deceive the girl who may well be his first love or break a promise to his best friends

A fantastic coming of age story that calls to your inner Nerd.  This is basically a YA but set in the 80's. The book was addictive and gripping with real and deep characters and a thrilling and vivid description with a detailed plot. A solid 4.3 stars book .And you know what you can even play the game at the author's website. 

6. Every Other Wednesday by Susan Kietzman
31415698.jpg (267×400) Three women, each facing an empty nest, come together to cheer and challenge one another in this insightful, poignant new novel from acclaimed author Susan Kietzman. 
For years, Ellie, Alice, and Joan enjoyed a casual friendship while volunteering at their children's Connecticut high school. Now, with those children grown and gone to college, a local tragedy brings the three into contact again. But what begins as a catch-up lunch soon moves beyond small talk to the struggles of this next stage of life. 
Joan Howard has spent thirty years of marriage doing what's expected of Howard women: shopping, dressing well, and keeping a beautiful home. Unfulfilled, her boredom and emptiness eventually find a secret outlet at the local casino. Meanwhile, Ellie's efforts to expand her accounting business lead to a new friendship that clashes with her family's traditional worldview. And Alice, feeling increasingly distant from her husband, and alienated from her once fit body, takes up running again. But a terrifying ordeal shatters her confidence and spurs a decision that will affect all three women in different ways. 
Over the course of an eventful year, Ellie, Alice, and Joan will meet every other Wednesday to talk, plan--and find the freedom, and the courage, to redefine themselves. 
Praise for the novels of Susan Kietzman 
-Beautifully written and closely observed...captures the deep and complicated love of family. Reading this lovely novel, I felt the embrace of summer on the shoreline.- --New York Timesbestselling author Luanne Rice on The Summer Cottage 
-Readers will find themselves drawn into the tragedies and triumphs of this fictional family--distinct and yet utterly relatable.- --Hartford Books Examiner on The Good Life

 In this book three women, Alice, Joan and Ellie, are each going through maturational and emotional changes in their lives. They meet at the funeral of a school shooting victim’s funeral and together explore the second half of their lives and its challenges. An insightful read with 3.7 stars.

7.Miss Mary’s Little Book of Dreams by Sophie Nicholls 
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Dreams, books and vintage fashion - the second book in the bestselling ebook series by Sophie Nicholls, author of The Dress.

In historic York, Ella seems to have the perfect life. She's a published author, her bookshop is thriving, she's married to the man of her dreams and they've started a family of their own. 

But Ella is struggling. Motherhood isn't quite everything she imagined it to be, and she's worried that there may be cracks in her marriage. 

On the other side of the Atlantic, despite endless blue skies and a stream of eager customers in her vintage dress shop, Ella's mother Fabia finds that life in San Diego is not enough for her. She misses York, and can sense that Ella needs her, so she flies home. 

And this is when they meet Bryony. With a complicated life and secrets of her own, Bryony may have some of the answers they're looking for. 

Can Ella and Fabia help her find her way, whilst also working out how to find their own happily ever after?

'A delightful, uplifting novel that, while unashamedly romantic and feel-good, nevertheless ponders some deeper questions.'Yorkshire Post on The Dress.

A beautifully written book by an author acclaimed for her way with words. The book inter weaves the story of four generation 's women intertwined with magic amd surrealism.  The story was original,creative and unique.  The characters were lovely and beautiful with a vivid and colourful description and engaging plot.Although the book is second in a series,it can be read as a standalone.  I loved it and would recommend it to everyone. The book was a whooping 4.5 stars read. And my ,my isn't that a pretty cover.

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