Sunday, 30 April 2017

A month in books - April 2017

April was a quieter month reading-wise because being back home in Torquay meant I had less time available for just lounging around with a book! Creating stock for my Etsy shop can be done whilst an audiobook plays though and I am excited for the new AudioSYNC season which began on Thursday. If this free audiobooks programme is new to you, I wrote a blog post about it.

Literary Flits hosted only one Guest Review in April, but it is of a superb novel. If you have an indie author, small press or global literature book review to share please do get in touch. It doesn't need to be exclusive content and you can check here to see if a book has already been reviewed. I look forward to hearing from you!

For myself, I read sixteen books in April including political essays, biographies, historical fiction and my favourite book ever! There's two Giveaways which are still open for entries so don't miss out on your chances to win .


Guest reviews


The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Buy the book from Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository
Buy the paperback from Waterstones

Read the original book review on Literary Flits

Australian author Rob Shackleford gave us his impressions of The Handmaid's Tale, a timely choice in view of its new filmed version. Scroll down this post to discover Rob's own historical science fiction novel, Traveller Inceptio.


My reviews

With Ballet In My Soul by Eva Maze

Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy from independent booksellers via Alibris
Buy the paperback from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

I enjoyed this newly-published and fascinating memoir of a woman impresario working primarily in Germany in the 1950s and 1960s. It's style feels like listening to an older relation chatting informally and I learned about social history as well as dance and theatre of the period.


The Curious Case of William Alexander Redwood by Mark Benjamin

Buy the ebook from Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk
Buy the ebook from Smashwords

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

Mark Benjamin's new short story is chilling horror. Certainly not one to be read late at night!


Meeting With My Brother by Yi Mun-Yol

Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy the ebook from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the hardback from The Book Depository
Buy the hardback from Waterstones

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

An interesting Korean novella written from the point of view of an oldest son who travels from South to North Korea in search of his absent father. I struggled to really get into the characters although appreciated some of the cameo appearances and the brothers' ideological discussions.


Skeletal by Lee (Katherine) Hayton

Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy from independent booksellers via Alibris
Buy the ebook from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

New Zealand author Katherine Hayton is rebranding her work as by Lee Hayton using her middle name mainly, apparently because it makes for more eyecatching book covers! I've read a few of her books now and think Skeletal is my favourite so far. A five star thriller.


The Shape Of Bones by Daniel Galera

Buy the book from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the hardback from Speedyhen
Buy the hardback from The Book Depository
Buy the hardback from Waterstones

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

I loved the evocation of 1980s Porto Alegre in this Brazilian novel. It's premise of an older man looking back to his adolescence is, I think, becoming a literary genre in its own right! I wasn't so convinced by the adult character, but enjoyed the teenage storyline.


Yellow-billed Magpie by Nancy Schoellkopf

Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy the ebook from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

This spiritual and inspirational women's fiction novel was my first for iRead Books Tours. I enjoyed the exploration of issues surrounding Samantha's decision to return to her home town following her marriage breakup and found the novel deeper emotionally than I had expected. There's an associated Giveaway open until the 6th of May (US and Canada only).


Assata Shakur: A 20th Century Escaped Slave by Barbara Casey

Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy from independent booksellers via Alibris
Buy the ebook from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

My second Read Book Tour was for this biography of Black Liberation Army activist Assata Shakur who now lives in exile in Cuba. I previously knew nothing of the organisation, deemed terrorists in the 1970s, so learned more about this period of American history. There's an associated $25 Amazon gift card Giveaway open until the 6th of May.


Theogony and Works And Days by Hesiod

Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy the paperback from Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

I was surprised at how well I related to these epic 8th Century BCE poems, published in a new translation in April. The book includes well-written introductory essays for each poem as well as presenting the works themselves bilingually.


Red-tailed Hawk by Nancy Schoellkopf

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Read my original book review on Literary Flits

I wasn't so impressed by Schoellkopf's sequel to Yellow-billed Magpie. Essentially a road trip novel, I thought it felt overly rushed and didn't have the grounding or characterisation of its forerunner. If you want to find out for yourself, a Giveaway to win a copy is open until the 6th of May (US and Canada only).


Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy the audiobook download from Audible via Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the audiobook on CD from The Book Depository

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

I re-listened to my excellent audiobook of Rebecca this month. It's rare I revisit a book, but I think this is my third time of reading Rebecca. I love du Maurier's scene setting, characters, and the pervading sense of menace. Absolutely my Book Of The Month and possibly my Favourite Book full stop!


Othello by William Shakespeare

Buy the audiobook download of this production from Audible via Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy a CD audiobook via Abebooks
Buy a CD audiobook from Speedyhen
Buy a CD audiobook from The Book Depository

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

I celebrated Shakespeare Day on the 23rd with a BBC audio recording of Othello starring Lenny Henry. I've got Tracy Chevalier's New Boy, which is based around the Othello story, to read next month so wanted to reacquaint myself with the original great play.


Hitler Is No Fool by Karl Billinger

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Buy the paperback from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the ebook from ForgottenBooks
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

I saw this as a ForgottenBooks book of the day and am glad I grabbed the download. Written in 1939, Billinger concisely explores the ideas and philosophies espoused by Hitler in the years preceeding the Second World War. I was shocked to realise just how much is being re-enacted in the 2010s.


Engadine Aerie by Bluette Matthey

Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy the ebook from Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk
Buy the ebook from Smashwords
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

This Swiss-based thriller does a good job of presenting the Engadine valley as a beautiful travel destination, but I thought the story itself was too rushed to be convincing.


Traveller Inceptio by Rob Shackleford
Self-published in February 2017.

Where to buy this book:
Buy the ebook from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the ebook from Smashwords

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

Every once in a while I discover an indie author gem and, with just a little tidying up, Traveller Inceptio is certainly worth a read. Wonderful historical science fiction that brings Saxon England vividly to life!


The Exiles by Iain Crichton Smith

Buy from independent booksellers via Alibris
Buy the paperback from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy my paperback copy on eBay

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

More poetry, from the 1980s this time. A superb collection examining the emotional immigration issue from the points of view of Scottish emigrants and the families they left behind.


1984 In The 21st Century edited by Lori Perkins

Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy from independent booksellers via Alibris
Buy the ebook from Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

Read my original book review on Literary Flits

A shameless leap onto the dystopian bandwagon, but an interesting anthology nonetheless as it brings together twenty-five essays by Americans from across the political spectrum. I would have preferred deeper essays, but this would be a good starting point for discussions.


That's it for this month and I know I have already got some great books planned for review in May. With the General Election looming, I plan to blog reviews of politically themed books including Emmeline Pankhurst's autobiography and Robert Tressell's important anti-capitalist call, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. Keep up daily on Literary Flits click back here at the end of May for another round up. Don't forget the Giveaways!

2 comments:

  1. You've had a great month! Also, I've been meaning to talk to you about guest reviewing on your blog. If you're still interested, I'd be more than happy to. Let me know which review and I'll send you a copy of my post.

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    Replies
    1. That's wonderful, thank you Joy! I'll message you :-)

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