SUNDAY SHOUT OUT

SHOUTOUT

Is there ever such a thing as too many books? I don’t think there are too many books to read, but there can definitely be too many to review. Often I’m sent books and, with an already sagging review shelf, these unsolicited books often end being overlooked – I just can’t fit them in to my schedule. Sunday Shout-Out aims to acknowledge these books and the publishers who have sent them to me.

Sunday Shout-Out is bookish meme hosted by Monique of Write Note Reviews. If you’re a book blogger and you want to join in, just:

  • Share the title, author, blurb and image from a book (or more than one) you want to acknowledge
  • Share the genre, price and link to the publisher so readers can follow up if they like the sound of the book
  • Ping back to Write Note Reviews in your post.

1. Big Ray by Michael Kimball (fiction, $29.99) – courtesy of Bloomsbury Circus

Media of Big RayBig Ray’s obesity and his mean temper define him, at least to his family. When Big Ray dies, his son Daniel puts his feelings aside, for a while. Years later, Daniel attempts to reckon with the enduring, outsized memory of his father. In this stunning novel a middle-aged man comes to terms with his father’s death – and with his life. Told in five hundred brief entries, the complexity of this searing novel becomes more and more intricate as the son’s brave confession moves back and forth between the past and the present, between the father’s death and the father’s life; between an abusive childhood and an adult understanding. Shot through with humour and insight that will resonate with anyone who has a complicated parental relationship, Big Ray is a staggering family story – at once brutal and tender, unusual and unsettling.

2. Things I Didn’t Expect (When I was Expecting) by Monica Dux (non-fiction, $24.99) – courtesy of Melbourne University Press

Pregnancy is natural, healthy and fun, right? Sure it is, if you’’re lucky. For others, it’’s an adventure in physical discomfort, unachievable ideals, kooky classes and meddling experts. When Monica Dux found herself pregnant with her first child, she was dismayed to find she belonged firmly in the second category. For her, pregnancy could only be described as a medium-level catastrophe. So, three years later and about to birth her second child, Monica went on a quest: to figure out what’’s really going on when we incubate. Monica explores the aspects of baby-making that we all want to talk about, but which are too embarrassing, unsettling or downright confronting.

3. Vow: A Memoir of Marriage (And Other Affairs) by Wendy Plump (memoir, $29.99) – courtesy of Bloomsbury

Media of VowThere are so many ways to find out. From a mobile phone. From a bank account. From some weird supermarket encounter. One morning in early January 2005, Wendy Plump’s neighbour came over to tell her that her husband was having an affair. It was not a shock. What she was not prepared for however was the revelation that he had an eight-month-old son living within a mile of their family home. Monogamy is one of the most important vows we make in our marriages. Yet it is a rare spouse who does not face some level of temptation in their married life. The discovery of her husband’s second family followed betrayals of Wendy’s own, earlier in the marriage, and prompted her to explore the wreckage of her relationship head-on – from the view of both the betrayer and the betrayed. In this compelling memoir, Wendy Plump looks at the ordeal of Finding Out, the recovery, the ebb and flow of passion, the patterns of adultery, the undeniable allure of illicit attraction, the lovers, the lies and the alibis. Frank, intelligent and important, Vow takes you under the covers. It will transform your understanding of fidelity and commitment forever.

Which one would you like to read? Why?