SUNDAY SHOUT OUT

SHOUTOUTIs 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. The Son by Philipp Meyer (fiction, RRP $32.95) – courtesy of Random House Australia

The Son, Philipp MeyerEli McCullough was born in 1836, the year that the Republic of Texas was declared an independent state. He was the first child of this new republic. Eight years later he and his brother are kidnapped. They are left with nothing, barely their lives, whilst Eli watches his sister being raped and killed. Slowly he learns the ways and life of the Comanches as they battle to survive against the incursions of the white settlers, but his progress within the tribe is matched by the tribe’s own perilous journey, as an epidemic endangers their future. Forced to leave, Eli marries and becomes a ranger, but finds it hard to break his Comanche memories and ways. His son, Peter, endures the First World War and several Mexican attacks. His diaries tell of momentous and dangerous times as he tries to maintain the dynasty begun by his father, now named the Colonel. At eighty-six Jeanne Anne McCullough is the fifth richest woman in Texas. She has her own stories – battling to keep the family alive, preventing large-scale acquisitive oil companies from buying her land and holding on to her largesse and her legacy.Three stories of one family combine to produce nothing less than a standout epic of and for our time.

2. Sketcher by Roland Watson-Grant (fiction, RRP $27.99) – courtesy of Bloomsbury

SketcherNine-year-old “Skid” Beaumont’s family is stuck in the mud. Following his father’s decision to relocate and build a new home, based on a drunken vision that New Orleans would rapidly expand eastwards into the wetlands as a result of the Seventies’ oil boom, Skid and his brothers grow up in a swampy area of Louisiana. But the constructions stop short, the dream fizzles out, and the Beaumonts find themselves sinking in a soggy corner of 1980’s Cold War America. As things on the home front get more complicated, Skid learns of his mother’s alleged magic powers and vaguely remembers some eerie stories surrounding his elder brother Frico. These, as well as early events that Skid saw with his own eyes, convince him that Frico has a gift to fix things by simply sketching them. For the next few years, Skid’s self-appointed mission to convince his brother to join him in his lofty plan to change their family’s luck and the world they live in will lead to even more mystery and high drama in the swamp. Atmospheric, uplifting and deeply moving.

Which one would you like to read? Why?