SUNDAY SHOUT-OUT: A MEMOIR, SOMETHING LITERARY AND A THRILLER

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 often don’t fit in to my schedule. Other times, I am unable to finish a book I intended to review (for various reasons), or I don’t have time for a full review. Sunday Shout-Out aims to acknowledge these books and the publishers who have sent them to me.

Sunday Shout Out is a 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.

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1. The Wolf in Winter by John Connolly, H & S Fiction RRP $29.99. Available from Hachette Australia.

Cover of Wolf in Winter by John Connolly

The community of Prosperous, Maine, has always thrived when others have suffered. Its inhabitants are wealthy, its children’s future is secure. It guards its own. At the heart of Prosperous lie the ruins of an ancient church, transported stone by stone from England centuries earlier by the founders of the town. But the death of a homeless man and the disappearance of his daughter draw the haunted, lethal private investigator Charlie Parker to Prosperous. Parker is a dangerous man, driven by compassion, by rage, and by the desire for vengeance. In him, the town and its protectors sense a threat graver than any they have faced in their long history, and in the comfortable, sheltered inhabitants of the small town, Parker will encounter his most vicious opponents yet. Charlie Parker has been marked to die so that Prosperous may survive… Prosperous, and the secret beneath its ruins…

The publisher sent me this, probably because I do like reading a good crime thriller. However, this one seems to be bordering more on the horror side, so I’m not sure if it’s for me. Reviews of this have been pretty good – seems that fans of horror-thrillers love it. Words like “frightening” and “blinding” pop up in reviews. The other thing I noted is the oft-repeated suggestion to work your way through the series – since I’ve not read any, it’s best I start from the beginning, I think.

2. The Walk Home by Rachel Seiffert, Virago RRP $29.99. Available from Hachette Australia

Cover of Walk Home by Rachel Seiffert

From the Man Booker shortlisted author of the Dark Room comes a new novel about a young man who comes from a long line of people who have cut and run. Set in Glasgow, this powerful novel is about love and the desire to come home. Stevie comes from a long line of people who have cut and run. Just like he has. Stevie’s been to London, taught himself to get by, and now he’s working as a labourer not so far from his childhood home in Glasgow. But he’s not told his family – what’s left of them – that he’s back. Not yet. He’s also not far from his Uncle Eric’s house: another one who left – for love this time. Stevie’s toughened himself up against that emotion. And as for his own mother, Lindsey … well, she ran her whole life. From her father and Ireland, from her husband, and eventually from Stevie too. This is a powerful novel about the risk of love, and the madness and betrayals that can split a family. If you cut your ties, will you cut yourself adrift?

The Walk Home looks to be a thoughtful, slow-moving book (not a bad thing), but I don’t have time to review it at present. From the quick glance I’ve given it, it has a strong Glaswegian voice; the writing style didn’t immediately draw me in, but I may come back to this one another day.

3. From the Feet Up by Tanya Saad, Harlequin Mira RRP $29.99. Available from Harlequin Mira.

From The Feet Up

Tanya Saad’s life wasn’t perfect but it wasn’t far off. Happily occupied with a demanding job, the competitive cycling she loved and the support of her irrepressible family, she wasn’t given to introspection. Then the thunderbolt hit. At the age of 30 she discovered she had tested positive for the BRCA1 gene — a gene that meant her chances of developing breast  and ovarian cancer young increased exponentially. Worse was to come when one of her beloved younger sisters tested positive too. A resilient personality, Tanya was used to meeting challenges. Growing up as part of the only Lebanese family in a small NSW country town, then coming out as a gay woman in a conservative culture meant she was used to conflict. But the decisions ahead — should she have her breasts and ovaries removed before disease set in? Should her sister? — would require all her strength and resilience.

By all accounts this is a heartfelt read and I don’t doubt that this is true. Once in a while I will read a memoir, but they’re not usually my go-to reads, and with a full bookshelf of books I have requested, I’m going to pass on this for now. I’m more of a fiction reader. However, for those who like memoirs, or have similar experiences to Tanya’s, I think this would be well worth it.

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What do you think? Which of these would you read?