I’ve finished A Tale for the Time Being, the buddy read I’m doing with Mariel. I know she already posted her thoughts so I’ll get to mine soon along with the A to Z Bookish Survey.
I think one of the greatest perks of being a book blogger is the ARCs. So I’m posting the ARCs I have recently obtained through Edelweiss, Blogging for Books, LibraryThing, or NetGalley:
*** = most likely to be reviewed/urgent read
** = want to read
* = meh, I’ll read it if I’m in the mood and if I have time
I think some of these are not legitimate ARCs, just books authors want reviews for.
*War of the Gods, Book 1 Jonathan Penroc
The Final War is over. The wicked god Ahura-Mazda and Zoroaster, his evil disciple, stand victoriously astride the wretched havoc that was once a free world. Supreme ruler of humanity, the fate of all remaining living in his hands, his blood lust is not yet satisfied. There exists life somewhere beyond and the apostle Zoroaster is ordered to conquer the universe. There seems to be no one to stop him. But the germ of freedom is not yet dead. Kanati has been chosen to oppose the evil forces of Zoroaster. But chosen by whom? And how can one man, no matter how brave, battle a god?
*Cold Spell: Deb Vanasse
With precise and evocative prose, Cold Spell tells the story of a mother who risks everything to start over and a daughter whose longings threaten to undo them both.From the moment Ruth Sanders rips a glossy photo of a glacier from a magazine, she believes her fate is intertwined with the ice. Her unsettling fascination bewilders her daughter, sixteen-year-old Sylvie, still shaken by her father’s leaving. When Ruth uproots Sylvie and her sister from their small Midwestern town to follow her growing obsession—and a man—to Alaska, they soon find themselves entangled with an unfamiliar wilderness, a divided community, and one another. As passions cross and braid, the bond between mother and daughter threatens to erode from the pressures of icy compulsion and exposed secrets. Inspired by her own experience arriving by bush plane to live on the Alaska tundra, Deb Vanasse vividly captures the reality of life in Alaska and the emotional impact of loving a remote and unforgiving land.
*Odeful: Jennifer Recchio
In this collection of poems about coming of age in the modern world, critically declaimed author Jennifer Recchio takes on such thrilling subjects as math, groceries, and oil changes. The collection includes poems that have been published in online magazines such as Word Riot and Defenestration, and other poems that have never been seen before.
**The London Project: Mark J Maxwell
Portal has transformed the lives of London’s residents. The tech giant’s centralised network is ubiquitous, its free services utilised by Londoners for everything from communications to entertainment, transport to health care. As a consequence Portal harvests the minutiae of its users’ daily lives.
On the eve of the network’s expansion throughout the UK, Detective Sergeant Louisa Bennett investigates the death of a young girl. Her body covered in lacerations, the victim’s autopsy reveals an unidentifiable cellular structure permeating her brain. The case is further complicated when no trace of the girl can be found on Portal. It’s as if she simply doesn’t exist.
Following an attack on Portal’s network, private data is leaked on all its users. In the ensuing chaos, three high-ranking members of a criminal syndicate are assassinated. It becomes clear to Louisa that the perpetrators have used Portal’s systems to coordinate the killings. When she uncovers a connection between her case and the Portal breach, Louisa becomes a target herself.
To save her own life Louisa must uncover the truth behind the girl’s death—a truth that leads her deep into the heart of The London Project.
*Zenith: Book of Ascension: Dirk Strasser
The world of the great Mountain is unstable. Giant pillars erupt from the surface and yawning chasms form unpredictably underfoot. Since the Maelir first stood on its slopes in the distant past, they have sought to still its anger and control its power. Each year, twin brothers are chosen to make a perilous journey to the summit. If they survive they will be witness to Zenith, and the secrets will be revealed to them. When Atreu and Teyth embark on their Ascent, their Talismans lead them onto conflicting paths that will ultimately set brother against brother. And this time the Ascent itself is in peril as unknown forces that have long craved the power of Zenith will stop at nothing to make it their own … even if it means destroying the very thing that sustains all life – the Mountain itself.
**Ishmael’s Oranges: Claire Hajaj
It’s April 1948 and war hangs over Jaffa. One minute seven-year-old Salim is dreaming of taking his first harvest from the family orange tree with his father; the next he is swept away by “the great catastrophe” into a life of exile. Meanwhile Jude is growing up in the north of England, a girl from a Jewish family that survived the Holocaust. When their paths collide in swinging-‘60s London and they fall in love, they think they are aware of the many challenges ahead of them, but before long they face unexpected choices. Can they defy the lessons of their childhoods, or will old seeds ripen to bitter fruits?Ishmael’s Oranges tells the story of two cultures clashing as the relentless tides of history wash over the many crossroads of the Middle East. Spanning three generations, it follows the journeys of those cast adrift by war — as well as by their own impulses — until at last they find themselves thrown headlong into it. Through Salim, Jude, and their twins, we explore the longest conflict of our era in universally human terms: the families we build, the loyalties we owe, and the stories we pass on to our children.
***A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: Anthony Marra
In a small rural village in Chechnya, eight-year-old Havaa watches from the woods as Russian soldiers abduct her father in the middle of the night and then set fire to her home. When their lifelong neighbor Akhmed finds Havaa hiding in the forest with a strange blue suitcase, he makes a decision that will forever change their lives. He will seek refuge at the abandoned hospital where the sole remaining doctor, Sonja Rabina, treats the wounded.
For Sonja, the arrival of Akhmed and Havaa is an unwelcome surprise. Weary and overburdened, she has no desire to take on additional risk and responsibility. But over the course of five extraordinary days, Sonja’s world will shift on its axis and reveal the intricate pattern of connections that weaves together the pasts of these three unlikely companions and unexpectedly decides their fate. A story of the transcendent power of love in wartime, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is a work of sweeping breadth, profound compassion, and lasting significance.
**A Song for Ella Grey: David Almond
I’m the one who’s left behind. I’m the one to tell the tale. I knew them both…knew how they lived and how they died. Claire is Ella Grey’s best friend. She’s there when the whirlwind arrives on the scene: catapulted into a North East landscape of gutted shipyards; of high arched bridges and ancient collapsed mines. She witnesses a love so dramatic it is as if her best friend has been captured and taken from her. But the loss of her friend to the arms of Orpheus is nothing compared to the loss she feels when Ella is taken from the world. This is her story – as she bears witness to a love so complete; so sure, that not even death can prove final.
***Buzz Books 2014: Young Adult: Publishers Lunch (only one I have read)
Thoughts: There are some books such as Talon and books by Scott Westerfield, Jandy Nelson, and Ellen Hopkins I am so excited about. However, there was a wanna-be TFiOS book, a book Alexandra Adornetto among others I was shaking my head at. But overall, this compilation made me quite excited for the new Young Adult works being released.
This inaugural edition of Buzz Books: Young Adult provides substantial pre-publication excerpts from more than 20 forthcoming young adult and middle grade books. Now everyone can share the same access to the newest YA voices the publishing industry is broadcasting for the fall/winter season. At the end of most excerpts, you will find a link to the full galley on NetGalley!
Excerpts include new work from established giants of the field (Ellen Hopkins; Garth Nix; Scott Westerfeld), authors best-known for their adult books (Carl Hiaasen; Michael Perry; Ben Tripp; Meg Wolitzer), and genuine newsmakers—including the first of James Frey’s attention-getting Endgame trilogy, which will include interactive elements developed in association with Google’s Niantic Labs.
**Comradely Greetings Slavoj Zizek
In an extraordinary exchange of letters, Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek and imprisoned Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova discuss artistic subversion, political activism, and the future of democracy via the ideas of Hegel, Deleuze, Nietzsche, and even Laurie Anderson. Touching, erudite, sharp, and worldly, their correspondence unfolds with poetic urgency.
**Considering Hate Kay Whitlock
Over the centuries American society has been plagued by brutality fueled by disregard for the humanity of others: systemic violence against slaves, Native peoples, and immigrants. More recent examples include the Steubenville rape case and the murders of Matthew Shepard, Jennifer Daugherty, Marcelo Lucero, and Trayvon Martin. Most Americans see such acts as driven by hate. But is this right? Longtime activists and political theorists Kay Whitlock and Michael Bronski boldly assert that American society’s reliance on the framework of hate to explain these acts is wrongheaded, misleading, and ultimately harmful.
**Driving the King Ravi Howard
A daring and brilliant novel that explores race and class in 1950s America, witnessed through the experiences of Nat King Cole and his driver, Nat Weary.
***Girl Runner Carrie Snyder
**Goebbels Peter Longerich
From renowned German Holocaust historian Peter Longerich comes the definitive one-volume biography of Adolf Hitler’s malevolent minister of propaganda.
In life, and in the grisly manner of his death, Joseph Goebbels was one of Adolf Hitler’s most loyal acolytes. By the end, no one in the Berlin bunker was closer to the Führer than his devoted Reich minister for public enlightenment and propaganda. But how did this clubfooted son of a factory worker rise from obscurity to become Hitler’s most trusted lieutenant and personally anointed successor?
**I Am a Bacha Posh Ukmina Manoori
“You will be a son, my daughter.” With these stunning words Ukmina learned that she was to spend her childhood as a boy.
In Afghanistan there is a widespread practice of girls dressing as boys to play the role of a son. These children are called bacha posh: literally “girls dressed as boys.” This practice offers families the freedom to allow their child to shop and work—and in some cases, it saves them from the disgrace of not having a male heir. But in adolescence, religion restores the natural law. The girls must marry, give birth, and give up their freedom.
**Isabella Kristin Downey
An engrossing and revolutionary biography of Isabella of Castile, the controversial Queen of Spain who sponsored Christopher Columbus’s journey to the New World, established the Spanish Inquisition, and became one of the most influential female rulers in history
*Loitering Charles D’Ambrosio
Charles D’Ambrosio’s essay collection Orphans spawned something of a cult following. In the decade since the tiny limited-edition volume sold out its print run, its devotees have pressed it upon their friends, students, and colleagues, only to find themselves begging for their copy’s safe return. For anyone familiar with D’Ambrosio’s writing, this enthusiasm should come as no surprise. His work is exacting and emotionally generous, often as funny as it is devastating.Loitering gathers those eleven original essays with new and previously uncollected work so that a broader audience might discover one of our great living essayists. No matter his subject — Native American whaling, a Pentecostal “hell house,” Mary Kay Letourneau, the work of J. D. Salinger, or, most often, his own family — D’Ambrosio approaches each piece with a singular voice and point of view; each essay, while unique and surprising, is unmistakably his own.
***Male Sex Work Editor: Victor Minichielli (Dat cover though. . .)
This new collection explores for the first time male sex work from a rich array of perspectives and disciplines. It aims to help enrich the ways in which we view both male sex work as a field of commerce and male sex worker themselves.
Leading contributors examine the field both historically and cross-culturally from fields including public health, sociology, psychology, social services, history, filmography, economics, mental health, criminal justice, geography, and migration studies, and more.
***Skylight: Jose Saramago
It’s set in Lisbon, a city I visited this spring. It’s gorgeous as is the cover! 🙂
Silvestre and Mariana, a happily married elderly couple, take in a young nomad, Abel, and soon discover their many differences. Adriana loves Beethoven more than any man, but her budding sexuality brings new feelings to the surface. Carmen left Galicia to marry humble Emilio, but hates Lisbon and longs for her first love, Manolo. Lidia used to work the streets, but now she’s kept by Paulo, a wealthy man with a wandering eye.
These are just some of the characters in this early work, completed by Saramago in 1953 but never published until now. With his characteristic compassion, depth, and wit, Saramago shows us the quiet contentment of a happy family and the infectious poison of an unhappy one. We see his characters’ most intimate moments as well as the casual encounters particular to neighbors living in close proximity. Skylight is a portrait of ordinary people, painted by a master of the quotidian, a great observer of the immense beauty and profound hardships of the modern world.
**SNEEK PEEK: Atlantia: Ally Condie
I know she’s an extremely popular author, but I only enjoyed the first book of her “Matched” series, the rest were pretty bad. I only read halfway through the second one, which is why I’m not very pumped for this new series.
For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamed of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all Rio’s hopes for the future are shattered when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected choice, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long silenced—she has nothing left to lose.
Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the corrupted system constructed to govern the Divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.
**The Bullet and the Ballot Box: The Story of Nepal’s Maoist Revolution: Aditya Adhikari
In 1996, when Nepal’s Maoists launched their armed rebellion, their ideology was widely considered obsolete and they had limited public support. By 2008 they had gained access to state power and their ambitious plan of social transformation dominated the national agenda. How did this become possible?The Bullet and the Ballot Box offers a rich and sweeping account of a decade of revolutionary upheaval. Adhikari draws on a broad range of sources, including novels, letters and diaries, to illuminate both the history and human drama of the Maoist rebellion. An indispensible guide to Nepal’s recent history, the book also offers a fascinating case study of how communist ideology has been reinterpreted and translated into political action in the twenty-first century.
*The Chain: Ted Genoways
A powerful and important work of investigative journalism that explores the runaway growth of the American meatpacking industry and its dangerous consequences.
*The Nazis Next Door: Eric Lichtblau
Until recently, historians believed America gave asylum only to key Nazi scientists after World War II, along with some less famous perpetrators who managed to sneak in and who eventually were exposed by Nazi hunters. But the truth is much worse, and has been covered up for decades: the CIA and FBI brought thousands of perpetrators to America as possible assets against their new Cold War enemies. When the Justice Department finally investigated and learned the truth, the results were classified and buried. Using the dramatic story of one former perpetrator who settled in New Jersey, conned the CIA into hiring him, and begged for the agency’s support when his wartime identity emerged, Eric Lichtblau tells the full, shocking story of how America became a refuge for hundreds of postwar Nazis.
*The Runaway Woman: Josephine Cox
No-one thought she had the courage…
Those looking in from the outside think Lucy Lovejoy’s life is like any other, but at the centre of her family there is a big empty hole where all the love and warmth should be. Over the years, her children have watched while their father chipped away at Lucy’s self-confidence. Now the children are following their own paths, and Lucy has never felt more alone.
When tragedy strikes at the heart of the family, it’s a wake-up call for Lucy. Everyone has taken a little piece of her, and she isn’t sure who she is anymore. So when Lucy faces a betrayal from those she loves deepest, she knows that it’s time to make a choice.
Is she brave enough to find herself again?
***The Seasons of Trouble: Rohini Mohan
Is it possible to find an ordinary life among the debris of war? Rohini Mohan’s searing account of three lives caught up in the devastation shows how the war continues long after peace has been declared. While Sarva, a city-bred young man, is dragged off the streets by the police and accused of being a spy, his mother Raji attempts to search for him through the Kafkaesque Sri Lankan bureaucracy. Meanwhile, Swarna, once a child soldier, tries to rebuild her life as a mother to toddlers. Their turbulent journeys reveal the realities of day-to-day living in a region wracked by violence and mistrust.
*The Ugly Wife is a Treasure at Home: Melissa Schenider
“The ugly wife is a treasure at home” is not just an idle expression in China. For centuries, Chinese marriage involved matchmakers, child brides, dowries, and concubines, until the People’s Republic of China was established by Mao Zedong and his Communist Party in 1949. Initially encouraging citizens to reject traditional arranged marriages and instead wed for love, the party soon spurned “the sin of putting love first,” fearful that romantic love would distract good Communists from selflessly carrying out the State’s agenda. Under Mao the party established the power to approve or reject proposed marriages, dictate where couples would live, and even determine if spouses would live together. By the 1960s and 1970s romantic love became a counterrevolutionary act punishable by “struggle sessions” or even imprisonment. The importance of Chinese sons, however, did not wane during Mao’s thirty-year regime. As such, in a world where nobody spoke of love, 99 percent of young women still married.
The Ugly Wife Is a Treasure at Home draws the reader into the world of love in Communist China through the personal memories of those who endured the Cultural Revolution and the generations that followed. This collection of intimate and remarkable stories gives readers a rare view of Chinese history, social customs, and Communism from the perspective of today’s ordinary citizens
Blurbs are NOT MINE, taken from Amazon/Goodreads. This might be my longest post ever.