We are steadily heading towards the end of the year and I’m proud to say that November has been a modest book buying month for me – compared to the previous extravaganza hauls I posted! After my October post (A very crucial bookish realisation) about how buying books should be a more well-thought process for me and how the media, BookTube, Goodreads, the publishers and blogs affect my book buying behaviour, this November I bought a few books that I literally cannot wait to pick up and read. Furthermore, the books that I purchased this month are more in accordance to what I had originally imagined the content of My Bookshelf Dialogues blog will be. A new, fresh thematic beginning for this blog starts with a “short” book haul!
The Girl on the Train is Hawkins’ first thriller novel and is also the winner of quite a few awards for best thriller story. It is also being translated into the big screen and has been receiving a lot of attention from readers worldwide. While I really enjoy thriller movies, I haven’t read many books of the mystery/thriller genre and the few books I have read didn’t manage to amaze me as much as movies have. This seems like a very popular psychological thriller that everyone has really enjoyed including critics, so it is only logical to give it a try. I’d like to start reviewing more thrillers on my blog and this seems like a great place to start! That said, I refuse to read the synopsis but here it is for anyone who wants to go ahead:
EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
A second genre that I would like to explore from now on in my reviews is horror. Thankfully, I’m one of these people who actually enjoy being frightened by what they read and manage to get a good night’s sleep after reading a terrifying story without being disturbed by nightmares or unwanted thoughts. As a child I used to love R. L Stine’s Goosebumps series even though it was horrifying to me at the time. As such, I’m plunging myself into the horror genre as an adult with this Bram Stoker and Shirley Jackson award nominee and I hope to be successfully – and for a short time – scared to death. Here is the synopsis:
Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.
Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it’s time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat–blindfolded–with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it man, animal, or monster?
Although I told myself to be cautious about overly hyped YA series, I was recommended the Red Rising trilogy by someone who has a similar taste in books as I do. I’ve just started reading Red Rising but this month I also already purchased the third part of the trilogy. Book synopsis:
Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.
Finally, the time has come.
But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied—and too glorious to surrender.
I have said it many times already but I will say it again, I love the Malazan series and Steven Erikson’s writing style. The world that he and Ian Esslemont have created is immense, truly epic and amazing. The goal is to buy – yes, and read – all the books and the thousands of pages of their length. Return of the Crimson Guard is the second book in Ian Esslemont’s Malazan series paralleling the events of Steven Erikson’s Books of the Fallen series. Book synopsis:
The return of the mercenary company the Crimson Guard could not have come at a worse time for the Malazan Empire. Driven by constant warfare, weakened by betrayal and rivalries, many see the grip of Empress Laseen beginning to weaken as conquered kingdoms and principalities test their old independence.
Into this gathering civil war on Quon Tali, the Empire’s homeland comes the Guard. And with their return comes the memory of their hundred-year-old vow — undying opposition to the existence of the Empire. Yet rivalries and betrayals stalk the Guard as well; elements of its elite, the Avowed, scheme to open paths to even greater power, and ancient potent entities, Ascendants, also lend a hand exploiting all sides to further their own arcane ends. Meanwhile, a swordsman, Traveller, and his companion Ereko, move from one strange encounter to another in a mysterious dance meant ultimately to bring the swordsman to a final confrontation from which none has ever returned.
As the Crimson Guard gathers from around the globe, Empress Laseen faces a more immediate threat from the generals and old commanders of her predecessor, Emperor Kellanved, who have lost patience with what they see as Laseen’s mismanagement. Yet there are hints that Laseen may be using the uprisings to draw out and finally eliminate these last irksome survivors of her predecessor’s rule.
A few weeks ago, I was contacted by the lovely people over at St. Martin’s Press about a new autobiografy by Cara Brookins that is coming out on the 17th of January. They asked me if I’d be interested to receive an ARC for a review and since I’ve been wanting to get more into non-fiction books I said “yes”. This is Cara’s story of how she escaped an abusive marriage and not only took care of her four children but together, literally from scratch, they build their own home just the five of them. Book synopsis:
After escaping an abusive marriage, Cara Brookins had four children to provide for and no one to turn to but herself. In desperate need of a home but without the means to buy one, she did something incredible.
Equipped only with YouTube instructional videos, a small bank loan, a mile-wide stubborn streak, Cara built her own house from the foundation up with a work crew made up of her four children.
It would be the hardest thing she had ever done. With no experience nailing together anything bigger than a bookshelf, she and her kids poured concrete, framed the walls and laid bricks for their two story, five bedroom house. She had convinced herself that if they could build a house, they could rebuild their broken family.
I’ve been following the Man Booker Awards since last year and since I really enjoy historical fiction I decided to give this short novel that was longlisted this year a go. Ian McGuire is a well-established author and – although it shouldn’t matter – this book has a beautiful cover! I’m very excited to get to it very soon and review it here, hopefully before the end of the year. Book synopsis:
Behold the man: stinking, drunk, and brutal. Henry Drax is a harpooner on the Volunteer, a Yorkshire whaler bound for the rich hunting waters of the arctic circle. Also aboard for the first time is Patrick Sumner, an ex-army surgeon with a shattered reputation, no money, and no better option than to sail as the ship’s medic on this violent, filthy, and ill-fated voyage.
In India, during the Siege of Delhi, Sumner thought he had experienced the depths to which man can stoop. He had hoped to find temporary respite on the Volunteer, but rest proves impossible with Drax on board. The discovery of something evil in the hold rouses Sumner to action. And as the confrontation between the two men plays out amid the freezing darkness of an arctic winter, the fateful question arises: who will survive until spring?
And finally, last but not least, my two preordered new, hardcover illustrated editions of Neil Gaiman’s fantasy duology arrived in the mail a few days ago and the are glorious! I will be picking up American Gods after I’m finished reading Red Rising even though I’m a little hesitant because of the fact that these books seem to not be everybody’s cup of tea. I don’t care, just look at these beauties. I cannot wait to see what this mad story is about! Book synopsis:
If you are to survive, you must believe.
Shadow Moon has served his time. But hours before his release from prison, his beloved wife is killed in a freak accident. Dazed, he boards a plane home where he meets the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who professes both to know Shadow and to be king of America.
Together they embark on a profoundly strange road trip across the USA, encountering a kaleidoscopic cast of characters along the way. Yet all around them a storm threatens to break.
The war has already begun, an epic struggle for the very soul of America, and Shadow is standing squarely in its path.
And, as I mentioned, I also preordered the sequel to the American Gods in this fantastic illustrated edition, Anansi Boys. For anyone who is interested in the novellas, all of the books in the American Gods series have been republished by Headline in Neil Gaiman’s preferred text edition. If you’ve read any of the American Gods novellas, please let me know how you liked them. Book synopsis:
If you need him, just tell a spider. He’ll come running.
Fat Charlie Nancy used to have a normal life. But that all changes the moment his estranged father drops dead in a karaoke bar, leaving a trail of chaos in his wake.
Fat Charlie didn’t know his dad was a god. He certainly didn’t know he was Anansi the trickster spider-god, lord of rebellion and disorder. He didn’t know he had a brother, either.
Now his brother, Spider, is on his doorstep trying to take over his life, flat and fianc�e. And Fat Charlie’s going to have to resort to something drastic – and dangerous – to get back on track.
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