Book Recommendations

Book releases that have caught my eye – October 2014

Whether it’s a new book from authors we love, or an intriguing premise that could be worth taking a chance on, here are a few of the titles being released in October 2014 (or very late September) in Australia that have caught my eye.

Where these titles are being published elsewhere at a later date, I’ve provided links to that information.

frog by mo yanBefore the Cultural Revolution, narrator Tadpole’s feisty Aunt Gugu is revered as an obstetrician in her home township in rural China. Renowned for her sure hands and uncanny ability to calm anxious mothers, Gugu speeds around town on her bicycle to usher thousands of babies into life.
When famine lifts and the population booms, Gugu becomes the unlikely yet passionate enforcer of China’s new family-planning policy. She is unrelenting in her mission, invoking hatred in her wake. In her dramatic fall from deity to demon, she becomes the living incarnation of a reviled social policy violently at odds with deep-rooted cultural values.
As China moves towards the millennium, a new breed of entrepreneur emerges with a perverse interpretation of the decades-old law. Tadpole finds himself again caught up in the one-child policy and its unpredictable repercussions on the human price of capital.
Frog is an extraordinary and riveting mix of the real and the absurd, the comic and the tragic. It presents a searing portrait of China’s recent history, in Mo Yan’s unique and luminous prose.

BUY THIS BOOK:
Book DepositoryBooktopia (Aus) | B&N | Amazon

amnesiaHow does a young woman from suburban Melbourne become America’s public enemy number one?
When Gaby Baillieux releases the Angel Worm into the computers of Australia’s prison system, freeing hundreds of asylum seekers, she sets off a chain reaction. These prisons are run by US companies, and so the doors of some 5000 American institutions have also opened. And to some watching eyes, the secrets of both countries threaten to pour out.
Was this a mistake? Or has the elusive Gaby declared cyberwar on the US, as part of the longstanding covert conflict between the two countries that has as its most outrageous act the CIA-engineered coup of 1975 – a coup so brazen we immediately forgot it as part of our Great Amnesia.
Amnesia is Carey at his best: funny, sweeping, intimate, exhilarating. It is a novel that speaks powerfully about our history but most urgently about our present.

BUY THIS BOOK:
Book DepositoryBooktopia (Aus) | B&N | Amazon

miss-carter-s-warThe story of a remarkable woman – the story of our times. A stunning debut novel from iconic actress and bestselling author Sheila Hancock.
It is 1948 and Britain is struggling to recover from the Second World War. Half French, half English, Marguerite Carter, young and beautiful, has lost her parents and survived a terrifying war, working for the SOE behind enemy lines. Leaving her partisan lover she returns to England to be one of the first women to receive a degree from the University of Cambridge.
Now she pins back her unruly auburn curls, draws a pencil seam up her legs, ties the laces on her sensible black shoes, belts her grey gabardine mac and sets out towards her future as an English teacher in a girls’ grammar school. For Miss Carter has a mission – to fight social injustice, to prevent war and to educate her girls.
Through deep friendships and love lost and found, from the peace marches of the fifties and the flowering of the Swinging Sixties, to the rise of Thatcher and the battle for gay rights, to the spectre of a new war, Sheila Hancock has created a powerful, panoramic portrait of Britain through the life of one very singular woman.

BUY THIS BOOK:
Book DepositoryBooktopia (Aus) | B&NAmazon

TheReadingRoom

killing adonis
LIGHT DUTIES, LARGE PAY, NO QUESTIONS ASKED
… OR ANSWERED
After seeing a curious flyer, Freya takes a job caring for Elijah, the comatose son of the eccentric Vincetti family. She soon discovers that the Vincetti’s labyrinthine mansion hides a wealth of secrets, their corporate rivals have a nasty habit of being extravagantly executed, and Elijah is not the saint they portray him to be.
As well, Marilyn Monroe keeps showing up, unaware she’s very much deceased. And there’s something very strange about the story that Elijah’s brother Jack is writing …
Killing Adonis is a tragicomic tale about love, delusion, corporate greed and the hazards of using pineapple cutters while hallucinating.

BUY THIS BOOK:
Booktopia (Aus) | Kobobooks | B&N | Amazon

althea-and-oliverCristina Moracho’s whip-smart debut is an achingly real story about identity, illness, and love and why bad decisions are sometimes the only ones that lead to good.
Spring 1996. Althea Carter and Oliver McKinley have been best friends since first grade, living on the same block in Wilmington, North Carolina. Now they’re juniors, developing romantic feelings for each other—and then things go off the rails. Oliver contracts Kleine-Levin Syndrome, also known as ‘Sleeping Beauty syndrome’; he’s in bed for weeks at a time, and remembers nothing, especially not what he might do in the middle of an episode. What happens during one of those episodes shatters their friendship, and before they can talk about it, his mother enrols him in a sleep study in Manhattan. He leaves without telling Althea. She follows him, and the surprising conclusion to their lifelong story will completely satisfy readers.

BUY THIS BOOK:
Book DepositoryBooktopia (Aus) | Kobobooks | B&N | Amazon

first impressions
Book lover and Jane Austen enthusiast Sophie Collingwood has barely started her new job at an antiquarian bookshop in London when two different customers request a copy of the same obscure publication: the second edition of Little Book of Allegories by Richard Mansfield.
Their enquiry draws Sophie into a web of mystery surrounding the true authorship of Pride and Prejudice, with ultimately dangerous consequences.
In a narrative that alternates between Sophie’s quest, which also sees her dealing with several love interests on the way, and the young Jane Austen’s touching friendship with the ageing cleric Richard Mansfield, Lovett – who first delighted readers with his bestselling debut The Bookman’s Tale – weaves a romantic, suspenseful and compelling novel about love in all its forms and the joys of a life lived in books.

BUY THIS BOOK:
Book Depository | Booktopia (Aus) | B&N | Amazon

TheReadingRoom

maliceAcclaimed bestselling novelist Kunihiko Hidaka is found brutally murdered in his home on the night before he’s planning to leave Japan and relocate to Vancouver. His body is found in his office, a locked room, within his locked house, by his wife and his best friend, both of whom have rock solid alibis. Or so it seems.
At the crime scene, Police Detective Kyochiro Kaga recognizes Hidaka’s best friend, Osamu Nonoguchi. Years ago when they were both teachers, they were colleagues at the same public school. Kaga went on to join the police force while Nonoguchi eventually left to become a full-time writer, though with not nearly the success of his friend Hidaka.
As Kaga investigates, he eventually uncovers evidence that indicates that the two writers’ relationship was very different that they claimed, that they were anything but best friends. But the question before Kaga isn’t necessarily who, or how, but why. In a brilliantly realized tale of cat and mouse, the detective and the killer battle over the truth of the past and how events that led to the murder really unfolded. And if Kaga isn’t able to uncover and prove why the murder was committed, then the truth may never come out.
Malice is one of the bestselling-the most acclaimed-novel in Keigo Higashino’s series featuring police detective Kyochiro Kaga, one of the most popular creations of the bestselling novelist in Asia.

BUY THIS BOOK:
Book Depository | Booktopia (Aus) | Kobobooks | B&N | Amazon