New Books Have Arrived! January and February 2012

I know, I know… I have too many books already… But be honest, can you resist buying books now and then?  Or should you even resist when you can get them for free?  I didn’t think so.  The (virtual and real) shelves are a bit more loaded, because the following books arrived in my house over the last two months (January and February).

There are only two things to remember if you don’t want your TBR-list to grow and grow…. Don’t buy an e-reader and stay away from sites that offer free e-books. 🙂

                                                                                                                                                          

ENGLISH BOOKS

James Edward Austen Leigh, Memoir of Jane Austen (Kindle).

This one was a free download from Amazon Kindle.

                                                                                                                                                            

Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending.

I’ve bought this book in a media-store (Fnac) here in my town.

From GoodReads: Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life.  Now Tony is in middle age. He’s had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He’s certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer’s letter is about to prove.

                                                                                                                                                               

Peter Carey, Illywhacker.

I won Illywhacker in a giveaway on bookblog Reading Matters.

From GoodReads: In Australian slang, an illywhacker is a country fair con man, an unprincipled seller of fake diamonds and dubious tonics. And Herbert Badgery, the 139-year-old narrator of Peter Carey’s uproarious novel, may be the king of them all. Vagabond and charlatan, aviator and car salesman, seducer and patriarch, Badgery is a walking embodiment of the Australian national character–espcially of its proclivity for tall stories and barefaced lies.
As Carey follows this charming scoundrel across a continent and a century, he creates a crazy quilt of outlandish encounters, with characters that include a genteel dowager who fends off madness with an electric belt and a ravishing young girl with a dangerous fondness for rooftop trysts. Boldly inventive, irresistibly odd, Illywhacker is further proof that Peter Carey is one of the most enchanting writers at work in any hemisphere.

                                                                                                                                                           

Joel Goldman, Dead Times Four.

Another free download from Amazon Kindle.  This is a collection of four Lou Mason thrillers: Motion to Kill, The Last Witness, Cold Truth and Deadlocked.

From the author’s website:

Motion to Kill: Richard Sullivan was at the top of his profession, a rainmaker in a powerful Kansas City law firm ­ until his body washed up on the shores of a Missouri lake. For trial attorney Lou Mason, investigating the case means running through a maze of high-level corruption, sexual misconduct, organized crime and cold-blooded murder.

The Last Witness: Kansas City trial attorney Lou Mason is back…and this time, it’s personal. In this case, Mason unearths the kind of secrets someone will do anything to keep. And as he closes in on a desperate killer who’s leaving a bloody trail through very high places, Mason may be setting himself up as the next target...

Cold Truth: Lou Mason defends Jordan Hackett on charges she threw nationally-syndicated talk-radio shrink Dr. Gina Davenport to her death from an eighth floor window. To prove Jordan’s innocence, Mason must expose a devastating black-market operation and survive a remorseless psychopath.

Deadlocked: For fifteen years, Ryan Kowalczyk denied having slaughtered a young couple in their car as their three-year old lay sleeping in the back seat. But when his friend Whitney King, who also stood accused, turned against him, his fate was sealed.

                                                                                                                                                         

Jeff W. Horton, The Dark Age.

Free download from Amazon Kindle.

From GoodReads: Suppose you learned that an ancient prophecy about an artifact, said to be powerful enough to dramatically change the world, was true. Would you risk everything to find it?
It has been five-hundred years since the Pulse caused the Great Collapse, ending the Golden Age, and civilization on planet Earth. Humanity has waited ever since for a long-anticipated sign from God, which has finally appeared in the night sky. The time has come for Ferrell Young, the Warrior Clan, and the Church to risk everything in an effort to restore civilization, and bring hope to a world full of despair.
Alex Montgomery is an archaeologist who has spent many years looking for a mysterious book on behalf of the Holy Christian Church. The book is said to contain the location of the Great Oracle which, according to legend, can endow the one who finds it with great power and wealth. Of much greater importance to the Clan and the Church however, is the fact that it may also enable the world to emerge from five centuries of darkness and suffering.
When a powerful, intelligent, but sadistic barbarian leader named Kraken learns of the Oracle, he plans to destroy the Warrior Clan and the Church, take the Oracle for himself, and enslave the rest of humanity.
Join Ferrell and his companions as they set out on a desperate journey to find the Great Oracle, and rescue humanity from The Dark Age.

——————————————————————————————–

Andrew E. Kaufman, The Lion, The Lamb, The Hunted.

Yes, again a free download from Amazon Kindle.

From GoodReads: She only stepped outside for a :minute…But a minute was all it took to turn Jean Kingsley’s world upside down–a minute she’d regret for the rest of her life. 
 

 
Stepping into her worst nightmare…  Because when she returned, she found an open bedroom window and her three-year-old son, Nathan, gone. The boy would never be seen again. 
 



A nightmare that only became worse.
A tip leads detectives to the killer, a repeat sex offender, and inside his apartment, a gruesome discovery. A slam-dunk trial sends him off to death row, then several years later, to the electric chair. 
 



Case closes.  Justice served… or was it?
Now, more than thirty years later, Patrick Bannister unwittingly stumbles across evidence among his dead mother’s belongings. It paints his mother as the killer and her brother, a wealthy and powerful senator, as the one pulling the strings.

What really happened to Nathan Kingsley?
There’s a hole in the case a mile wide, and Patrick is determined to close it. But what he doesn’t know is that the closer he moves toward the truth, the more he’s putting his life on the line, that he’s become the hunted. Someone’s hiding a dark secret and will stop at nothing to keep it that way.
The clock is ticking, the walls are closing, and the stakes are getting higher as he races to find a killer–one who’s hot on his trail. One who’s out for his blood.

—————————————————————————————–

John R. Maxim, The Shadow Box.

You won’t believe this: free download from Amazon Kindle.

From GoodReads: Michael Fallon has it all: devoted friends and family, a beautiful fiancee, and a great career. But a series of inexplicable and violent events begin to rob him of everything he loves. First the man who raised him is brutally murdered. A few days later, Michael’s fiancee is gunned down during a convenience store hold-up. Finally he is fired from his job with no explanation. And now it seems strangers are trying to kill him.  Fleeing to the island of Martha’s Vineyard, Michael hopes for a new beginning–and possibly even a new love with the enigmatic Megan Cole. But little does he know that his entire life has been built on lies–and a vast conspiracy of corruption. And his pursuers are about to strike again.

                                                                                                                                                      

Fingers Murphy, Everything I Tell You is a Lie.

You’ll never guess where I got this book… it was a free download from Amazon Kindle.

From the author’s website: Everything I tell You is a Lie is a quick read in which you are the fly on the wall in a prison psychiatrist office. As the layers upon layers upon layers of damage are slowly peeled away you learn how the history of a family leads to an unfortunate event that has our main character trying to figure out how he landed in jail. The magic here is how Murphy brings you along as the young patient slowly discovers what has happened. You are left to wonder what if that was me; bad luck, wrong place, wrong time, a victim of your family circumstance? These are all questions that the reader is left with after finishing the novella.

                                                                                                                                                           

David Nicholls, One Day.

After reading Lesswammes‘s review, I knew I had to buy this book.  So last Saturday, when I strolled into a bookstore (Fnac), there it was, waiting for me. Thank you Judith! 🙂

From GoodReads: Emma and Dexter meet for the first time on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways. So where will they be on this one day next year? And the year after that? And every year that follows? Twenty years, two people, ONE DAY.

                                                                                                                                                          

Dan O’Brien, The Journey.

I won this book in a giveaway on The Australian Bookshelf and got the e-book from the author.

From GoodReads: The Frozen Man. The Translucent Man. The Burning Man. The Wicker Man. The guide known only as the Crossroads, together these are the signposts and totems of the world that the being called the Lonely inhabits. Seeking out the meaning of his journey, the Lonely is a being consumed by philosophical inquiry and adventure. Filled with exotic places and age-old questions, the Journey is a book that seeks to merge the fantastical and real. Join the Lonely as he seeks out answers to his own existence and perhaps the meaning for us all.

———————————————————————————————-

Peter Michael Rosenberg, Because It Makes My Heart Beat Faster.

I know, I know… it is getting boring: free download from Amazon Kindle.

From GoodReads: When Jonathan Fairchild is disturbed one night by a strange noise, he doesn’t really believe it could be a burglar; after all, there’s nothing much in his house worth stealing. It’s more likely, he thinks, to be Liz, his wife, who walked out on him two days ago. So he heads downstairs, only to be surprised by a man who hurls him against the wall, puts a gun to his head and tells him it’s your time to die…
Thus begins the longest night of Jonathan’s life. It soon transpires that the uninvited guest is not a burglar at all, but a man with a mission. Jonathan has been chosenAnd it’s the Intruder’s duty to carry out the execution. But before he kills Jonathan, he has to know what it is that Jonathan is guilty of. Jonathan’s protestations of innocence fall on deaf ears; he’s guilty of something and he must pay.
But as the night progresses, Jonathan begins to suspect that there are darker reasons for his predicament; that this is in fact a game of psychological torture. Not knowing whether he has much longer to live, Jonathan’s life flashes before him as he is forced to contemplate his past actions and behaviour and link them to the present.
As the truth slowly starts to emerge, it is not clear who is victim and who is culprit, who is right and who is wrong, in a battle of wits, conscience and will to survive, in which there can be only one winner...

                                                                                                                                                             

T.R. Ragan, Abducted.

Another free one from Amazon Kindle.

From GoodReads: Elizabeth Gardner (Lizzy) is seventeen-years old when she tells her parents she’s going out with her girlfriends. Instead, she meets up with her boyfriend, Jared Shayne. As she walks home beneath an inky black sky, her perfect night becomes her worst nightmare.
Fourteen years later, Lizzy is a licensed PI known as the ‘one who got away’. When she’s not searching for runaway teenagers, working on insurance scams, or talking to her therapist, she’s at the local high school teaching young girls to defend themselves. But her world is turned upside down for the second time after she receives a call from Jared Shayne. He’s an FBI special agent now and he needs her help. Lizzy has no plans to get involved. Not until Jared tells her the kidnapper left her a personalized note.

                                                                                                                                                              

Amy Stewart, The Last Bookstore in America.

This title was irresistible, so I downloaded it from Amazon Kindle.

From GoodReads: Nothing is what it seems in the offbeat and out-of-the-way town of Eureka, California. Shrouded in fog and hidden behind a curtain of redwoods, this rundown mill town is home to a peculiar cast of characters, a unique homegrown horticultural industry, and one of the last bookstores in America.
No one is more surprised by the unlikely survival of the Firebreathing Dragon than Lewis Hartman, its newest owner. By the time his uncle Sy died and left the bookstore to Lewis, even the most ardent bibliophiles had abandoned printed books in favor of a charming and highly literate digital device called the Gizmo. Bookstores all over the country had closed their doors. But somehow, the Firebreathing Dragon has kept going.
Lewis and his wife Emily find themselves in the unlikely position of owning one of the last bookstores in America. But how has the Firebreathing Dragon managed to survive the death of the book? And if it isn’t keeping itself afloat selling books, what is it selling? Reporters, federal agents, and corporate executives out to salvage their own imperilled industries all converge on the bookstore to uncover its secrets. What they discover is a small town that has fallen under the spell of the Firebreathing Dragon’s unique offerings.

                                                                                                                                                               

A.D. Vates, The E-book Murders.

The same with this title, simply irresistible (Amazon Kindle).

From Amazon: Will Doyle had not spoken to his sister Chloe for five years. But after she invited him to her house in South London, he is asked to join the mysterious G.C.P.U. – an elite team who utilise the power of the internet and modern technology to solve complex mysteries and crimes.  Unsure if he will join, Will nevertheless shadows the team on a particularly unusual case…
The E-Book Murders is the first novella in an exciting new series of futuristic crime novellas called G.C.P.U.

                                                                                                                                                            

William Davies King, Collections of Nothing.

I got this non-fiction book as a free download from Chicago University Press.

From GoodReads: Nearly everyone collects something, even those who don’t think of themselves as collectors. William Davies King, on the other hand, has devoted decades to collecting nothing—and a lot of it. With Collections of Nothing, he takes a hard look at this habitual hoarding to see what truths it can reveal about the impulse to accumulate.

                                                                                                                                                              

Sidney Lee, A Life of William Shakespeare.

Another free one, from Amazon Kindle.

From GoodReads: A biography of William Shakespeare by the eminent English critic Sidney Lee, this book was one of the first major biographies of the Bard of Avon.

                                                                                                                                                                  
Tom Slemen, Jack the Ripper – Secret Service.

Now that you are getting used to it: free download from Amazon Kindle.

From Amazon: In this groundbreaking investigation into the unsolved Whitechapel Murders case of 1888, Tom Slemen uncovers a shocking possibility – that the Jack the Ripper murders were executed by a military-trained assassin hired by the British Intelligence Service. Revisiting the horrific evidence, intriguing testimonies and official documents from the time, this shocking exposé explores links between the notorious Ripper murders and the connections each female victim had to an Irish terrorist alliance with the anarchist movement; links that reveal a frightening new possibility – that the most infamous murders ever committed can be traced to the office of the Prime Minister himself. Exhaustively researched, highly controversial in its conclusions, this compelling account has shattered all previous theories about Jack the Ripper and shed new light on the blackest operation of Victorian times.

                                                                                                                                                                 

DUTCH BOOKS

W.M. Caers, De ogen van de wolf. (The Eyes of the Wolf)

Ja, ja, gratis download van Smashwords.  Mooie titel en mooi kaft… Wat wil een mens nog meer.

Van Smashwords: Het zijn de gouden tijden van de scheepvaart. Graaf Guillaume Montfort, bijgenaamd ‘de kapitein’, ligt mee aan de basis van het succes van zijn land. Wat niemand echter weet is dat de immens populaire kapitein daarnaast ook het hoofd van het spionagenetwerk is. In opdracht van de koning en zijn belangrijkste bondgenote, de hertogin van Carnières, vecht hij tegen een onbekend overzees gevaar.
Op een dag gebeurt het onvermijdelijke. De kapitein sterft in mysterieuze omstandigheden en laat zijn zesjarig dochtertje Catherina alleen achter. Het meisje komt in de greep van haar dictatoriale oom terecht. Het meisje groeit op in ellendige omstandigheden, maar kan toch steun vinden bij de vroegere vrienden van haar vader.
Tien jaar na de dood van haar vader ontmoet Catherina per toeval een charmante jonge edelman. Ze kunnen onmiddellijk goed met elkaar opschieten en er lijkt iets moois te bloeien. Niks doet vermoeden dat die ontmoeting werd opgezet door Griffith Woolf, de man die Catherina als kind haatte.
Als Catherina in aanvaring komt met haar vroegere aartsvijand, ontdekt ze dat ze in een web van intriges is beland. Ze probeert uit te zoeken wie de man met de zwarte ogen juist is en wat hij van haar wil.
Het antwoord zal Catherina overzee brengen en meesleuren in een gevecht tussen een tiran en de laatste telg uit een roemrucht geslacht.

                                                                                                                                                                     

S.L. Grey, De Plaza. (The Mall)

Dit boek was tijdelijk gratis te downloaden van Crimezone.nl.  Zo’n kans laat je toch niet liggen.

Van Crimezone.nl: Rhoda, een Zuid-Afrikaanse twintiger met een verminkt gezicht en nog zo wat problemen, neemt haar oppaskind mee naar een winkelcentrum om drugs te scoren. Daar raakt ze hem kwijt. Wanhopig sleurt ze Dan, de nerdy medewerker van de boekwinkel waar het kind verdwenen is, mee op een zoektocht door het labyrint. Dwalend achter de coulissen van de Plaza komen ze in een op het eerste gezicht aantrekkelijke, parallelle werkelijkheid terecht waar de klant meer dan koning is. Al gauw weten ze niet meer of ze nu moeten maken dat ze wegkomen of blijven.

                                                                                                                                                                     

Haruki Murakami, Kafka op het strand. (Kafka on the Beach)

Dit stond al een tijdje op mijn wensenlijstje, allereerst omdat ik zeker nog eens een boek van Harukami wilde lezen, en ten tweede omdat ik ook deze titel niet kon weerstaan.  Dus, vorige zaterdag in de Fnac

Van Goddeau : In Murakami’s werken lopen droom en daad steevast door elkaar, en vormt liefde vaak de drijfveer die zijn personages verbindt en scheidt. Onwetend van de belangwekkende rol die ze binnen het grotere geheel spelen, dwalen ze rond in een wereld die niet langer de hunne is en waar goed en kwaad hun eigen gezanten uitsturen om de balans te laten overhellen in deze of gene richting. De heldere verteltrant en meeslepende verhaallijn zorgen er evenwel voor dat Murakami de lezer bij het nekvel houdt. Hoezeer het verhaal ook meandert en zijsprongetjes maakt, op het einde vormen de rafelige eindjes touw toch een geheel.

In Kafka op het strand zijn het geen geliefden die het verhaal voorstuwen, maar twee karakters die mijlenver van elkaar verwijderd lijken en toch een vreemde eenheid vormen. De tiener Kafka (kraai in het Japans) Tamura besluit van huis weg te lopen vanwege een verschrikkelijke vloek: zijn vader voorspelde niet alleen dat Kafka hem zou vermoorden, maar ook dat hij met zijn eigen moeder en zus zou slapen. Zijn moeder en zus mogen dan al jaren geleden verdwenen zijn, toch blijft bij Kafka de angst knagen dat de voorspelling zal uitkomen.

Het andere hoofdpersonage is de oude eenzaat Nakata,ooit een geniaal kind, dat na een vreemd ongeval debiel leek én vanaf dat moment met katten kon praten. Nakata leeft van een uitkering en van de extra’s die hij verdient door katten op te sporen. Wanneer hij via enkele katten op het spoor komt van een vreemde kattenmoordenaar, Johnny Walker genaamd, neemt zijn leven een rare wending. Al snel vinden er vreemde gebeurtenissen plaats en besluit hij naar het zuiden te trekken, op zoek naar een steen die ontsloten moet worden.

Ook Kafka is naar het zuiden getrokken, naar een oude privé-bibliotheek in Takamatsu. Daar vindt hij onderdak bij de enigmatische mevrouw Saeki die de bibliotheek leidt en een diep en onverwerkt verdriet met zich meedraagt. De al even bijzondere assistent Oshima neemt Kafka onder zijn hoede en brengt hem naar een afgelegen berghut wanneer de grond te heet wordt onder diens voeten. In het haast onherbergzame woud achter de hut vindt Kafka de weg naar een andere wereld. Een wereld die beschutting brengt, maar ook vergetelheid. En het is net op die wereld dat andere krachten azen.

Zoals in elk verhaal van Murakami ligt het einde weliswaar in de lijn der verwachtingen, maar is de weg erheen zo kronkelig en verrassend dat het verbazingwekkend en overdonderend wordt. Maar Murakami wil de lezer niet louter overbluffen of verstommen, hij wil hem of haar in de eerste plaats ontroeren. En net zoals in zijn andere verhalen liefde een belangrijke rol speelt, is het ook hier de primaire emotie waarrond alles draait. Maar meer nog dan de liefde gaat het bij Murakami om het zoeken en vinden van een eigen identiteit.

In zijn andere verhalen zijn het vaak volwassen personages die zichzelf verloren hebben en terugvinden in de liefde voor de ander, ditmaal is de ander niet voldoende. De puberende Kafka moet immers zichzelf een “eerste” maal vinden en een plaats binnen de wereld zoeken. De oedipale verhoudingen en de magisch-realistische sfeer vormen dan ook de achtergrond waartegen Murakami een hoogst intrigerend coming-of-age-verhaal laat afspelen. Met Kafka op het strand toont Murakami dan ook eens te meer waar het bij een rasverteller om gaat: een goed verhaal.

                                                                                                                                                                     

6 Comments

  1. Een indrukwekkende lijst weer Nadine. Die laatste lijkt me ook wel wat voor mij. Ik wacht in spanning op je verslag hierover. Succes!

    • Bedankt, Hannie! Ja die Kafka op het strand, dat is toch echt een titel die je niet kan laten liggen. Ik denk dat ik die in de nabije toekomst misschien wel zal lezen, .. maar dat zeg ik van zoveel boeken. Ik schrok eigenlijk zelf hoeveel boeken ik ‘vergaard’ had op twee maanden tijd. Ik zal echt wel wat moeten minderen, maar met die Kindle is dat toch zo verleidelijk, even klikken en hops… daar is het boek al klaar om gelezen te worden.
      Ik ben gisteren begonnen in No Name van Wilkie Collins, en ik zat er van de eerste pagina direct helemaal in. Het is het tweede boek dat ik van hem lees, en zijn stijl bevalt me echt wel.
      Ik zal dus nu maar wat gaan lezen… 🙂

  2. Just a few books, then! Phew. I think you really can’t resist (I know I can’t either). I hope you’ll like One Day! I got The Sense of an Ending from the library. We’re meeting with some bookbloggers in Zwolle this month and will be discussing this book. I also got The Mall, like you.

    Have fun with this great collection of books!

    • Yes, Judith… When I was typing this list (because you asked me to), I was getting a bit embarrassed… It is so easy with these free e-books, just a click and there is the book ready to read. I really have to stop doing this, because I do love to buy paper books also. I hope The Sense of an Ending is as good as I expect it to be. I have heard a lot about it, and is has won a prize, so it should be good, shouldn’t it? 🙂
      I wish I could spend a couple of months only reading…

      • Oh I know! I did a challenge in January and told myself that would be the only month I’d stretch myself reading a ridiculous amount of books. Then February was full of books and March will be too. Sigh! Will I ever learn?

      • No… you won’t 🙂 and neither will I!

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