New Books Have Arrived! April

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 these books arrived in my house over the last month (April).

Joshua Henkin, The World without You (2012).

I have gotten this one from NetGalley.

From NetGalley: It’s July 4th, 2005, and the Frankel family is descending upon their beloved summer home in the Berkshires. But this is no ordinary holiday: the family is gathering for a memorial. Leo, the youngest of the four Frankel siblings and an intrepid journalist and adventurer, was killed one year ago while on assignment in Iraq. His parents, Marilyn and David, are adrift in grief, and it’s tearing apart their forty-year marriage. Clarissa, the eldest, is struggling at thirty-nine with infertility. Lily, a fiery-tempered lawyer, is angry about everything. Noelle, a born-again Orthodox Jew (and the last person to see Leo alive), has come in from Israel with her husband and four children and feels entirely out of place. And Thisbe–Leo’s widow and mother of their three-year-old son–has arrived from California bearing her own secret. Over the course of three days, the Frankels will contend with sibling rivalries and marital feuds, volatile women and silent men, and, ultimately, with the true meaning of family.


Muriel Spark, The Hothouse by the East River (1973).

I have won this e-book in a giveaway organized by Caroline from bookblog Beauty is a Sleeping Cat and Open Road Media.

From Amazon: In 1973 Paul and Elsa are living in New York. In 1944 they were both involved in intelligence work in England, and with the arrival in New York of Helmut Kiel, one-time German POW and lover of Elsa, their past returns to haunt them.

I’ve already read and reviewed this book; you can read my review here.


Andy Holloman, Shades of Gray (2011).

Free download from Amazon Kindle.

From the author’s website: In the Fall of 2001, John’s life has fallen off a cliff.  His six- year-old daughter,  Lucy, needs a kidney transplant and his Durham, NC  travel agency has been wrecked by the events of 9/11.  He must find a way to secure a large amount of money quickly in order to pay for Lucy’s surgery.  He’s been in tight places before but he’s currently out of solutions.

Wanda, a client of John’s travel agency, has had her livelihood hit hard by 9/11 also.  She can no longer transport cocaine via airline flights due to increase airport security.  Like John, she is a single parent  and has wanted to get out of her line of work for several years.   She needs more money to allow her and daughter Tonya, to move from Durham to California and break free of her boss, Jamel.

John and Wanda form a partnership around a plan to smuggle cocaine via cruise ships.  His industry knowledge and connections would remove the transportation risks and she could handle the distribution and selling once they brought the drugs back to Durham.

Despite being nearly killed on their first run, it worked.   Wanda coaxes John into another trip while Jamel  is becoming suspicious of Wanda.  John’s half-brother Travis, a Durham police detective battling his own demons, can’t connect the dots between John and Wanda . He continues to line his pocket with ill-gotten gains.  Lucy and John are the most important people in his life and he would gladly provide them with financial help, if only John would ask.

 How far should a father go to save his child?  Can a man and woman from completely different worlds help each other?  Could they fall in love?  And which one of these people will live to see the summer of 2002?


Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell (2004).

I bought this one in the Bookdepository after I read a great review by Iris (Iris on Books).

From Jonathan Strange’s Website: Two magicians shall appear in England.  The first shall fear me; the second shall long to behold me…

Centuries ago, when magic still existed in England, the greatest magician of them all was the Raven King.  A human child brought up by fairies, the Raven King blended fairy wisdom and human reason to create English magic.  Now, at the beginning of the 19th century, he is barely more than a legend, and England, with its mad king and its dashing poets, no longer believes in practical magic.

Then the reclusive Mr. Norrell of Hurtfew Abbey appears and causes the statues of York Cathedral to speak and move.  news spreads of the return of magic to England and, persuaded that he must help the government in the war against Napoleon, Mr. Norrell goes to London.  There he meets a brilliant young magician and takes him as a pupil.  Jonathan Strange is charming, rich and arrogant.  Together, they dazzle the country with their feats.

But the partnership soon turns to rivalry.  Mr. Norrell has never conquered his lifelong habits of secrecy, while Strange will always be attracted to the wildest, most perilous magic.  He becomes  fascinated by the shadowy figure of the Raven King, and his heedless pursuit of long-forgotten magic threatens, not only his partenership with Norrell, but everything that he holds dear.


Amy Waldman, The Submission (2011).

When I heard the Dutch #TwitLit Bookclub chose this book as their read for April, I wanted to participate and ordered The Submission with BookDepository (This really is a valid reason to buy a book, isn’t it).

From the official The Submission website: A jury gathers in Manhattan to select a memorial for the victims of a devastating terrorist attack. Their fraught deliberations complete, the jurors open the envelope containing the anonymous winner’s name—and discover he is an American Muslim. Instantly they are cast into roiling debate about the claims of grief, the ambiguities of art, and the meaning of Islam. Their conflicted response is only a preamble to the country’s.

The memorial’s designer is an enigmatic, ambitious architect named Mohammad “Mo” Khan. His fiercest defender on the jury is its sole widow, the self-possessed and mediagenic Claire Burwell. But when the news of his selection leaks to the press, she finds herself under pressure from outraged family members and in collision with hungry journalists, wary activists, opportunistic politicians, fellow jurors, and Khan himself—as unknowable as he is gifted. In the fight for both advantage and their ideals, all will bring the emotional weight of their own histories to bear on the urgent question of how to remember, and understand, a national tragedy.

In this deeply humane novel, the breadth of Amy Waldman’s cast of characters is matched by her startling ability to conjure their perspectives. A striking portrait of a fractured city striving to make itself whole, The Submission is a piercing and resonant novel by an important new talent.

I have read this book already, you can see my review here.


Margaret Atwood, I’m Starved for You (2012).

After reading a review for this (long) short story by Atwood, I wanted to read it.  So I bought it on Amazon Kindle Single.

From Kobo: Margaret Atwood, one of the most prophetic authors of our time, delivers a tale of sexual obsession that is equal parts “Tom Jones” and “Brave New World.” A hilarious yet harrowing story that lays bare the very real dangers of trading liberty for safety, “I’m Starved for You” evokes the irrepressibility of human appetite and asks just how far a man and a woman are willing to go to get what they’re truly hungry for.


C.S. Lakin, Innocent Little Crimes (2011).

A thriller? A  sort of psychological Ten Little Indians (Agatha Christie)?  For free?   I’ll have to read this…  Download from Amazon Kindle.

From Amazon: Lila Carmichael, outrageous, bawdy comedienne, is a rich and powerful woman in television. But, it’s not enough she has everything she desires; for fifteen years she has been obsessively orchestrating payback to five unsuspecting, former schoolmates—“friends” who played a nasty trick on her, and now it’s her turn for revenge.
Under the flattering auspices of a cozy college reunion, these unsuspecting classmates are invited to Lila’s private island for a weekend from hell where Lila forces them to play a vicious parlor game—a psychological “Ten Little Indians,” where one by one Lila’s guests are figuratively killed-off. Yet, revenge turns bittersweet when the weekend is over and one guest is dead.
A psychological spinoff of Agatha Christie’s “Ten Little Indians” that Publisher’s Weekly calls “A page-turning thrill ride that will have readers holding their breaths the whole way through.”

Simon Vestdijk, De Kellner en de Levenden (1912).

De E-Books Eregalerij vult zijn rekken aan… en ik dus ook.

Van Zij reden door een uitgestorven stad. Onder de inzittenden had eerst een ietwat zwakzinnige vrolijkheid de overhand gehad, gevoed door slaperigheid, bier en cognac, en de reactie op de schrik en de woede op de agenten. Daarna werd het veel stiller.


Christopher Paolini, Het Erfgoed (serie) (2004, 2005, 2008, 2011).

Meedoen aan een weggeefactie houdt natuurlijk altijd het risico in dat je ook daadwerkelijk wint.  En deze keer zijn het zelfs vier boeken, goed voor een ruime 2.000 bladzijden leesplezier.  Dank je wel,  De serie “Het Erfgoed” bestaat uit 4 boeken: Eragon, Oudste, Brisingr en Erfenis.

Van Wikipedia: De verhalen van Eragon spelen zich af in de fictieve wereld Alagaesia, waar de jonge Eragon in het bezit van een draak komt en het op moet nemen tegen de duistere koning Galbatorix en zijn volgelingen. Eragon, die samen met zijn draak Saphira een bijzondere band smeedt, blijkt uiteindelijk één van de laatste mysterieuze Drakenrijders te zijn en de enige die Alagaesia van de onderdrukking kan redden.


Diverse auteurs, Het verhaal van Twee Steden: Barcelona en Praag (2012).

Een gratis e-boek ter ere van UNESCO Wereldboekendag.

Van City2Cities: Ter gelegenheid van het festival brengt City2Cities een bloemlezing uit met werk van hedendaagse en klassieke auteurs als Paul Auster, Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Jáchym Topol, Herman Koch, Franz Kafka en Federico Lorca.

Het festivalbooek laat zien dat er door de jaren heen ontzettend veel in en over gaststeden Praag en Barcelona is geschreven. Fragmenten van klassieke auteurs als Cervantes, Kafka en Rilke worden afgewisseld met werk van hedendaagse auteurs die op het festival aanwezig zullen zijn zoals Markéta Pilátová en Herman Koch. Het resultaat van al deze verschillende teksten bij elkaar is een gevarieerd beeld van de literaire productie uit en over Praag en Barcelona, zowel in het heden als in het verleden.

En ook dit jaar is er weer veel, speciaal voor City2Cities vertaald werk te ontdekken. Zo bevat het boek een nog niet eerder vertaalde toespraak van Federico Lorca en is het gedicht Awater van Martinus Nijhoff zowel in het Nederlands als in de talen van de gaststeden te lezen. Ook het resultaat van de vertaalsessies van de Young Poets Society is in de festivalbundel terug te vinden: van elke Young Poet is een gedicht in zowel het Nederlands als de Tsjechische en Catalaanse vertaling opgenomen. Heel bijzonder is daarnaast het verhaal ‘Zilver op Texel’ van Jáchym Topol. Hij schreef het in 2010 toen hij als Writer in Residence in Amsterdam verbleef en het verhaal is nog nooit eerder gepubliceerd, een wereldprimeur dus!



  1. I hope you enjoy Jonathan Strange! I loved it. I have The Submission out from the library at the moment 🙂

    • I ordered this book after reading your reviews, Iris, so you are responsible for this one. 🙂
      I think you will enjoy The Submission, I loved it a lot.
      Thanks for your comment.

  2. Lots of books!! I enjoyed Jonathan Strange, but it’s years ago – I don’t remember a lot about it. I also got the collection from city2cities.

    I read Eragon but that was enough – I liked it, but didn’t need to read any more. Hopefully you’ll enjoy all 4.

    • I really have to stop buying and downloading books, Judith, but I am afraid there are again 3 books coming my way from the UK at the moment.
      Jonathan Strange I have bought after reading reviews by Iris who really loved it.
      The Eragon-series is something I wouldn’t have bought myself, but now that I have won them, I will certainly read them (someday).
      Thanks for your comment.

  3. Just saw Joanathan Strange in our little library and was tempted, but decided the pile is too high already, but did come home with ‘Interpreter of Maladies’ by Jhumpa Lahiria, might come back to Dr Norell for the summer though, look forward to hearing how you find it.

    • I hope I will read Jonathan Strange soon, as I am looking forward to this book… Problem is I am looking forward to (nearly) all my books and my TBR-pile is huge.
      I haven’t heard of Interpreter of Maladies, but the title on itself sounds interesting. I will wait for your review, to see if that’s one for me.
      Thanks for your comment!

  4. I bet The World Without You is great! Enjoy your new books!

    • Yes, Kathy, that certainly looks good… Problem is, they all look good 🙂

  5. Gray looks good and I agree, so we have a lot of books.. there are worse things we could be doing with our time and money…LOL – Enjoy!

  6. Oh dear, I bought my copy of Jonathan Strange back when it came out…and still haven’t finished it. I loved what I read, but it was far too fat to carry around with me!

    • I see what you mean, Stephanie… Usually I like big chunksters, but they are not the mist practical books to read. I hope you will enjoy it, though.
      Thanks for your comment.

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