19 Books That Should Be On Your Radar: November 2017

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Every month, the Writer’s Bone crew reviews or previews books they’ve read or want to read. This series may or may not also serve as a confessional for guilty pleasures and hipster novels only the brave would attempt. Here are their recommendations for November 2017:

  1. Little Fires Everywhere By Celeste Ng
  2. The Winter Of Frankie Machine By Don Winslow
  3. Garden Of The Lost And Abandoned By Jessica Yu
  4. In The Distance By Hernan Diaz
  5. Mister Monkey By Francine Prose
  6. Siddhartha By Hermann Hesse
  7. The First Day By Phil Harrison
  8. Vacationland By John Hodgman
  9. Eileen By Ottessa Moshfegh
  10. A Head Full Of Ghosts By Paul Tremblay
  11. Jane Steele By Lyndsay Faye
  12. Sunburn By Laura Lippman
  13. Little Deaths By Emma Flint
  14. The Castle By Jason Pinter
  15. Under The Harrow By Flynn Berry
  16. The Cutaway By Christina Kovac
  17. Titus: The Life Story Of Dr. Plomaritis by Dr. Titus Plomaritis
  18. Strange Weather By Joe Hill

Click on the links above for a detailed synopsis of each book, or follow the following link to see what the Writer’s Bone crew had to say: http://www.writersbone.com/book-recommendations/2017/11/8/18-books-that-should-be-on-your-radar-november-2017

 

19 Books That Should Be On Your Radar: October 2017

 

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Every month, the Writer’s Bone crew reviews or previews books they’ve read or want to read. This series may or may not also serve as a confessional for guilty pleasures and hipster novels only the brave would attempt. Here are their recommendations for October 2017:

  1. THE LAST BALLAD BY WILEY CASH
  2. SHALLOW GRAVES: THE HUNT FOR THE NEW BEDFORD SERIAL KILLER BY MAUREEN BOYLE
  3. HAVE YOU MET NORA? BY NICOLE BLADES
  4. BONE BY YRSA DALEY-WARD
  5. MY ABSOLUTE DARLING BY GABRIEL TALLENT
  6. SING, UNBURIED, SING BY JESMYN WARD
  7. ONCE WE WERE BROTHERS BY RONALD H. BALSON
  8. HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE BY KELLYE GARRETT
  9. BLURRED LINES: RETHINKING SEX, POWER, AND CONSENT ON CAMPUS BY VANESSA GRIGORIADIS
  10. AN UNKINDNESS OF MAGICIANS BY KAT HOWARD
  11. DREAMFIELD BY ETHAN BRYAN
  12. UNCOMMON TYPE: SOME STORIES BY TOM HANKS
  13. GOOD BONES BY MAGGIE SMITH
  14. FROM THE DUST RETURNED BY RAY BRADBURY
  15. ALL OUR PRETTY SONGS BY SARAH MCCARRY
  16. ASK BABA YAGA: OTHERWORLDLY ADVICE FOR EVERYDAY TROUBLES BY TAISIA KITAISKAIA
  17. TALES OF FALLING AND FLYING BY BEN LOORY
  18. HER BODY & OTHER PARTIES BY CARMEN MARIA MACHADO
  19. MRS. FLETCHER BY TOM PERROTTA

Click on the links above for a detailed synopsis of each book, or follow the following link to see what the Writer’s Bone crew had to say: http://www.writersbone.com/book-recommendations/2017/10/9/19-books-that-should-be-on-your-radar-october-2017

 

15 Books That Should Be On Your Radar: September 2017

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Every month, the Writer’s Bone crew reviews or previews books they’ve read or want to read. This series may or may not also serve as a confessional for guilty pleasures and hipster novels only the brave would attempt. Here are their recommendations for September 2017:

  1. HOME FIRE BY KAMILA SHAMSIE
  2. THE NAMES OF DEAD GIRLS BY ERIC RICKSTAD
  3. SILENCER BY MARCUS WICKER
  4. SID SANFORD LIVES! BY DANIEL FORD
  5. HEAVY GREEN: THE COLLISION OF TWO UNLIKELY MISSIONS IN AMERICA’S SECRET WAR BY SAM LIGHTNER JR.
  6. THE TRESPASSER BY TANA FRENCH
  7. SMART BASEBALL BY KEITH LAW
  8. WELCOME TO THE SLIPSTREAM BY NATALKA BURIAN
  9. MARCEL’S LETTERS BY CAROLYN PORTER
  10. BEFORE THE FALL BY NOAH HAWLEY
  11. THE FIRE NEXT TIME BY JAMES BALDWIN
  12. MARLENA BY JULIE BUNTIN
  13. PAULINA AND FRAN BY RACHEL B. GLASER
  14. STEPHEN FLORIDA BY GABE HABASH
  15. MONSTERS: A LOVE STORY BY LIZ KAY

Click on the links above for a detailed synopsis of each book, or follow the following link to see what the Writer’s Bone crew had to say: http://www.writersbone.com/book-recommendations/books-that-should-be-on-your-radar-september-2017

 

Book Review: Trust Me by Angela Clarke 

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I read this fantastic book review of Angela Clarke’s Trust Me by Sophie Hedley, and now I am even more excited to read the book – I am currently making my way through all three of Anglea’s books and highly recommend them. Read this review and you will totally understand why:

Trust Me is the third book in Angela Clarke’s Social Media Murder series following book one, Follow Me, and book two, Watch Me. I mentioned all three in my Top Ten Social Media Books post because I couldn’t choose a favourite and they are all really credible, smart and up-to-date representations of social media and the dangers it possesses.

In Trust Me, the social media of choice is Periscope, where Kate stumbles upon a live video on her laptop of a girl being raped. Kate is absolutely stunned but knows she needs to do what she can to help the victim, even though she may not have survived the attack. The thing is, the video soon disappears, Kate knows nothing about the people who were in it and nobody really believes Kate can really have seen what she says she’s seen.

That is where Freddie and Nas come in. Though they are busy investigating a missing persons case, Freddie is the first person to give Kate’s story a proper listen. She’s the first person to truly believe Kate, and as Kate goes public about what she saw, Freddie and Nas begin to wonder whether their missing person’s case and the video Kate saw may be linked.

As with the other books in the series, Follow Me and Watch Me, Trust Me is pure brilliance. The author’s grasp on social media and the way she utilises it to create shocking yet realistic crimes with storytelling full of twists and turns – it’s irresistible reading. Even though I still can’t pick a favourite of the series, this one did hook me instantly and I was fascinated by how things would play out. Each book in the series seems to have got darker than the one before and I love how thought-provoking the themes always are. I couldn’t imagine what I would do if I saw something as awful as Kate did through a video on social media, yet it was entirely plausible. There’s all sorts of horrific photos and videos posted up online, and there could be a time when you see one and you can’t just scroll past and try and forget about it. Kate’s story left me thinking even when I’d put the book down.

Putting the book down was something I found difficult though as I was very engrossed in the story. I loved being back with Freddie and Nas and seeing the challenges they faced this time. Their development runs along nicely side by side with the main story and the investigation of the crimes in Trust Me made for gripping reading. With each book in the series I find that I view social media a little differently afterwards. Social media can be perfectly harmless escapism or it can be a grim and dangerous place and the author depicts this well. With short yet perfectly hard-hitting chapters, Trust Me is gritty crime at its best. It’s complex yet convincing, proper edge-of-your-seat reading.

Via: http://socialmediastories.co.uk/reviews/book-review-trust-me-by-angela-clarke/

16 Books That Should Be On Your Radar: August 2017

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Every month, the Writer’s Bone crew reviews or previews books they’ve read or want to read. This series may or may not also serve as a confessional for guilty pleasures and hipster novels only the brave would attempt. Here are their recommendations for August 2017:

  1. Hum If You Don’t Know The Words by Bianca Marais
  2. The Late Show by Michael Connelly
  3. Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips
  4. Of Mess And Moxie by Jen Hatmaker
  5. Killerjoy by Jon Negroni
  6. A Clean Kill In Tokyo by Barry Eisler
  7. The Road To Concord by J.L. Bell
  8. All The Bayou Stories End With Drowned by Erica Wright
  9. Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta
  10. I Was Told To Come Alone by Souad Mekhennet
  11. The Weight Of Blood by Laura Mchugh
  12. Into The Forest by Jean Hegland
  13. A House Among The Trees by Julia Glass
  14. A Distant View Of Everything by Alexander Mccall Smith
  15. The Elephants In My Backyard by Rajiv Surendra
  16. Everybody’s Son by Thrity Umrigar

Click on the links above for a detailed synopsis of each book, or follow the following link to see what the Writer’s Bone crew had to say: http://www.writersbone.com/book-recommendations/2017/8/3/17-books-that-should-be-on-your-radar-august-2017

 

7 Books That Are More Feminist Than You’d Think

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Reading while also being a feminist can be a demoralising endeavor. It feels like for every brilliant piece of feminist writing, there’s an unassailable mountain of misogynistic nonsense (I’m looking at you, Ernest Hemingway). So much of what we read in secondary school literature, for example, is written by white men, about white men, and for white men, and it starts to get exhausting. Can we only read books of essays on feminist theory for the rest of time? Are any other books safe? Well, these books might not change your entire gender-based worldview, but they certainly all have feminist messages buried in there somewhere. Here are a few books that turn out to be more feminist than you’d think.

I mean sure, we can all enjoy the occasional story about hunting lions in Africa with your shrewish wife, but over half of the planet’s population is made up of genders other than men. It’s tempting to give up on male authors entirely and go live underground and/or only read Ella Enchanted on repeat for the rest of your life. But if that’s sounding a little unrealistic, here are a few books that have more to say on women’s rights than you might have guessed:

1. ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by William Shakespeare

Sappy romance between hormonal teens…or secret feminist manifesto? Romeo and Juliet has quite the reputation for being a classic love story, but the way it deals with gender is very nearly revolutionary. Despite being a teen boy, Romeo is the emotional, romantic, sensitive character, who kills himself using poison, which is traditionally a “woman’s weapon.” Juliet, on the other hand, is a thoughtful, logical teenage girl, who has a whole monologue about how excited she is to have sex with her boyfriend, and who stabs herself to death in a very traditionally masculine form of violence.

2. ‘Ulysses’ by James Joyce

Yes, James Joyce writes a lot about dudes staring at women and yes, a lot of his fans are lit bros who’ll make you read their screenplay and then ghost you. But if you can make it through Ulysses, you just might find that Joyce is more complex than that. The book is all about Leopold Bloom, but Molly Bloom, his wife, gets the final chapter all to herself. The last few pages are a stream of consciousness monologue from Molly as she masturbates, and it’s presented as a beautiful, empowering, life-affirming event (that got the book repeatedly banned for obscenity).

3. ‘The Suffragette Scandal’ by Courtney Milan

A lot of people write off the romance genre as trashy or backwards, but there are many well-written feminist love stories out there. The Suffragette Scandal, for one, is a nuanced and sexy romance between an outspoken suffragette and a man who actually appreciates her for her wit, tenacity, and bold opinions.

4. ‘One Thousand and One Nights’ by Hanan Al-Shaykh

Like most classic folklore collections, the original One Thousand and One Nights isn’t exactly up to date on gender politics. But Hanan Al-Shaykh’s beautiful, witty re-telling of these stories manages to highlight complex women throughout. The stories are equally funny and gruesome, and at the center of all of them is young Shahrazad, spinning tales to save her life, and to protect other women from the king’s wrath.

5. ‘Persuasion’ by Jane Austen

People seem to be split on Jane Austen: either they think she’s a brilliant proto-feminist, or they dismiss her books as classic chick lit. Those “chick lit” people need to take a long hard look in the mirror and then read Persuasion. It may not have as much of a feminist following as Pride and Prejudice, but Persuasion is the most mature of Austen’s novels: the story of an old-ish young woman looking for a second chance with a man she once spurned. But more than that, our heroine is forced to deal with the existential question of her own place in society as a woman who never married (she’s a dried up old maid of 27!).

6. ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ by Lemony Snicket

I don’t know that anyone would call Lemony Snicket’s darkly humorous children’s series sexist, but it’s certainly not the book that comes to mind first in a discussion of feminist kids’ books. That’s too bad, because the Baudelaire siblings eschew traditional gender roles and deal with a lot of sexist creeps. Violet, the mechanically minded inventor, is a great example of a young women who can enjoy hair ribbons and machinery.

7. ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Brontë

When it comes to the Brontës and feminism, Jane Eyre gets most of the attention. After all, Jane Eyre is very clearly the story of one woman growing into her own independence, while Wuthering Heights is… more of a story about two awful people who love/hate each other until they angrily die. But, I’d argue that Wuthering Heights is important in part because it has an unlikable female protagonist. So many great books star antihero men, so why can’t Cathy be an antihero woman? Wuthering Heights challenges us to invest in the story of a young woman who is not particularly pleasant or nice, but who is still a fully realised individual with passions and thoughts.

Via: https://www.bustle.com/p/7-books-that-are-more-feminist-than-you-think

18 Books That Should Be On Your Radar: July 2017

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Every month, the Writer’s Bone crew reviews or previews books they’ve read or want to read. This series may or may not also serve as a confessional for guilty pleasures and hipster novels only the brave would attempt. Here are their recommendations for July 2017:

  1. Stephen Florida by Gabe Habash
  2. What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons
  3. The Fallen by Ace Atkins
  4. Madame Zero by Sarah Hall
  5. Grunt by Mary Roach
  6. The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff
  7. Unsub by Meg Gardiner
  8. The Graybar Hotel by Curtis Dawkins
  9. Found Audio by N.J. Campbell
  10. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  11. The Dark Dark by Samantha Hunt
  12. Joe Gould’s Teeth by Jill Lepore
  13. St. Marks is Dead by Ada Calhoun
  14. The Songs by Charles Elton
  15. The Reason You’re Alive by Matthew Quick
  16. Blind Spot by Teju Cole
  17. Sweat by Lynn Nottage
  18. Borne by Jeff Vandermeer

Click on the links above for a detailed synopsis of each book, or follow the following link to see what the Writer’s Bone crew had to say: Books-that-should-be-on-your-radar-July-2017