19 Books That Should Be On Your Radar: October 2017

 

books-radar-october-2017

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

 

Book News: Hodder wins new novels from Angela Clarke

angela-clarke_0A massive congratulations to my friend, Angela Clarke, on her new book deal – I can’t wait to read them. Here is what The Bookseller had to say…

Hodder & Stoughton has acquired two new novels by Angela Clarke, the author behind Follow Me, Watch Me and Trust Me (Avon), in a “hotly contested” auction.

Hodder’s Crime and Thriller publisher Ruth Tross, who acquired world English language rights from Diana Beaumont, Marjacq, said Clarke’s new novel, Inside, had hooked readers at Hodder from the first page and they had “big plans” for Clarke and her writing.

Clarke’s new novel, Inside, tells the story of Jenna Burns: framed for murder, she must prove her innocence from behind bars. When she realises she is pregnant, things take a darker turn – time is running out before she may be forced to give her baby up to the person who has ruined her life…

Wecloming, Clarke, who was previously published by Avon, Tross said: “I have loved Angela’s writing since reading her first novel – she is just amazing at combining a simple hook with page turning plots and intriguing characters.Inside displays that talent perfectly – everyone here was hooked from the first page – and we have big plans for Angela and her writing. I’m so excited to welcome her to Mulholland Books and Hodder & Stoughton.”

Beaumont said: “Angela’s first standalone novel plays to all her strengths: it’s topical, gripping, has a great hook and a strong female protagonist in a truly nightmarish situation. After a hotly contested auction we felt that the team at Hodder were the right people to take Angela to the next level in her career.”

Clarke added: “It’s a dream come true to be joining Ruth and Hodder’s roster, which includes many of my favourite crime and thriller authors writing today. I’m utterly delighted.”

Hodder & Stoughton will publish Inside on its Mullholland imprint in January 2019.

Via: https://www.thebookseller.com/tags-bookseller/angela-clarke

19 YA Books Everyone Should Read 

YA-novels

I saw this article on BuzzFeed, which asked members of the BuzzFeed Community for the young adult novels they’d recommend to anyone, regardless of their age. I really loved it, as I’ve never thought of myself as a YA reader, but there are a number of suggestions here that I’m really interested in picking up. Here’s what they said…

1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

“It’s a beautifully, tragically relevant book for young adults and adults alike. Unarmed, 16-year-old Khalil is fatally shot by a police officer, and his friend Starr, who is with him at the time, deals with the aftermath and the struggles of feeling like a second-class citizen her own country. It’s very engaging, and when I finished the book, I felt that I had learned something important.”

2. I’ll Give You The Sun and The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

“Her books are so beautifully written, I couldn’t pick between the two. Her characters are relatable she deals with topics like grief, sexuality, family, and coming to terms with who you are. Read her books. You will not regret it. I wish she would write more!”

3. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

“It affected me emotionally more than any other book has in years. It’s beautifully quirky, with life lessons that are both nostalgic and currently relevant. I recommend it to everyone that asks me for a book recommendation.”

4. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

“It’s about a Latino boy who doesn’t know his place in the world and discovers it in a truly beautiful way. As an LGBT Latinx teen it meant the world to me when I read it and changed a lot in my world. It helped in accepting who I was and I fell in love with its beautiful characters.”

5. A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

” I’ve read it annually since I was 14, which is about 12 years now. It’s a beautiful, slightly eerie story set in the early 20th century about a girl who craves and seeks a career and education, despite familial and societal pressure to become a wife and caretaker, against the backdrop of a real-life murder. It’s as poignant as ever, definitely changed my life, and set me on a path of self-care and feminism.”

6. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

“It’s about a young Native American boy who deals with health issues due to being born with hydrocephaly, and is a budding comic book artist. He ends up going to a high school in the wealthier part of his town where he is the only Native American (besides the school mascot). It’s mostly about him overcoming his struggles. Heads up: There’s mentions of alcohol, drugs, death, and slurs.”

7. The His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman

“The main character, Lyra, is charming, and the adventures are captivating. The books ask a lot of philosophical questions about the nature of the universe and of ourselves. It’s good reading for any age, and I get more out of it every time I re-read the series.”

8. Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes

“It was one of my favourite YA books growing up, and still is to this day. It covers love, death, friendship, and does so in an eloquent way that doesn’t feel like the rehashing of the same story you read in every other book.”

9. Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky

“It tackles the issue of being transgender in middle school and finally accepting who you really are. Some people accepted Grayson, some didn’t.”

10. The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater

“It’s a beautiful series about the way age, socioeconomics, gender, race, and a world of other factors complicate the relationships we have with the people we love. It mixes fantasy and historical fiction with some hints of horror to tell the story of four teenagers on a quest to find the tomb of an ancient Welsh King. They have to work with psychics and a magical forest and ghosts and cars, it’s just amazing. It lifts my heart no matter how many times I read it.”

11. The Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

“It’s amazingly well written and it’s a one-off, so you don’t have to worry about a whole series. It follows a genderfluid person named Riley and their struggles being genderfluid and having anxiety. The book is immensely captivating – I’m not going to lie, it made me cry. I’ve read it through 3 times in the year and a half it’s been out and it’s gotten better each time.”

12. Wonder by R.J. Palacio

“It should be required reading in life. I’ve read it for myself and with students several times and the story itself has moved me to tears, but it truly is a wonder to see the empathy the kids learned from the novel. An absolute must read.”

13. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

“Hands down my favourite book ever. It’s one of those books that straddles that strange line between modern YA and what we think is children’s literature. The writing is simple enough a younger reader can understand and, other than swearing and content that generally comes with the setting of WWII Germany, it’s fine for some younger readers.”

14. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

“A story about a rich and distinguished family and a group of four friends who spend their summer at a private island where everything is not what it seems to be. Full of complex characters and mystery, that will suck you in from the first page. Both the adults and the teenagers are struggling with darkness within their own selves. The ending will definitely shock you and keep you wondering why you didn’t figure things out sooner. A must read.”

15. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

“The premise may seem corny at first, but the excellent characterisation and lovely prose will pull you in. It grapples with some very deep and intense themes, and creates a fantasy world that manages to feel both familiar and truly unique.”

16. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Beauty Queens is the answer to that ‘Lord of the Flies but with women’ movie – it was one of the first super-intersectional feminist novels I read in high school, and it holds up.”

17. Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

“World War II historical fiction written with astounding poignancy and poetry. This is a pair of books that will never leave my bookshelf.”

18. Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

“I finally got around to reading these recently and now I won’t stop talking about them to anyone who’ll listen. You’ll love Six of Crows for its fast-paced plot, but more so for its characters – the representation in these novels is seriously incredible, and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy despite the fact that it’s about a band of criminals. The only bad thing about these books is that there’s only two of them.”

19. The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

“A beautiful, completely gut-wrenching story about three friends in a small town looking toward their futures and how they will both escape their past and stay in touch in the future. I love this book so damn much.”

***

Via: https://www.buzzfeed.com/eleanorbate/young-adult-at-heart

Stephen King’s Reading List For Writers

Stephen-Kings-Everything-You-Need-to-Know-About-Writing-Successfully-in-Ten-Minutes

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools)
to write. Simple as that.” 

― Stephen King

In the afterword to his acclaimed guide On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, Stephen King shares the following reading list of 96 books, covering a diverse range of fiction and non-fiction titles.

Accompanying the list is this explanation:

These are the best books I’ve read over the last three or four years, the period during which I wrote The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Hearts in Atlantis, On Writing, and the as-yet-unpublished From a Buick Eight. In some way or other, I suspect each book in the list had an influence on the books I wrote.

As you scan this list, please remember that I’m not Oprah and this isn’t my book club. These are the ones that worked for me, that’s all. But you could do worse, and a good many of these might show you some new ways of doing your work. Even if they don’t, they’re apt to entertain you. They certainly entertained me.

  1. Peter Abrahams, A Perfect Crime
  2. Peter Abrahams, Lights Out
  3. Peter Abrahams, Pressure Drop
  4. Peter Abrahams,Revolution #9
  5. James Agee, A Death in the Family
  6. Kirsten Bakis, Lives of the Monster Dogs
  7. Pat Barker, Regeneration
  8. Pat Barker, The Eye in the Door
  9. Pat Barker, The Ghost Road
  10. Richard Bausch, In the Night Season
  11. Peter Blauner, The Intruder
  12. Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky
  13. T. Coraghessan Boyle, The Tortilla Curtain
  14. Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods
  15. Christopher Buckley, Thank You for Smoking
  16. Raymond Carver, Where I’m Calling From
  17. Michael Chabon, Werewolves in Their Youth
  18. Windsor Chorlton, Latitude Zero
  19. Michael Connelly, The Poet
  20. Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (Free eBook – Gutenberg / Kindle)
  21. K.C. Constantine, Family Values
  22. Don DeLillo, Underworld
  23. Nelson DeMille, Cathedral
  24. Nelson DeMille, The Gold Coast
  25. Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist (Free eBook – Gutenberg / Kindle)
  26. Stephen Dobyns, Common Carnage
  27. Stephen Dobyns, The Church of Dead Girls
  28. Roddy Doyle, The Woman Who Walked into Doors
  29. Stanely Elkin, The Dick Gibson Show
  30. William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying
  31. Alex Garland, The Beach
  32. Elizabeth George, Deception on His Mind
  33. Tess Gerritsen, Gravity
  34. William Golding, Lord of the Flies
  35. Muriel Gray, Furnace
  36. Graham Greene, A Gun for Sale (aka This Gun for Hire)
  37. Graham Greene, Our Man in Havana
  38. David Halberstam, The Fifties
  39. Pete Hamill, Why Sinatra Matters
  40. Thomas Harris, Hannibal
  41. Kent Haruf, Plainsong
  42. Peter Hoeg, Smilla’s Sense of Snow
  43. Stephen Hunter, Dirty White Boys
  44. David Ignatius, A Firing Offense
  45. John Irving, A Widow for One Year
  46. Graham Joyce, The Tooth Fairy
  47. Alan Judd, The Devil’s Own Work
  48. Roger Kahn, Good Enough to Dream
  49. Mary Karr,  The Liars’ Club
  50. Jack Ketchum, Right to Life
  51. Tabitha King, Survivor
  52. Tabitha King, The Sky in the Water
  53. Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible
  54. Jon Krakauer, Into Thin Air
  55. Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
  56. Bernard Lefkowitz, Our Guys
  57. Bentley Little,  The Ignored
  58. Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It and Other Stories
  59. W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence (Free eBook – Gutenberg)
  60. Cormac McCarthy, Cities of the Plain
  61. Cormac McCarthy, The Crossing
  62. Frank McCourt, Angela’s Ashes
  63. Alice McDermott, Charming Billy
  64. Jack McDevitt, Ancient Shores
  65. Ian McEwan, Enduring Love
  66. Ian McEwan, The Cement Garden
  67. Larry McMurtry, Dead Man’s Walk
  68. Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, Zeke and Ned
  69. Walter M. Miller, A Canticle for Leibowitz
  70. Joyce Carol Oates, Zombie
  71. Tim O’Brien, In the Lake of the Woods
  72. Stewart O’Nan, The Speed Queen
  73. Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient
  74. Richard North Patterson, No Safe Place
  75. Richard Price, Freedomland
  76. Annie Proulx, Close Range: Wyoming Stories
  77. Annie Proulx, The Shipping News
  78. Anna Quindlen, One True Thing
  79. Ruth Rendell, A Sight for Sore Eyes
  80. Frank M. Robinson, Waiting
  81. J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  82. J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azakaban
  83. J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  84. Richard Russo, Mohawk
  85. John Burnham Schwartz, Reservation Road
  86. Vikram Seth, A Suitable Boy
  87. Irwin Shaw, The Young Lions
  88. Richard Slotkin, The Crater
  89. Dinitia Smith, The Illusionist
  90. Scott Spencer, Men in Black
  91. Wallace Stegner, Joe Hill
  92. Donna Tartt, The Secret History
  93. Anne Tyler, A Patchwork Planet
  94. Kurt Vonnegut, Hocus Pocus
  95. Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited
  96. Donald Westlake, The Ax

That’s a lot of recommendations. How many on this list have you read? If you’re anything like me, you’ve got an even bigger TBR pile now – best get cracking!

Via: http://www.aerogrammestudio.com/2014/03/04/stephen-kings-reading-list-for-writers/

15 Books That Should Be On Your Radar: September 2017

books-radar-sept-2017

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

 

Celebrating Works of Queer Fiction

Queer Fiction

In trying and discriminatory times, queer literature can portray lives and loves that might otherwise be forced to remain invisible. Stories written by or for the LGBTQ community are, of course, just as varied as ‘heterosexual fiction’. But they also serve a unique purpose: to validate, explore and challenge ideas about same-sex attraction.

Published in 2015, A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers showcases a distant future where humans are a small part of a vast alien population. Within this sci-fi melting pot of cultures, there’s an acceptance of all sexualities, genders and races. Queer relationships are treated the same as any other, transporting the reader to a refreshingly accepting galaxy that we can currently only hope for.

It’s vital to celebrate works by queer authors

While Chambers’ novel presents a utopian vision of the future, The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurt reminds us just how difficult life has historically been for gay people in Britain. Set in Eighties London with a backdrop of the Thatcher administration and the looming AIDS crisis, it follows young protagonist Nick Guest as he manoeuvres his way through the hypocrisy and prejudice of the upper classes. Elegant and stark, it’s a book that will stay with you long after you’ve put it down.

Young adult fiction also shouldn’t be ignored when discussing LGBTQ fiction, given that many people first question their sexuality during adolescence. Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera tells the story of a Puerto Rican teenager who has just told her family she is gay. What follows is a magnificent exploration of issues such as white privilege, the power of the queer community and the process of coming out.

In a world where people are still persecuted for their sexuality, it’s vitally important to celebrate works by queer authors such as Chambers, Hollinghurst and Rivera. They remind of us all that we’ve achieved in the long march towards equality – as well as how far we still have to go.

***

Via: http://e.stylist.co.uk/2KOH-14CGF-BA6WVAR380/cr.aspx

Book Review: Trust Me by Angela Clarke 

AngelaClarke-TrustMe

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/