Weekly Book Round-Up

Weekly Book Round-Up

Week of 2/25/18-3/3/18 Weekly Book Round-Up

New Release:

This week A Long Way from Home by Peter Carey was released in the United States.

Book Blurb courtesy of author’s website:

Irene Bobs loves fast driving.

Her husband is the best car salesman in rural south eastern Australia.

Together they enter the Redex Trial, a brutal race around the ancient continent, over roads no car will ever quite survive.

With them is their lanky fair-haired navigator, Willie Bachhuber, a quiz show champion and failed school teacher whose job it is to call out the turns, the grids,  the creek crossings on a map that will finally remove them, without warning, from the lily white Australia they all know so well.

This is a thrilling high speed story that starts in one way, and then takes you some place else. It often funny, more so as the world gets stranger, and always a page-turner, even as you learn a history these characters never knew themselves.

Set in the 1950’s, amongst the consequences of the age of Empires — of Kings and Queens, and subject races, of black, white and in between — this brilliantly vivid and lively novel reminds us how Europeans took possession of an ancient culture, the high purpose they invented, the crimes they committed along the way.

Peter Carey has twice won the Booker Prize for his explorations of Australian history.

A Long Way from Home  is his late style masterpiece.

Instagram Photo courtesy of Salthorse



What other’s are saying:

 “I couldn’t have imagined that a car race could be so enthralling.” The Guardian

“A major work of fiction by the writer who will probably be regarded, in a hundred years, as the leading Australian novelist from the early part of the twenty-first century. . . . A highly enjoyable reading experience.”—Paul Giles, Australian Book Review

“This picaresque comedy goes thematically deeper as it heads into the Outback. The antic tone of this 14th novel by Australian-born Carey belies its serious ambition. The comic spirit slyly suggests Shakespeare, an inquiry into identity and the farcical human existence. . . . Carey’s novel raises issues of culture and race that carry a thoroughly contemporary charge.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“One of Australia’s greatest authors . . . Carey employs both a multi-voice narrative and a continent-spanning car race to emulate the disparate voices and fits and starts that comprise Australia’s history. Highly recommended.” —Library Journal (starred review)

In other blogs:  Ova at Excuse My Reading & Umut at Umutreview, both read and reviewed The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock  by Imogen Hermes Gowar

This debut novel is an expansive historical, character driven that Ova and Umut read as a buddy read to discuss the 500+ page novel.

If you love historical novels that capture the time the world and are beautifully written you should take a peak their reviews to see if this will be your next read.

The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock was a finalist in the MsLexia First Novel Competition and shortlisted for the inaugural Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers’ Award.

Ova at Excuse My Reading says Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar is an amazing debut from an author with immense storytelling talent. You are either a story teller or not, there is no other way to fly the reader through some 500 pages.

Umut at Umutreview says Beautiful writing: The writing was really exquisite. Very detailed and vivid settings. very deep character building. She portrayed the picture of the society of those times through metaphors and amazing characters so well. I enjoyed every sentence. Also, it was clear there’s a lot of research behind this to display the true features of the times.

The Blurb from Goodreads

This voyage is special. It will change everything… 

One September evening in 1785, the merchant Jonah Hancock hears urgent knocking on his front door. One of his captains is waiting eagerly on the step. He has sold Jonah’s ship for what appears to be a mermaid.

As gossip spreads through the docks, coffee shops, parlours and brothels, everyone wants to see Mr Hancock’s marvel. Its arrival spins him out of his ordinary existence and through the doors of high society. At an opulent party, he makes the acquaintance of Angelica Neal, the most desirable woman he has ever laid eyes on… and a courtesan of great accomplishment. This meeting will steer both their lives onto a dangerous new course, on which they will learn that priceless things come at the greatest cost.

Where will their ambitions lead? And will they be able to escape the destructive power mermaids are said to possess?

In this spell-binding story of curiosity and obsession, Imogen Hermes Gowar has created an unforgettable jewel of a novel, filled to the brim with intelligence, heart and wit.

Podcast:  Autumn and Kendra of Reading Women interviews Mira T. Lee about her debut novel Everything Here Is Beautiful 

Click below images to hear the interview


This would be a good book to read if you liked I Am Not Your Perfect American Daughter by Erika Sánchez.  My review for that book is here.

Book Blurb courtesy of the author’s website:

Everything Here is Beautiful

Two sisters: Miranda, the older, responsible one, always her younger sister’s protector; Lucia, the vibrant, headstrong, unconventional one, whose impulses are huge and, often, life changing. When their mother dies and Lucia starts to hear voices, it’s Miranda who must fight for the help her sister needs — even as Lucia refuses to be defined by any doctor’s diagnosis. Determined, impetuous, she plows ahead, marrying a big-hearted Israeli only to leave him, suddenly, to have a baby with a young Latino immigrant. She will move with her new family to Ecuador, but the bitter constant remains: she cannot escape her own mental illness. Lucia lives life on a grand scale, until inevitably, she crashes to earth. And then Miranda must decide, again, whether or not to step in — but this time, Lucia may not want to be saved. The bonds of sisterly devotion stretch across oceans, but what does it take to break them?

Told from alternating perspectives, Everything Here Is Beautiful is, at its core, a heart-wrenching family drama about relationships and tough choices — how much we’re willing to sacrifice for the ones we love, and when it’s time to let go and save ourselves.

BookTube: Merphy Napier does her monthly classics wrap-up discussing the Virgin Suicides and Jane Eyre.  Merphy proves that even if you don’t like a book, you can talk about it and add to the conversation.  Not every book is going to be a perfect read for every reader.  


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