Sunday, 31 January 2016

This week everyone is talking about these books.....


It's time to have a look at which books have been trending on Twitter this week and offer a brief low down of the top picks from this Saturday's Guardian Review section (my book review bible!).

First up is "First Bite: How we learn to Eat" by Been Wilson. This has been appearing on my timeline from various different sources from the bookish to food fans to parents. For those of us that have endured the minefield of weaning with our children it sounds like an interesting read. The premise of her argument seems obvious and logical - that we need to stick to offering savoury and vegetable flavours to babies and children first and that memories and experience have a lasting impact on our relationship with food. However, I am a little cynical, as I felt was the reviewer in the Guardian, as having tried very hard three times to follow the rules of gurus like Annabel Karmel with my weaning and recipes, there is always a battle with veg and trying new foods unless they are covered in chocolate! Probably worth a look for new parents.

I am itching to read "The Woman who Ran" by Sam Baker! Taking the story of Anne Bronte's "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" (although all the reviews reassure me that you do not have to be familiar with this novel in order to enjoy it) Baker has updated the tale of a woman renting a cottage in a Yorkshire village and the mystery and gossip that ensues. It promises to be more than "chick noir" as it retains the "fierce feminism" from the original text and follows in the new tradition of "Grip Lit" with its title implying it will appeal to readers of "The Girl on the Train" and "Gone Girl". Samantha Ellis called it "disquieting and thought provoking", full of "twists and turns as it hurtles towards a hair raising climax." No doubt this is a book we will be seeing and hearing a lot about.

"The Trouble with Goats and Sheep" by Joanna Cannon is another book featuring in the paper reviews and Twitter timeline throughout this week. Set in 1976 and narrated by ten year old Grace it is about the disappearance of a neighbour and explores Cannon's interest in the everyday tragedies of ordinary people as she leads an "investigation into the wealth of secrets and heartbreak that even the most commonplace street can hold" (Emma Healy). I was intrigued by the comparison with an Agatha Christie novel -there are six different voices weaved into the narrative; all with a secret. It is also described as a humorous, lively and funny read.

In the Guardian's paperback roundup they review "Owls do Cry" by Janet Frame which was originally published in 1957 and is about four siblings in New Zealand and their struggles with financial worries, mental health, disability and grief. Possibly not a very light read but the reviewer said that it was still innovative and relevant and had the power to "unnerve, astonish, impress and endure" which made me think it was worth a look.

Also mentioned was "Wilful Disregard" by Lena Anderson which claims "every other word packs a punch, every other sentence so wise and funny it begs to be quoted". As a lover of language, this seems a must read.

There is a long interview with Frances Hardinge in this Saturday's Guardian - the most talked about author this week after winning the Costa Book Award with her teen novel "The Lie Tree". I have just finished reading it and it is innovative, filled full of mesmerising imagery and poetic writing with an unnerving gothic feel. Her win has triggered a well deserved focus on YA Fiction and the other book in this genre that I am really desperate to read following its publication this week is "How Not To Disappear" by Claire Furniss. With a dual narrative of present day and the 1950's it explores the changing role of teenagers and their experiences. It sounds great.

Don't miss Sophie Hannah's article on "Grip Lit" in the Guardian too - also featured via Twitter and retweeted from my account (@katherinesunde3) which is also full of great suggestions for those who enjoy this genre.

So many books........So little time! Hope you all get to grab a chapter with something that excites you today!


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