Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year 2013 To All


May we meet many more authors and come across more books in the new year to come.   

May the new year brings joy, good health, love and God's abundant blessings to all.

Thank you to everyone who visited this blog. 

Keep reading and booking.

Cheers!

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Country Driving: A Chinese Trip by Peter Hessler


Paperback:  After living in China for five years, and studying the language, Peter Hessler decided to undertake an even more complicated endeavour:  he acquired his Chinese driving licence.

An eye-opening challenge, it enabled him to embark on an epic journey driving across this most enigmatic of countries.

Over seven years, he travelled to places rarely explored by tourists, into the factories exporting Chinese goods to the world, and into the homes of workers.

Full of extraordinary encounters and details of life beyond Beijing, Country Driving (2010) - researched from 2001 to 2009 - is an unforgettable, unique portrait of the country that will likely shape all our lives in the century to come.

About the author:  Peter Hessler is a staff writer at the New Yorker, where he served as the Beijing corrrespondent from 2000 to 2007 and is also a contributing writer for the National Geographic.  He is the author of River Town (2001), which won the Kiriyama Book Prize, and Oracle Bones (2006), which was a finalist for the National Book Award.  He won the 2008 National Magazine Award for Excellence in reporting.  In 2011, Hessler moved to Cairo where he is covering the Middle East for the New Yorker.  He is married to journalist and writer Leslie T Chang.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Last Will by Liza Marklund


Paperback:  A frosty night in Stockholm.  A thousand guests attend the Nobel Prizewinners' dinner.

The evening is one of prestige and glamour.  Until two shots are fired on the dance floor.

Crime reporter Annika Bengtzon is there, covering the event for the Evening Post.

As the police realize she caught a glimpse of the suspect, she is far more interested in getting back to the newsroom.

But as more brutal murders follow, Annika finds herself in the middle of something far larger than she had anticipated.

No longer just a reporter but also a vulnerable key witness, she begins to close up the gaps linking these crimes, just as the suspect starts closing the net on Annika herself.

About the author:  Liza Marklund is an author, publisher, journalist, columnist and goodwill ambassador for UNICEF.  Her crime novels featuring the relentless reporter Annika Bengtzon instantly became an international hit, and sold 13 million copies in 30 languages to date.

She has achieved the unique feat being the number one bestseller in all five Nordic countries, as well as the USA, and she has been awarded numerous prizes, including a nomination for the Glass Key for best Scandinavian crime novel.

The Annika Bengtzon series is currently being adapted into film, and will launch with the movie of this novel, under the title Nobel's Last Will.

Fans of Liza Marklund will be pleased to know that the seventh book in this series, Lifetime, will be released in 2013.

On the translator:  Neil Smith studied Scandinavian Studies at University College London and lived in Stockholm for several years.  He now lives in Norfolk, England.

Liza Marklund on Last Will (2012), the sixth book in the Annika Bengtzon series:



Rating:  5/5

The Bomber by Liza Marklund


Hardback:  Seven days.  Three killings.  One woman who knows too much.

Journalist Annika Bengtzon is asleep next to her husband when the call comes in at 3.22am on a frozen December night.

It's the weekend, and she still has Christmas shopping to do.

But within minutes, all thoughts of seasonal goodwill are left behind.

Annika is looking at a nightmare scene of police tape and rubble, trying to get the best possible picture for her newspaper.

A bomb has not only destroyed Stockholm's new Olympic arena just months before the Summer Games, it has blown someone to pieces.

Putting a city on edge with fears of a terrorist on the loose, the Bomber will become Annika's biggest story - and maybe her last.

About the author:  Liza Marklund is an author, publisher, journalist, columnist and goodwill ambassador for UNICEF.  Her crime novels featuring the relentless reporter Annika Bengtzon instantly became an international hit, and sold 13 million copies in 30 languages to date.

She has achieved the unique feat being the number one bestseller in all five Nordic countries, as well as the USA, and she has been awarded numerous prizes, including a nomination for the Glass Key for best Scandinavian crime novel.

More information can be found on her website or on her Facebook page.

The Bomber (2001) is the second book in the Annika Bengtzon series and is translated from the Swedish into the English by Kajsa von Hofsten.

Rating:  5/5

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

In Cold Blood (Non-fiction) by Truman Capote


This book is a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences.

"...I have even heard on more than one occasion that the man, when found, should be hanged from the nearest tree.  Let us not feel this way.  The deed is done and taking another life cannot change it.  Instead, let us forgive as God would have us do.  It is not right that we should hold a grudge in our hearts.  The doer of this act is going to find it very difficult indeed to live with himself.  His only peace of mind will be when he goes to God for forgiveness.  Let us not stand in the way but instead give prayers that he may find his peace." - Mr Howard Fox, brother of Bonnie Clutter (murdered woman).

Paperback:  Controversial and compelling, In Cold Blood (1966) reconstructs the murder in 1959 of a Kansas farmer, his wife and children.

Truman Capote's comprehensive study of the killings and subsequent investigation explores the circumstances surrounding this terrible crime and the effect it had on those involved.

At the centre of his study are the amoral young killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickock, who, vividly drawn by Capote, are shown to be reprehensible, yet entirely and frighteningly human.

The book that made Capote's name, In Cold Blood is a seminal work of modern prose, a remarkable synthesis of journalistic skill and powerfully evocative narrative.

About the author:  Truman Capote was born in New Orleans in 1924 and was raised in various part of the South, his family spending winters in New Orleans and summers in Alabama and New Georgia.  He left school when he was fifteen and subsequently worked for the New Yorker which provided his first - and last - regular job.

In 1984, his first novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms, was published to international critical acclaim, assuring Capote a place among the prominent postwar American writers.  His other works include The Grass Harp (1951), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958), In Cold Blood (1966), which immediately became the centre of a storm of controversy on its publication, Music for Chameleons (1980) and Answered Prayers (1986).

Summer Crossing was sold at Sotheby's, New York, in 2004, and published for the first time in the UK by Penguin Classics in 2005.

Truman Capote died in August 1984.

The 1967 film based on Truman Capote's book:

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Rush Of Blood by Mark Billingham


Rush of Blood is a brilliantly plotted, utterly gripping thriller about the danger of making friends on holiday.  I very much enjoy a book like this as it reflects real life, where justice is not always served and the killer not always caught and tried.  A highly recommended read.

Who better to introduce his second standalone thriller Rush of Blood (2012) than Mark Billingham himself:



About the author:  Mark Billingham has twice won the Theakston's Old Peculier Award for the Best Crime Novel of the Year and has also won a Sherlock Award for the Best Detective created by a British writer.  Each of the novels featuring Detective Inspector Tom Thorne has been a Sunday Times bestseller, and Sleepyhead (2001) and Scaredy Cat (2002) were made into a hit TV series on Sky 1, starring David Morrissey as Thorne.  Mark lives in north London with his wife and two children.  Do visit the author's website for more updates and information.

Rating:  4/5