Tag: Let the Great World Spin

What Books Have Been Trending – April-June 2013

Posted June 28, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Book Trends / 0 Comments

As we head into the middle of the year we are now going to start seeing all the summer (winter here) blockbusters being released. It feels like there is a new book being talked about every week nowadays but once again I thought I would have my fun and look at some of the books I’ve noticed trending for the past three months. Like always this is not accurate, this is judgement plus culling most books so we can cover more genres.

April

Why is crunchy food so appealing? Why is it so hard to find words for flavours and smells? Why doesn’t the stomach digest itself? How much can you eat before your stomach bursts? Can constipation kill you? Did it kill Elvis? In Gulp we meet scientists who tackle the questions no one else thinks of–or has the courage to ask.

 

A guy walks into a bar car and…From here the story could take many turns. When this guy is David Sedaris, the possibilities are endless, but the result is always the same: he will both delight you with twists of humour and intelligence and leave you deeply moved. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls is David Sedaris humourous collection of essays that cover a range of topics.

Ursula Todd is born in a snowstorm in England in 1910 but dies before she can take her first breath. During that same snowstorm she was born again and lives to tell the tale; again and again. Life after Life tells the story of Ursula’s lives, as with each new life she makes small changes that send her on a completely different path.

 

Summer, Massachusetts. An old Silver Wraith with a frightening history. A story about one serial killer and his lingering, unfinished business. Anyone could be next. NOS4R2 is an old-fashioned horror novel in the best sense. Claustrophobic, gripping and terrifying, this is a story that will have you on the edge of the seat while you read, and leaving the lights on while you sleep.

Nora Eldridge, a 37-year-old elementary school teacher in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is on the verge of disappearing. Having abandoned her desire to be an artist, she has become the “woman upstairs,” a reliable friend and tidy neighbour always on the fringe of others’ achievements. The Woman Upstairs is a masterly told story of America today, of being a woman and of the exhilarations of love.

May

A new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations. In And the Mountains Echoed, we follow its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.

One last Sookie Stackhouse adventure; Life has taken her from a waitress in Merlotte’s Bar, Bon Temps, to part owner; from social outcast to the heart of her community; from a vampire’s girlfriend to the wife of one of the most powerful vampires in the state. She has survived earthquakes, revolutions and attempts on her life. Dead Ever After is the final chapter in this much loved series.

In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centred on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces . . . Dante’s Inferno. From the bestselling thriller author that brought us The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demon’s comes the forth book in the Robert Langdon series, Inferno.

The 1st Wave took out half a million people.
The 2nd Wave put that number to shame.
The 3rd Wave lasted a little longer, twelve weeks… four billion dead.
In the 4th Wave, you can’t trust that people are still people.
And The 5th Wave? No one knows. But it’s coming.

Rose Baker seals men’s fates. With a few strokes of the keys that sit before her, she can send a person away for life in prison. She is The Other Typist, an office girl in a New York City Police Department precinct. Confessions are her job. It is 1923, and while she may hear every detail about shootings, knifings, and murders, as soon as she leaves the interrogation room she is once again the weaker sex, best suited for filing and making coffee.

June

From the moment I first met Gideon Cross, I recognized something in him that I needed. Something I couldn’t resist. I saw the dangerous and damaged soul inside–so much like my own. I was drawn to it. I needed him as surely as I needed my heart to beat. Entwined with You is the third book in Sylvia Day’s Crossfire series; Entwined by our secrets, we tried to defy the odds.

College student Devin Jones took the summer job at Joyland hoping to forget the girl who broke his heart. But he wound up facing something far more terrible: the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and dark truths about life—and what comes after—that would change his world forever.

 

In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such mega successes: sexy, irresistible characters. romantic and mythological intrigue, and relentless action and suspense.

A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.

 

The National Book Award-winning author of Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann comes an astonishing new novel, TransAtlantic. Through a series of narratives that span 150 years and two continents comes this magnificent and somewhat ambitious novel. From the first TransAtlantic flight from Newfoundland to the west of Ireland to the American senator crossing the ocean in search for lasting peace in Ireland, this is part fiction part historical literary achievement.

There are some very obvious choices here but that seems to be the books that I have seen being talked about the most. I do cut out a lot of books if I feel like there are too many in the same genre, I want to leave room for books in other genres that people might be interested in. I’ve read a few of these books and have a lot on my TBR already. I would love to hear what you think I’ve missed and what you expect to trend in the next three months.


TransAtlantic by Colum McCann

Posted June 7, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction / 0 Comments

TransAtlantic by Colum McCannTitle: TransAtlantic (Goodreads)
Author: Colum McCann
Published: Bloomsbury, 2013
Pages: 320
Genres: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction
My Copy: ARC from Netgalley

Buy: AmazonBook DepositoryKindle (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

The National Book Award-winning author of Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann comes an astonishing new novel, TransAtlantic. Through a series of narratives that span 150 years and two continents comes this magnificent and somewhat ambitious novel. From the first TransAtlantic flight from Newfoundland to the west of Ireland to the American senator crossing the ocean in search for lasting peace in Ireland, this is part fiction part historical literary achievement.

I’ve often struggled with the novels that are made up from a collection of short stories as well as the ones that blend fact and fiction. A Visit from the Goon Squad was a widely talked about book for having a chapter dedicated to a different person but I didn’t think much of it, while The Imperfectionists did the same thing a whole lot better. Now we have TransAtlantic, which I’m not sure if it was the fact that I read this while flying but this really stands out about the rest. Then you have these novels that draw a lot from history.  A Treacherous Likeness was a disaster; Z: The Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald I thought missed too much of her later years; Burial Rites was the exception but only because it was such an obscure historical event I didn’t know about it. Yet TransAtlantic seems to be standing out above these novels as well.

The first chapter looks at the incredible story of the first flight across the Atlantic in 1919, an epic feat in human history by all accounts. I felt like Colum McCann handled this so masterfully that I wasn’t concerned about the historical facts, I was absorbed in the tension facing these two men as they battle against the odds to make it.

Yet this isn’t just about the history of flight across the Atlantic Ocean, this focuses a lot on Ireland. McCann is an Irish born author so you expect to see Irish history within this book but he is also coming from a journalist background and it really shows. This novel takes a look at slavery and conflict within Ireland making this an interesting look at the significance of TransAtlantic flight.

Colum McCann weaves a tapestry of rich and powerful short stories that lavish us with this literary piece. From the get go I felt drawn into the novel, the short sentences seem to keep me reading at such a fast pace. While I had to get off one plane and board another half way through this book, I was so sucked in I felt like asking the pilot to take the long way just so it wouldn’t interrupt my reading.

Key historical figures within TransAtlantic include Frederick Douglass, John Alcock and Teddy Brown and George Mitchell. The novel both encouraged me to learn more about these people and while giving me a new insight of both TransAtlantic flight and historical events within Ireland. On reflection I can pinpoint exactly what worked well and what didn’t, the different elements of this novel all seemed to work together to hide whatever flaws I was looking for.

TransAtlantic was both an addictive read and a stunning piece of literary fiction. While it wasn’t perfect, I’m not sure how to fault this book, I picked the right book for the right time and it was an enjoyable experience. I’ve not read Colum McCann before, in fact I hadn’t heard of him, but you can be sure I’ll be tracking more of his novels down.