Sunday, 3 April 2016

Released This Month: April 2016

These are one million percent my new favourite posts to put together. I mean, what could be better than spending a few hours each month looking at new book releases? New books, old books, paperback books, hardback books. They're all the best! If I had the £££ to buy all of these, and a time turner so that I could read them all immediately, I would. But here are some of the books I think are worth considering if you find yourself bookless this month!

The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley April 7th 2016, John Murray
The locals called it the Loney - that strange nowhere where Hanny and I went every Easter time with Mummer, Farther, Mr and Mrs Belderboss and Father Wilfred, the parish priest. It was impossible to truly know the place. No one ever went near the water. No one apart from us, that is. I suppose I always knew that what happened there wouldn't stay hidden for ever, no matter how much I wanted it to.

And the weak suffer what they must? by Yanis Varoufakis April 7th 2016, Vintage
In January 2015, Yanis Varoufakis was elected to the Greek parliament with more votes than any other member of parliament. He was appointed finance minister and, in the whirlwind five months that followed, everything he had warned about was confirmed as the European Central Bank, IMF, and European Commission stonewalled his efforts to resolve Greece’s economic crisis. Here, Varoufakis delivers a fresh look at the history of Europe’s crisis and America’s central role in it, presenting the ultimate case against austerity, proposing concrete policies for Europe that are necessary to address its crisis and avert contagion to America, China, and the rest of the world.

Chernobyl Prayer by Svetlana Alexievich April 21st 2016, Penguin
On 26 April 1986, at 1.23am, a series of explosions shook the Chernobyl nuclear reactor. Flames lit up the sky and radiation escaped to contaminate the land and poison the people for years to come. While officials tried to hush up the accident, Svetlana Alexievich spent years collecting testimonies from survivors, crafting their voices into a haunting oral history of fear, anger and uncertainty, but also dark humour and love.

All at Sea by Decca Aitkenhead April 7th 2016, Fourth Estate
On a hot still morning on a beautiful beach in Jamaica, Decca Aitkenhead’s life changed for ever. Her four-year-old boy was paddling peacefully at the water’s edge when a wave pulled him out to sea. Her partner, Tony, swam out and saved their son’s life – then drowned before her eyes. When Decca and Tony first met a decade earlier, they became the most improbable couple in London. No one thought the romance would last, but it did. Exploring race and redemption, privilege and prejudice, this is a remarkable story of love and loss, of how one couple changed each other’s lives and of what a sudden death can do to the people who survive.

Montauk by Max Frisch April 16th 2016, Tin House
Max Frisch’s candid story of a brief love affair illuminates a lifetime of relationships. Casting himself as both subject and observer, Frisch reflects on his marriages, children, friendships, and careers; a holiday weekend in Long Island is a trigger to recount and question events and aspects of his own life, along with creeping fears of mortality. He paints a bittersweet portrait that is sometimes painful and sometimes humorous, but always affecting. Emotionally raw and formally innovative, Frisch’s novel collapses the distinction between art and life, but leaves the reader with a richer understanding of both.

Prodigals by Greg Jackson April 7th 2016, Granta
“People are bullets, fired,” the narrator declares in one of the wild, searching stories that make up Greg Jackson's Prodigals. Strivers, misfits, and children of privilege, the restless, sympathetic characters hew to passion and perversity through life's tempests. Theirs is a quest for meaning and authenticity in lives spoiled by self­-knowledge and haunted by spiritual longing. Lyrical and unflinching, cerebral and surreal, Prodigals maps the degradation of contemporary life with insight and grace, from the comedy of our foibles, to the granular dignity of experience, to the pathos of our yearning for home.
 
Get in Trouble by Kelly Link April 7th 2016, Canongate
Kelly Link creates brilliantly detailed, layered fictional worlds pulsing with their own energy and life. The situations are at first glance fantastical, but the emotional insights are piercing and the characters vividly real. In “I Can See Right Through You,” a one-time teen idol movie vampire takes a disturbing trip to the set where his former on- and off-screen love interest is shooting a bizarre new reality show. In “The New Boyfriend,” a suburban slumber party takes an unusual turn when the spoiled birthday girl opens her big present, a new animated doll. Funny, uncanny, always deeply moving, these stories demonstrate a writer of wondrous gifts operating at the height of her powers.

Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun by Sarah Ladipo Manyika April 1st 2016, Cassava Republic Press
Morayo Da Silva, a cosmopolitan Nigerian woman, lives in hip San Francisco. On the cusp of seventy-five, she is in good health and makes the most of it, enjoying road trips in her vintage Porsche, chatting to strangers, and recollecting characters from her favourite novels. Then she has a fall and her independence crumbles. Without the support of family, she relies on friends and chance encounters. A subtle story about ageing, friendship and loss, this is also a nuanced study of the erotic yearnings of an older woman.

Born on a Tuesday by Elnathan John April 1st 2016, Cassava Republic Press
Dantala lives in Nigeria and studies in a Sufi Quranic school. By chance he meets gang leader Banda and Dantala is thrust into a world with fluid rules and casual violence. In the aftermath of presidential elections he runs away and ends up living in a Salafi mosque. Slowly and through the hurdles of adolescence, he embraces Salafism as preached by his new benefactor, Sheikh Jamal. Dantala falls in love with Sheikh's daughter, Aisha, and tries to court her within the acceptable limits of a conservative setting. All the while, Sheikh struggles to deal with growing jihadist extremism within his own ranks. This novel explores life, love, friendship, loss and the effects of extremist politics and religion on everyday life in Northern Nigeria.

Easy Motion Tourist by Leye Adenle April 1st 2016, Cassava Republic Press
Easy Motion Tourist is a compelling crime novel set in contemporary Lagos. Guy Collins is a British hack who stumbles by chance into the murky underworld of the city and discovers more of the darker aspects of what makes Lagos tick. He also falls slowly for Amaka, a woman who saves him from a Nigerian police cell. Little do they realise how the body parts business is wrapped up in the power and politics of the city. A modern thriller featuring a strong female protagonist, prepared to take on the Nigerian criminal world on her own.

The Bricks that Built the Houses by Kate Tempest April 7th 2016, Bloomsbury
It gets into your bones. You don't even realise it, until you're driving through it, watching all the things you've always known and leaving them behind. Young Londoners Becky, Harry and Leon are escaping the city in a fourth-hand Ford Cortina with a suitcase full of stolen money. Taking us back in time - and into the heart of London - The Bricks that Built the Houses explores a cross-section of contemporary urban life with a powerful moral microscope, giving us intimate stories of hidden lives, and showing us that good intentions don't always lead to the right decisions. Wise but never cynical, driven by empathy and ethics, The Bricks the Built the Houses questions how we live with and love one another.

Join by Steve Toutonghi April 21st 2016, Soho Press
What if you could live multiple lives simultaneously, have constant, perfect companionship, and never die? That’s the promise of Join, a revolutionary technology that allows small groups of minds to unite, forming a single consciousness that experiences the world through multiple bodies. But as two best friends discover, the light of that miracle may be blinding the world to its horrors.

Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss April 5th 2016, Gallery/Scout Press
Welcome to SoHo at the onset of the eighties: a gritty, not-yet-gentrified playground for artists and writers looking to make it in the big city. Among them: James Bennett, a synesthetic art critic for The New York Times whose unlikely condition enables him to describe art in profound, magical ways, and Raul Engales, an exiled Argentinian painter running from his past and the Dirty War that has enveloped his country. As the two men ascend in the downtown arts scene, dual tragedies strike, and each is faced with a loss that acutely affects his relationship to life and to art. It is not until they are inadvertently brought together by Lucy Olliason and a young orphan boy sent mysteriously from Buenos Aires, that James and Raul are able to rediscover some semblance of what they’ve lost.

The Red Parts: Autobiography of a Trial by Maggie Nelson April 5th 2016, Graywolf Press
Late in 2004, Maggie Nelson was looking forward to the publication of her book Jane: A Murder, a narrative in verse about the life and death of her aunt, who had been murdered thirty-five years before. The case remained unsolved, but Jane was assumed to have been the victim of an infamous serial killer in Michigan in 1969. Then, one November afternoon, Nelson received a call from her mother, who announced that the case had been reopened; a new suspect would be arrested and tried on the basis of a DNA match. The Red Parts is a memoir, an account of a trial, and a provocative essay that interrogates the American obsession with violence and missing white women, and that scrupulously explores the nature of grief, justice, and empathy.

All Tomorrow's Parties by Rob Spillman April 21st 2016, Grove Press
Rob Spillman the award-winning, cofounding editor of the legendary Tin House magazine, has devoted his life to the rebellious pursuit of artistic authenticity. Born in Germany to two driven musicians, his childhood was spent in a city two hundred miles behind the Iron Curtain. The Berlin Wall stood as a stark reminder of the split between East and West, between suppressed dreams and freedom of expression. After an unsettled youth Spillman would eventually find his way into the literary world of New York City, only to abandon it to return to Berlin just months after the Wall came down. Twenty-five and newly married, Spillman and his wife moved to the anarchic streets of East Berlin in search of the bohemian lifestyle of their idols. But Spillman soon discovered he was chasing the one thing that had always eluded him: a place, or person, to call home. In his intimate, entertaining, and heartfelt memoir, Spillman narrates a colourful, music-filled coming-of-age portrait of an artist’s life that is also a cultural exploration of a shifting Berlin.

Agnostic by Lesley Hazleton April 25th 2016, Hudson Street Press
A widely admired writer on religion celebrates agnosticism as the most vibrant, engaging—and ultimately the most honest—stance toward the mysteries of existence. In this provocative, brilliant book, Hazleton gives voice to the case for agnosticism, breaks it free of its stereotypes as watered-down atheism or amorphous “seeking,” and celebrates it as a reasoned, revealing, and sustaining stance toward life.

True Crimes: A Family Album by Kathryn Harrison April 5th 2016, Random House
In essays written over the course of more than a decade, Kathryn Harrison has created a beautifully detailed and rigorously honest family album. With tenderness and wisdom, compassion and humor, Harrison writes about the things we don’t always discuss, casting light on what lurks beneath the surface of everyday life, sifting through the artifacts of memory to find what haunts and endures.

Dodgers by Bill Beverly April 5th 2016, No Exit Press
The story of a young LA gang member named East, who is sent by his uncle along with some other teenage boys—including East's hothead younger brother—to kill a key witness hiding out in Wisconsin. The journey takes East out of a city he's never left and into an America that is entirely alien to him, ultimately forcing him to grapple with his place in the world and decide what kind of man he wants to become.

When We Collided by Emery Lord April 7th 2016, Bloomsbury
Vivi craves anything joyful or beautiful that life can offer. Jonah has been burdened by responsibility for his family ever since his father died. As summer begins, Jonah resigns himself to another season of getting by. Then Vivi arrives, and suddenly life seems brighter. Jonah is the perfect project for Vivi, and things finally feel right for Jonah. Their love is the answer to everything. But soon Vivi's zest for life falters, as her adventurousness becomes true danger-seeking. Jonah tries to keep her safe, but there's something important Vivi hasn't told him.

The Light of the Fireflies by Paul Pen April 1st 2016, AmazonCrossing
For his whole life, the boy has lived underground, in a basement with his parents, grandmother, sister, and brother. Before he was born, his family was disfigured by a fire. His sister wears a white mask to cover her burns. Ever since his sister had a baby, everyone’s been acting very strangely. The boy begins to wonder why they never say who the father is, about what happened before his own birth, about why they’re shut away. A few days ago, some fireflies arrived in the basement. There’s no creature more amazing than one that can make its own light. That light makes the boy want to escape, to know the outside world. Problem is, all the doors are locked. And he doesn’t know how to get out.…


Fellside by M.R Carey April 7th 2016, Orbit
Fellside is a maximum security prison on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors. It's not the kind of place you'd want to end up. But it's where Jess Moulson could be spending the rest of her life. It's a place where even the walls whisper. And one voice belongs to a little boy with a message for Jess.

The Midnight Watch by David Dyer April 7th 2016, Atlantic Books
On a black night in April 1912, fifteen hundred passengers and crew perish as the Titanic slowly sinks beneath the freezing waters of the North Atlantic. Charting the same perilous course through the icebergs is the SS Californian, close enough for her crew to see the eight white distress rockets fired by the Titanic. Yet the Californian fails to act, and later her crew insist that they saw nothing. As news of the disaster spreads throughout America, journalists begin a feeding frenzy, desperate for stories. John Steadman is one such reporter, a man broken by alcoholism, grief and a failed marriage. Steadman senses blood as he fixates on the Californian and his investigation reveals a tense and perplexing relationship between the ship's captain and second officer, who hold the secrets of what occurred that night. Slowly he peels back the layers of deception, and his final, stunning revelation of what happened while the Titanic sank will either redeem the men of the Californian, or destroy them.

The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts by Laura Tillman April 5th 2016, Scribner
A harrowing, profoundly personal investigation of the causes, effects, and communal toll of a deeply troubling crime—the brutal murder of three young children by their parents in the border city of Brownsville, Texas.

The Course of Love by Alain de Botton April 28th 2016, Hamish Hamilton
We all know the headiness and excitement of the early days of love. But what comes after? In Edinburgh, a couple, Rabih and Kirsten, fall in love. They get married, they have children—but no long-term relationship is as simple as “happily ever after.” The Course of Love explores what happens after the birth of love, what it takes to maintain love, and what happens to our original ideals under the pressures of an average existence. You experience, along with Rabih and Kirsten, the first flush of infatuation, the effortlessness of falling into romantic love, and the course of life thereafter.

What Belongs To You by Garth Greenwell April 7th 2016, Picador
On an unseasonably warm autumn day, an American teacher walks down a staircase beneath Sofia's National Palace of Culture, looking for sex. Among the stalls of a public bathroom he encounters Mitko, a charismatic young hustler. He returns to Mitko again and again over the next few months, and their trysts grow increasingly intimate and unnerving as the enigma of this young man becomes inseparable from that of his homeland, Bulgaria, a country with a difficult past and an uncertain future. A stunning debut about an American expat struggling with his own complicated inheritance while navigating a foreign culture. Lyrical and intense, it tells the story of a man caught between longing and resentment, unable to separate desire from danger, and faced with the impossibility of understanding those he most longs to know.


Jennie

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4 comments:

  1. It is so overwhelming to see how many books are released each month, there is no way I will ever get through that many!
    I've wanted to read something by Kate Tempest for a while and The Bricks that built the houses sounds really interesting! x

    www.bethanlikes.com

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  2. What a great selection of books! I think I'm most excited about Kate Tempest's novel. I saw her live a couple of years ago and have been obsessed ever since.

    Ellie x

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  3. Most of these look really interesting! Will definitely try to read a few.
    I don't often comment on blog posts - sorry! - but just wanted to thank you for recommending 'A Little Life' to your readers a while ago. I've just finished it and it's probably one of the most beautiful, heartbreaking things I've read in a long time.

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  4. My partner has read The Light of the Fireflies and says that it's really dark. Guess who's called dibs to read it next!

    Mel ♥ everyword.meljwills.com

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