Jolabokaflod

Christmas Book Flood | Recommending reading

Contemporary fiction

Please visit our Book Bulletin 2018 crowdfunding project at CrowdPatch to buy recommendations for our Winter 2018 catalogue and to volunteer your skills, experience and contacts. All funds raised will support not-for-profit Jolabokaflod CIC’s forthcoming programme of events.

Time’s Betrayal
David Adams Cleveland
(USA: Fomite Press, @FomitePress, 2017)

Time’s Betrayal is an epic multi-generational family saga covering the years from the battle of Antietam to the fall of the Berlin Wall. The novel chronicles a son’s search for a larger-than-life father, a CIA agent who disappeared in the early 1950s, leaving behind a distraught wife and lovers, not to mention a Pandora’s box of devastating secrets and unanswered questions that baffled all who investigated his fate – a fate as beguiling as it is mysterious. This is also a story about the crumbling edifice of the eastern Establishment after World War II and in Vietnam-era America. A poignant coming-of-age tale, it is related though the eyes of Peter Alden, whose school days are shattered when he overhears a conversation about his father from two CIA colleagues: how John Alden, a world-famous archaeologist turned OSS and CIA officer, who vanished through Checkpoint Charlie, may have been a traitor …

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles | Hive Store | Waterstones | WHSmith
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CanadaFindaBookstore.ca (independents) | Amazon | Indigo [ebook]
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IrelandBookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Books.ie | Dubray | Eason | Kennys Bookshop
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Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Fomite Press at BookExpo America

Life After Life
(Todd Family: book 1)
Kate Atkinson
(UK: Black Swan, @PenguinUKBooks, 2014; USA: Back Bay Books, @backbaybooks, 2014)

What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?

During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath … During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale.

What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?

Life After Life follows Ursula Todd as she lives through the turbulent events of the last century again and again.

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles | Hive Store | Waterstones | WHSmith
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CanadaFindaBookstore.ca (independents) | Amazon | Indigo
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IrelandBookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Books.ie | Dubray | Eason | Kennys Bookshop
Australia: Bookshops.com.au (independents) | Amazon | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Dymocks | Queensland Book Depot
New Zealand: Find a Bookshop (independents) | Amazon | Dymocks | Paper Plus | Whitcoulls
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Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Heather Ellis, teacher, xxxxx | director, Seeds Creatives

A God in Ruins
(Todd Family: book 2)
Kate Atkinson
(UK: Black Swan, @PenguinUKBooks, 2015; USA: Back Bay Books, @backbaybooks, 2016)

A God in Ruins relates the life of Teddy Todd – would-be poet, heroic World War II bomber pilot, husband, father, and grandfather – as he navigates the perils and progress of the 20th century. For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge will be to face living in a future he never expected to have.

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles | Hive Store | Waterstones | WHSmith
USA: NewPages (independents) | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Hummingbird (ebooks and audiobooks)
CanadaFindaBookstore.ca (independents) | Amazon | Indigo
India: Bookstores in India (independents) | Amazon | Flipkart | Goodreads | Infibeam | SapnaOnline
IrelandBookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Books.ie | Dubray | Eason | Kennys Bookshop
Australia: Bookshops.com.au (independents) | Amazon | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Dymocks | Queensland Book Depot
New Zealand: Find a Bookshop (independents) | Amazon | Dymocks | Paper Plus | Whitcoulls
South Africa: Bookshops (independents) | Amazon | Bargain Books | Exclusive Books
Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Heather Ellis, teacher, xxxxx | director, Seeds Creatives

The Museum of You
Carys Bray
(UK: Windmill, @WindmillBooks, 2017)

Clover Quinn was a surprise. She used to imagine she was the good kind, now she’s not sure. She’d like to ask Dad about it, but growing up in the saddest chapter of someone else’s story is difficult. She tries not to skate on the thin ice of his memories.

Darren has done his best. He’s studied his daughter like a seismologist on the lookout for waves and surrounded her with everything she might want – everything he can think of, at least – to be happy.

What Clover wants is answers. This summer, she thinks she can find them in the second bedroom, which is full of her mother’s belongings. Volume isn’t important, what she is looking for is essence; the undiluted bits: a collection of things that will tell the full story of her mother, her father and who she is going to be … But what you find depends on what you’re searching for.

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles | Hive Store | Waterstones | WHSmith
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CanadaFindaBookstore.ca (independents) | Amazon | Indigo
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IrelandBookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Books.ie | Dubray | Eason | Kennys Bookshop
Australia: Bookshops.com.au (independents) | Amazon | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Dymocks | Queensland Book Depot
New Zealand: Find a Bookshop (independents) | Amazon | Dymocks | Paper Plus | Whitcoulls
South Africa: Bookshops (independents) | Amazon | Bargain Books | Exclusive Books
Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Alyson Shipley

A Thousand Splendid Suns
Khaled Hosseni
(UK: Bloomsbury, @BloomsburyBooks, 2008; USA: Riverhead Books, @riverheadbooks, 2008)

Mariam is only fifteen when she is sent to Kabul to marry Rasheed. Nearly two decades later, a friendship grows between Mariam and a local teenager, Laila, as strong as the ties between mother and daughter. When the Taliban take over, life becomes a desperate struggle against starvation, brutality and fear. Yet love can move a person to act in unexpected ways, and lead them to overcome the most daunting obstacles with a startling heroism.

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles | Hive Store | Waterstones | WHSmith
USA: NewPages (independents) | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Hummingbird (ebooks and audiobooks)
CanadaFindaBookstore.ca (independents) | Amazon | Indigo
India: Bookstores in India (independents) | Amazon | Flipkart | Goodreads | Infibeam | SapnaOnline
IrelandBookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Books.ie | Dubray | Eason | Kennys Bookshop
Australia: Bookshops.com.au (independents) | Amazon | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Dymocks | Queensland Book Depot
New Zealand: Find a Bookshop (independents) | Amazon | Dymocks | Paper Plus | Whitcoulls
South Africa: Bookshops (independents) | Amazon | Bargain Books | Exclusive Books
Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Sim Deu, xxx at JBF Gala

Never Let Me Go
Kazuo Ishiguro
(UK: Faber & Faber, @FaberBooks, 2010; USA: Vintage, @VintageAnchor, 2006)

This novel imagines the lives of a group of students growing up in a darkly skewed version of contemporary England. Narrated by Kathy, now aged 31, Never Let Me Go dramatises her attempts to come to terms with her childhood at the seemingly idyllic Hailsham School and with the fate that has always awaited her and her closest friends in the wider world.

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles | Hive Store | Waterstones | WHSmith
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CanadaFindaBookstore.ca (independents) | Amazon | Indigo
India: Bookstores in India (independents) | Amazon | Flipkart | Goodreads | Infibeam | SapnaOnline
IrelandBookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Books.ie | Dubray | Eason | Kennys Bookshop
Australia: Bookshops.com.au (independents) | Amazon | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Dymocks | Queensland Book Depot
New Zealand: Find a Bookshop (independents) | Amazon | Dymocks | Paper Plus | Whitcoulls
South Africa: Bookshops (independents) | Amazon | Bargain Books | Exclusive Books
Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Neil Ruckman, teacher, writer

The Summer Book
Tove Jansson
(UK: Sort of Books, @SortofBooks, 2003; USA: New York Review Books Classics, @nyrbclassics, 2008)

An elderly artist and her 6-year old granddaughter while away the summer together, on a tiny island in the Gulf of Finland, their solitude disturbed only by migrating birds, sudden storms and an occasional passing boat. Gradually, the two learn to adjust to each other’s fears, foibles and yearnings for independence, and a fierce yet understated love emerges – one that engulfs not only the summer inhabitants, but the very island itself.

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles | Hive Store | Waterstones | WHSmith
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CanadaFindaBookstore.ca (independents) | Amazon | Indigo
India: Bookstores in India (independents) | Amazon | Flipkart | Goodreads | Infibeam | SapnaOnline
IrelandBookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Books.ie | Dubray | Eason | Kennys Bookshop
Australia: Bookshops.com.au (independents) | Amazon | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Dymocks | Queensland Book Depot
New Zealand: Find a Bookshop (independents) | Amazon | Dymocks | Paper Plus | Whitcoulls
South Africa: Bookshops (independents) | Amazon | Bargain Books | Exclusive Books
Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Line Langebek, playwright

Daisy Jones & The Six
Taylor Jenkins Reid
(UK: Hutchinson, @HutchinsonBooks, 2019; USA: Ballantine Books, @randomhouse, 2019)

For a while, Daisy Jones & The Six were everywhere. Their albums were on every turntable, they sold out arenas from coast to coast, their sound defined an era. And then, on 12 July 1979, they split … Nobody ever knew why. Until now.

They were lovers and friends and brothers and rivals. They couldn’t believe their luck, until it ran out. This is their story of the early days and the wild nights, but everyone remembers the truth differently. The only thing they all know for sure is that from the moment Daisy Jones walked barefoot onstage at the Whisky, their lives were irrevocably changed.

Making music is never just about the music. Sometimes it can be hard to tell where the sound stops and the feelings begin ….

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles | Hive Store | Waterstones | WHSmith
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CanadaFindaBookstore.ca (independents) | Amazon | Indigo
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IrelandBookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Books.ie | Dubray | Eason | Kennys Bookshop
Australia: Bookshops.com.au (independents) | Amazon | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Dymocks | Queensland Book Depot
New Zealand: Find a Bookshop (independents) | Amazon | Dymocks | Paper Plus | Whitcoulls
South Africa: Bookshops (independents) | Amazon | Bargain Books | Exclusive Books
Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Hutchinson at Book Marketing Society

 

The Teashop on the Corner
Milly Johnson
(UK: Simon & Schuster, @simonschusterUK, 2014)

Spring Hill Square is a pretty sanctuary away from the bustle of everyday life. At its centre is Leni Merryman’s ‘Teashop on the Corner’, specialising in cake, bookish stationery and compassion. For three people, all in need of a little TLC, it is somewhere to find a friend to lean on.

Carla Pride has just discovered that her late husband Martin was not who she thought he was. Now she must learn to put her marriage behind her and move forward … Molly Jones’ ex-husband Harvey has reappeared in her life after many years, wanting to put right the wrongs of the past before it is too late … Will Linton’s business has gone bust and his wife has left him to pick up the pieces. Now he needs to gather the strength to start again.

Can all three find the comfort they are looking for in ‘The Teashop on the Corner’? As their hearts are slowly mended by Leni, can they return the favour when she needs it most?

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles | Hive Store | Waterstones | WHSmith
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CanadaFindaBookstore.ca (independents) | Amazon | Indigo
India: Bookstores in India (independents) | Amazon | Flipkart | Goodreads | Infibeam | SapnaOnline
IrelandBookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Books.ie | Dubray | Eason | Kennys Bookshop
Australia: Bookshops.com.au (independents) | Amazon | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Dymocks | Queensland Book Depot
New Zealand: Find a Bookshop (independents) | Amazon | Dymocks | Paper Plus | Whitcoulls
South Africa: Bookshops (independents) | Amazon | Bargain Books | Exclusive Books
Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Adele Blair, blogger, Kraftireader kraftireader.wordpress.com

Chinaman
Shehan Karunatilaka
(UK: Vintage, @vintagebooks, 2012)

Where is Pradeep S Mathew – spin bowler extraordinaire and ‘the greatest cricketer to walk the earth’? Retired sportswriter W G Karunasena is dying, and he wants to know.

WG will spend his final months drinking arrack, making his wife unhappy, ignoring his son and tracking down the mysterious Pradeep. On his quest he will also uncover a coach with six fingers, a secret bunker below a famous stadium, a Tamil Tiger warlord, and startling truths about Sri Lanka, cricket and himself.

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles | Hive Store | Waterstones | WHSmith
USA: NewPages (independents) | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Hummingbird (ebooks and audiobooks)
CanadaFindaBookstore.ca (independents) | Amazon | Indigo
India: Bookstores in India (independents) | Amazon | Flipkart | Goodreads | Infibeam | SapnaOnline
IrelandBookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Books.ie | Dubray | Eason | Kennys Bookshop
Australia: Bookshops.com.au (independents) | Amazon | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Dymocks | Queensland Book Depot
New Zealand: Find a Bookshop (independents) | Amazon | Dymocks | Paper Plus | Whitcoulls
South Africa: Bookshops (independents) | Amazon | Bargain Books | Exclusive Books
Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
June Norris

The Road
Cormac McCarthy
(UK: Picador, @picadorbooks, 2009; USA: Vintage, @VintageAnchor, 2007)

A father and his son walk alone through a burned post-apocalyptic America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food – and each other.

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles | Hive Store | Waterstones | WHSmith
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CanadaFindaBookstore.ca (independents) | Amazon | Indigo
India: Bookstores in India (independents) | Amazon | Flipkart | Goodreads | Infibeam | SapnaOnline
IrelandBookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Books.ie | Dubray | Eason | Kennys Bookshop
Australia: Bookshops.com.au (independents) | Amazon | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Dymocks | Queensland Book Depot
New Zealand: Find a Bookshop (independents) | Amazon | Dymocks | Paper Plus | Whitcoulls
South Africa: Bookshops (independents) | Amazon | Bargain Books | Exclusive Books
Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Peter Besson, Author, Filmmaker > www.peterbesson.com | Book: The Last Checkout

Nineteen Minutes
Jodi Picoult
(UK: Hodder Paperbacks, @HodderBooks, 2013; USA: Washington Square Press, @simonschuster, 2008)

After years of cruel bullying from his classmates, Peter Houghton snaps one morning, and in nineteen minutes, ten residents of the town of Sterling are dead. When the case goes to trial, the reeling town is determined to seek justice for the innocents Peter killed.

But as the trial unfolds, Peter’s testimony casts light on the terrible role the residents of Sterling have played in turning a sweet, loving boy into a killer, and it isn’t long before Sterling’s illusions of innocence find themselves shattered forever …

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles | Hive Store | Waterstones | WHSmith
USA: NewPages (independents) | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Hummingbird (ebooks and audiobooks)
CanadaFindaBookstore.ca (independents) | Amazon | Indigo
India: Bookstores in India (independents) | Amazon | Flipkart | Goodreads | Infibeam | SapnaOnline
IrelandBookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Books.ie | Dubray | Eason | Kennys Bookshop
Australia: Bookshops.com.au (independents) | Amazon | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Dymocks | Queensland Book Depot
New Zealand: Find a Bookshop (independents) | Amazon | Dymocks | Paper Plus | Whitcoulls
South Africa: Bookshops (independents) | Amazon | Bargain Books | Exclusive Books
Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Joanne Carlton, self-published author, young adult fiction
Joanne says: ‘Fabulous author! All her books are great, but this one stands out!’

Kill Me Again, ‘Compelling thriller about reincarnation’
Heart-Beat, ‘Wonderful, compelling book about true friendship’

Ladies Man
Richard Price
(UK: Bloomsbury, @BloomsburyBooks, 1998; USA: Picador, @PicadorUSA, 2011)

Kenny Becker just dumped his girlfriend – the reasons are a little complex. Young and newly unemployed, his main assets at the moment are six-pack abs and a healthy libido – he’s ready to get out, find a little action, and maybe find himself too. But New York is no place for the lonely, and with one meaningless sexual encounter after another, Kenny begins to wonder if the singles scene is not itself a complete con job, with his heart and his future at stake.

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles | Hive Store | Waterstones | WHSmith
USA: NewPages (independents) | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Hummingbird (ebooks and audiobooks)
CanadaFindaBookstore.ca (independents) | Amazon | Indigo
India: Bookstores in India (independents) | Amazon | Flipkart | Goodreads | Infibeam | SapnaOnline
IrelandBookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Books.ie | Dubray | Eason | Kennys Bookshop
Australia: Bookshops.com.au (independents) | Amazon | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Dymocks | Queensland Book Depot
New Zealand: Find a Bookshop (independents) | Amazon | Dymocks | Paper Plus | Whitcoulls
South Africa: Bookshops (independents) | Amazon | Bargain Books | Exclusive Books
Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
David Goo, Musician, Writer, Housewife
David says: ‘This book is painful and hilarious’

http://therealdavidgoo.com | https://bilethebook.com | Book: Bile

Akram’s War
Nadim Safdar
(UK: Atlantic, @AtlanticBooks, 2016; USA: Atlantic, @AtlanticBooks, 2017)

One night, Akram Khan walks out of his house towards an appointed time and place where he is supposed to detonate a bomb that will end his life and that of many innocent bystanders. As he wanders through the town he encounters Grace, whose life has been marred just as his has, forming an unlikely closeness borne of need and necessity.

Akram tells Grace about his seemingly inexorable journey towards radicalization: a childhood within the tight-knit Pakistani community, his complex friendships among outcasts, his disastrous years in the army, and his empty arranged marriage to a woman who remains a stranger.

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles | Hive Store | Waterstones | WHSmith
USA: NewPages (independents) | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Hummingbird (ebooks and audiobooks)
CanadaFindaBookstore.ca (independents) | Amazon | Indigo
India: Bookstores in India (independents) | Amazon | Flipkart | Goodreads | Infibeam | SapnaOnline
IrelandBookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Books.ie | Dubray | Eason | Kennys Bookshop
Australia: Bookshops.com.au (independents) | Amazon | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Dymocks | Queensland Book Depot
New Zealand: Find a Bookshop (independents) | Amazon | Dymocks | Paper Plus | Whitcoulls
South Africa: Bookshops (independents) | Amazon | Bargain Books | Exclusive Books
Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Alyson Shipley

The Hate U Give
Angie Thomas
(UK: Walker Books, @WalkerBooksUK, 2017; USA: Balzer + Bray, @BalzerandBray, 2017)

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles | Hive Store | Waterstones | WHSmith
USA: NewPages (independents) | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Hummingbird (ebooks and audiobooks)
CanadaFindaBookstore.ca (independents) | Amazon | Indigo
India: Bookstores in India (independents) | Amazon | Flipkart | Goodreads | Infibeam | SapnaOnline
IrelandBookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Books.ie | Dubray | Eason | Kennys Bookshop
Australia: Bookshops.com.au (independents) | Amazon | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Dymocks | Queensland Book Depot
New Zealand: Find a Bookshop (independents) | Amazon | Dymocks | Paper Plus | Whitcoulls
South Africa: Bookshops (independents) | Amazon | Bargain Books | Exclusive Books
Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Amy Baker and Rosy Edwards, The Riffraff > www.the-riffraff.com| oi@the-riffraff.com

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