hachette

Stories That Move You and a chance to WIN!

Knowing how much I love books for Christmas, it’ll come as no surprise how much I enjoyed this little Stories That Move You promo video from Hachette Australia… so many wonderful titles just waiting to be chosen for your Chrissy stocking!

Click to watch...

Click to watch…

To help you to get into a Christmassy mood, I’ve got a quick draw give-away this afternoon! Courtesy of Hachette Australia I’ve got a copy of Lian Hearn’s The Storyteller and His Three Daughters to send to one lucky reader…

storytellerTOKYO 1884

Sei has devoted his life to storytelling, captivating audiences with his tales. But now he is starting to wonder if the new world has left him behind.

Just when he thinks he will never write again, his own life and the lives of the people around him begin to spiral out of control providing the inspiration for the greatest story he has ever told. A story of love, jealousy, intrigue, and betrayal.

Set against the background of Japan’s first incursions into Korea, Sei offers a wise and witty reflection on the nature of storytelling, its perils and delights, its lies and, ultimately, its truth.

You can find out more about the book here…

To enter this competition, just email us at info@thatbookyoulike.com.au with the subject line STORIES THAT MOVE YOU, with your name and address. Entries close midnight Monday 9 December after which a winner will be drawn at random.

PLUS… to get a double chance to win, there’s a bonus question. If you can spot a title in the video above that I’ve been talking about recently (there’s at least two) you’re name will go into the draw twice. Just include the title you’ve spotted in the body of your email.

Please note, the winner must have an Australian postal address and be okay with me forwarding their details to Hachette so that they can send you your prize.

Good luck!

 

 

Second Guessing: Gone Girl

Yesterday, on Facebook, I was asked by one of TBYL’s friend whether or not I’d read and/or review Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl (Hachette). As it happens, I read it a couple of months ago but haven’t reviewed it. As luck would have it, a spot has opened up on the review schedule today, and so I thought I’d post my thoughts on this fascinating book. Carrie, this one’s for you…

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I’ll say it again – one of the best things about being part of a book club is being encouraged to read books that you’d otherwise not read. I’d heard of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, but had overlooked it. I hadn’t paid much attention to it, despite the rave reviews and awards. Little did I know that I was missing out on a crazy, head-spinning, second-guessing read.

Gone GirlJust how well can you ever know the person you love? This is the question that Nick Dunne must ask himself on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy’s friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn’t true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they aren’t his. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what really did happen to Nick’s beautiful wife? And what was in that half-wrapped box left so casually on their marital bed? In this novel, marriage truly is the art of war.

Ominous in many measures, Gone Girl starts, page one, paragraph one by raising your suspicions…

“When I think of my wife, I always think of her head. The shape of it, to begin with. The very first time I saw her, it was the back of the head I saw, and there was something lovely about it, the angle of it. Like a shiny, hard corn kernel or a riverbed fossil. She had what the Victorians would call a finely shaped head. You could imagine the skill quite easily.

I’d know her head anywhere.

And what’s inside it. I think of that, too: her mind. Her brain, all those coils, and her thoughts shuttling through those coils like fast , frantic centipedes. Like a child, I picture opening her skull, unspooling her brain and sifting through it, trying to catch and pin down her thoughts. 

What are you thinking, Amy?’ The question I’ve asked most often during our marriage, if not out loud, if not to the person who could answer. I suppose these questions stormcloud over every marriage: ‘What are you thinking? How are you feeling? Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do?'”

The suspense grows, chapter by chapter, as the reader is provided with details – details of a missing wife, a nervous husband, a wife’s memories held safely in her diary, discovered at just the right time.

But, as you might expect, things are rarely as they seem. Nick gives us plenty of reasons to distrust him, and it’s easy to assume his lies are akin to an admission of guilt. Still, it is impossible to ignore the fact that Nick’s search for Amy appears genuine, as does his curious fear of her. And then, of course, there are the clues…

The only thing that’s certain is that we’re not being told the whole truth – by anyone.

Flynn has put together one of the most compelling thrillers that I’ve read. It reminds me of other novels that I’ve enjoyed, Before I Go to Sleep and Dark Horse, for instance, but I think it’s even cleverer than these titles. There’s nothing particularly exceptional about the writing as such, but the voices of the characters are written flawlessly, and the feeling of manipulation, claustrophobia and psychosis is consuming.

But what of the ending? When I mentioned that I was reading Gone Girl most people warned me off the conclusion of this story, and have since asked me what I thought of it. Do you know what? I liked it. I know, lots of people didn’t, but personally, I don’t think I would have liked it to end any other way.

Of course, I can’t say much more of what happens than that, that’d ruin the fun, but what I can say is that Gone Girl will have you sitting on the edge of your seat until the very last word…

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Surviving: Livesaving for Beginners

Earlier in the year, I was asked to participate in a read-along with a group of bloggers who were reading Livesaving for Beginners by Ciara Geraghty (Hachette). For one reason or another I wasn’t able to participate in the conversation, but having read the first chapter of the book, I remained very curious about where this story was heading. It’s been on my Reading Pile since.

livesaving for beginnersToday, I went some way towards satisfying my curiosity by having a read of Monique’s review of the book on her blog Write Notes Reviews. It’s a great write-up and I’ve decided to share it with you today.

I was sucked in with the first chapter of this book. It had a great hook worthy of “how to start a novel” writing classes: a tired truck driver in Ireland closes his eyes just for a second and opens them to see a deer in the middle of the road. And then, a bright yellow car tossed in the air “like a bag of feathers”. It’s a tragedy. One woman dies. It’s a miracle more weren’t killed. Like Kat, a thirty-nine-year-old woman who has to be cut from her car.

From the third-person narrative of the first chapter, the book switches to a dual first-person narrative. It took me a bit of getting used to at first, because I thought the story would include a focus on the truck driver – how he fared after that horrible night. Instead, the story is told by Kat (the survivor) and nine-year-old Milo, whose mother died in the accident. Somehow, through this tragic twist of fate, they are brought together…

You can read the full review here…

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You can find out more about Ciara’s book at the Hachette website and read more of Monique’s reviews here…

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