New fiction titles that caught my eye in January 2014

Today, I want to focus on new fiction titles that have caught my eye because a couple of authors whose work I have enjoyed in the past have new titles on the shelves at the moment.

Among them is Mitch Albom whose latest novel, The First Phone Call from Heaven, is the story of Sully Harding — a single father who sets out to discover whether the phone calls that residents of a small town on Lake Michigan in the United States are receiving phone calls from the afterlife are a hoax.

I was surprised to find that Ian Rankin has new Rebus novel out at the moment as I thought that the Rebus series had ended with Exit Music which was published back in 2007 but in fact his latest title, Saints of the Shadow Bible is actually his second novel to appear since then — the other being Standing in Another Man’s Grave.

The Danish TV series Borgen opened my mind to drama and fiction from Northern Europe and a Danish author that I plan to try for the first time this year is Jussi Adler Olson who has quite a few titles in the crime/thriller genre that look promising.

For the moment, though, these new fiction titles are all on hold until I get through Donna Tartt’s fabulous old-fashioned story The Goldfinch which — at a whopping 800+ pages — could take some time!


Summer Holiday Reading Part 2 — Interesting Non-Fiction Books

In the second instalment of my summer reading suggestions, the focus is on interesting non-fiction books. The following selection of titles is an eclectic mix of numbers, diets, soul food, history and biography.

The Filter Bubble : How the new personalized web is changing what we read and how we think by Eli Pariser  This is one of the most interesting non-fiction books I have come across to date. A readable and scary insight into how our online behavior affects the information we retrieve, the offers that come our way, maybe even the way we think …

The Graves are Walking: The great famine and the saga of the Irish people by John Kelly A very readable and moving history of the Irish famine that uses contemporary accounts from a wide variety of sources to bring this period to life.

Manuscript Found In Accra by Paulo Coelho Consolation for the soul from in the form of questions and answers. A book to dip in and out of and perhaps return to in times of sadness or trouble.

Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage by Hugh Brewster. More than 100 years on from the loss of Titanic in April 1912, stories of her passengers continue to fascinate modern readers. Brewster focuses on Titanic’s first-class passengers — among them the celebrities of the day — from fashion designer Lucile, Lady Duff Gordon to tennis star, Karl Behr, from President’s aide Archie Butt to artist Frank Millet.

The Fast Diet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting by Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer. The diet that everyone seems to be talking about this year.

If you enjoyed this selection of interesting non-fiction books, check out this list of holiday fiction.

Summer Holiday Reading — Part 1 Fiction

Image courtesy of adamr |
Image courtesy of adamr |

Now that summer is here, it is time to start thinking about your summer holiday reading. And, when it comes to deciding what books to take on holiday for most of us that means looking for books to download to our eReader.

The great thing about electronic readers like the Kindle, Nook and other tablet devices is that we don’t have to worry so much about the weight of books in our luggage.

The next question is deciding which books to will make it on to our Summer Holiday Reading list.

This is Part 1 of a two-part series of my summer reading suggestions. The focus today is on fiction. Part 2 will focus on non-fiction:

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes. A time travelling serial killer and a victim that would not die.

Deny Me Not by Margaret Hawkins. An Irish novel about secret babies and the people who make them.

The Moment by Douglas Kennedy.  Bittersweet love when ‘happenstance’ brings a man and woman together.

Three Graves Full by Jamie Mason. It can be awkward when there are bodies buried in your garden.

Amity & Sorrow by Peggy Riley. Escaping from a cult is just the beginning.

Love Water Memory by Jennie Shortridge. A woman wakes in cold water with no memory of who she is or how she got there.

The Racketeer by John Grisham. Legal thriller about a lawyer who uses information about the killing of a judge to trade his way out of jail.

A Possible Life by Sebastian Faulks. A collection of five related stories exploring what makes and shapes human lives.

Whatever you choose, it is worth bearing in mind that sand, sea and sunlight can get in the way of reading eBooks so having a standby paperback or two might still be worth considering. And the great thing about print is that the battery never runs out.

Happy reading!