I have decided to join in the It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? meme hosted by Sheila from Book Journey in an attempt to help me focus on working my way through my reading pile. I always have a few books on the go at once, but recently I’ve found that I’m trying to read ALL the books at the same time. As a result, I’m not finishing books as quickly as I should because I just get started when I’m distracted by another bright, shiny book that I just have to start RIGHT NOW!
Hopefully each week I’ll be able to list books that I have completed as well as new books I’ve added to my reading pile. I’ll list the books I have stacked on my bedside table each week. I’ll leave out any picture books and younger junior fiction that I’m planning to read during the week, but will include everything else – older junior fiction, middle and YA fiction, adult fiction and non-fiction titles – each listed with the publishers blurb and cover image. From next week, I’ll also include a list of books I completed during the previous week.
Bedside Book Tally for this week: 14
Tiger Stone – Deryn Mansell (YA Fiction, Black Dog Books)
When you’re sworn to silence it pays to keep your eyes and ears open.
Tiger eyes, tiger spirit, tiger stone. Only a daughter could unlock the stone’s power. Java, fourteenth century. The villagers are fearful of Mbah Merapi, the rumbling volcano that overshadows their lives. Kancil, the lowliest kitchen servant, knows the real danger is human but is fatherless and mute – and she will lose everything if her identity is revealed. How can Kancil warn the villagers of the danger they are in?
Lost & Found – Brooke Davis (YA Fiction, Hachette)
At seven years old, Millie Bird realises that everything is dying around her. She wasn’t to know that after she had recorded twenty-seven assorted creatures in her Book of Dead Things her dad would be a Dead Thing, too. Agatha Pantha is eighty-two and has not left her house since her husband died. She sits behind her front window, hidden by the curtains and ivy, and shouts at passers-by, roaring her anger at complete strangers. Until the day Agatha spies a young girl across the street. Karl the Touch Typist is eighty-seven when his son kisses him on the cheek before leaving him at the nursing home. As he watches his son leave, Karl has a moment of clarity. He escapes the home and takes off in search of something different. Three lost people needing to be found. But they don’t know it yet. Millie, Agatha and Karl are about to break the rules and discover what living is all about.
Journey to Eos – Paul Russell (Junior Fiction, Blueprint Publications)
‘I don’t believe in fairies!’ yelled Penelope in tears.
Being only twelve years old and a human, Penelope wasn’t to know that these five little words would change her life irreversibly. For magic does exist. So too do fairies, pixies, ogres, wand watchers, magical orbs and the magical world of Eos.
When Penelope declared her non-belief in fairydom she unknowingly strips the colour and magic from her fairy, Nu. In her panic at being cast out, Nu performs a final spell shrinking Penelope to the size of a pencil. Now human and fairy are in serious trouble. They have no choice but to join forces in the hope of restoring the magic in Nu and Penelope to her normal size.
The Mapmaker Chronicles: Race to the End of the World – A L Tait (Junior Fiction, Hachette)
A map of the world? Why did the King need one of those? Besides, everyone knew that if you went too far in either direction you’d fall off the edge, and if that didn’t kill you Genesi the dragon of death would be waiting. The King is determined to discover what lies beyond the known world, and has promised a handsome prize to the ship’s captain who can bring him a map of the whole globe. To do that, they’ll need mapmakers – and 14-year-old Quinn is shocked to be one of the chosen. While his older brothers long for adventure, Quinn is content with a quiet life on the farm, but when word of his special talent gets out, he has no choice but to pack his bags and join the mismatched crew of slaves and stowaways on board the Libertas. The other competitors will do anything to win, but the greatest danger may come from the strange sea monster hot on their tail or the mysterious unchartered lands for which they are bound. Nobody knows what lies off the edge of the map, but Quinn is about to find out that it’s more than anyone bargained for . . .
A Thousand Pieces of You – Claudia Gray (YA Fiction, HarperCollins)
Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite’s father is murdered, and the killer—her parent’s handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.
Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul’s guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is far more sinister than she expected.
A Thousand Pieces of You, the first book in the Firebird trilogy, explores an amazingly intricate multiverse where fate is unavoidable, the truth elusive, and love the greatest mystery of all.
The Rosie Effect – Graeme Simsion (Fiction, Text Publishing)
Don Tillman and Rosie Jarman are now married and living in New York. Don has been teaching while Rosie completes her second year at Columbia Medical School. Just as Don is about to announce that Gene, his philandering best friend from Australia, is coming to stay, Rosie drops a bombshell: she’s pregnant.
In true Tillman style, Don instantly becomes an expert on all things obstetric. But in between immersing himself in a new research study on parenting and implementing the Standardised Meal System (pregnancy version), Don’s old weaknesses resurface. And while he strives to get the technicalities right, he gets the emotions all wrong, and risks losing Rosie when she needs him most.
Rescue on Nim’s Island – Wendy Orr (Junior Fiction, Allen & Unwin)
Nim lives on an island with her father, Jack, a marine iguana called Fred, a sea lion called Selkie, and their friend Alex Rover, the adventure writer. Nim’s island is the most beautiful place in the world, and she wouldn’t swap live anywhere else.
When Jack invites a group of scientists to visit, they bring their children as well. But two of the scientists have plans other than studying algae… By the time Nim discovers what they really want, and what they will do to get it, the children are in grave danger. And so is the island! Nim must choose between saving a natural treasure and saving someone’s life.
The Adventures of Sir Roderick the Not Very Brave – James O’Loghlin (Junior Fiction, Pan Macmillan)
In a land where peace is threatened by assassins, invading armies and unhappy peasants, one knight must be brave enough to journey forth on a great quest.
‘But that can’t be me,’ thought Sir Roderick. ‘I’m the most junior knight in the kingdom. And definitely the most hopeless. They wouldn’t pick me to go somewhere so dangerous…
Spark – Rachael Craw (YA Fiction, Walker Books)
Death by design.
Evie doesn’t have a choice. One day she’s an ordinary seventeen year old, grieving for her mother. The next, she’s a Shield, the result of a decades-old experiment gone wrong, bound by DNA to defend her best friend from an unknown killer. The threat could come at home, at school, anywhere. All Evie knows is that it will be a fight to the death. And then there’s Jamie. Irresistible. Off-limits.
Afterworlds – Scott Westerfeld (YA Fiction, Penguin Books)
Darcy has secured a publishing deal for her three paranormal books. Now she must find the wherewithall to write the second one whilst she has a reprieve from going to college, thanks to her savvy sister. She has enough funds for 3 years in NY… if she eats only noodles every day.
In the story Darcy has written, the character Lizzie survives a traumatic shooting event only to discover that she has become a phsychopomp; a spirit guide to the dead. But she’s not dead.. or is she? With one foot in each world, Lizzie’s challenges are somewhat unique. Then there’s her hot spirit guide… and all those ghosts that keep appearing… and the ‘living’ friend she usually tells everything to…
More than all I’d seen and heard. It was coming back to life that made me believe in the afterworld.
The Wives of Los Alamos – TaraShea Nesbitt (Fiction, Bloomsbury)
Their average age was twenty-five. They came from Berkeley, Cambridge, Paris, London and Chicago – and arrived in New Mexico ready for adventure or at least resigned to it. But hope quickly turned to hardship in the desolate military town where everything was a secret, including what their husbands were doing at the lab. They lived in barely finished houses with a P.O. Box for an address, in a town wreathed with barbed wire, all for the benefit of ‘the project’ that didn’t exist as far as the greater world was concerned. They were constrained by the words they couldn’t say out loud, the letters they couldn’t send home, the freedom they didn’t have. Though they were strangers, they joined together – babies were born, friendships were forged, children grew up. But then ‘the project’ was unleashed and even bigger challenges faced the women of Los Alamos, as they struggled with the burden of their contribution towards the creation of the most destructive force in mankind’s history – the atomic bomb. Contentious, gripping and intimate, The Wives of Los Alamos is a personal tale of one of the most momentous events in our history.
The Imaginary – A F Harrold (Junior Fiction, Bloomsbury)
Rudger is Amanda’s best friend. He doesn’t exist, but nobody’s perfect. Only Amanda can see her imaginary friend – until the sinister Mr Bunting arrives at Amanda’s door. Mr Bunting hunts imaginaries. Rumour says that he eats them. And he’s sniffed out Rudger. Soon Rudger is alone, and running for his imaginary life. But can a boy who isn’t there survive without a friend to dream him up? A brilliantly funny, scary and moving read from the unique imagination of A.F. Harrold, this beautiful book is astoundingly illustrated with integrated art and colour spreads by the award-winning Emily Gravett.
Unladylike – Pam Hogeweide (Non-Fiction, Civitas)
In the contemporary church, women are held back from positions of authority and leadership simply because they are women. Gender matters instead of gifting or calling. From the pulpit, to the home front of marriage, women of faith are taught that men lead, and women assist. But is this biblical? Has God created women for helper roles?
In her book, Unladylike: Resisting the Injustice of Inequality in the Church, author Pam Hogeweide confronts the patriarchal view of women that has been mistaken as God’s divine will. Not so, writes Pam, who dismantles the discrimination of women in churches by reexamining her beliefs. Pam tells how she changed from being neutral about the roles of women in the church when she realized it was an issue of justice rather than theology.
Combining history, theology and vivid storytelling, Unladylike is a call to women and men of faith to join Pam in resisting the injustice of inequality in the church.
A Slip of the Keyboard: Collected Non-Fiction – Terry Pratchett (Non-Fiction, Doubleday)
Terry Pratchett has earned a place in the hearts of readers the world over with his bestselling Discworld series – but in recent years he has become equally well-known and respected as an outspoken campaigner for causes including Alzheimer’s research and animal rights. A Slip of the Keyboard brings together for the first time the finest examples of Pratchett’s non fiction writing, both serious and surreal: from musings on mushrooms to what it means to be a writer (and why banana daiquiris are so important); from memories of Granny Pratchett to speculation about Gandalf’s love life, and passionate defences of the causes dear to him.
With all the humour and humanity that have made his novels so enduringly popular, this collection brings Pratchett out from behind the scenes of the Discworld to speak for himself – man and boy, bibliophile and computer geek, champion of hats, orang-utans and Dignity in Dying.