Brilliant Book Titles #302

ungovernabl,e

Blurb: 

The wickedly funny feminist historian who brought you Unmentionable: A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners is back, to educate you on what to expect when you’re expecting . . . a Victorian baby.

Twenty-first century parents are drowning in theories and advice and guilt, with maybe one in a hundred managing some façade of success. What can we learn from our foremothers? Is it possible that the rather draconian methods of Victorian childrearing worked? Better than the ones we bend our backs to today?

Ungovernable will address parents’ concerns about raising a model Victorian child, advising you on:

– How much lager to consume while pregnant

– How to select the best peasant teat for your child

– How to choose an appropriately homely governess

– Which toys are most likely to turn your child into a sexual deviant

– And more

Consulting actual advice manuals from the 19th century, Oneill takes us on a shocking and hilarious tour through the backwards, pseudoscientific, downright bizarre childrearing fashions of the Victorians, giving us some much-needed perspective on contemporary parenting fads.

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Brilliant Book Titles #301

the sick rose

Blurb: 
The Sick Rose is a beautifully gruesome and strangely fascinating visual tour through disease in an age before colour photography. This stunning volume, combining detailed illustrations of afflicted patients from some of the worlds rarest medical books, forms an unforgettable and profoundly human reminder of mankinds struggle with disease. Incorporating historic maps, pioneering charts and contemporary case notes, Richard Barnetts evocative overview reveals the fears and obsessions of an era gripped by epidemics.

Brilliant Book Titles #300

[For #300, something special – my favourite novel of all time]

mr fury

Blurb: 
On the day Concord Webster turned eighteen, the Devil died. The Devil’s real name was Judge Martin, but Concord’s mother called him the Devil. She said he boiled babies for dinner and made lampshades out of human skin. So why did she, who hated him so venomously, have a key to his house?

The key will unlock more than just Judge’s front door. It will also unlock a multitude of stories – where magic children talk to crows, men disappear in piles of leaves, and James Dean lookalikes kiss in dark alleys – and reveal a secret history that will change Concord’s life forever.

Philip Ridley’s second novel (following the sexually charged tour de force Crocodilia) was an instant cult classic when originally published in 1989. Now, for this new edition, Ridley has reimagined the story, expanding the original short novel into the world’s first LGBT magical realist epic. A vast, labyrinthine, hall-of-mirrors saga, its breathtaking imagery and stunning plot twists – covering over a hundred years – reveal Ridley to be one of the most distinctive and innovative voices in contemporary fiction.

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You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

This for That by Bella Jewel

this4that

Blurb: 

What would you do, for revenge?

Dear Diary,
Oh, who am I kidding?

Dear Life,
You’re cruel. You’re heartless. You’re sick. You’re really damned twisted.
Do you know that?
Nope…
Still doesn’t cut it.

Dear Fate…yeah, that’s the one.

Dear Fate,
What the actual hell?
What exactly did I do to deserve the life you paved for me?
Did I bother you so?
Was I awful?
Did I not pray enough?
You took my life into your hands, fate, and you twisted it.
You turned it into a broken mess, and you made it ugly.
You made me ugly.
A life for a life.
An eye for an eye.
That’s how it goes, right?
Her life. Now mine.
Someone is coming for me, but you already know that, don’t you fate?
Did you plan it?
Did you even try to tell them it wasn’t my fault?
That it was an accident?
That I didn’t mean for it to happen?
Or is this part of your sick and twisted plan?
I have one last question, fate, before you go…
Have you got a hero for me?
Because I’m going to need one.

Review:

This for That is the first book in Bell Jewel’s new series The Edge of Retaliation. It’s hard to do a review for a book when you don’t want to give anything away so this will be short and sweet.

This was an exciting read and you’re kept on your toes throughout. I’m not really a fan of jumping to the past to tell a story but it worked for this book. Twists and turns, I’d love to say I didn’t see them all coming but I might have seen one! Great secondary characters that your constantly thinking “Are they really who they say they are?”

It does end in a BIG cliff-hanger so beware, but Bella has said it won’t be long for the next book in the series to be released.  Highly entertaining book and really recommend giving it a read.

4 Shocking Stars

 

5 New Music Books to Watch Out For

Horror Stories: A Memoir by Liz Phair (8 Oct 2019)
horror stories
From the two-time Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter behind the groundbreaking album Exile in Guyville comes a haunting memoir in stories in the tradition of Patti Smith’s M Train

When Liz Phair was just starting out in the Wicker Park, Chicago, music scene in the early 1990s, she mostly encountered a**holes–mostly men, who didn’t respect her and were determined not to see her fail, exactly, because they didn’t care enough about her to wish failure on her–they just wanted her to get out of their space, to disappear. “Girly Sound” was the name of the cassettes she used to pass around in those days, and in 1993 those songs became the landmark album Exile in Guyville, which turned Phair, at twenty-five, into a foul-mouthed feminist icon.

Now, like a Gen X Patti Smith, Liz Phair tells the story of her life and career in a memoir about the moments that have haunted her most. Horror is in the eye of the beholder. For Phair, horror is what stays with you–the often unrecognized, universal experiences of daily pain, shame, and fear that make up our common humanity. In Phair’s case it means the dangers of falling for “the perfect guy,” and the disaster that awaits her; the memory of a stranger passed out on a bathroom floor amid a crowd of girls, forcing her to consider our responsibilities to one another, and the gnawing regret of being a bystander; and the profound sense of emptiness she experienced on the set of her first celebrity photoshoot.

Horror Stories reads like the confessions of a friend, a book that gathers up all of our isolated shames, bringing us together in our shared imperfection, our uncertainty and our cowardice, smashing the stigma of not being in control. But most importantly, Horror Stories is a memoir that asks questions of how we feel about the things that have happened to us, how we cope with regret and culpability, and how we break the spell of those things, leeching them of their power over us. This memoir is an immersive experience, taking readers inside the most intimate moments of Phair’s life. Her fearless prose, wit, and uncompromising honesty transform those deeply personal moments into tales about each and every one of us–that will appeal to both the serious fan and the serious reader.

Jeff Buckley: His Own Voice, edited by Mary Guibert and David Browne (15 Oct 2019)
jeff buckley.jpg
In 1994, an artist named Jeff Buckley released ‘Grace’, his debut album. Hailed immediately by the likes of Bono, Jimmy Page, and Robert Plant, as a singer, guitarist, and writer of a generation.

Throughout his life, Buckley obsessively kept journals chronicling his goals, inspirations, aspirations, and creative struggles. His diaries amount to one of the most insightful life chronicles any musical artist has ever left behind. Jeff Buckley: His Own Voice will mark the first-ever publication of Buckley’s account of his journey through his handwritten diaries and lyrics. Combined with reproductions of other memorabilia, including letters, notes, and unpublished lyrics – the book will take readers deep inside Buckley’s creative mind and personal life.

For those who grew up listening to Jeff’s music and for those who are just discovering it, Jeff Buckley: His Own Voice will be an intimate portrait of one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century in his own extremely vibrant words and never seen before lyrics.

A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston (5 Nov 2019)
a song for you.jpg
Robyn Crawford and Whitney Houston were inseparable friends and collaborators. This is the poignant inside story of their life together.

Whitney Houston is as big a superstar as the music business has ever known. She exploded on the scene in 1985 with her debut album and spent the next two decades dominating the charts and capturing the hearts of fans around the world. One person was there by her side through it all.

Since Whitney’s death in 2012, that trusted and loyal friend, Robyn Crawford, has stayed out of the limelight and held the great joys, wild adventures, and hard truths of her life with Whitney close to her heart. In A Song for You, Robyn breaks her silence to share the moving and often complicated story of her life and relationship with Whitney.

With warmth, candor, and an impressive recall of detail, Robyn gives readers insight into Whitney’s life and career. She traces the years from when she and Whitney first met as teenagers in the 1980s to the recording of Whitney’s first album and the infinite success that followed. From countless sold-out world tours to her epic rendition of the US national anthem to the set of The Bodyguard, her tempestuous marriage, and the birth of her only child, Robyn was there.

Deeply personal and heartfelt, A Song for You is the vital, honest, and previously untold story that provides an understanding of the complex life of Whitney Houston. Finally, the person who knew her best sets the record straight.

Bowie’s Books: The Hundred Literary Heroes Who Changed His Life by John O’Connell (14 Nov 2019)
bowie's books
‘What is your idea of perfect happiness?’
‘Reading.’

‘What is the quality you most like in a man?’
‘The ability to return books.’

Three years before he died, David Bowie made a list of the one hundred books that had transformed his life – a list that formed something akin to an autobiography. From Madame Bovary to A Clockwork Orange, the Iliad to the Beano, these were the publications that had fuelled his creativity and shaped who he was.

In Bowie’s Books, John O’Connell explores this list in the form of one hundred short essays, each offering a perspective on the man, performer and creator that is Bowie, his work as an artist and the era that he lived in.

Bowie’s Books is much more than a list of books you should read in your lifetime: it is a unique insight into one of the greatest minds of our times, and an indispensable part of the legacy that Bowie left behind.

The Beautiful Ones by Prince (29 Oct 2019)
prince.jpg
From Prince himself comes the brilliant coming-of-age-and-into-superstardom story of one of the greatest artists of all time―featuring never-before-seen photos, original scrapbooks and lyric sheets, and the exquisite memoir he began writing before his tragic death.

Prince was a musical genius, one of the most talented, beloved, accomplished, popular, and acclaimed musicians in pop history. But he wasn’t only a musician―he was also a startlingly original visionary with an imagination deep enough to whip up whole worlds, from the sexy, gritty funk paradise of his early records to the mythical landscape of Purple Rain to the psychedelia of Paisley Park. But his greatest creative act was turning Prince Rogers Nelson, born in Minnesota, into Prince, the greatest pop star of his era.

The Beautiful Ones is the story of how Prince became Prince―a first-person account of a kid absorbing the world around him and then creating a persona, an artistic vision, and a life, before the hits and fame that would come to define him. The book is told in four parts. The first is composed of the memoir he was writing before his tragic death, pages that brings us into Prince’s childhood world through his own lyrical prose. The second part takes us into Prince’s early years as a musician, before his first album released, through a scrapbook of Prince’s writing and photos. The third section shows us Prince’s evolution through candid images that take us up to the cusp of his greatest achievement, which we see in the book’s fourth section: his original handwritten treatment for Purple Rain―the final stage in Prince’s self-creation, as he retells the autobiography we’ve seen in the first three parts as a heroic journey.

The book is framed by editor Dan Piepenbring’s riveting and moving introduction about his short but profound collaboration with Prince in his final days―a time when Prince was thinking deeply about how to reveal more of himself and his ideas to the world, while retaining the mystery and mystique he’d so carefully cultivated―and annotations that provide context to each of the book’s images.

This work is not just a tribute to Prince, but an original and energizing literary work, full of Prince’s ideas and vision, his voice and image, his undying gift to the world.

Lies by Kylie Scott

liesss

Blurb: 

Betty Dawsey knows that breaking things off with Thom Lange is for the best. He’s nice, but boring, and their relationship has lost its spark. But steady and predictable Thom, suddenly doesn’t seem so steady and predictable when their condo explodes and she’s kidnapped by a couple of crazies claiming that Thom isn’t who he says he is.

Thom is having a hellish week. Not only is he hunting a double agent, but his fiancée dumped him, and thanks to his undercover life, she’s been kidnapped.

Turns out Thom is Operative Thom and he’s got more than a few secrets to share with Betty if he’s going to keep her alive. With both their lives on the line, their lackluster connection is suddenly replaced by an intense one. But in his line of work, feelings aren’t wanted or desired. Because feelings can be a lethal distraction.

Review:

Wow!! Lies gets off to a flying start, from the first chapter there are bombs exploding and people being kidnapped.

At the start after everything that happens I can’t understand how Betty can be so adamant that she’s leaving Thom, but then have her feeling change so rapidly. It was a bit unconvincing. However as the book went on I couldn’t help but root for them.

“I like your smile. Hell, I like every damn inch of you. And I like who I am when I’m around you. The way I don’t have to be on edge all the time. Especially now that I don’t need to pretend to be someone else. Now that you know all my secrets.”

Lies by Kylie Scott is a thrilling, sexy, heart in your mouth read that had me hooked till the last page! Not only is Betty hilarious but the secondary characters in this book are entertainingly funny and bring the heat. This was a five star read from me for sure.

Brilliant Book Titles #299

the little death

Blurb: 
Henry Rios is introduced as a troubled San Francisco public defender battling alcoholism and burnout. While investigating the murder of an old friend, he traces clues back to the man’s own wealthy family. It is here that we first encounter Henry Rios’s struggle to maintain his faith in a legal system caught between justice and corruption, a theme that will continue throughout the series.

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You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Brilliant Book Titles #298

eat me.jpg

Blurb: 

Cannibalism. It’s the last, greatest taboo: the stuff of urban legends and ancient myths, airline crashes and Captain Cook. But while we might get a thrill at the thought of the black widow spider’s gruesome mating habits or the tragic fate of the nineteenth-century Donner Party pioneers, today cannibalism belongs to history – or, at the very least, the realm of the weird, the rare and the very far away. Doesn’t it?

Here, zoologist Bill Schutt digs his teeth into the subject to find an answer that is as surprising as it is unsettling. From the plot of Psycho to the ritual of the Eucharist, cannibalism is woven into our history, our culture – even our medicine. And in the natural world, eating your own kind is everything from a survival strategy – practiced by polar bears and hamsters alike – to an evolutionary adaption like that found in sand tiger sharks, who, by the time they are born, will have eaten all but one of their siblings in the womb.

Dark, fascinating and endlessly curious, Eat Me delves into human and animal cannibalism to find a story of colonialism, religion, anthropology, dinosaurs, ancient humans and modern consequences, from the terrible ‘laughing death’ disease kuru to the BSE crisis. And – of course – our intrepid author tries it out for himself.

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You can reserve a copy at South Dublin Libraries’ online catalogue here.

4 Months by Jessica Gadziala

4 months.jpg

Blurb:

A woman who can’t be found.
A man who can’t connect.

Barrett has worked hard to get his life exactly how he wants it. Solitary. Free from external pressure to try to be someone he isn’t. Nothing could convince him that he could possibly want anything more.

Until Clarke happened until his life with her mile-a-minute mouth, reckless impulsiveness, and her previously never before seen ability to take him just the way he is.

And he can’t help but wonder if maybe his friends and family were right; there was more to life. And even he could have it. With her.

Review:

We finally get Barrett’s story! 4 Months is the third book in the Investigators Series.

Detective Connor Collings is a well know man within Navesink Bank and when he approaches Barrett to look for his daughter, Barrett can’t help but be intrigued with Clarke and where she might be. When he finds her he never expected her to be up to now good! But that’s sure what Clarke has got herself into.

The spark between these too is so hot and I was hooked from the very first chapter.  Everyone in Barrett’s world seems to think he is a geeky, computer nerd that gets lost in his own head for days. But Clarke gets him, they are the perfect balance for each other’s strengths and weakness. Clarke is the yin to Barrett’s yang.

4 Months is a slow burn, but it also has the suspense and action that we always get within Jessica’s books, along with the secondary characters this books was so good! Another 5 Star from me!

The Rosie Result by Graham Simsion

rosie result

The Rosie Project by Greeme Simsion is one of my favourite books of all time.  I have read it multiple times. The second book in the series The Rosie Effect was good but I didn’t like it as much.  This is the third book in the Rosie Series and it is a fantastic return to form. The main character Don Tillman is now dealing with his son Hudson who is having trouble at school for being ‘different’. This prompts Don to try and find a solution and in doing so he looks at his own life and how he relates to others. It is wonderfully funny and insightful and you will be charmed by Don and all the other characters the whole way through.  This is not to say that the issues faced by Hudson and Don are not serious. Hudson faces expulsion from his school if he is not sent to be diagnosed on the autistic spectrum. Read this! Start with The Rosie Project and just fall in love with Don Tillman’s world.

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You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries catalogue here.