Brilliant Book Titles #200

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

Blurb: 
Four high-school students in present-day New Orleans are torn apart by envy, passion, and tragedy.

Meredith, Brandon, Greg, and Stephen quickly discover the fragile boundaries between friendship and betrayal as they enter high school and form new alliances. Brandon and Greg gain popularity as football jocks, and Meredith joins the bulimic in-crowd, while Stephen becomes the target of homophobia in a school that viciously mocks him. Then, two violent deaths disrupt the core of what they once shared.

Five years later, the friends are drawn back together as new facts about their mutual history are revealed, and what was held to be a tragic accident is discovered to be murder. As the true story emerges, other secrets begin to unravel and the casual cruelties of high school develop into acts of violence that threaten an entire city.

A Density of Souls is a stunning debut novel that lays bare the darker side of the teenage experience in modern-day America.

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Brilliant Book Titles #199

romancing the dark.jpg

Blurb: 
Haunting and beautifully written, with a sharp and distinctive voice that could belong only to this character, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unforgettable young adult novel.

Summer Barnes just moved to Paris to repeat her senior year of high school. After being kicked out of four boarding schools, she has to get on the right track or she risks losing her hefty inheritance. Summer is convinced that meeting the right guy will solve everything. She meets two. Moony, a classmate, is recovering against all odds from a serious car accident, and he encourages Summer to embrace life despite how hard it can be to make it through even one day. But when Summer meets Kurt, a hot, mysterious older man who she just can’t shake, he leads her through the creepy underbelly of the city-and way out of her depth.

When Summer’s behavior manage to alienate everyone, even Moony, she’s forced to decide if a life so difficult is worth living. With an ending that’ll surprise even the most seasoned reader, Ann Jacobus’ Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unputdownable and utterly compelling novel.

Build Your Own Body by Kelly Donegan

build your own body

Is this the year you’ve decided to get into shape? Are you trying to cut though all the diet and exercise fads on Instagram and Facebook and find something that will help you finally learn to create a body that you are happy in. Then Build Your Own Body, Strong is the New Skinny by Kelly Donegan might just be the book you need.

Kelly, who is probably best known for taking part in the reality TV show, Tallafornia is now on a mission to take control of your emotions and habits and create the body you always wanted.

Kelly’s story is motivational as she was suffering from depression when she turned to fitness. She became empowered and is now passionate about helping others find the body they love.

The book consists of an introduction to fitness and health. This breaks down many myths that surround health and the gym, as well as working on changing your mindset. Kelly then moves on to demonstrating exercises to do in the gym and also includes meal plans that can be adapted to suit individual needs.

For me the best part of the book, is the exercise section. Kelly showcases some great and effective exercises. She also makes you believe that fitness is attainable, no matter where your starting point is. All you need to do is keep at it.

If you are looking for inspiration and want to become a stronger woman, I’d highly recommend this book for the beginner and gym newbies.

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

The Book of Happiness

the book of happiness

“Being Happy never goes out of style” – Lilly Pulitzer

Bring a little sunshine into your life with this handy guide to making the most of life.

This little Book is filled with quotes, tips and advice inside to help keep you smiling.

Who said “Too much of a Good Thing can be Wonderful”?

Be happy, stay positive!

An ideal book for your table-top.

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

Brilliant Book Titles #198

the hitman's guide to housecleaning.jpg
You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Blurb: 
With some 66 hits under his belt, Tomislav Bokšić, or Toxic, has a flawless record as hitman for the Croatian mafia in New York. That is, until he kills the wrong guy and is forced to flee the States, leaving behind the life he knows and loves. Suddenly, he finds himself on a plane hurtling toward Reykjavik, Iceland, disguised as an American televangelist named Father Friendly. With no means of escape from this island devoid of gun shops, this island with absolutely no tradition for contract killing, he is forced to come to terms with his bloody past and reevaluate his future, to tragicomic effect. The Hitman’s Guide to Housecleaning is a story of mistaken identity, human destiny, and the forces of good and evil present within us all.

Brilliant Book Titles #197

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

Blurb:
Football Hooliganism, so long regarded as the ‘English Disease’, is rife throughout the European game. Yet, while the English scene has been well documented, no one has ever exposed the extent to which the hooligan problem has come to infect the game on the Continent. Until now.

Bestselling author and world-renowned hooliganism expert Dougie Brimson has spoken to experts, journalists and even hooligans themselves to examine the truth behind the spread of football violence across Europe. In Eurotrashed he paints a disturbing picture of just how deeply entrenched in the fabric of European football the culture of hooliganism has become.

Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed

gather the daughters

If Gather the Daughters is a next generation Handmaid’s Tale then it’s fitting to say that the children of Melamed’s cult island represent the likely outcome of Gilead’s handmaids bearing children.

In 1985 Margaret Atwood speculated a world in which the project of feminism has been rolled back categorically in the West, mirroring cultures that have dominated the globe for at least 2000 years. Gilead, an allegorical reflection of the US, strips away the rights of women, and creates a nightmare dystopia for its citizens. A story that is not out of place in 2018 America.

Thirty years later Jennie Melamed imagines a world in which this campaign has taken root. On an unnamed island a religious cult led by a misogynistic cabal of so named ‘ancestors’ have manufactured a, not too unfamiliar, society in which men subjugate women. Daughters are forced to marry when they reach their “summer of fruition”. They follow a strict doctrine of
‘shalt nots’ that permeate every aspect of life, shrinking the possibilities of existence to work, prayer, and obedience. They pay fealty to their ancestors in every act. Every thought, feeling, and human relationship are meticulously moulded to ensure absolute compliance. ‘Defective’ children, brought on by generations of inbreeding, are discarded.

Every summer the girls run wild, and as every winter deepens the inevitability of a life of inexorable slavery dawns.

Melamed is utterly unambiguous. She has crafted, through the voices of three girls and one ‘woman’, a story that documents the mechanisms of patriarchy and she follows, unflinchingly and at times devastatingly, that culture to its logical conclusion. The girls of the island are systematically sexually abused by their fathers within the confines of both their houses and their religious upbringing. The mothers look on, and make the dinners.

This is a harrowing account that explicitly mirrors contemporary society, a world mired and stunted by open secrets, and suffocating dogma. More literary realism than, dystopian speculation. At times the narrative is relentless in its scrutiny, but it is the smoldering rage and agonizing vitality of the voices that relay these girls’ stories that rescues the reader from
despondency.

In every regime there is the hope of rebellion, in every rebellion a declaration of life.

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

The Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munroe

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“There is a change coming in the lives of girls and women … All women have had up till now has been their connection with men.” This is the key-line of Alice Munroe’s only novel – a work that is often deemed not a novel at all. This line simmers, reverberates, buzzes as the reader unravels Munroe’s small town of Jubilee and her protagonist Del.

‘Lives of Girls and Women’ is cycle of episodic stories trailing the childhood and early womanhood of Del, a ferociously intelligent, and emotionally keen youth, who treads a border between the strange, liberating world of the other; that world which is the arena of the female, the freak, the intelligent, and the socially inferior. And our more recognizable world; the patriarchal world, mundane, normal, gentile, quietly suffocating and barren. Munroe’s mastery is in details, portraiting the joyless town Jubilee, and the dense, quotidian of lives of the women who live there.

Each episode depicts a moment in the lives of these women, the lives of all women, the lives of all girls. From sexual awakening and the distortion of that awakening, to the all too familiar suppression of female intelligence typified by the internalizing of shame and embarrassment. Del’s life is like that of any other girl in the 1940s and 50s. Except that her panoptical and at time eidetic viewpoint is dazzlingly detailed. There is a psychological richness and magnitude to her voice that is by turns electrifying and heavy. She carries the weight of her mother’s embarrassingly liberal forthrightness right alongside the weight of her own desire for more, for wonder, for love. And at all times she is pulled by the seduction and danger, of both worlds, of two possible futures.

Munroe’s story is one of choice. Ultimately it is Del’s choices that will decide her future.

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

Brilliant Book Title #196

the thief of always
You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.

Blurb: 
The horror story your students have been asking you for! The only children’s story by the master of horror.

Mr Hood’s Holiday House has stood for a thousand years, welcoming countless children into its embrace. It is a place of miracles, a blissful round of treats and seasons, where every childish whim may be satisfied.

There is a price to be paid, of course, but young Harvey Swick, bored with his life and beguiled by Mr Hood’s wonders, does not stop to discover the consequences. It is only when the House shows its darker face – when Harvey discovers the pitiful creatures that dwell in its shadow – that he comes to doubt Mr Hood’s philanthropy.

The house and its mysterious architect are not about to release their captive without a battle, however. Mr Hood has ambitions for his new guest, for Harvey’s soul burns brighter than any soul he has encountered for a thousand years…

Brilliant Book Titles #195

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

Blurb: 
Just why do humpback whales sing? That’s the question that has marine biologist Nate Quinn and his crew poking, charting, recording and photographing very big, wet, gray marine mammals. That is, until the extraordinary day when a whale lifts its tail into the air to display a cryptic message spelled out in foot-high letters: BITE ME.

Trouble is, Nate’s beginning to wonder if he hasn’t spent just a little too much time in the sun. ‘Cause no one else saw a thing- not his longtime partner, Clay Demodocus; not their saucy young research assistant; not even the spliff-puffing white-boy Rastaman Kona (ne Preston Applebaum). But later, when a roll of film returns from the lab missing the crucial tail shot- and his research facility is trashed- Nate realizes something very fishy indeed is going on.