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the GreatReads! "The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story || Ursula K. Le Guin"

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When the Moon Is Low: A Novel
When the Moon Is Low: A Novel
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars HEARTRENDING AND POWERFUL!, 21 July 2015
If you are familiar with Nadia Hashimi, then you must have read her debut novel The Pearl that Broke Its Shell, an intensely agonizing story of helplessness, providence, and the freedom to control one's own fate. I loved every bit of it – from the premise of the story to the elegant writing style which overwhelmingly captured my imagination and emotion. If The Pearl that Broke Its Shell was good, Nadia gets to write a better novel with this one, which by all means is a real page turner.

When the Moon is Low by Nadia Hashimi is an intriguing story with a grasping title. It is the story of Fereiba who endured a difficult life in Afghanistan, both as a child and an adult. Raised as a step-daughter after her mother died, and meted out harsh treatment since then, her arranged marriage soon turned into a passionate love affair. When the Taliban came to power she was compelled to give up her job as a teacher and raised her three children. But her happiness was short-lived when the Taliban came knocking on her door in the dead of the night and took her husband away. Fereiba was forced to flee and seek shelter elsewhere.

Heartrending and powerful, this solidly written book is not only an exploration of the plight of Fereiba and her family but symptomatic of the larger problem that besets individuals and families all across Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. The novel also depicts the indomitable spirit of the people in the face of grave dangers and showcased their longing for freedom and safety. It also has interesting characters ranging from the stepmother to the dangerous and evil Talibans who are always on the prowl. Beautiful and poignant, When the Moon is Low by Nadia Hashimi is an emotional journey through the heart of Afghanistan.


The Dressmaker of Dachau
The Dressmaker of Dachau
Price: £2.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OF LOVE, WAR, BETRAYAL AND SURVIVAL!, 16 July 2015
The Dressmaker of Dachau by Mary Chamberlain is an intensely engaging historical novel written against a real historical background of the outbreak of war in Europe. Sweeping and poignant, this is a tale of one woman’s resilience despite tragedy. Beginning in Theed Street of London, Ada's woeful journey begins on a promising note when she began to work as a seamstress and ‘modiste’ at Dover Street. But her life took a dramatic turn when she met Stanislaus von Lieben.

Full of life and hope for the future, the two love birds embarked on a journey that took them to Paris as the drumbeats of war grew louder. First at Gare due Nord, the two later moved to Boulevard Barbès. With the Nazis swiftly rummaging across countries and the two literally trapped in a foreign country. Theyescaped to Mons and then Namur in Belgium where Ada was left in the lurch when Stanislaus abandoned her. After shewas captured, Ada was taken to Dachau and ended up there as the Dressmaker of Dachau.

The Dressmaker of Dachau is a bittersweet novel with characters so life-like and their predicament totally unsettling. Reading about the desperation of Ada, one can only imagine how life is like during World War II. Author Mary Chamberlain painted a harsh yet realistic picture of the war years, and also about the holocaust. If you love a good historical novel with World War II as its background, you can bet this is one of the best.


The Blue Between Sky and Water
The Blue Between Sky and Water
by Susan Abulhawa
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.88

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars EYE-OPENING AND POWERFUL!, 16 July 2015
The Blue Between Sky and Water by Susan Abulhawa is a compelling and powerful read. I must confess that I have been for decades a staunch supporter of the Jewish people and the state of Israel. This book may not change my opinion overnight, but it has been a most-rewarding journey which opened my eyes to things which I never imagined. I love everything about the book, such an extraordinary one!

International bestselling author Susan Abulhawa's The Blue Between Sky and Water is the heartrending story of a Palestinian family who are forced to leave their homes and move to a refugee camp, resulting in the dispersal of the family. The book is about displacement, roots, kinship and identity crisis. Susan has allowed the women folks to come to the fore as play primary roles while the men took the backseat. Nazmiyeh as the matriarch of the Baraka family shines through in the story. To understand both sides of the story in the real world of this great divide, you must read this book.


Fall of Man in Wilmslow
Fall of Man in Wilmslow
by David Lagercrantz
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BOOK WILL ENDEAR WITH INTELLIGENT READERS!, 16 July 2015
Fall of Man in Wilmslow by David Lagercrantz blends history, science, crime, mystery with a simple police procedural, yet is rich in creativity and execution. Originally written in Swedish, it has been rendered into English by George Goulding, who is also entrusted with the task of translating the follow-up to the Millennium trilogy, The Girl in the Spider’s Web.

As one gets into Fall of Man in Wilmslow, it becomes clear that this is not your average police procedural. Set in the Cold War era of the 1950s, bestselling Swedish author David Lagercrantz crafted a suspenseful crime mystery that revolves around the death of World War II codebreaker and visionary mathematician, Alan Turing. When Leonard Corell, a young detective constable, is handed the case he finds himself ensnared in a stupefying jigsaw puzzle which draw his curiosity as he digs deeper. Corell stumbled on secrets that are not of the ordinary kind but closely guarded secrets.

Brilliantly conceived, this is an intelligent read with characters, setting and plot all vividly drawn. Lagercrantz has beautifully captured the tension of the 1950s, the simplicity of the time and how the world was preparing to usher in a new era. It also conveys how difficult it is to accept change, either for good or for bad. It is unfathomable how much change the world has witnessed since the time this story was set and the time we are now living. It would have been an outstanding piece of work if the length of the book had been shortened, and a few details erased. Still, Fall of Man in Wilmslow by David Lagercrantz is book that should endear with readers of the conscientious type.


Ruthless
Ruthless
by Carolyn Lee Adams
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.60

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A BEAUTIFUL MIX OF MYSTERY, HORROR AND ADVENTURE!, 16 July 2015
This review is from: Ruthless (Hardcover)
Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams is an electrifying and fast-moving read. This contemporary young adult dark mystery thriller beautifully mixed with horror and adventure will leave you fighting for breath. Ruth Carver’s character has been finely etched, and with the fine suspenseful plotting that keeps you on your toes, it’s not just possible to keep the book down without finding out what ultimately happens to her. Just think of yourself in her shoes, and your possible reaction/action to the kind of predicament she has find herself in, you’ll realize what a strong character Ruth is.

The book opens with Ruth finding herself blindfolded and being taken to a remote part of the Blue Ridge Mountains where no one will think of looking for her. Her captor is a man on a mission, a bounden duty to punish bad girls like Ruth. In his scheme of things, Ruth will be the seventh girl he has punished for their sins. With the chances of help forthcoming a zero possibility, Ruth has to play mind-game with her abductor, and outwit him if she is to have any chance of survival.

What ensues is beautifully drawn by author Carolyn Lee Adams, and you can’t help but find yourself in the atmosphere of the setting. I simply can’t put it down until the last page came, which was sooner than I expected. It is brilliantly written, and I really like Carolyn’s prose and the narrative is quite engaging. Though more young adult-oriented, this is also suitable for mature readers, and its young adult tag shouldn’t keep anyone away from it.


Stuck in the Passing Lane: A Memoir
Stuck in the Passing Lane: A Memoir
by Jed Ringel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.87

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LIVELY, APPEALING AND HILARIOUS!, 15 July 2015
An Ivy League drop-out, a failed sculptor, and a morally impoverished Wall Street lawyer? That immediately strikes me and I asked myself: What has he got to say? Stuck in the Passing Lane by Jed Ringel, to my utter surprise, is a complete memoir in every aspect, not leaving things to chance and no hiding behind silk curtains. Raw, open, honest and self-deprecating, it is an appealing and side-splittingly amusing story that I couldn't put down.

"Life since divorce has been a Groundhog Day of Road to..movies, me having more sex than Bing Cosby and Bob Hope admit to, but them seemingly having more fun," writes Jed in the chapter A Second Coming. But sex is not everything as he discovered. There's trouble and heartbreak as well. And there's how he tried to reinvent himself again, and again. It's not just about living life the way he wanted but also how life takes him along the rugged road.

Once you get to know the real Jed behind Stuck in the Passing Lane, you will get to like him much more than you are willing to. And in the end, I find the memoir quite an educational journey which teaches me a lot of things which I have not known or explored yet.

#Received a complimentary review copy from The Cadence Group in exchange for an honest review.


Seven Steps to Freedom
Seven Steps to Freedom
by Darrell Mowat
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars LEARN YOUR PURPOSE ON EARTH!, 15 July 2015
This review is from: Seven Steps to Freedom (Paperback)
Seven Steps to Freedom by Darrell Mowat is a small booklet of just about seventy pages but contains a gem of a wealth inside its pages. The booklet is specially designed for those who are in "captivity" to show them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The seven steps to freedom are: Accepting God's Love, What Should We Do?, The Right Path, Restoring Relationships, Staying On the Path, Helping Others to See and Finishing the Race.

Grab your copy and discover what life has in store for you as author Darrell Mowat expounds on the steps of freedom. See for yourself if the objectives of the booklet is realized in your life: love, acceptance, forgiveness, positive life changes, perseverance in trials and challenges, and hope and vision for the future.


Naked Greed (Stone Barrington Novels)
Naked Greed (Stone Barrington Novels)
by Stuart Woods
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.96

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MUCH BETTER THAN LAST FEW STONES!, 15 July 2015
Naked Greed by Stuart Woods is the latest instalment in the Stone Barrington novels. I have been totally disappointed with the last few books and wanted to call it quits but that has not worked out. Once you are a fan, you are stuck. You can get angry or mad or even laugh at your own foolishness but you remained a fan. And when a new book comes, you go out of your way to be the first to read it.

Author Stuart Woods, no doubt, is a fine writer. I like his writing style. And in Naked Greed, Stone Barrington faces unexpected dangers as he finds himself enmeshed in the murky world of tough criminals, bringing the action to an exciting climax. You get to see vintage Stone with the devil-may-care attitude – fighting criminals, hiding and running away from them and womanizing any and every woman that comes within sight. While the book is entertaining enough, plotting is pedestrian fare and Stuart Woods would have come out with one of the best Stone Barrington novels if more attention were paid to foist a tight plot.

But that is not to say Naked Greed is avoidable. Rather, it is one of the best Stone Barrington novels in a long time.


Go Set a Watchman
Go Set a Watchman
Price: £7.45

81 of 110 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars REWRITING THE MOCKINGBIRD SAGA WITH SHOCKING TWISTS!, 14 July 2015
This review is from: Go Set a Watchman (Kindle Edition)
After capturing the hearts of readers with her landmark debut 1960-masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Harper Lee returns with her second and highly controversial book after a gap of fifty-five years much to the delight of Mockingbird fans, and the consternation and skepticism of some. If To Kill a Mockingbird was a book about a racially-inflamed rape trial in Alabama narrated by a young girl named Jean Louise Finch, nicknamed Scout, then Harper Lee’s much-anticipated second book is much more than that – an agonizingly painful yet tender story of growth and maturing, for good or for bad.

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee is set twenty years after To Kill a Mockingbird and follows a grown-up twenty-six years old Scout as she returns from New York City to her childhood home in Alabama to visit her ailing father, Atticus Finch, who is now seventy-two and suffering from arthritis. Scout, who now prefers her legal name Jean Louise, is deeply pained and hurt by her father Atticus who now holds views diametrically opposite to what he once proudly embraced. She found among his reading materials a racist tract called “The Black Plague.” She is forced to confront him though it did little to change him. Ultimately, the novel is about the later lives of the Finch family, including lawyer Atticus, Scout, and Scout’s older brother Jem who has died of a congenitally disordered heart.

What I really adored about the book is the way in which Harper Lee balances the sense of wistfulness, melancholy and longing that is running throughout the book with the cynical views of Atticus, who as a good-hearted widowed single father was a much-loved figure in To Kill a Mockingbird. The transformation of Atticus is revolting but he has his own reasons. Intermittently, there are flashbacks and references to the past. The most telling effect of the transformation and growth into adulthood of Scout is her preference of her legal name Jean Louise over Scout, the nickname with which she was addressed during her adolescent years. The on and off romance between Scout and a newly introduced character, Henry Clinton, gives the story a fillip and much-needed flavour.

Though some readers may find fault with the third-person narrative which is in stark contrast to the first-person account of Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird, I feel it syncs well with the tone and tenor of the story. Honestly, I never expected, or for that matter, wanted Go Set a Watchman to be a better book than To Kill a Mockingbird. All I wanted for this book was to showcase the adult life of Scout and Jem, and their father, Atticus. Harper Lee has not only succeeded in that aspect, but delivered an explosive plot twist that no one ever expected. Go Set a Watchman is about a young woman’s disillusionment at the racism that invades her hometown and her family. It is a story about the loss of innocence and the heartbreak at the loss of a brother as much as it is a coming-of-age story. Whatever critics may say and whatever its shortcomings may be, Go Set a Watchman is a worthy follow-up and companion to To Kill a Mockingbird.
Comment Comments (10) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 24, 2015 8:10 AM BST


Vanishing Games
Vanishing Games
by Roger Hobbs
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.48

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A BRILLIANT SUPENSE THRILLER!, 13 July 2015
This review is from: Vanishing Games (Hardcover)
Vanishing Games by Roger Hobbs, the second book in the Jack White series is as good as the first book Ghostman, if not better. What makes the series a complete entertainment is the non-stop actions which keep you on the edge from start to finish. While this may sound a little trite for an action-oriented suspense mystery thriller, author Roger Hobbs has dished out a high-stake adventure with a hero and heroine who fit their roles like fish to water.

What makes the author so compelling is his style of narrative which is easy to follow. The characters are well-drawn and the plot quite engaging. The locales are simply stunning and the fascinating details added flavour to the story. All in all, Vanishing Games by Roger Hobbs is an absolutely brilliant piece of work. I love it immensely. It is a thriller in every sense of the word


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