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31 May 2014

Newbooks is a magazine for book lovers and reading groups, published in the UK bi-monthly. 

Can I first say that I am in not affiliated to the magazine, but love not only reading books, but also read about books / authors / what's new / what are others reading etc. I'm a subscriber to this magazine. Apart from author interviews and book reviews, the magazine usually offers some of the books they reviewed for free to the readers (you will need to pay P&P though which is £3 per book).

Books which are reviewed in the magazine and which you can order for free (pay £3 P&P per book)
Every review always also features an extract from the book
(Please note: I have not read yet any of the books below and the synopsises and some other extracts have been in part taken from my copy of Newbooks magazine.)

1. We need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo

Darling and her friends live in a shanty called Paradise, which of course is no such thing. It isn't all bad, though. There's mischief and adventure, games of Find bin Laden, stealing guavas, singing Lady Gaga at the tops of their voices.
They dream of the paradises of America, Dubai, Europe, where Madonna and Barack Obama and David Beckham live. For Darling, that dream will come true. But , like the thousands of people all over the world trying to forge new lives far from home, Darling finds this new paradise brings its own set of challenges - for her and also for those she's left behind.

2. Butterflies in November by Audur Ava Olafsdottir

From the author:
'Butterflies in November is the story of a woman at a crossroads in her life deciding to go on a road trip around her island - taking her summer holiday in November. She is dumped twice the same day, by both her husband and her lover, and than wins the lottery twice. [sic] it is a love story, but not an ordinary one, since there is one woman and three men, plus a deaf-mute child my heroine is temporary taking care of.'

3. The Book of You by Claire Kendal

Psychological thriller. Following a hazily remembered one night stand, Clarissa is being stalked by her creepy colleague, Rafe. A call to undertake jury service seems to provide the perfect opportunity to escape Rafe's unwanted attentions. As the trial unfolds, however, Clarissa sees disturbing parallels between herself and the victim.

4. Arms Wide Open by Tom Winter

Story of non-identical twins Jack and Meredith, yearning for the father they never knew. Their mother is succumbing to early-onset dementia, a rare and hereditary form of the disease. Over a period of days and weeks, Jack and Meredith are forced to ponder both the past and the future: their memories of their mother, their hopes of finding their father and the fear of what's in their bloodline.

5. Lost and Found by Tom Winter

Acc to the author he 'seeks to treat difficult subjects with humour'
Amazon:  Meet Albert and Carol, two lost souls, brought together through a series of unforgettable letters.
'Carol wants a disease. Nothing deadly, and nothing crippling. She doesn't aspire to disabled parking, for instance, despite its obvious advantages.'

Other books featured in the magazine (some with extracts)
  • The Bookshop that floated away by Sarah Henshaw
  • The Road to Reckoning by Robert Lautner 
  • City of Lies by Ramita Navai  
Crime Supplement:
  • The Deliverane of Evil by Roberto Costantini
  • The First Rule of Survival by Paul Mendelson
  • Letters to my Daughter's Killer by Cath Staincliffe
  • Precious Thinn by Colette Mcbeth
  • If I should Die by Matthew Frank
  • Eeny Meeny by MJ Arlidge
  • After the Silence by Jake Woodhouse
  • Sara Sheridan talks about her Mirabelle Bevan Series
  • The Good Priest by Gillian Galbriath
  • Run by Greg Olsen (+ author Q+A with Greg Olsen)
  • Death in Pont-Aven by Jean-Luc Bannalec

The Book Lover's Companion - What to read next (formerly the Book Club Bible) - looks like a must buy to me. This book covers over a hundred books, with 'each title having suggestion discussion points to stimulate debate. '

Other features 

  • interview with author Alexander McCall Smith
  • the life work of Australian novelist Alex Miller - an introduction to the author, his books and a closer look at his latex novel, Coal Creek
  • an introduction to four translation publishers - Alma Books, Pushkin Press, Hesperus Press and MacLehose Press
  • The Directory - selection of titles recently published or about to be published (Now that is one of my favourite parts of the mag )