Tag: Books: NetGalley

Review: The Little Paris Bookshop

Posted 23 September, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 8 Comments

The Little Paris Bookshop
By: Nina George
Format/Source: eARC courtesy of the publishers via NetGalley

“There are books that are suitable for a million people, others for only a hundred. There are even remedies—I mean books—that were written for one person only…A book is both medic and medicine at once. It makes a diagnosis as well as offering therapy. Putting the right novels to the appropriate ailments: that’s how I sell books.”

Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can’t seem to heal through literature is himself; he’s still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.

After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.

Internationally bestselling and filled with warmth and adventure, The Little Paris Bookshop is a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people’s lives.

Two Three things caught my attention with this novel: the title, the book cover, and the premise of the novel. I love books about books, about characters who love books and recommend books to other people. I received an eARC of this novel courtesy of the publishers in exchange for an honest review. This book was available on 23 June 2015.

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Review: The House of Shattered Wings

Posted 17 August, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The House of Shattered Wings
By: Aliette de Bodard
Format/Source: eARC courtesy of the publishers via NetGalley

In the late twentieth century, the streets of Paris are lined with haunted ruins, the aftermath of a Great War between arcane powers. The Grand Magasins have been reduced to piles of debris, Notre-Dame is a burnt-out shell, and the Seine has turned black with ashes and rubble and the remnants of the spells that tore the city apart. But those that survived still retain their irrepressible appetite for novelty and distraction, and The Great Houses still vie for dominion over France’s once grand capital.

Once the most powerful and formidable, House Silverspires now lies in disarray. Its magic is ailing; its founder, Morningstar, has been missing for decades; and now something from the shadows stalks its people inside their very own walls.

Within the House, three very different people must come together: a naive but powerful Fallen angel; an alchemist with a self-destructive addiction; and a resentful young man wielding spells of unknown origin. They may be Silverspires’ salvation—or the architects of its last, irreversible fall. And if Silverspires falls, so may the city itself.

I first heard of Aliette de Bodard about a year or two ago I believe when one of her short stories, The Waiting Stars, was nominated for a Hugo and Locus Award. I was curious, checked it out, and greatly enjoyed it. Since then I kept a lookout for her other work–I know she had written a fantasy series previously–and was quite excited when I found out that this book was to be released this year. The premise sounded really interesting, not to mention look at that stunning book cover! I read an eARC of this novel courtesy of the publishers through NetGalley. This book will be available on 18 August 2015.

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Review: The Nightingale Girls

Posted 22 May, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 6 Comments

The Nightingale Girls (The Nightingales #1)
By: Donna Douglas
Format/Source: galley courtesy of the publishers via NetGalley

Three very different girls sign up as student nurses in January 1936, while England is still mourning the death of George V. Dora is a tough East Ender, driven by ambition, but also desperate to escape her squalid, overcrowded home and her abusive stepfather. Helen is the quiet one, a mystery to her fellow nurses, avoiding fun, gossip and the limelight. In fact she is in the formidable shadow of her overbearing mother, who dominates every aspect of her life. Can a nursing career free Helen at last? The third of our heroines is naughty, rebellious Millie — aka Lady Camilla — an aristocrat on the run from her conventional upper class life. She is doomed to clash over and over again with terrifying Sister Hyde and to get into scrape after scrape especially where men are concerned. This utterly delightful novel brings a London pre-war hospital vividly to life.

This novel caught my attention as I was browsing NetGalley some time ago because student nurses, I can relate (even if the times are different 😛 ). So yeah, nursing, England, the 1930s…Why not? I was approved a galley copy of this novel courtesy of the publishers for review. This book was released on 16 August 2012.

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Review: The Wake

Posted 23 April, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

The Wake
By: Paul Kingsnorth
Format/Source: Galley courtesy of the publishers via NetGalley

Everyone knows the date of the Battle of Hastings. Far fewer people know what happened next…Set in the three years after the Norman invasion, The Wake tells the story of a fractured band of guerilla fighters who take up arms against the invaders. Carefully hung on the known historical facts about the almost forgotten war of resistance that spread across England in the decade after 1066, it is a story of the brutal shattering of lives, a tale of lost gods and haunted visions, narrated by a man of the Lincolnshire fens bearing witness to the end of his world.

Written in what the author describes as ‘a shadow tongue’ – a version of Old English updated so as to be understandable for the modern reader – The Wake renders the inner life of an Anglo-Saxon man with an accuracy and immediacy rare in historical fiction. To enter Buccmaster’s world is to feel powerfully the sheer strangeness of the past.

I heard of this book in passing last year when it was longlisted for the Man Booker (first crowd-funded novel to be longlisted) but then it slipped out of my radar again. It caught my interest again earlier this year when I found out that actor Mark Rylance bought the film option for the book. I re-read the premise and what made the book unique, which piqued my curiosity. I was approved a galley copy of this novel courtesy of Unbound via NetGalley. This book was released on 20 March 2014.

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Review: The Pope’s Dilemma

Posted 13 April, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Pope’s Dilemma: Pius XII Faces Atrocities and Genocide in the Second World War
By: Jacques Kornberg
Format/Source: Galley courtesy of the publishers via NetGalley

Pope Pius XII presided over the Catholic Church during one of the most challenging moments in its history. Elected in early 1939, Pius XII spoke out against war and destruction, but his refusal to condemn Nazi Germany and its allies for mass atrocities and genocide remains controversial almost seventy years after the end of the Second World War.

Scholars have blamed Pius’s inaction on anti-communism, antisemitism, a special emotional bond with Germany, or a preference for fascist authoritarianism. Delving deep into Catholic theology and ecclesiology, Jacques Kornberg argues instead that what drove Pius XII was the belief that his highest priority must be to preserve the authority of the Church and the access to salvation that it provided.

In The Pope’s Dilemma, Kornberg uses the examples of Pius XII’s immediate predecessors Benedict XV and the Armenian genocide and Pius XI and Fascist Italy, as well as case studies of Pius XII’s wartime policies towards five Catholic countries (Croatia, France, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia), to demonstrate the consistency with which Pius XII and the Vatican avoided confronting the perpetrators of atrocities and strove to keep Catholics within the Church. By this measure, Pius XII did not betray, but fulfilled his papal role.

A meticulous and careful analysis of the career of the twentieth century’s most controversial pope, The Pope’s Dilemma is an important contribution to the ongoing debate about the Catholic Church’s wartime legacy.

I hadn’t been on NetGalley for, errr, a very long time :3 When I logged on and started casually browsing through the most recent titles added, this book popped up. It caught my curiosity because I had some vague idea what went on during Pope Pius XII and knew of the controversy surrounding his papacy thanks to an essay that was submitted to the undergraduate history journal I was on the committee for years ago. I was fortunate to have been approved a copy of this book for review as I wanted to see how this author went about analysing his papacy. This book was released on 24 February 2015 (though the University of Toronto press is listing its release date (for the paperback, I believe?!) as 23 July 2015).

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