Lots of contenders for this years favourite reads list. Its like staring at your TBR list and deciding which one to read first. You pick one up then put it down. I have read some of the old comfort classics, new releases, been enthralled this year with the Young Adult stories and read some mind blowing biographies. However with the crazy ride ( AGAIN ) of 2021 nearly at an end, check out these beauties below to find out why they made the cut.
An absolute cracker of a story, a witty feminist tale set in the middle ages and a page turner all the way. Its Knights Tale, The name of the Rose and Braveheart all gloriously blended together with a kickass heroine leading the way. It has heart, soul and emotion. There is a fantastic sense of humour and bawdiness to Eleanor, the main character. This has movie material written all over it. Devoured this in two sittings.
This book took me totally by surprise. Local author Lance Karlson proves he has what it takes to be up there with the big gun names of action and adventure novels. Intrigue, political drama and even throw in a James Bond style of chasing the bad guy, this book had me glued from the first chapter. From the 80s Panama brutal regime to the present day of a lingering past that will not fade away. Will make you think twice about people you think you know well. Gripping!!
This book is a fantastic guide for anyone heading into the step parent realm or even for those whose families are well established in this world. With Real life accounts and examples from Karalee, this is definitely a book for a 2021 audience. Insightful, witty and fab solutions, Karalee has hit on a winner with Step parenting with purpose. A wonderful lady with a heart of gold.
Well well well. Amor Towles has nailed it again with his new release The Lincoln Highway. It's ticking the boxes and all the feels for me as its about a road trip, woo hoo, and set in the 1950's, an era that like a lot of you, I am obsessed with. Such in depth characters that once again, just like A Gentleman in Moscow, you really feel like you are on the journey with these two brothers, dare I say friends even. A sure fire winner and a def contender for next months Book of the month end of year favourite 2021 read.
Official blurb - Bursting with life, charm and unforgettable characters, The Lincoln Highway is an extraordinary journey through 1950s America from a master storyteller. Emmett returns home to pick-up his little brother Billy, tie-up his late father’s estate and get out of town for good. Since leaving the Kansas youth facility where he’s served time, Emmett has wanted one thing, to give them both a fresh start: and that means heading out to the sparkling west. Young, precocious Billy has plans of his own, to get to San Francisco, where he believes their long-estranged mother is waiting for them. However, as soon as they've loaded Emmett’s bright blue Studebaker with their few belongings, trouble arrives and brings its sidekick in the form of Duchess and Woolly, two runaways from the very facility Emmett just left behind him. Insatiable Duchess and his devoted, but slow companion Woolly soon wreck Billy's plan to get onto the open road, one well-intentioned blunder at a time. Each young man sees this journey as his chance to pursue his dreams, settle scores and find riches. And a simple journey quickly becomes a dazzling odyssey filled with obstacles, villains and ruses fit only for heroes to overcome. Amor Towles says: ‘As a novelist, I like to mix it up. So, while Rules of Civility describes a year in the life of a 25-year-old woman who’s about to climb the socio-economic ladder of New York, A Gentleman in Moscow spans three decades with a Russian aristocrat who’s lost everything. My new novel, The Lincoln Highway, is about three eighteen-year-old boys and an eight-year-old boy on a journey from Nebraska to New York City in 1954—the whole story lasting just ten days. While I think The Lincoln Highway will offer readers many of the same satisfactions of my first two novels, I hope it will provide them not simply a new set of characters, settings, and themes, but a very different reading experience.’ Venetia Butterfield, Managing Director of Cornerstone, says: ‘The Lincoln Highway is a brilliant, fascinating, charming and hypnotic journey of a book. It’s playfully Homeric with glorious flashes of Steinbeck but yet it is an utterly fresh tale of kinship and adventure. As with A Gentleman In Moscow the characters become fond friends and exist long after you finish the last page.’
BUY THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY BY AMORE TOWLES
I've got be honest here folks, I just loved the look of the cover, it just caught my eye. Reading the back jacket put me further into the "I want to delve more into this" frame of mind and thankfully I did, cos boy o boy this story does not disappoint. Loved every page turning moment.
Official blurb - 'Ray Carney was only slightly bent when it came to being crooked...' To his customers and neighbors on 125th street, Carney is an upstanding salesman of reasonably-priced furniture, making a life for himself and his family. He and his wife Elizabeth are expecting their second child, and if her parents on Striver's Row don't approve of him or their cramped apartment across from the subway tracks, it's still home. Few people know he descends from a line of uptown hoods and crooks, and that his façade of normalcy has more than a few cracks in it. Cracks that are getting bigger and bigger all the time. See, cash is tight, especially with all those instalment plan sofas, so if his cousin Freddie occasionally drops off the odd ring or necklace at the furniture store, Ray doesn't see the need to ask where it comes from. He knows a discreet jeweller downtown who also doesn't ask questions. Then Freddie falls in with a crew who plan to rob the Hotel Theresa - the 'Waldorf of Harlem' - and volunteers Ray's services as the fence. The heist doesn't go as planned; they rarely do, after all. Now Ray has to cater to a new clientele, one made up of shady cops on the take, vicious minions of the local crime lord, and numerous other Harlem lowlifes. Thus begins the internal tussle between Ray the striver and Ray the crook. As Ray navigates this double life, he starts to see the truth about who actually pulls the strings in Harlem. Can Ray avoid getting killed, save his cousin, and grab his share of the big score, all while maintaining his reputation as the go-to source for all your quality home furniture needs? HARLEM SHUFFLE is driven by an ingeniously intricate plot that plays out in a beautifully recreated Harlem of the early 1960s. It's a family saga masquerading as a crime novel, a hilarious morality play, a social novel about race and power, and ultimately a love letter to Harlem.
Click here to buy Harlem Shuffle