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Old 05-04-2020, 12:16 AM   #16
Bookworm_Girl
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I nominate The World Unseen by Shamim Sarif. I have been wanting to read this author for a while. This book was also made into a movie directed by the author. Only $2.99 at Amazon US and similarly priced in other countries (even Australia - shocking!). This book won the Pendleton May First Novel Award and a Betty Trask Award.

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In 1950's South Africa, free-spirited Amina has broken all the rules of her own conventional Indian community, and the new apartheid-led government, by running a café with Jacob her “coloured” business partner. When she meets Miriam, a young wife and mother, their unexpected attraction pushes Miriam to question the rules that bind her. When Amina helps Miriam’s sister-in-law to hide from the police, a chain of events is set in motion that changes both women forever.

The World Unseen transports us to a vibrant, colourful world, a world that divides white from black and women from men, but one that might just allow an unexpected love to survive.
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Old 05-04-2020, 12:33 AM   #17
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I'd like to nominate Passing Strange by Ellen Klages. This is a short book (~220 pages) that is reasonably priced and readily available pretty much everywhere, and is DRM-free. I recently read it, and quite enjoyed it, as one of four LGBTQ books in a free Tor omnibus, but it's also available standalone.
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San Francisco in 1940 is a haven for the unconventional. Tourists flock to the cities within the city: the Magic City of the World’s Fair on an island created of artifice and illusion; the forbidden city of Chinatown, a separate, alien world of exotic food and nightclubs that offer “authentic” experiences, straight from the pages of the pulps; and the twilight world of forbidden love, where outcasts from conventional society can meet.

Six women find their lives as tangled with each other’s as they are with the city they call home. They discover love and danger on the borders where magic, science, and art intersect.

Inspired by the pulps, film noir, and screwball comedy, Passing Strange is a story as unusual and complex as San Francisco itself from World Fantasy Award winning author Ellen Klages.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
AmazonUS - $3.99 USD
AmazonCA - $3.99 CAD
AmazonAU - $4.79 AUD
AmazonUK - £2.05 GBP

Overdrive - Yes
Audible - No

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Old 05-04-2020, 01:02 AM   #18
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I nominate The World Unseen by Shamim Sarif.
Seconded.
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Old 05-04-2020, 04:52 AM   #19
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I second Passing Strange by Ellen Klages. I would be very happy to read this again.

If I might add, for those that care about such things, ignore the "Science Fiction" classification that some sites (eg: Kobo) give this book. I think that happens because the publisher is TOR. This story is historical fiction with a light touch of fantasy and some romance.
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Old 05-04-2020, 11:02 AM   #20
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So, looked at D.H.Lawrence's The Rainbow but decided it was too long.

Looked at Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell because someone recommended it ... but I can't quite make up my mind if it's something I want to read or not.

Seriously considered nominating The Color of Our Sky by Amita Trasi. It's been on my reader for a while, but I haven't yet gathered the nerve to start it - and I expect it will take some.

I also considered Stephen King's The Green Mile. It's an excellent book but don't think I'm in the mood to revisit it at the moment and poor old Stevie doesn't seem to get much enthusiasm here.

So, I ended up going with something I have read fairly recently that is light and easy and good fun...
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Old 05-04-2020, 11:02 AM   #21
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I nominate The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard by Robert Bryndza.

From Goodreads:
Quote:
Coco Pinchard always dreamed of being a successful writer, but then life got in the way. She married young, had a son, and put her dreams on hold. But now she's 40, and her first novel is about to be published! Her husband Daniel has greyed nicely into a silver fox, and her son Rosencrantz is all grown up. Shouldn't it be time to enjoy life?

That is, until the annual family Christmas when her hideous in-laws come to stay, and Coco opens her gift from Daniel. It's not the jewelry she chose, but an iPhone. This marks the start of Daniel's mid-life crisis and Coco catches him in bed with a younger woman.

The iPhone becomes a confessional, and as Coco's life unravels, she documents her seemingly endless (and often entertaining) run of bad luck through emails to loyal friends Christopher, an ageing trustafarian, and Marika, a slightly alcoholic schoolteacher.

Then Coco meets the hunky Adam and she's back in the world of dating as a single 40-something. Listen to the heart warming and often hilarious tale of Coco picking up the pieces, in this fun, feel-good romantic comedy.
354 pages according to Goodreads.

An epistolary contemporary comedy with some romance. It is a bit of a stretch for this theme as the main romance is heterosexual, but there are a few gay characters, and the cover is very colourful ... and it feels like a great big colourful mess, sort of like real life. (Any excuse to mention this fun story is good enough.)

Oh, and did I mention prices? Kobo US FREE, Kobo CA FREE, Kobo UK FREE, Kobo AU FREE
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Old 05-04-2020, 01:18 PM   #22
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I nominate Kingsblood Royal by Sinclair Lewis (1947, 334 pp).

From Goodreads:
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A neglected tour de force by the first American to win the Nobel Prize in literature, Kingsblood Royal is a stirring and wickedly funny portrait of a man who resigns from the white race. When Neil Kingsblood, a typical middle-American banker with a comfortable life, makes the shocking discovery that he has African blood, the odyssey that ensues creates an unforgettable portrayal of two Americas, one black, one white.

As timely as when it was first published in 1947, one need only open today's newspaper to see the same issues passionately being discussed between blacks and whites that we find in Kingsblood Royal, says Charles Johnson. Perhaps only now can we fully appreciate Sinclair Lewis's astonishing achievement.
Amazon U.S., 99 cents
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Old 05-04-2020, 01:23 PM   #23
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And I'll use my last ticket for The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard
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Old 05-04-2020, 01:33 PM   #24
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A question for Jon or anyone else who knows -- is it properly "Rainbows End" or "Rainbow's End". Two very, very different meanings, and the UK and US listings are not in agreement.
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Old 05-04-2020, 09:02 PM   #25
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Looks like "Rainbows End" to me, no apostrophe. The Kobo UK site shows "Rainbow's End" in the site title text, but not on the cover - so looks like someone made an error there. A preview of the content shows no apostrophe. ( Edited to add: seems Amazon UK and EBooks.com UK have exactly the same problem, so maybe the distributor thinks it's a UK/US spelling variation? That's a worry. )

You know what's really funny? Amazon AU have BOTH. Apparently "Rainbows End" by Vernor Vinge is science fiction, while "Rainbow's End" by Vernor Vinge is literature. So now you know.

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Old 05-04-2020, 09:48 PM   #26
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I will second Kingsblood Royal by Sinclair Lewis.
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Old 05-05-2020, 12:48 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw View Post
Looks like "Rainbows End" to me, no apostrophe. The Kobo UK site shows "Rainbow's End" in the site title text, but not on the cover - so looks like someone made an error there. A preview of the content shows no apostrophe. ( Edited to add: seems Amazon UK and EBooks.com UK have exactly the same problem, so maybe the distributor thinks it's a UK/US spelling variation? That's a worry. )

You know what's really funny? Amazon AU have BOTH. Apparently "Rainbows End" by Vernor Vinge is science fiction, while "Rainbow's End" by Vernor Vinge is literature. So now you know.
ROFLU! Now I know.
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Old 05-05-2020, 07:38 AM   #28
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Now it's time for someone to second Rainbows End. It's a highly rated book.
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Old 05-05-2020, 07:44 AM   #29
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The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard is free at Kobo US & UK as well as Amazon UK & US.
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Old 05-05-2020, 01:04 PM   #30
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Thanks for the heads up, Jon. Though gmw did mention it was free at Kobo, having the Amazon confirmation is useful.
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