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Sat October 06 2018

MobileRead Week in Review: 09/29 - 10/06

06:00 AM by Alexander Turcic in Miscellaneous | Week in Review

Feast your eyes on some of the discussions from this week at MobileRead...

E-Book General - Reading Recommendations

Mon October 01 2018

Nominations for November 2018 Lies and Misdirections: Unreliable Narrators

06:41 PM by issybird in Reading Recommendations | Book Clubs

Help us select the book that the New Leaf Book Club will read for November 2018. The theme is Lies and Misdirections: Unreliable Narrators

Everyone is welcome to join the nomination process even if they'd rather lurk during the voting and discussion; if that is still a little too much commitment, please feel free to suggest titles without making a formal nomination.

The nominations will run through 7 AM EDT, October 7, 2018. Each nomination requires a second and a third to make it to the poll, which will remain open for four days. The discussion of the selection will start on November 15, 2018. Don't forget to show up for the discussion of the October selection, The House on the Strand, on October 15.

Any questions? See below, or just ask!

FAQs for the Nomination, Selection and Discussion process

General Guidelines for the New Leaf Book Club

Official choices with three nominations:

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood [Catlady, Bookpossum, issybird]
Amazon U.S., $11.99 | Amazon CA $4.99 | Amazon UK, 4.99 | Amazon AU $11.99 | Kobo U.S. $11.99 | Kobo CA $4.99 | Kobo UK, 4.99 | Kobo AU $11.99 | OverDrive | Audible


In this astonishing tour de force, Margaret Atwood takes the reader back in time and into the life and mind of one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of the nineteenth century. In 1843, at the age of sixteen, servant girl Grace Marks was convicted for her part in the vicious murders of her employer and his mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Grace herself claims to have no memory of the murders. As Dr. Simon Jordan – an expert in the burgeoning field of mental illness – tries to unlock her memory, what will he find? Was Grace a femme fatale – or a weak and unwilling victim of circumstances? Taut and compelling, penetrating and wise, Alias Grace is a beautifully crafted work of the imagination that vividly evokes time and place. The novel and its characters will continue to haunt the reader long after the final page.

480 pp.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey [darryl, astrangerhere, Bookpossum]
Amazon AU $14.99 | Amazon CA $8.99 | Amazon UK 4.99 | Amazon US $4.99 | OverDrive | Audible


(From Amazon US book description). Boisterous, ribald, and ultimately shattering, Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel has left an indelible mark on the literature of our time. Now in a new deluxe edition with a foreword by Chuck Palahniuk and cover by Joe Sacco, here is the unforgettable story of a mental ward and its inhabitants, especially the tyrannical Big Nurse Ratched and Randle Patrick McMurphy, the brawling, fun-loving new inmate who resolves to oppose her. We see the struggle through the eyes of Chief Bromden, the seemingly mute half-Indian patient who witnesses and understands McMurphy’s heroic attempt to do battle with the powers that keep them all imprisoned

284 pp.

Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay [issybird, darryl, CRussel]
Amazon US $5.99 | Amazon UK 4.99 | Amazon AU $10.99 | Amazon CA $14.99 | Audible | OverDrive

From Wikipedia:

Picnic at Hanging Rock is an Australian historical fiction novel by Joan Lindsay. Set in 1900, it is about a group of female students at an Australian girls' boarding school who vanish at Hanging Rock while on a Valentine's Day picnic, and the effects the disappearances have on the school and local community. The novel was first published in 1967 in Australia by Cheshire Publishing and was reprinted by Penguin in 1975. It is widely considered by critics to be one of the best Australian novels.

Although the events depicted in the novel are entirely fictional, it is framed as though it is a true story, corroborated by ambiguous pseudohistorical references. Its irresolute conclusion has sparked significant public, critical, and scholarly analysis, and the narrative has become a part of Australia's national folklore as a result.

198 pp.

Notes on a Scandal (What Was She Thinking?) by Zo Heller [Bookpossum, gmw, issybird]
Kobo: $US7.99, $C8.99, $A12.99 and UK4.99


Shortlisted for the 2003 Man Booker Prize, Zo Heller's Notes on a Scandal is a darkly compelling novel that explores the taboo subject of pupil/teacher relationships, obsession and betrayal.

From the first day that the beguiling Sheba Hart joins the staff of St George's history teacher Barbara Covett is convinced she has found a kindred spirit. Barbara's loyalty to her new friend is passionate and unstinting and when Sheba is discovered having an illicit affair with one of her pupils, Barbara quickly elects herself as Sheba's chief defender. But all is not as it first seems in this dark story and, as Sheba will soon discover, a friend can be just as treacherous as any lover.

'Brilliant, nasty, gripping' Zadie Smith
'Compelling, dark, sexy' Observer
'Superbly gripping. One of the most compelling books I've read in ages' Daily Telegraph
'Deliciously sinister' Daily Mail

258 pp.

Frederica by Georgette Heyer [CRussel, gmw, Dazrin]
Amazon $9.99 | Amazon UK 3.99 | Amazon CA $9.99 | Amazon AU $12.99 | Audible | OverDrive | Kindle Unlimited


Determined to secure a brilliant marriage for her beautiful sister, Frederica seeks out their distant cousin the Marquis of Alverstoke. Lovely, competent, and refreshingly straightforward, Frederica makes such a strong impression that to his own amazement, the Marquis agrees to help launch them all into society.

Normally wary of his family, which includes two overbearing sisters and innumerable favor-seekers, Lord Alverstoke does his best to keep his distance. But with his enterprising — and altogether entertaining —country cousins getting into one scrape after another right on his doorstep, before he knows it the Marquis finds himself dangerously embroiled.

450 pp

Dog On It (Chet and Bernie #1) by Spencer Quinn [gmw, CRussel, Dazrin]
Amazon US $12.99 | Amazon UK - 4.99 | Amazon CA $8.49Amazon AU $8.60 | Kobo US $12.99 | Kobo UK 4.99 | Kobo CA $11.99 | Kobo AU $20.45


I could smell him - or rather the booze on his breath - before he even opened the door, but my sense of smell is pretty good, probably better than yours.

So begins this fabulous, funny new detective novel featuring Bernie, a slightly down-at-heel PI; and his offsider, Chet, a dog - and the captivating narrator of the story.

Chet may have flunked out of police school (I'd been the best leaper in K-9 class, which had led to all the trouble in a way I couldn't remember exactly, although blood was involved), but he's just as much a detective as Bernie - superior, sometimes, in his insight into human foibles.

In Dog On It, their first adventure, Chet and Bernie investigate the disappearance of a teenage girl who may or may not have been kidnapped, but who's definitely gotten herself mixed up with some very unsavoury characters.

324 pp.

[ 77 replies ]

Sat September 08 2018

MobileRead Week in Review: 09/01 - 09/08

06:00 AM by Alexander Turcic in Miscellaneous | Week in Review

Welcome to another digest entry of MobileRead, where we transform the profound into the bite-sized.

E-Book General - Reading Recommendations

Sat September 01 2018

Nominations for October 2018 Out of This World: Otherwhence

07:18 AM by issybird in Reading Recommendations | Book Clubs

Help us select the book that the New Leaf Book Club will read for October 2018. The theme is Out of This World: Otherwhence

Everyone is welcome to join the nomination process even if they'd rather lurk during the voting and discussion; if that is still a little too much commitment, please feel free to suggest titles without making a formal nomination.

The nominations will run through 7 AM EDT, September 7, 2018. Each nomination requires a second and a third to make it to the poll, which will remain open for four days. The discussion of the selection will start on October 15, 2018. Don't forget to show up for the discussion of the September selection, Never Let Me Go, on September 15.

Any questions? See below, or just ask!

FAQs for the Nomination, Selection and Discussion process

General Guidelines for the New Leaf Book Club

Official choices with three nominations:

The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier [Bookpossum, bfisher, CRussel]
$US6.99, $C9.99, $A12.99, 5.99


Dick Young is lent a house in Cornwall by his friend Professor Magnus Lane. During his stay he agrees to serve as a guinea pig for a new drug that Magnus has discovered in his scientific research.

When Dick samples Magnus's potion, he finds himself doing the impossible: traveling through time while staying in place, thrown all the way back into Medieval Cornwall. The concoction wear off after several hours, but its effects are intoxicating and Dick cannot resist his newfound powers. As his journeys increase, Dick begins to resent the days he must spend in the modern world, longing ever more fervently to get back into his world of centuries before, and the home of the beautiful Lady Isolda...

336 pages

Stargazing by Peter Hill [gmw, Bookpossum, issybird]
Amazon UK - 6.17 | Amazon AU $12.99 | Kobo UK - 6.83 | Kobo AU $12.99


In this sublime reminiscence of the pleasures of solitude, the wonders of the sea, and the odd courses life takes, Peter Hill writes, "In 1973 I worked as a lighthouse keeper on three islands off the west coast of Scotland. Before taking the job I didn't really think through what a lighthouse keeper actually did. I was attracted by the romantic notion of sitting on a rock, writing haikus and dashing off the occasional watercolor. The light itself didn't seem important: it might have been some weird coastal decoration, like candles on a Christmas tree, intended to bring cheer to those living in the more remote parts of the country."

Hill learned quickly, though, of the centuries-old mechanics of the lighthouse, of the life-and-death necessity of its luminescence to seafarers, and of the great and unlikely friendships formed out of routine. With his head filled with Hendrix, Kerouac, and the war in Vietnam, Hill shared cups of tea and close quarters with salty lighthouse keepers of an entirely different generation. The stories they told and idiosyncrasies they exhibited came to define a summer Hill has memorialized with great wit and a disarmingly affectionate style.

292 pages

Mary Rose by Geoffrey Girard, based on J. M. Barrie's play of the same name [Catlady, gmw, orlok]
Amazon U.S. $7.34 | Amazon CA $9.99 | Kobo U.S., $8.69 | Kobo CA $9.89 | Hoopla, Scribd, Overdrive, RB Digital


Mary Rose Moreland and Simon Blake are the perfect couple: successful young professionals in Philadelphia, attractive, madly in love, and ready to start a life together. When they travel to England for Simon to ask her parents’ permission to marry Mary Rose, he learns an unsettling secret: Mary Rose disappeared when she was a little girl while the family was vacationing on a remote Scottish island. She reappeared mysteriously thirty-three days later in the exact same spot without a scratch on her and no memory of what had happened.

After Simon hears about this disturbing episode in Mary Rose’s childhood, he becomes obsessed with finding out what happened. He proceeds to launch his own investigation and arranges during their honeymoon for them to visit the island where she disappeared. But as Mary Rose’s behavior gets stranger after their engagement, the need for Simon to unlock the truth about her past grows even more urgent. What he uncovers is beyond his most terrifying fears.

Mary Rose is author Geoffrey Girard’s chilling and modern take on a classic ghost story originally written by J. M. Barrie. And for years, master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock attempted to adapt Mary Rose into a film but was never successful. With this novel, Girard taps into the nightmarish fears that inspired both Barrie and Hitchcock, while also bringing the story to the present day with his own unique voice.

272 pages

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino [issybird, Bookpossum, astrangerhere]
Amazon US $9.99 | Amazon UK 4.99 | Amazon AU $12.99 | OverDrive, Audible


The book explores imagination and the imaginable through the descriptions of cities by an explorer, Marco Polo. The book is framed as a conversation between the aging and busy emperor Kublai Khan, who constantly has merchants coming to describe the state of his expanding and vast empire, and Polo. The majority of the book consists of brief prose poems describing 55 fictitious cities that are narrated by Polo, many of which can be read as parables or meditations on culture, language, time, memory, death, or the general nature of human experience.

Short dialogues between Kublai and Polo are interspersed every five to ten cities discussing these topics. These interludes between the two characters are no less poetically constructed than the cities, and form a framing device that plays with the natural complexity of language and stories. In one key exchange in the middle of the book, Kublai prods Polo to tell him of the one city he has never mentioned directly—his hometown. Polo's response: "Every time I describe a city I am saying something about Venice."

182 pages

The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde [Bookworm_Girl, astrangerhere, CRussel]
Public Domain

This is Oscar Wilde's tale of the American family moved into a British mansion, Canterville Chase, much to the annoyance its tired ghost. The family -- which refuses to believe in him -- is in Wilde's way a commentary on the British nobility of the day -- and on the Americans, too. The tale, like many of Wilde's, is rich with allusion, but ends as sentimental romance. . .
126 pages

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Clair North [Dngrsone, darryl, CRussel]
Amazon US $2.99



Harry August is on his deathbed. Again.

No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes.

Until now.

As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. "I nearly missed you, Doctor August," she says. "I need to send a message."

This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.

417 pages

Against the Fall of Night by Arthur C. Clarke [gmw, darryl, bfisher]
Amazon US $7.75 | Amazon CA $7.99 | Amazon AU $10.55 | Kobo US $8.09 | Kobo CA $8.69 | Kobo AU $10.88


Living in the ten-billion-year-old city of Diaspar, Alvin is the last child born of humanity, and he is intensely curious about the outside world. But according to the oldest histories kept by the city fathers, there is no outside world—it was destroyed by the Invaders millions of years ago.

One day, Alvin finds a rock with an inscription seemingly meant for him: “There is a better way. Give my greetings to the Keeper of the Records. Alaine of Lyndar.” This cryptic message takes Alvin on a quest to discover humanity’s true past—and its future.

Originally published in the November 1948 issue of Startling Stories, Against the Fall of Night is a rich and intensely poetic vision of a distant future that’s sure to delight fans of Clarke and science fiction as a genre.

120 pages

The Big Over Easy (Nursery Crime #1) by Jasper Fforde [issybird, bfisher, BelleZora]
Amazon US $4.99 | Amazon UK 0.99 | Amazon AU $12.99 | Amazon CA $4.99


It's Easter in Reading—a bad time for eggs—and no one can remember the last sunny day. Ovoid D-class nursery celebrity Humpty Stuyvesant Van Dumpty III, minor baronet, ex-convict, and former millionaire philanthropist, is found shattered to death beneath a wall in a shabby area of town. All the evidence points to his ex-wife, who has conveniently shot herself.

But Detective Inspector Jack Spratt and his assistant Mary Mary remain unconvinced, a sentiment not shared with their superiors at the Reading Police Department, who are still smarting over their failure to convict the Three Pigs of murdering Mr. Wolff. Before long Jack and Mary find themselves grappling with a sinister plot involving cross-border money laundering, bullion smuggling, problems with beanstalks, titans seeking asylum, and the cut and thrust world of international chiropody.

And on top of all that, the JellyMan is coming to town . . .

383 pages

[ 110 replies ]

Sat August 04 2018

MobileRead Week in Review: 07/28 - 08/04

06:00 AM by Alexander Turcic in Miscellaneous | Week in Review

My goodness, is it Sunday again? Well, for those of you who've missed the highs and lows of MobileRead over the past seven days, this is your one-way ticket to catch up:

E-Book General - Reading Recommendations

Wed August 01 2018

Nominations for September 2018 The Shortest, Gladdest Years of Life: School

05:55 PM by issybird in Reading Recommendations | Book Clubs

Help us select the book that the New Leaf Book Club will read for September 2018. The theme is The Shortest, Gladdest Years of Life: School

Everyone is welcome to join the nomination process even if they'd rather lurk during the voting and discussion; if that is still a little too much commitment, please feel free to suggest titles without making a formal nomination.

The nominations will run through 7 AM EDT, August 7, 2018. Each nomination requires a second and a third to make it to the poll, which will remain open for four days. The discussion of the selection will start on September 15, 2018. Don't forget to show up for the discussion of the August selection, The Great Halifax Explosion, on August 15.

Any questions? See below, or just ask!

FAQs for the Nomination, Selection and Discussion process

General Guidelines for the New Leaf Book Club

Official choices with three nominations:

The Blackboard Jungle by Evan Hunter (aka Ed McBain) [Catlady, gmw, issybird]
Amazon U.S. $1.99 | Kobo U.S. $1.99 | Amazon CA $9.99 | Kobo CA $14.39 | Amazon AU $14.45 | Kobo AU $19.35 | Amazon UK, 7.59 | Kobo UK 10.43 | OverDrive, Hoopla, Scribd, Freading


The “shocking” and “suspense-packed” bestseller about one teacher’s stand against student violence, and the basis for the Academy Award–nominated film (The New York Times Book Review).

After serving his country in World War II, Richard Dadier decides to become an English teacher—and for the sin of wanting to make a difference, he’s hired at North Manual Trades High School. A tough vocational school in the East Bronx, Manual Trades is home to angry, unruly teenagers exiled from New York City’s regular public schools. On his first day, Dadier endures relentless mockery and ridicule and makes an enemy of the student body by rescuing a female colleague from a vicious attack.

His fellow educators are bitter, disillusioned, and too afraid of their pupils to risk turning their backs on them in the classroom. But Dadier refuses to give up without a fight. Over the course of the semester, he tries again and again to break through the wall of hatred and scorn and win his students’ respect. The more he learns about their difficult circumstances, the more convinced he becomes that a good teacher can make a difference in their lives. His idealism will be put to the ultimate test, however, when a long-simmering power struggle with his most intimidating student explodes into a violent schoolroom showdown.

The basis for the blockbuster film starring Glenn Ford and Sidney Poitier, Evan Hunter’s The Blackboard Jungle is a brutal, unflinching look at the dark side of American education and an early masterpiece from the author who went on to write the gritty 87th Precinct series as Ed McBain. Drawn from Hunter’s own experiences as a New York City schoolteacher, it is a “nightmarish but authentic” drama that packs a knockout punch (Time).

358 pages

Holes by Louis Sachar [gmw, Dngrsone, Bookworm_Girl]
Amazon US $6.99 | Amazon UK 3.32 | Amazon CA $7.99 | Amazon AU $4.29 | Kobo US $6.99 | Kobo UK 5.39 | Kobo CA $7.99 | Kobo AU $11.32

From Goodreads:

Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten- pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnats. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys' detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the warden makes the boys "build character" by spending all day, every day, digging holes: five feet wide and five feet deep. It doesn't take long for Stanley to realize there's more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.

241 pages

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie [Bookworm_Girl, gmw, fantasyfan]
Amazon Kobo $9.99 | Amazon CA $12.99 | Amazon AU $7.99 | Amazon UK 4.99 | OverDrive


Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.

230 pages

Goodbye Mr. Chips by James Hilton [drofgnal, fantasyfan, CRussel]
Amazon US $4.70

Throughout his forty-three-year tenure at Brookfield, “a good public school of the second rate” in eastern England, Arthur Chipping has been Mr. Chips to his students. Beginning with his unpolished first years during the Franco-Prussian War, into the radical changes of the twentieth century and the outbreak of the First World War, Mr. Chips has shaped lives. But Chips has been inspired as well—by the unremarkable and the extraordinary, by his colleagues, by a woman who changes him forever, and not least, by his children, “thousands of them, all boys.”
72 pages

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro [astrangerhere, issybird, Bookpossum]
Amazon | Kobo | Google Play All $9.99


As children Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life. And for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special—and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together.

362 pages

Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl [fantasyfan, Bookpossum, Dazrin]

As a boy, all sorts of unusual things happened to Roald Dahl. There was the time he and four school friends got their revenge on beastly Mrs Prachett in her sweet shop.
There are stories of holidays in fishing boats, African adventures and the days of tasting chocolate for Cadbury's.
You'll hear tales of horrible school bullies and the motor-car accident when Roald's nose was nearly sliced clean off . . .
Roald Dahl vividly shares his memories; some are funny. Some are painful. Some are unpleasant. All are true.
176 pages

A Separate Peace by John Knowles [drofgnal, CRussel, Dazrin]
Amazon US $10.99

An American classic and great bestseller for over thirty years, A Separate Peace is timeless in its description of adolescence during a period when the entire country was losing its innocence to World War II.

Set at a boys' boarding school in New England during the early years of World War II, A Separate Peace is a harrowing and luminous parable of the dark side of adolescence. Gene is a lonely, introverted intellectual. Phineas is a handsome, taunting, daredevil athlete. What happens between the two friends one summer, like the war itself, banishes the innocence of these boys and their world.

228 pages

Tunnel In The Sky by Robert Heinlein [Ralph Sir Edward, June, Dazrin]


From the author of STARSHIP TROOPERS comes TUNNEL IN THE SKY, the story of a group of students who are dropped on a foreign planet in order to test their survival skills. When the rescue ship doesn't arrive, they must create a new society and learn to adapt to their new life in the wild… but are their greatest troubles from beasts or fellow man?

227 pages

Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris [Bookpossum, Bookworm_Girl, CRussel]
$US7.99, $C7.99, $A12.99, 0.99 - time to travel again! All from Kobo.


Audere, agere, auferre. To dare, to strive, to conquer. For generations, privileged young men have attended St. Oswald's Grammar School for Boys, groomed for success by the likes of Roy Straitley, the eccentric Classics teacher who has been a fixture there for more than thirty years. But this year the wind of unwelcome change is blowing. Suits, paperwork, and information technology are beginning to overshadow St. Oswald's tradition, and Straitley is finally, and reluctantly, contemplating retirement. He is joined this term by five new faculty members, including one who -- unbeknownst to Straitley and everyone else -- holds intimate and dangerous knowledge of St. Oswald's ways and secrets. Harboring dark ties to the school's past, this young teacher has arrived with one terrible goal: to destroy St. Oswald's.

As the new term gets under way, a number of incidents befall students and faculty alike. Beginning as small annoyances -- a lost pen, a misplaced coffee mug -- they are initially overlooked. But as the incidents escalate in both number and consequence, it soon becomes apparent that a darker undercurrent is stirring within the school. With St. Oswald's unraveling, only Straitley stands in the way of its ruin. The veteran teacher faces a formidable opponent, however -- a master player with a bitter grudge and a strategy that has been meticulously planned to the final move, a secret game with very real, very deadly consequences.

A harrowing tale of cat and mouse, this riveting, hypnotically atmospheric novel showcases New York Times bestselling author Joanne Harris's astonishing storytelling talent as never before.

422 pages

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp [Catlady, June, bfisher]
Amazon U.S. $7.99 | Kobo U.S. $8.69 | Amazon CA $8.24 | Kobo CA $10.59 | Amazon AU $8.85 | Kobo AU $11.87 | Amazon UK 5.25 | Kobo UK 6.59 | OverDrive, Hoopla, Scribd, Freading


Everyone has a reason to fear the boy with the gun.

10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

The auditorium doors won't open.

Someone starts shooting.

Told from four perspectives over the span of 54 harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

292 pages

[ 55 replies ]

Sat July 07 2018

MobileRead Week in Review: 06/30 - 07/07

06:00 AM by Alexander Turcic in Miscellaneous | Week in Review

We know, you're busy. You'd like nothing more than to keep up with the witty kids at MobileRead live and in real-time but, it's tough. We understand. Here is our weekly round-up:

E-Book General - Reading Recommendations

Sun July 01 2018

Nominations for August 2018 What is It Good for? Absolutely Nothin': War

08:21 AM by issybird in Reading Recommendations | Book Clubs

Happy Canada Day to our Canadian members!

Help us select the book that the New Leaf Book Club will read for August 2018. The theme is What is It Good for? Absolutely Nothin': War

This year is the centenary of the Armistice that ended the war to end all wars. To quote Pete Seeger, "When will they ever learn?" But the topic is wide-ranging as usual; people can make of it what they will. Everyone is welcome to join the nomination process even if they'd rather lurk during the voting and discussion; if that is still a little too much commitment, please feel free to suggest titles without making a formal nomination.

The nominations will run through 7 AM EDT, July 7, 2018. Each nomination requires a second and a third to make it to the poll, which will remain open for four days. The discussion of the selection will start on August 15, 2018. Don't forget to show up for the discussion of the July selection, Dandelion Wine, on July 15.

Any questions? See below, or just ask!

FAQs for the Nomination, Selection and Discussion process

General Guidelines for the New Leaf Book Club

Official choices with three nominations:

The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara [bfisher, Bookpossum, issybird]
Amazon US $7.99 | Kobo CA $8.99 | Kobo UK 4.79 | Kobo AU $8.13 | OverDrive


In the four most bloody and courageous days of our nation's history, two armies fought for two dreams. One dreamed of freedom, the other of a way of life. Far more than rifles and bullets were carried into battle. There were memories. There were promises. There was love. And far more than men fell on those Pennsylvania fields. Shattered futures, forgotten innocence, and crippled beauty were also the casualties of war. The Killer Angels is unique, sweeping, unforgettable—a dramatic re-creation of the battleground for America's destiny.

345 pages

One of Ours by Willa Cather [astrangerhere, bfisher, Dazrin]
Gutenberg free | LibriVox free


One of Ours is Willa Cather's 1923 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about the making of an American soldier. Claude Wheeler, the sensitive but aspiring protagonist, has ready access to his family's fortune but refuses to settle for it. Alienated from his uncaring father and pious mother, and rejected by a wife whose only love is missionary work, Claude is an idealist without ideals to cling to. Only when his country enters the Great War does he find the meaning of his life.

250 pages

Station X: The Codebreakers of Bletchley Park or The Secrets of Station X by Michael Smith [Bookpossum, CRussel, Dazrin]
Amazon US $7.99 | Amazon AU $8.55 | Amazon CA $9.99 | Kobo US $10.59 | Kobo AU $12.31


A melting pot of Oxbridge dons, maverick oddballs and more regular citizens worked night and day at Station X, as Bletchley Park was known, to derive intelligence information from German coded messages. Bear in mind that an Enigma machine had a possible 159 million million million different settings and the magnitude of the challenge becomes apparent. That they succeeded, despite military scepticism, supplying information that led to the sinking of the Bismarck, Montgomery's victory in North Africa and the D-Day landings, is testament to an indomitable spirit that wrenched British intelligence into the modern age, as the Second World War segued into the Cold War. Michael Smith constructs his absorbing narrative around the reminiscences of those who worked and played at Bletchley Park, and their stories add a very human colour to their cerebral activity. The code breakers of Station X did not win the war but they undoubtedly shortened it, and the lives saved on both sides stand as their greatest achievement.

240 pages

The Great Halifax Explosion by John U. Bacon [CRussel, astrangerhere, gmw]
AmazonUS: $14.99 | AmazonCA: $12.74 | AmazonAU: $14.99 | AmazonUK: 0.00 | Overdrive: (ebook) (audiobook)


After steaming out of New York City on December 1, 1917, laden with a staggering three thousand tons of TNT and other explosives, the munitions ship Mont-Blanc fought its way up the Atlantic coast, through waters prowled by enemy U-boats. As it approached the lively port city of Halifax, Mont-Blanc's deadly cargo erupted with the force of 2.9 kilotons of TNT—the most powerful explosion ever visited on a human population, save for HIroshima and Nagasaki. Mont-Blanc was vaporized in one fifteenth of a second; a shockwave leveled the surrounding city. Next came a thirty-five-foot tsunami. Most astounding of all, however, were the incredible tales of survival and heroism that soon emerged from the rubble.

This is the unforgettable story told in John U. Bacon's The Great Halifax Explosion: a ticktock account of fateful decisions that led to doom, the human faces of the blast's 11,000 casualties, and the equally moving individual stories of those who lived and selflessly threw themselves into urgent rescue work that saved thousands.

The shocking scale of the disaster stunned the world, dominating global headlines even amid the calamity of the First World War. Hours after the blast, Boston sent trains and ships filled with doctors, medicine, and money. The explosion would revolutionize pediatric medicine; transform U.S.-Canadian relations; and provide physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, who studied the Halifax explosion closely when developing the atomic bomb, with history's only real-world case study demonstrating the lethal power of a weapon of mass destruction.

Mesmerizing and inspiring, Bacon's deeply-researched narrative brings to life the tragedy, bravery, and surprising afterlife of one of the most dramatic events of modern times.

410 pages

And the Show Went On: Cultural Life in Nazi-Occupied Paris by Alan Riding [issybird, Bookpossum, Bookworm_Girl]
Amazon US $9.99 | Kobo UK 5.63 | Kobo AU $9.89 | OverDrive


In the weeks after the Germans captured Paris, theaters, opera houses, and nightclubs reopened to occupiers and French citizens alike, and they remained open for the duration of the war. Alan Riding introduces a pageant of twentieth-century artists who lived and worked under the Nazis and explores the decisions each made about whether to stay or flee, collaborate or resist.We see Maurice Chevalier and Edith Piaf singing before French and German audiences; Picasso painting and occasionally selling his work from his Left Bank apartment; and Marcel Carne and Henri-Georges Clouzot, among others, directing movies in Paris studios (more than two hundred were produced during this time). We see that pro-Fascist writers such as Louis-Ferdinand Celine and Robert Brasillach flourished, but also that Camus's The Stranger was published and Sartre's play No Exit was first performed-ten days before the Normandy landings.Based on exhaustive research and extensive interviews, And the Show Went On sheds a clarifying light on a protean and problematic era in twentieth-century European cultural history.

416 pages

Goodbye Sarajevo: A True Story of Courage, Love and Survival by Atka Reid and Hana Schofield [Bookworm_Girl, gmw, bfisher]
Amazon US $8.95 | Amazon UK 6.71 | Amazon CA $9.02 | Amazon AU $8.58 | Kobo, Overdrive, Scribd


May, 1992. Hana is twelve years old when she is put on one of the last UN evacuation buses fleeing the besieged city of Sarajevo. Her twenty-one-year-old sister, Atka, staying behind to look after their five younger siblings, is there to say goodbye. Thinking that they will be apart for only a few weeks, they make a promise to each other to be brave.

But as the Bosnian war escalates and months go by without contact, their promise to each other becomes deeply significant. Hana is forced to cope as a refugee in Croatia, far away from home and family, while Atka battles for survival in a city where snipers, mortar attacks and desperate food shortages are a part of everyday life. Their mother, working for a humanitarian aid organisation, is unable to reach them and their father retreats inside himself, shocked at what is happening to his city. In Sarajevo, death lurks in every corner and shakes the foundation of their existence. But when Atka finds work as a translator in an old, smoky radio station, and then with a photojournalist from New Zealand, life takes an unexpected turn, and the remarkable events that follow change her life, and those of her family, forever.

352 pages

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond [issybird, CRussel, Dngrsone]
Amazon US $9.18 | Amazon UK 7.99 | Amazon AU $4.99 | Amazon CA $14.15 | OverDrive


In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed writing, technology, government, and organized religion—as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war—and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth Club of California's Gold Medal.

528 pages

The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis by Elizabeth Letts [Catlady, Bookworm_Girl, gmw]
Amazon US $13.99 | Amazon UK 8.99 | Amazon CA $13.99 | Amazon AU $9.99 | Kobo U.S. $13.99 | Kobo UK 11.03 | Kobo CA $13.99 | Kobo Au $9.99 | Overdrive, Scribd, Axis360, RB Digital


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion, the remarkable story of the heroic rescue of priceless horses in the closing days of World War II

In the chaotic last days of the war, a small troop of battle-weary American soldiers captures a German spy and makes an astonishing find—his briefcase is empty but for photos of beautiful white horses that have been stolen and kept on a secret farm behind enemy lines. Hitler has stockpiled the world’s finest purebreds in order to breed the perfect military machine—an equine master race. But with the starving Russian army closing in, the animals are in imminent danger of being slaughtered for food.

With only hours to spare, one of the U.S. Army’s last great cavalrymen, Colonel Hank Reed, makes a bold decision—with General George Patton’s blessing—to mount a covert rescue operation. Racing against time, Reed’s small but determined force of soldiers, aided by several turncoat Germans, steals across enemy lines in a last-ditch effort to save the horses.

Pulling together this multistranded story, Elizabeth Letts introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters: Alois Podhajsky, director of the famed Spanish Riding School of Vienna, a former Olympic medalist who is forced to flee the bomb-ravaged Austrian capital with his entire stable in tow; Gustav Rau, Hitler’s imperious chief of horse breeding, a proponent of eugenics who dreams of genetically engineering the perfect warhorse for Germany; and Tom Stewart, a senator’s son who makes a daring moonlight ride on a white stallion to secure the farm’s surrender.

A compelling account for animal lovers and World War II buffs alike, The Perfect Horse tells for the first time the full story of these events. Elizabeth Letts’s exhilarating tale of behind-enemy-lines adventure, courage, and sacrifice brings to life one of the most inspiring chapters in the annals of human valor.

368 pages

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