“People have been getting naked in public for centuries. Rising to prominence in the late 19th century, naturism inspired intellectuals, outcasts, and health nuts from Victorian England, colonial India, Belle Epoque France and Gilded Age Manhattan to disrobe and write manifestos abut the joys of going clothing free. Coated in multiple layers of high SPF sunblock, writer Mark Haskell Smith dives into the nudist world to find out how it all began and whether he is missing out.”
I make a habit of reading every book Freya North brings out- so I was especially happy to see this new book is largely set in North Norfolk. The local setting is beautifully described, with real pubs, cafes and beaches faithfully included – and I can only assume the same goes for those parts of the book set in British Columbia.
Freya’s characters are always appealing and that made the tragedy alluded to on the back cover even more heart-wrenching. One to read on a North Norfolk beach!
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‘The Fires of Autumn’ was written in the last two years of Irène Némirovsky’s life, after she fled Paris in 1940. The prequel to her masterpiece, ‘Suite Française’, it is a panoramic exploration of French life and a witness to the greatest horrors of the twentieth century. After four years of bloody warfare Bernard Jacquelain returns from the trenches a changed man.
Irene Nemirovsky was born in Kiev in 1903, the daughter of a successful Jewish banker. In 1918 her family fled the Russian Revolution for France where she became a bestselling novelist, author of David Golder, All Our Worldly Goods, The Dogs and the Wolves, Suite Francaise and Fire in the Blood among others. She was prevented from publishing when the Germans occupied France and moved with her husband and two small daughters from Paris to the safety of the small village of Issy-l’Eveque (in German occupied territory). It was here that she began writing Suite Francaise. She died in Auschwitz in 1942.
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The story is mainly told by Smitty, with emails from Abi to her brother interwoven into the story.
Brings in the topics of adoption, racism, & euthanasia. It really made me think about all three, putting myself in the characters position & thinking what I would do – not easy when you haven’t faced these things yourself.
Some of it is hard to read but you have to, I couldn’t put it down.
Super story on many levels, a must read.
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I found new poets I wasn’t aware of, and new poems by favourite writers too. The poems are very human and grounded. Food has the power to bring people together – and it seems good food poetry has a little of the same magic.
I might well have to buy a copy of this book to keep!
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A new psychological thriller, drawing comparisons with Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train and praise from reviewers: ‘Mesmerising’ Daily Telegraph ‘Addictive’ Sunday Express ‘Extraordinary’ Guardian
Alice Salmon young, smart, ambitious – with her whole life ahead of her. Until the night she mysteriously drowns . Nobody knows how or why. But Alice left a few clues: her diary, texts, emails, and presence on social media Alice is gone but fragments of the life she led remain – and in them might lie the answer to what really happened to her – if only someone can piece it all together before it vanishes for ever . . .
The story moves from 1948 with Isabel, to the present time with Emily, linked by the world of publishing.
It’s a tale of families, lots of secrets which if they’d been aired earlier would have led to a different story. People saying one thing but meaning another.
Using the historical background of WW2 and how people were affected by it, plus the 1953 floods in East Anglia to tell the story makes it more real.
All the themes & side stories are knitted together to produce a believable, exciting story. Everything is explained and comes together with a great denouement.
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DNA is at the heart of the story, who is related to whom. Seems everyone is related to the Blackstocks to some degree, not a good thing to be as murder is stalking the family.
Personal relationships are written into the story too, as in real life we are all fallible at times. Characterisations are realistic.
Related to real life events such as the US airfields in Norfolk in WW2, & the floods of 2013, makes the story very believable.
There are some gruesome bits e.g. human bones found in the pig sty.
The addition of a bit of humour is always good, loved the motorised duck used to rescue people in the flood.
I would recommend this book, & all the others Elly Griffiths has written.
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If you’ve not yet read any Stuart MacBride, these authors think you should:
‘MacBride is a damned fine writer – no one does dark and gritty like him’ Peter James
‘Fierce, unflinching and shot through with the blackest of humour; this is crime fiction of the highest order’ Mark Billingham
‘Ferocious and funny’ Val McDermid
‘Hard-hitting prose with a bone-dry humour and characters you can genuinely believe in, Stuart MacBride’s novels are a real treat’ Simon Kernick
When you catch a twisted killer there should be a reward, right? What Acting Detective Inspector Logan McRae gets instead is a ‘development opportunity’, out in the depths of rural Aberdeenshire. Welcome to divisional policing – catching drug dealers, shop lifters, vandals and the odd escaped farm animal. Then a little girl’s body washes up just outside the sleepy town of Banff, kicking off a massive manhunt. The Major Investigation Team is up from Aberdeen, wanting answers, and they don’t care who they trample over to get them. Logan’s got enough on his plate keeping B Division together, but DCI Steel wants him back on her team. As his old colleagues stomp around the countryside, burning bridges, he gets dragged deeper and deeper into the investigation.
A witty and at times savage take on the world of reality TV. Peeping Tom productions makes House Arrest (a parody of Big Brother) – with “One house. Ten contestants. Thirty cameras. Forty microphones. One survivor.”
All is progressing well until Day 27 when a murder occurs on screen. Everyone watching sees it happen and yet, despite all the cameras and microphones in the House, the murderer’s identity remains a mystery.
Into this heady mix comes Inspector Stanley Coleridge, a copper of the old school and possibly the only person unaware that such a programme as House Arrest exists.
He struggles to get to grips with modern ways let alone motives and with the world’s attention on him he must somehow unmask the killer before he, or she, strikes again.
Reserve Dead Famous