I feel like I've been a bit useless at updating (here, and on Goodreads and Twitter) lately - I can only apologise for that: a combination of a hectic work month and flat-hunting has taken its toll on the time I have to write reviews and, indeed, to read. With no updates to provide and my already enormous to-read pile mounting up even further, I thought it would be a great idea to kill two birds with one stone and give away some of the books I haven't had chance to read!
I'm giving away a bundle of three brand new books, all review copies, one of which hasn't even been released yet. Read on for details...
Beggar's Feast by Randy Boyagoda (Penguin, 30 January 2014)Now, here's what you have to do to enter if you'd like to win all of these...
Randy Boyagoda's Beggar's Feast is a tour de force of a novel set in Sri Lanka about a man living in defiance of fate.
Sam Kandy, born in 1899 in a poor village in the heart of Ceylon and abandoned by his family ten years later at the gates of a remote temple, resolves to make his own luck amongst the cheats and chancers of the world. When twenty years reckoning with the streets of Colombo, the docks of Sydney and the brothels of Singapore lead Sam back to his blighted birth village, he returns as a steely self-made man. He marries a nobleman's daughter and coldly pursues a life of wealth, prestige, and power.
And so begins a devastating chain of events, in which families are torn apart, fortunes are made and lost, and old ways and wants collide with modernity's new machines and money and desires. Just as Sam Kandy is called back to his roots and longs for a chance to prove himself to a people and a place that gave up on him long before, ambition, reinvention, tradition and family each demand an answer: what does it cost a man to rewrite his history?
Beggar's Feast is a masterpiece - a raw, profound and magnificent novel about origins and endings, about what we forsake to survive.
The Shadow of the Crescent Moon by Fatima Bhutto (Penguin, 28 November 2013)
Fatima Bhutto's stunning debut novel The Shadow of the Crescent Moon begins and ends one rain swept Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in Pakistan's Tribal Areas close to the Afghan border.
Three brothers meet for breakfast. Soon after, the eldest, recently returned from America, hails a taxi to the local mosque. The second, a doctor, goes to check in at his hospital. His troubled wife does not join the family that morning. No one knows where Mina goes these days. And the youngest, the idealist, leaves for town on a motorbike. Seated behind him is a beautiful, fragile girl whose life and thoughts are overwhelmed by the war that has enveloped the place of her birth.
Three hours later their day will end in devastating circumstances.
The Shadow of the Crescent Moon chronicles the lives of five young people trying to live and love in a world on fire. Individuals are pushed to make terrible choices. And, as the events of this single morning unfold, one woman is at the centre of it all.
Someone Else's Skin by Sarah Hilary (Headline, 27 February 2014)
Detective Inspector Marnie Rome. Dependable; fierce; brilliant at her job; a rising star in the ranks. Everyone knows how Marnie fought to come back from the murder of her parents, but very few know what is going on below the surface. Because Marnie has secrets she won't share with anyone.
But then so does everyone. Certainly those in the women's shelter Marnie and Detective Sergeant Noah Jake visit on that fateful day. The day when they arrive to interview a resident, only to find one of the women's husbands, who shouldn't have been there, lying stabbed on the floor.
As Marnie and Noah investigate the crime further, events begin to spiral and the violence escalates. Everyone is keeping secrets, some for survival and some, they suspect, to disguise who they really are under their skin.
Now, if Marnie is going to find the truth, she will have to face her own demons head on. Because the time has come for secrets to be revealed...
1. Comment on this post
2. You must be following Learn This Phrase on either Twitter or Bloglovin' (please include your Twitter username or your name on Bloglovin' in your comment so I can check!)
3. Make sure your comment includes some method of contact so I can get in touch if you're the winner (eg Twitter/email address)
... And that's it! Entries will close on Friday 28th February and I'll choose the winner using one of those random-selector things to ensure it's completely fair. Good luck!