#5Books: Books recs and how did May come to be around the corner?

#5Books book recs for the week ending 23 April 2018

On Friday I had a hell of a day — the kind of day that feels like you’re in quicksand, and can’t quite get out of it or your head in the game. Every bit of me had been feeling ill at ease during the week, and couldn’t quite pull myself out of it. I can’t even remember what happened on Friday!

All I need is for the rest of this week to go smoothly — and you know, May is just over a week away. Sheesh.

Is anyone reading Circe? I am seeing it everywhere, but am not sure what to make of it. I enjoy the idea of Greek mythology books, but often don’t find them enjoyable.

In other amusing news, here’s another book I’ve been seeing around recently, and now I realised because the thing was up for the Pulitzer Prize — which it won. Except I can’t get it out of my head that the guy on the cover looks like Donald Trump.

But YAY for a gay and a comedy novel winning!

And here, there be book recs:

What Happened that Night

One moment Dahlia is a successful Harvard student. The next, she wakes up from a party, the victim of a brutal assault. Her life veers into a tailspin, and what’s worse, her memory of the attack has been ripped away, leaving a cold rage in its wake.

Now, years later, Dahlia is a tattooed paralegal suffering from PTSD, still haunted by that night. Until one day, a video surfaces online, and Dahlia sees her attack for the first time. Now she knows what happened to her. And she knows who to blame. Her rage is no longer cold, but burning, red hot.

And she is about to make everyone pay.

Revenge is sweet. And I am very much looking forward to reading how Dahlia gets her revenge.

Still Lives

A young editor at a Los Angeles art museum finds herself pulled into the disturbing and dangerous world of a famous artist who goes missing on the opening night of her exhibition

Kim Lord is an avant garde figure, feminist icon, and agent provocateur in the L.A. art scene. Her groundbreaking new exhibition Still Lives is comprised of self-portraits depicting herself as famous, murdered women—the Black Dahlia, Chandra Levy, Nicole Brown Simpson, among many others—and the works are as compelling as they are disturbing, implicating a culture that is too accustomed to violence against women.

As the city’s richest art patrons pour into the Rocque Museum’s opening night, all of the staff, including editor Maggie Richter, hope the event will be enough to save the historic institution’s flailing finances.

Except Kim Lord never shows up to her own gala

Fear mounts as the hours and days drag on and Lord remains missing. Suspicion falls upon the up-and-coming gallerist Greg Shaw Ferguson, who happens to be Maggie’s ex. A rogue’s gallery of eccentric art world figures could also have motive for the act, and as Maggie gets drawn into her own investigation of Lord’s disappearance, she’ll come to suspect all of those closest to her.

Set against a culture that too often fetishizes violence against women, Still Lives is a page-turning exodus into the art world’s hall of mirrors, and one woman’s journey into the belly of an industry flooded with money and secrets.

That this is set in the art world is what grabbed my attention, and Kim Lord seems to be the type of person that would leave destruction in her wake wherever she went.

The Runaway

The captivating new novel from the author of Sunday Times bestseller and Richard and Judy Book Club pick, Baby Doll. Perfect for fans of Fiona Barton’s The Child and Shari Lapena’s The Couple Next Door.
Ashley Naylor is a teenage runaway – she is found beaten, stabbed and left for dead in the backstreets of LA.

When Ash’s foster mother, Becca, discovers that Ash has been murdered, she sets out to track down the killer, seeking justice for this broken girl and salvation for herself.

Ash’s trail leads Becca to Hollywood, where souls are sold for the illusive promise of fame, and where using and throwing away a teenage girl is just another day at the office. But it’s on the streets of downtown LA that Becca will ultimately find the answers she’s desperately seeking, thrusting her into the untamed no-mans land of Skid Row, a ruthless mini society with its own rules and its own justice system…

Baby Doll, which I reviewed right over here, is one of those emotionally draining books that lingered with me after I’d finished — and left me on the lookout for other books by Holly Overton. And this one sounds very different to the intimate story of Baby Doll, which is exactly why I want to read it.

Any Man

In her blazingly original and unforgettable debut novel “Any Man”, Amber Tamblyn brings to startling life a specter of sexual violence in the shadowy form of Maude, a serial female rapist who preys on men.

In this electric and provocative debut novel, Tamblyn blends genres of poetry, prose, and elements of suspense to give shape to the shocking narratives of victims of sexual violence, mapping the destructive ways in which our society perpetuates rape culture.

A violent serial rapist is on the loose, who goes by the name Maude. She hunts for men at bars, online, at home— the place doesn’t matter, neither does the man. Her victims then must live the aftermath of their assault in the form of doubt from the police, feelings of shame alienation from their friends and family and the haunting of a horrible woman who becomes the phantom on which society projects its greatest fears, fascinations and even misogyny. All the while the police are without leads and the media hound the victims, publicly dissecting the details of their attack.

What is extraordinary is how as years pass these men learn to heal, by banding together and finding a space to raise their voices. Told in alternating viewpoints signature to each voice and experience of the victim, these pages crackle with emotion, ranging from horror to breathtaking empathy.

So, this is not what I expected with a title like Any Man, and I think it’s could be a powerful, controversial and thought-provoking way to highlight our society and rape culture. I reviewed The Power over here, which deals with how society treats women tackled this too, but this one sharpens its focus in the wake of the METOO movement.

April in Paris 1921

Paris in 1921 is the city of freedom, where hatless and footloose Kiki Button can drink champagne and dance until dawn. She works as a gossip columnist, partying with the rich and famous, the bohemian and strange, using every moment to create a new woman from the ashes of her war-worn self.

While on the modelling dais, Picasso gives her a job: to find his wife’s portrait, which has gone mysteriously missing. That same night, her spymaster from the war contacts her—she has to find a double agent or face jail. Through parties, whisky, and seductive informants, Kiki uses her knowledge of Paris from the Great War to connect the clues.

Set over the course of one springtime week, April in Paris, 1921 is a mystery that combines artistic gossip with interwar political history through witty banter, steamy scenes, and fast action.

So, this is by an Australian author, and it’s set in Paris! In 1921, which admittedly, historical fiction is not always my cup of tea, but throw in Picasso, a mystery and Kiki is a spy? Yeah, there’s a lot going on here, but it sounds fun!

Any Man and April in Paris 1921, are top of my list this week. If I could add a GIF that could accurately depict my delight I would but WordPress frigging hates them.


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