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April mini book haul – for review

I’ve been really lucky so far this month in getting three very different and very intriguing books sent from publishers for me to review.  I may get more as the month goes on but its easier to do them in small doses.

This is what i’ve hauled

The Electrical Venus by Julie Mayhew

The Last Children of Tokyo by Yoko Tawada

How to Love a Jamaican by Alexia Arthurs

Book 1 – The Electrical Venus

To be honest, I really don’t like this cover, its too garish for me but i’m sure it serves a purpose in the story. It was very kindly sent by Hot Key Books.

It does however sound very intriguing and it has been brilliantly packaged. It was sent with a sort of pretend newspaper advert, a feather (gorgeous) and a packet of popping candy!

In a lowly side-show fair in eighteenth-century England, teenager Mim is struggling to find her worth as an act. Not white, but not black enough to be truly exotic, her pet parrot who speaks four languages is a bigger draw than her. But Alex, the one-armed boxer boy, sees her differently. And she, too, feels newly interested in him. But then Dr Fox arrives with his scientific kit for producing ‘electrickery’ – feats of electrical magic these bawdy audiences have never seen before. To complete his act, Fox chooses Mim to play the ‘Electrical Venus’. Her popularity – and the electric-shocking kisses she can provide for a penny – mean takings are up, slop is off the menu and this spark between her and Fox must surely be love. But is this starring role her true worth, or is love worth more than a penny for an electrifying kiss?

Anyone who can get the words pickled rats and electric lips in the same book has to be admired right?

Book 2 – The Last Children of Tokyo

I couldn’t resist requesting this one as it fits in so nicely with my 2018 reading plans i.e to read more books by a Japanese author. This is a proof which was kindly sent by Portobello Books. Being a proof the cover is very basic but just look how beautiful the finished item will be!

Yoshiro celebrated his hundredth birthday many years ago, but every morning before work he still goes running in the park with his rent-a-dog. He is one of the many aged-elderly in Japan and he might, he thinks, live forever. Life for Yoshiro isn’t as simple as it used to be. Pollution and natural disasters have scarred the face of the Earth, and even common foods are hard to come by. Still, Yoshiro’s only real worry is the future of his great-grandson Mumei, who, like other children of his generation, was born frail and grey-haired, old before he was ever young. As daily life in Tokyo grows harder, a secretive organisation embarks on an audacious plan to find a cure for the children of Japan – might Yoshiro’s great-grandson, Mumei, be the key? A dreamlike story of filial love and glimmering hope, The Last Children of Tokyo is a delicate glimpse of our future from one of Japan’s most celebrated writers.

Book 3 – How to Love a Jamaican

This is a series of short stories by a debut author. This is just a proof but look how bloody gorgeous the finished item is gonna look! I’m dribbling here!  This was sent to me by Picador Books.

Tenderness and cruelty, loyalty and betrayal, ambition and regret–Alexia Arthurs navigates these tensions to extraordinary effect in her debut collection about Jamaican immigrants and their families back home. Sweeping from close-knit island communities to the streets of New York City and midwestern university towns, these eleven stories form a portrait of a nation, a people, and a way of life. In “Light-Skinned Girls and Kelly Rowlands,” an NYU student befriends a fellow Jamaican whose privileged West Coast upbringing has blinded her to the hard realities of race. In “Mash Up Love,” a twin’s chance sighting of his estranged brother–the prodigal son of the family–stirs up unresolved feelings of resentment. In “Bad Behavior,” a couple leave their wild teenage daughter with her grandmother in Jamaica, hoping the old ways will straighten her out. In “Mermaid River,” a Jamaican teenage boy is reunited with his mother in New York after eight years apart. In “The Ghost of Jia Yi,” a recently murdered student haunts a despairing Jamaican athlete recruited to an Iowa college. And in “Shirley from a Small Place,” a world-famous pop star retreats to her mother’s big new house in Jamaica, which still holds the power to restore something vital. Alexia Arthurs emerges in this vibrant, lyrical, intimate collection as one of fiction’s most dynamic and essential young authors.

 


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