Whichbook Blog

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Greatest Hits

Drugs, groupies, creative differences, breakups and breakdowns - it's all laid bare in this fictional biography of a reclusive singer/songwriter. Cass Wheeler is all my favourite female artists rolled into one: ambitious and gutsy but with a childlike vulnerability. I can neither hold a tune or a guitar, but this book let me live the Rock 'n' Roll lifestyle. A companion CD by musician Kathryn Williams makes this a truly unique experience.

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The Aeronaut's Guide to Rapture

Can be read, with satisfaction as three separate, equally fascinating stories featuring three people trying to survive in an impossible situation. But what makes this book really special is the appearance of the author as, like Prospero in The Tempest, he intervenes with possible redemptions. A book to love or to hate I think.

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The Gurugu Pledge

Mount Gurugu is an unforgiving backdrop and home to hundreds of Africans seeking asylum in Europe. The currency of the novel adds to its potency. Its serious content is tempered by the spark of hope of a better life for all the mountain’s inhabitants. It’s impossible not to be saddened by the plight of those stuck in the mountainous no-man’s land, yet the sense of solidarity is uplifting too.

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Sour Heart

Reading like auto-fiction, these coming of age stories are narrated by second-generation daughters of Chinese immigrants to the USA in the 1990s. The sweet and sour tales could easily have lapsed into misery memoir, but the harrowing intimate details of family life on the seamy side of New York are offset by the humorous candour of the child narrators. Just to flag - there is strong language and very explicit scenes of a sexual nature.

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