This year Father Christmas put 10 amazing new books into my stocking. All of which I am very excited to start reading.
1. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant.
Described as the ‘oldest love story never told’.
‘ in the bible, her fate is merely hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the verses of the Book of Genesis that recount the life of Jacob and his infamous dozen sons. The Red Tent is an extraordinary and engrossing tale of ancient womanhood and family honour. Told in Dinah’s voice, it opens with the story of her mothers the four wives of Jacob each of whom embodies unique feminine traits, and concludes with Dinah’s own startling and unforgettable story of betrayal, grief and love…. it is guaranteed to win the hearts and minds of women across the world.’
2. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
How have I not already read this book or owned it before?
‘Set in the deep American South between the wars, it is the tale of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. Raped repeatedly by the man she calls her father, she has two children taken away from her, is separated from her beloved sister Nettie, and is trapped into an ugly marriage. But then she meets the glamorous Shug Avery, singer and magic maker a woman who has taken charge of her own destiny.’
3. Cujo by Stephen King
The only King novel that I have read so far is The Shining and it has become a personal favourite. Excited to read another of his books.
‘ Cujo is a huge Saint Bernard dog, the best friend Brett Camber has ever had. Then one day Cujo chases a rabbit into a bolt-hole. Except it isn’t a rabbit warren any more. It is a cave inhabited by rabid bats. Cujo falls sick. Very sick. And the gentle giant who once protected the family becomes a vortex of horror inexorably drawing in all the people around him…’
4. The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind by William Kamkwamba
Now time for a non-fiction. I first heard about this book in Zambia from our bus driver. We wanted to know more about African literature so one night around the camp fire he told us about this book and true story….sounds beyond inspirational
‘William Kamkwamba was born in Malawi, a country where magic ruled, modern science was a mystery, hunger and drought were a daily reality, and hope and opportunity were hard to find. Faced with crippling adversity and unable to afford the tuition to pursue his passion for science, William had a ‘crazy’ idea. With only a few old text books and incredible determination, William constructed a crude windmill. This unlikely contraption would prove to be the small miracle that would eventually bring electricity and water to William’s village. changing the community and transforming the lives of those around him.’
5. The Other Hand by Chris Cleave
I’m not really sure what to expect from this one….
‘We don’t want to tell you what happens in this book. It is a truly special story and we don’t want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know enough to buy it so we will say this: This is a story of two women. Their lives collide one fateful day and one of them has to make a terrible choice. Two years later, they meet again – the story starts there…..Once you have read it, you’ll want to tell your friends about it. When you do, please don’t tell them what happens either. The magic is how it unfolds.’
6. Speaking of choices…..Sophie’s Choice by William Stryon
I am excited to read this one because I hear it’s an epic….but mainly because my name is also Sophie and just like when I was 9 and reading the BFG that excites me more than anything else!!
‘Stingo, an inexperienced 22-year-old Southerner takes us back to the summer of 1947 and a boarding house in a leafy Brooklyn suburb. There he meets Nathan, a fiery Jewish intellectual and Sophie, a beautiful and fragile Polish Catholic. Stingo is drawn into the heart of their passionate and destructive relationship as witness, confidant and supplicant. Ultimately, he arrives at the dark core of Sophie’s past: her memories of pre-war Poland, the concentration camp and – the essence of her terrible secret her choice.’
7. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
Based on a true story and set in India a country that I have fallen in love with for its beautiful people and its beautiful spirit.
‘In the early 80’s, Gregory David Roberts, an armed robber and heroin addict, escaped an Australian prison to India, where he lived in a Bombay slum. There, he established a free health clinic and also joined the mafia, working as a money launderer, forger and street solider. He found time to learn Hindi and Marathi, fall in love, and spend time being worked over in an Indian jail. Then, in case anyone though he was slacking, he acted in Bollywood and fought with the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan…Amazingly, Roberts wrote Shantaram three times after prison guards trashed the first two versions. It is a tribute to his willpower…At once a high-kicking, eye-gouging adventure a love saga and a savage yet tenderly lyrical fugitive vision.’
8. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
‘…the story of Clyde Griffiths, who spends his life in the desperate pursuit of success. In a deeper and more profound level, it is the masterful portrayal if the society whose values both shape Clyde’s ambitions and seal his fate; it is an unsurpassed depiction of the harsh realities of American life and of the dark side of the American dream.’
9. Three Cups Of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
In 1993, after a terrifying and disastrous attempt to climb K2, a mountaineer called Greg Mortenson drifted, cold and dehydrated, into an impoverished Pakistan village. Moved by the inhabitants’ kindness, he promised to return and build a school. Over the next decade, Mortenson built not just one but fifty-five schools in remote villages across the forbidding and breathtaking landscape of Pakistan and Afghanistan, just as the Taliban rose to power. His story is at once a riveting adventure and a testament to the power of the humanitarian spirit.’
10. LAST BUT NOT AT ALL LEAST…….Dracula by Bram Stoker.
A nice new fancy edition of my all time favourite book. If you like traditional vampire stories, love, science, modernity and a brilliant chase this is for you.
Thank you Father Christmas…..