"In 1982 Nina Stibbe, a twenty-year-old from Leicester, moved to London to work as a nanny for a very particular family. It was a perfect match: Nina had no idea how to cook, look after children, or who the weirdos who called round were. And the family, busy discussing how to swear in German or the merits (or otherwise) of turkey mince, were delighted by her lack of skills. Love, Nina is the collection of letters she wrote home gloriously describing her 'domestic' life, the unpredictable houseguests and the cat everyone loved to hate."
// I mainly chose this because I loved the front cover (shallow, me!?), but the story does sound pretty intriguing and I'm keen to learn more about the "weirdos" who visited, and why Nina's family were so impressed by her incompetence!
The Girl With All The Gifts, M. R. Carey (Orbit)
"Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite. But they don't laugh."
// Vague blurbs are like crack to me, I immediately want to know more! Who is Melanie, why is she in a cell? I love anything vaguely related to crime, psychology or both, so I'm expecting this to be right up my street.
"Sitting quietly in his room in an old people's home, Allan Karlsson is waiting for a party he doesn't want to begin. His one-hundredth birthday party to be precise. The Mayor will be there. The press will be there. But, as it turns out, Allan will not... Escaping (in his slippers) through his bedroom window, into the flowerbed, Allan makes his getaway. And so begins his picaresque and unlikely journey involving criminals, several murders, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent police. As his escapades unfold, Allan's earlier life is revealed. A life in which - remarkably - he played a key role behind the scenes in some of the momentous events of the twentieth century."
//I've looked at this book a few times and finally picked it up. Since working with the elderly myself, I've developed a new appreciation of their stories, and I have to admit to identifying a little with Allan here - I'd almost definitely run away from my own hundredth birthday party! I'm looking forward to hearing what he gets up to upon making his bid for freedom.
Never Saw It Coming, Linwood Barclay (Orion)
"Keisha Ceylon is a psychic. So she says. The truth is, she watches the news for stories of missing family members, gives it a few days, then tells these families she's had a vision. She may be able to help. And, by the way, she charges for this service, and likes to see the money up front. Keisha's latest mark is a man whose wife disappeared a week ago. She's seen him on TV, pleading for his wife to come home, or for whoever took her to let her go. So she pays him a visit. The trouble is, her vision just happens to be close enough to the truth that it leaves the man rattled. And it may very well leave Keisha dead..."
//For some reason, this puts me in mind of Jodi Picoult, one of my favourite authors, so I couldn't leave it behind! I'm a sucker for a good thriller and this one sounds a little bit different, I'm really looking forward to it. As a complete cynic with regards to anything psychic-related, I'm interested to see what sort of take this book has on the matter.
"Despite the tumour-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten."
// I didn't actually buy this but was lent it by a friend; another one I've been meaning to read for a while and want to read before seeing the film! It sounds like a real tear-jerker and I really do enjoy stories written around the theme of terminal illness - as twisted as that may sound, it's a really interesting topic to me.
Have you bought any books recently? Have you read any of these? What are you currently reading?
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