In my mailbox is a meme that can be found over at The Story Siren, intending to share any books bought/gifted/borrowed over time. I’ve decided to post these on Wednesdays sporadically, with the intention to share what I’ve got my hands on recently. Thanks to primarily Goodreads for blurbs and covers. Links are provided if you’re interested in buying any of the books, which will go through my Amazon Associates account, or reading a few reviews.
I was being good this week, but then it happened. I stumbled across books I figure I absolutely have to read in the charity shop.
Hogfather (Discworld #20) – Terry Pratchett
This year the Auditors, who want people to stop believing in things that aren’t real, have hired an assassin to eliminate the Hogfather. (You know him: red robe, white beard, says, “Ho, ho, ho!”) Their evil plot will destroy the Discworld unless someone covers for him. So someone does. Well, at least Death tries. He wears the costume and rides the sleigh drawn by four jolly pigs: Gouger, Tusker, Rooter, and Snouter. He even comes down chimneys. But as fans of other Pratchett stories about Death (Mort, Reaper Man, and Soul Music) know, he takes things literally. He gives children whatever they wish for and appears in person at Crumley’s in The Maul.
Genre: Satirical Fantasy
I own about 10 Discworld novels. I have read less than that. I love Pratchett, so I think it’s about bloody time I get on my arse and read them all. Not one after the other, but as and when. The trouble is, there are close to 40 Discworld novels, plus the others (Science of Discworld, short stories) and that’s an awful lot of money so I figured if I see any in decent condition in the charity shops that I don’t own, buy them. Today I found Hogfather in decent enough condition.
The Slap – Christos Tsiolkas
At a suburban barbecue, a man slaps a child who is not his own.
This event has a shocking ricochet effect on a group of people, mostly friends, who are directly or indirectly influenced by the event. In this remarkable novel, Christos Tsiolkas turns his unflinching and all-seeing eye onto that which connects us all: the modern family and domestic life in the twenty-first century. The Slap is told from the points of view of eight people who were present at the barbecue. The slap and its consequences force them all to question their own families and the way they live, their expectations, beliefs and desires.
What unfolds is a powerful, haunting novel about love, sex and marriage, parenting and children, and the fury and intensity – all the passions and conflicting beliefs – that family can arouse. In its clear-eyed and forensic dissection of the ever-growing middle class and its aspirations and fears, The Slap is also a poignant, provocative novel about the nature of loyalty and happiness, compromise and truth.
I must say, this one didn’t grab me at first. I was pricing up books to put on the shelves and this was simply one of the T’s I’d grabbed from the box. A fairly uninteresting cover, but in pretty much perfect condition. I’d priced it up and then thought to myself, what the heck is a book called “The Slap” about, anyway? Is it some kind of chick lit? So I read the caption underneath the title. A man slaps a child that isn’t his own – that caught my attention, so I read the blurb. I turned to the lady I work with and said, “This one sounds interesting.” A couple of minutes later she agrees and tells me to read the first page. I scared a customer with my laughing, I don’t usually find toilet humour funny but I wasn’t quite expecting that and snap, I had to read more. Credit where credit is due, I was going to put this one on the shelf and ignore it. “Never judge a book by its cover.”