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Man Booker International Shortlist 2018: Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi

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Third up in Book Worm’s reading through the International Man Booker list is Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi. Read more

Summer Reading Challenge: Backpack through Europe

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We are back with a new summer reading challenge complete with some awesome prizes!  Last year we did a reading road trip through the United States. This year, we’ll be backpacking through Europe and we hope you join us!  Read more

Swan Song by Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott

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Swan Song by Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott
Published in: 2018
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: ★★★
Find it here: Swan Song

This ARC was provided by Random House UK (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis from Goodreads: They told him everything.

He told everyone else.

Over countless martini-soaked Manhattan lunches, they shared their deepest secrets and greatest fears. On exclusive yachts sailing the Mediterranean, on private jets streaming towards Jamaica, on Yucatán beaches in secluded bays, they gossiped about sex, power, money, love and fame. They never imagined he would betray them so absolutely.

In the autumn of 1975, after two decades of intimate friendships, Truman Capote detonated a literary grenade, forever rupturing the elite circle he’d worked so hard to infiltrate. Why did he do it, knowing what he stood to lose? Was it to punish them? To make them pay for their manners, money and celebrated names? Or did he simply refuse to believe that they could ever stop loving him? Whatever the motive, one thing remains indisputable: nine years after achieving wild success with In Cold Blood, Capote committed an act of professional and social suicide with his most lethal of weapons . . . Words.

A dazzling debut about the line between gossip and slander, self-creation and self-preservation, SWAN SONG is the tragic story of the literary icon of his age and the beautiful, wealthy, vulnerable women he called his Swans.

‘Writers write. And one can’t be surprised if they write what they know.’

Bookworm’s Thoughts: Having read and appreciated Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood, I saw the blurb for this book and was intrigued.

This is a well research piece of historical fiction which gives possible explanations for what Truman Capote actions told in the voices of the women he betrayed. Each new chapter takes the reader back in time to when these women first met Capote and follows their relationships forward, ending with an examination of why that specific woman, or “Swan,” ended up being targeted in his tell all exposé. As the women are part of a distinct “set,” a lot of the narrative overlaps because key moments are shared by multiple “Swans.” Therefore the reader gets to see the same events from different viewpoints.

We see how Truman Capote goes from lost lonely boy to media darling to social outcast.  He throws away all success on either vengeance or a misguided belief that he is beyond criticism and will be forgiven.

I certainly learnt a lot about Truman Capote from this book. I learnt about his height, his squeaky voice and fittingly for Pride month I learnt he was openly gay and in a long term relationship. It was an interesting book for me because I am: a) too young to remember the original scandal and b) live in a country where this story is not widely known. My reservations about the book are that for anyone old enough to remember the events, the book doesn’t add anything new. It is airing the dirty laundry to a new generation of readers and like the book Capote wanted to write, it is largely a gossipy, tell all story.

Who would like this? I would recommend this to those who don’t remember the original scandal and who have an interest in Truman Capote. I would also recommend it to anyone who like me read the blurb and thought I must read that.

Want to try it for yourself? You can find a copy here: Swan Song

We want to hear from you! Have you read this book? What did you think? 

The Greatest Love Story Ever Told

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I don’t typically like celebrity books and I don’t read much in the way of memoirs or comedy books. However, Ron Swanson is one of my all time favorite TV characters and I pretty much love everything about Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman. So, I broke my literary fiction trend and picked up this celebrity memoir at Book Expo this year. Read more

Man Booker International Short List 2018: The White Book by Han Kang

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Second on my list is a novel from South Korea: The White Book by Han Kang. Read more

2018 Man Booker International Short List: Vernon Subutex One by Virginie Despentes

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Well it’s that time of year again when I tried to read all the Man Booker International Short List books before the winner was announced and failed miserably. I have only managed to get hold of half the list from the library and that doesn’t even include the book that actually won. However, in the interest of science, I do intend to read all the books as soon as I can so I can see if I agree with the verdict.

First up from France is Vernon Subutex by Virginie Despentes so lets dive in… Read more

Book Beer Pairing: The Shepherd’s Hut – Tim Winton

Grab a strong one, you’re going to need it!

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May Monthly Recap

pile-of-booksIt’s time for our May monthly recap – a few days late since I was away at Book Expo for the last several days. Find out which books were favorites and which were duds for the month of May. We’ll end our wrap up with a glimpse of what’s coming out in June.  Read more

The Parking Lot Attendant by Nafkote Tamirat

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It’s not often that a book leaves me with such conflicting feelings. This debut by Boston author Nafkote Tamirat is a coming of age story set in Boston and an unnamed tropical island. It’s the sort of book that left me with many questions and a mix of reactions. Here’s my review… Read more

Non 1001 Book Review: The Burning Chambers Kate Mosse

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The Burning Chambers by Kate Mosse
Published in: 2018
Reviewed by: Book Worm
Rating: ★★★
Find it here: The Burning Chambers

This ARC was provided by Pan Macmillan (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis from Goodreads: Bringing sixteenth-century Languedoc vividly to life, Kate Mosse’s The Burning Chambers is a gripping story of love and betrayal, mysteries and secrets; of war and adventure, conspiracies and divided loyalties . . . Read more