Happy Tuesday and welcome to damppebbles. I hope your week has started off on the right foot. By which I mean, involving lots of lovely books! Today I am delighted to welcome another fantastic book blogger to the blog. Joining me today is the brilliant Karen Cole of Hair Past A Freckle. I love Karen’s blog so if you don’t already subscribe then that must change!
So, what is #R3COMM3ND3D2019? It’s about sharing the book love. It’s a chance for authors and book bloggers to shout about three (yes, *only* three) books they love. They can be written by any author, in any genre and published in any way (traditionally, indie press or self-published). But there is a catch. All three books must have been published in 2019. To make things interesting I have added a couple of teeny, tiny rules this year which are; 1) the book must have first been published in 2019 and 2) special editions and reissues do not count. I like to keep you lovely people on your toes 😉.
Here are the three books Karen chose…
Turbulent Wake by Paul E. Hardisty
Turbulent Wake is a truly global story which is striking in the way it takes its characters from the most beautiful areas to countries which are awash with corruption and torn apart through greed and conflict. Within the book, there are searing reminders that just as our choices affect those around us, so our actions also have a devastating impact on the environment. Paul E. Hardisty draws heavily on his own experiences and it’s clear that he has poured his soul into this novel, with his intense descriptions creating a richly evocative, deeply moving and thought-provoking reading experience. There are some scenes which are particularly difficult to read but although this is a book which never flinches from exploring the darker recesses of humanity, the lyricism of his writing means there is also a poetic beauty to the prose throughout. This isn’t just one of my favourite novels of the year, it’s also one of the best books I’ve ever read.
Karen’s Review of Turbulent Wake
No Place of Refuge by Ausma Zehanat Khan
All the novels in the outstanding Esa Khattak and Rachel Getty series have each touched me deeply but perhaps none have resonated quite as strongly as No Place of Refuge. I defy anybody to read certain scenes here without being moved to tears as the barbaric atrocities inflicted on Syria’s citizens are laid bare. The language is necessarily unflinching and although I had some knowledge of the human rights atrocities committed by Assad’s regime, to see it made personal is tremendously moving. In a world where refugees are often discussed as a faceless mass, by focusing on a young man’s heartbreaking story, Ausma Zehanat Khan succeeds in reminding us that every displaced person is an individual in their own right. Harrowing, illuminating and powerful, No Place Of Refuge gives a voice to those denied it and is truly a book for our times.
Karen’s Review of No Place of Refuge
In the Absence of Miracles by Michael J. Malone
This is a novel which doesn’t flinch from tackling the most difficult, frequently taboo subjects but Michael J. Malone’s beautifully lyrical writing ensures it never feels exploitative and even the most shocking moments are written about with a sensitive honesty which brought tears to my eyes. He explores complicated family dynamics, betrayal, guilt and the possibility of some sort of resolution and acceptance with perceptiveness and deep compassion. In The Absence Of Miracles is a breathtakingly good book; powerful yet tender and an emotional masterclass in how to write about harrowing and difficult issues.
Karen’s Review of In the Absence of Miracles
Three brilliant picks, thanks so much Karen. I have read In the Absence of Miracles (review to follow!) and it’s a stunning read. I’m also a huge fan of Paul E. Hardisty’s books but I’m yet to read Turbulent Wake. Turbulent Wake and No Place of Refuge are both definitely going on the wishlist.
If Karen has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends, please see the following links:
My name is Karen and I’ve been blogging at Hair Past A Freckle since 2013. I live in Shaftesbury, North Dorset with my husband, three daughters and pets. As well as being a book blogger, I’m a teaching assistant and midday supervisor in a primary school. I’m incredibly clumsy and once stapled my finger to a paper chicken! As well as books, I also love walking, collecting useless trivia and cheese.
If you’re a book blogger or an author and you have three books published this year which you want to shout about then please complete the following form (or click this link: https://forms.gle/PE483qCyrKEgV5Uq6)