So I had a bad reading month this month because I had two surgeries within 6 weeks so spent a lot of time in hospital and in bed – not reading!
Chemistry by Weike Wang – Three years into her graduate studies at a demanding Boston university, the unnamed narrator of this nimbly wry, concise debut finds her one-time love for chemistry is more hypothesis than reality. She’s tormented by her failed research–and reminded of her delays by her peers, her advisor, and most of all by her Chinese parents, who have always expected nothing short of excellence from her throughout her life. But there’s another, nonscientific question looming: the marriage proposal from her devoted boyfriend, a fellow scientist, whose path through academia has been relatively free of obstacles, and with whom she can’t make a life before finding success on her own. Eventually, the pressure mounts so high that she must leave everything she thought she knew about her future, and herself, behind. And for the first time, she’s confronted with a question she won’t find the answer to in a textbook: What do I really want?Over the next two years, this winningly flawed, disarmingly insightful heroine learns the formulas and equations for a different kind of chemistry–one in which the reactions can’t be quantified, measured, and analyzed; one that can be studied only in the mysterious language of the heart. Taking us deep inside her scattered, searching mind, here is a brilliant new literary voice that astutely juxtaposes the elegance of science, the anxieties of finding a place in the world, and the sacrifices made for love and family.
The Jealous Flock by Ashley Borodin – Forced from their collective comfort zone, all three members of Martin’s family come face to face with the realities that underpin their urbane way of life. Each is faced with a paradox that will test their belief in themselves and their image of the tolerant, liberal society they believe they inhabit. A Literary Epic in Miniature, The Jealous Flock takes readers from the cloistered air of Professional London through the harsh realities of the Middle East and on to the culture war simmering beneath the surface in Australia. Through their interwoven narratives each character tries to grapple with change as they question their authenticity and value as individuals amidst The Jealous Flock.
Fate by Garfield Whyte – Eighteen-year-old Amy Jones’s family is destroyed when her mother murders her father and she is thrown out of her family home. Around the same time, she discovers she is adopted. Struggling to make ends meet, she gets a job as a receptionist at a prestigious hotel and meets Dirk, a fifty-three year-old Swiss millionaire, and they fall in love. Though initially apprehensive, Amy accepts Dirk’s proposal. Her life is forever changed; she moves to Switzerland and tragedy strikes. Valentino Davydenko, a first generation Russian immigrant in Switzerland, helps her through the tragedy, to find true happiness, love and a life she never dreamt was possible.
Zac and Mia by A J Betts – When I was little I believed in Jesus and Santa, spontaneous combustion, and the Loch Ness monster. Now I believe in science, statistics, and antibiotics.” So says seventeen-year-old Zac Meier during a long, grueling leukemia treatment in Perth, Australia. A loud blast of Lady Gaga alerts him to the presence of Mia, the angry, not-at-all-stoic cancer patient in the room next door. Once released, the two near-strangers can’t forget each other, even as they desperately try to resume normal lives. The story of their mysterious connection drives this unflinchingly tough, tender novel told in two voices.
Requiem for a Dream by Hubert Shelby Jr. – Harry Goldfarb, heroin addict and son of lonely widow Sara, cares only about enjoying the good life with girlfriend Marion and best friend Tyrone C Love, and making the most of all the hash, poppers and dope they can get. Sara Goldfarb sits at home with the TV, dreaming of the life she could have and struggling with her own addictions – food and diet pills. But these four will pay a terrible price for the pleasures they believe they are entitled to. A passionate, heart-breaking tale of the crushing weight of hope and expectation, Requiem for a Dream is a dark modern-day fable of New York.
Under Darkness by Dylan Murphy – FBI agent Neil Badger would do anything to avoid repeating the mistakes of his past. Each day he spends undercover with the Aryan Nation is a step closer to redemption—but when a sudden EMP strike takes out the power grid, he is trapped in a precarious tightrope act with Todd Matthews, the organization’s ruthless leader. Matthews wants to lead his men to Washington DC to take control of the ruined country, and Neil is the only one who can stop him. But with his estranged pregnant daughter taking refuge in the capital and numerous gangs fighting for control, helping the Aryan Nation get to DC may be his only chance to save the daughter he’s failed so many times in the past. Now, he must decide which alliances to keep, but misplaced trust can be deadly in this unstable landscape. His instinct to protect his daughter Josie against the coming storm is overwhelming—but at what cost?
Wings of Stone by J D Stone – “Keep the secret.” Tarek Windstriker, a guardian of the portal between the human world and his home, has always upheld this rule. But when he discovers the princess of his people has been brutally attacked and left for dead in a human hospital, he must act. He just wasn’t prepared for a gorgeous human doctor to witness him transform into a dragon and fly away. And he definitely wasn’t prepared to ask for her help. Doctor Gabrielle Rojas is a logical woman, so the last thing she expects is to meet a dragon while working the night shift. But after watching the hot stranger turn into an honest-to-God dragon and fly away with one of her patients, she can’t deny what she’s seen. When she answers Tarek’s call for help, Gabrielle is drawn into his dangerous world of dragons, magic, and ancient wars reignited. Embroiled in the intrigue of a distant world where dragons reign, Gabrielle and Tarek can’t deny their growing attraction. Can two souls from different worlds find love, or will fate tear them apart?