Whichbook Blog

Keep up to date with Whichbook news and check out our weekly 'Whichbook of the week'

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The Axeman's Jazz

Yes there's a good cop and a bad cop, you suspect that the young Lewis Armstrong finding his jazz voice will feel like tokenism, you always know the modest heroine will nail the big baddy, that New Orleans will suffer one of its catastrophic inundations, and that the Axeman will have some moral justification. But it never feels like formula; every element has an authentic, historical, dynamic pulse in the perfect storm of a jazz thriller.

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Weathering

Flowing, frozen, vaporised, water shapes the lives of a woman, her daughter and her mother in an isolated house in the country. What could have been a ghost story is instead the tender, moving and life-affirming tale of their struggles towards self-realisation. It worked on me like a spell and left me unwilling to surface.

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The Limits of the World

This is a truly scary book, but it is one that offers a glimmer of hope because people are prepared to defy a totalitarian state for the pleasure of reading. You may think that you know what is going to happen because of the references to '1984' but you will be surprised. This is an adventure story with a bite, a tale of political morality that cuts deep into your soul. Andrew Raymond Drennan is definitely an author to follow.

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Children of the Jacaranda Tree

I was deeply moved by the portrayal of two generations of Iranian citizens at the mercy of a tyrannical political regime. A story of humanity and suffering at a time of unrest, the author paints a bleak picture of the punishment metered out to anyone daring to voice an opinion. The story is intimate; following first the parents and then their grownup children as history repeats itself with the bittersweet aftershocks felt for years to come.

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The Restoration of Otto Laird

An endearing, thought-provoking and life-affirming tale with quirky yet likeable characters. A real feeling of the passing of time makes this a poignant retrospective shot through with the symbiosis of memory and place. This is a very human story where regrets and reconciliation result in feelings of hope.

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