This month’s titles include:
Canada, by Richard Ford
First, I’ll tell about the robbery our parents committed. Then the murders, which happened later.
In 1956, Dell Parsons’ family came to a stop in Great Falls, Montana, the way many military families did following the war. His father, Bev, was a talkative, plank-shouldered man, an airman from Alabama with an optimistic and easy-scheming nature. Dell and his twin sister, Berner, could easily see why their mother might have been attracted to him. But their mother Neeva – from an educated, immigrant, Jewish family – was shy, artistic and alienated from their father’s small-town world of money scrapes and living on-the-fly.
It was more bad instincts and bad luck that Dell’s parents decided to rob the bank. They weren’t reckless people. In the days following the arrest, Dell is saved by a family friend before the authorities think to arrive. Driving across the Montana border into Saskatchewan his life hurtles towards the unknown, towards a hotel in a deserted town, towards the violent and enigmatic American Arthur Remlinger, and towards Canada itself – a landscape of rescue and abandonment. But as Dell discovers, in this new world of secrets and upheaval, he is not the only one whose own past lies on the other side of a border.
In Canada, Richard Ford has created a masterpiece. A visionary novel of vast landscapes, complex identities and fragile humanity. It questions the fine line between the normal and the extraordinary, and the moments that haunt our settled view of the world.
Wonder Girls, by Catherine Jones
In 1928, a plucky young Welsh girl named Ida Gaze swims the Bristol Channel with the help of her best friend Freda and the inspiration of her heroine Amelia Earhart.
In 1937, on the instructions of the matron, a young skivvy at a grand maternity hospital in London smuggles out an orphaned baby on one of the coldest nights of the year.
Now, in a small town in Wales, an old lady named Ceci pieces together these stories and is about to discover the surprising ways in which they link to her own. It begins with two girls in the twenties who left their small Welsh village for the Big Smoke, feeling that the world was changing and everything was possible…
Berlin Crossing, by Kevin Brophy
Brandenburg 1993: The Berlin Wall is down, the country is reunified and thirty-year-old school teacher Michael Ritter feels his life is falling apart. His wife has thrown him out, his new West German headmaster has fired him for being a socialist, former Party member and he is still clinging on to the wreckage of the state that shaped him. Disenfranchised and disenchanted, Michael heads home to care for his terminally ill mother.
Before she dies, she urges him to seek out an evangelical priest, Pastor Bruck, who is the only one who knows the truth about his father. When Michael eventually tracks him down, he is taken on a journey of dark discoveries, one which will shatter his foundations, but ultimately bring him hope to rebuild them.
The Dream of the Celt, by Mario Vargas Llosa
As The Dream of the Celt opens, it is the summer of 1916 and Roger Casement awaits the hangman in London’s Pentonville Prison. Dublin lies in ruins after the disastrous Easter Rising led by his comrades of the Irish Volunteers. He has been caught after landing from a German submarine. For the past year he has attempted to raise an Irish brigade from prisoners of war to fight alongside the Germans against the British Empire that awarded him a knighthood only a few years before. And now his petition for clemency is threatened by the leaking of his private diary and his secret life as a gay man…
Vargas Llosa, with his incomparable gift for powerful historical narrative, takes the reader on a journey back through a remarkable life dedicated to the exposure of barbaric treatment of indigenous peoples by European predators in the Congo and Amazonia. Casement was feted as one of the greatest humanitarians of the age. Now he is about to die ignominiously as a traitor.
Including unforgettable scenes of horror in Africa and the Amazon, this is a profound meditation on the costs of empire and on individual moral responsibility
Guitar Zero: The Science of Learning to be Musical, by Gary Marcus
In a quest that takes him from Suzuki lessons to the feet of the guitar gods, Marcus discovers how to practise efficiently; how to find the right teacher, no matter what you re learning; what middle-aged brains do better than teen-aged ones (witnessed through the performance of his first band, Rush Hour); how to manage stage fright; how music changes the brain; and much more. He also brings insight into the question, is the pursuit of a passion reward enough?
A groundbreaking exploration of the allure of music, his journey is also an empowering tale of your mind s ability to grow throughout life.
To win, answer two simple questions…
- Question 1: In Wonder Girls, what did the man smell of who visited the special baby?
- Question 2: In Guitar Zero, what may be the best way of achieving lasting happiness?
Terms and conditions
- Closing date for entries: 9th July 2012.
- Open to residents of the United Kingdom only.
- Entry to the competition is by completion of the above form only. Anyone submitting multiple entries will be disqualified.
- The winners will be selected from those correct entries received before the closing date. Our decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
- Only the winning entrants will be contacted by Bookhugger.
- The winner’s name(s) may be published on the Bookhugger website after the closing date of the competition.
- The competition is not open to Bookhugger employees and their families, or to employees of Bookhugger publishers and their families.