2017 FFR Static 3

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My Absolute DarlingWords and Wild Places by Gabriel Tallent

4th Estate, Assallah Tahir


In college, a professor introduced me to a long eighteenth-century poem by James Thomson called The Seasons. Tremendously influential in its time, it is a lyrical and expansive description of the countryside. There is an entire language here that attends to and celebrates the natural world, and reading it, the salient feature is how rare that is.
This is a loss, because it’s probably good for a person, to feel for wild places and to see them clearly. We treat this appreciation as something that comes naturally, but like anything else, you’ve got to learn it.


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I am I am I amI Am, I Am, I Am - book review: An extraordinary memoir by Maggie O’Farrell



I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes With Death by Maggie O’Farrell

What follows is a chilling event, unflinching in fact and emotion, setting the tone for this remarkable book.

I Am, I Am, I Am recounts the 17 times when novelist O’Farrell has narrowly escaped death. There are episodes of near drowning, of life-threatening miscarriages, of amoebic parasites. There are close shaves with cars, with turbulent planes and a knife-point robbery in Chile.


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Manhattan BeachIn Manhattan Beach, Jennifer Egan’s heroine dives deep for family secrets

The Washington Post,


It has been seven years since we got “A Visit From the Goon Squad,” but the presence of Jennifer Egan’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book still hangs in the air. Was it a novel? A collection of short stories?

Who cares. It was a tour de force. Reaching back and forward in time, writing in the first, second and third person — with a PowerPoint presentation to boot — Egan demonstrated her skill across a whole catalogue of forms, tones and styles.

So how does an author follow up such a spectacular variety show?

Egan has wisely chosen not to compete with “Goon Squad” and its postmodern razzle-dazzle. Instead, her new book leaps into the past, offering us a story built on sturdy older forms polished to a high sheen.


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Fools MortalsHistorical fiction round-up: Shakespeare’s wily brother seizes the limelight


We know what to expect from Bernard Cornwell. After more than 50 books, Cornwell has earned his title as the king of “swords and spears” fiction. It is brave, then, to write a book that is quite unlike his swaggering, bloodthirsty Sharpe and Last Kingdom thrillers.

Fools and Mortals is set in an Elizabethan London clamouring for entertainment. Rival playhouses are springing up in the face of a powerful puritan movement that loathes the theatre. Cornwell’s narrator, Richard Shakespeare, is a younger member of one such theatre troupe. He is fed up of playing girl parts and resents the de facto leader of the players, his older brother, William.


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What happenedHillary Clinton Is the Only Person Who Should Tell Her Story

Time, Jill Filipovic


A lot of people have told Hillary Clinton to shut up in her life. We meet a few of them in her new book, What Happened, part memoir and part election post-mortem. And we are seeing more of them pipe up now with the book’s publication, angry that this woman dares defy their personal preferences with her stubborn insistence that yes, she mattered, and yes, she will keep talking.

Clinton’s detractors would like her to say two simple words: “I’m sorry.” She does, of course, and has many times, and does it again and again in this memoir.


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the Cuban AffairNelson DeMille hits USA TODAY's No. 1 with The Cuban Affair

USA TODAY, Jocelyn McClurg


It’s DeMille’s second No. 1 debut; Radiant Angel, which featured recurring character Detective John Corey, landed in the top spot on June 4, 2015.

The Cuban Affair is DeMille’s 20th novel; 13 of his books, including Plum Island, The Lion and The Panther, have made USA TODAY’s top 10. (USA TODAY’s list began in fall 1993.)

In The Cuban Affair, Daniel “Mac” MacCormick, 35, a decorated Army officer who served in Afghanistan, is now a charter boat captain based in Key West. He’s drawn into a scheme to recover $60 million hidden away in Cuba.


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DamagedDamaged continues the phenomenon that is Martina Cole

Starts at 60


Martina Cole continues to smash sales records with each of her books, which have sold in excess of 14 million copies!

In 2011 Martina surpassed the £50 million sales mark since records began and was the first British female novelist for adult audiences to achieve this. She has spent more weeks in the No. 1 slot on the original fiction bestseller list than any other adult novelist.

Martina’s new novel Damaged, sees the return of her iconic detective heroine DI Kate Burrows.


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Empires in the SunEmpires in the Sun: The Struggle for the Mastery of Africa by Lawrence James

The Times, Kwasi Kwarteng


In the summer of 1940, when it became clear that France would collapse, Mussolini presented Hitler with a shopping list. It included parts of the British and French empires which, Mussolini believed, were rightfully Italian. Egypt, Sudan, Kenya and Djibouti would form part of a new Roman empire in Africa. Even Hitler was astonished at Il Duce’s greed.

The Second World War points back towards a colonial past in Africa, to bygone scrambles for imperial power. It also glances forward to decolonisation. This global conflict is at the centre of Lawrence James’s excellent survey of African history from 1930 to 1190.


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KhweziBook on Khwezi highlights sexual violence

Herald Live, Gillian McAinsh


Redi Tlhabi pulls no punches in her new book, Khwezi, says reviewer Gillian McAinsh

Broadcast journalist and author Redi Tlhabi’s new book Khwezi is not a comfortable read. It could hardly be, given that it is the story of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo, the woman known as Khwezi who in 2006 accused president Jacob Zuma of rape.

At times, in fact, Khwezi is harrowing but it is also important for South Africa that her story is told, particularly so for Tlhabi who feels a sense of outrage over the sexual violence raging in this country.


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Khwezi Book Review: Redi Tlhabi’s ‘Khwezi’ reminds SA what was lost in the fire

Daily Maverick, Rebecca Davis


“I wanted her to know that I was writing, unapologetically, as a feminist who believed her”, Redi Tlhabi records at the beginning of her new book Khwezi: The remarkable story of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo.

Tlhabi is referring to the event which would hurtle Kuzwayo into the South African spotlight – albeit under an assumed name – in the most brutal way possible: the rape Kuzwayo alleged she had suffered at the hands of Jacob Zuma.


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Stephen King 2Trump Supporters' Attempt At Stephen King Boycott Backfires Spectacularly

Hiffington Post, Rebecca Shapiro


Fans of President Donald Trump called for a boycott of the new film “It” because of author Stephen King’s relentless criticism of the president.

It didn’t work.

The highly anticipated movie smashed box office records and is expected to earn a whopping $117 million during its opening weekend.


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The Dark Tower 'The Dark Tower': Everything You Need to Know About the Stephen King Fantasy Epic

Rolling Stone, Noel Murray


Back in the long-ago age of 1978, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction published a novella called The Gunslinger by Stephen King, who at the time had just rocketed from obscurity to the best-seller list with his books Carrie, 'Salem's Lot, The Shining and The Stand. Already regarded as a master of horror fiction, the author proved just as adept at epic fantasy, telling a story about an archetypal western hero named Roland, on a quest through a mystical desert on a ravaged parallel Earth, in pursuit of a wily "Man in Black" and a mythical "Dark Tower."


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The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye

The fifth in the Millennium series that began with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the global publishing phenomenon.


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo lives on.


Lisbeth Salander is an unstoppable force:


The ChemistStephenie Meyer brews a tasty thriller with 'The Chemist'

USA Today, Charles Finch

Stephenie Meyer — world-conquering begetter of Twilight, creator of vampires who glitter in the sunlight — has written an engrossing new novel called The Chemist, which would seem at first glance to be a radical departure for her.It’s a thriller for adults in the vein of David Baldacci or Lee Child, pitting a scientist against the shadowy government figures who once employed her, then tried to eliminate her.
There are no werewolves around.

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