Title: Airhead

Author: Emily Maitlis

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

In this no holds barred account of life in the seconds before, during and after going on air, Newsnight presenter, leading journalist, and queen of the side eye Emily Maitlis gives us the insider info on what we don’t get to see on-screen.

Giving us the inside scoop on her interviews with everyone from Emma Thompson to Russell Brand, and Donald Trump to Tony Blair, as well as covering news stories such as President Clinton’s affairs, Boris Johnson’s race to PM, Grenfell, #MeToo, and the Paris terror attacks.

Airhead is a brilliant exposé of the moments that never make the news.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

I’ll be honest, I am more of a channel 4 news kinda gal and although I had seen Emily Maitlis on the news on the BBC I wasn’t really aware of just how prolific her career as an investigative journalist she was.

That all changed after watching that interview – you know the one I mean – and I instantly wanted to find out more about her career.

By all accounts she has led a fascinating life. The places she has been and the people she has met are amazing. However, what comes across in her memoir is just how humbled she is by her experiences and how she always strives to do better.

Airhead is a must read. It is a fascinating social document about the world we live in.

Airhead by Emily Maitlis is available now.

For more information regarding Emily Maitlis (@maitlis) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Penguin (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.

Title: An Oxford Revenge

Author: Maxine Barry

Pages: 204 Pages

Publisher: Joffe Books

The Blurb

REVENGE ISN’T ALWAYS AS SWEET AS YOU THINK

Faith Martin is the author of the beloved Hillary Greene series. Her books have sold more than 2 million copies. Discover her writing as Maxine Barry.

HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO FOR REVENGE?

Davina Granger wants revenge. She blames Dr Gareth Lacey for her brother’s suicide. When she gets a fellowship at his Oxford college, she sees her chance to punish him.

But is he really as guilty as she believes?

Alicia Norman is a student at the same college. She’s excited to leave her sheltered, privileged existence for college life. But her brother and his friends will do anything to stop her from being with anyone they think isn’t posh enough for her. Including murder?

HOW FAR WILL THEY GO?

The Review

I was really looking forward to reading An Oxford Revenge. I wanted a good, old fashioned murder mystery. What I got was a mild porno decorated with a too neat, cheesy murder plot. Additionally, all the characters seemed to have problems with sensitive nipples.

The story goes like this: brilliant poet, Davina Granger heads to Oxford University to exact revenge on the person she blames for her brother’s death – Dr Gareth Lacey. Things get complicated when she begins to have feelings for him.

The issue I had with An Oxford Revenge – besides the rogue nippular attacks – was that everything was too neat and clean. There was a problem, a confrontation and bam the problem was fixed with a happy ending. It just didn’t work. Furthermore, Barry was over descriptive in everything. Whilst this worked well when describing Oxford and the Cotswolds, it failed to have the same impact when describing the characters because it was used too frequently. It is okay for a character’s eyes to be noticeable and sparkle like diamonds but if every person notices them then it becomes extremely tedious for the reader.

Overall, An Oxford Revenge promised a lot but failed to deliver anything special.

An Oxford Revenge by Maxine Barry is available now.

For more information regarding Faith Martin (@MaxineBbooks) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Joffe Books (@JoffeBooks) please visit www.joffebooks.com.

Title: We Germans

Author: Alexander Starritt

Pages: 208 Pages

Publisher: John Murray Press

The Blurb

When a young British man asks his German grandfather what it was like to fight on the wrong side of the war, the question is initially met with irritation and silence. But after the old man’s death, a long letter to his grandson is found among his things.

That letter is this book. In it, he relates the experiences of an unlikely few days on the Eastern Front – at a moment when he knows not only that Germany is going to lose the war, but that it deserves to. He writes about his everyday experience amid horror, confusion and great bravery, and he asks himself what responsibility he bears for the circumstances he found himself in. As he tries to find an answer he can live with, we hear from his grandson what kind of man he became in the seventy years after the war.

We Germans is a fundamentally human novel that grapples with the most profound of questions about guilt, shame and responsibility – questions that remain as live today as they have always been.

The Review

The Second World War took place a long time ago. Yet, the negative connotations of that war still linger. For some, it happened during their life time but for people like myself who are post war (well I’m Gen X) it is just something that I have never been able to comprehend fully. What I do know is that people who didn’t have anything to do with the war are still feeling the finger of blame being pointed.

In We Germans, Alexander Starritt poses the question of what it must have been like to be on the ‘wrong side’ of war to his German grandfather. It causes upset and subsequently we see what war and life was like for a German soldier. We Germans is a great example of how we put our assumptions upon other peoples’ stories and their histories and assume things without looking at the intricacies that surround it. Yes, to be a German soldier could be seen to be on the wrong side of the war if you fought for the other side. However, if you have been told it is an honour to fight for your country then it all just becomes relative.

What We Germans reminds us is that young soldiers were the real victims. They were sent to the front with very little in the way of food, clothing, life experience and expected to do their duty. We Germans is a book to make the reader realise that there wasn’t much difference between soldiers from Germany and from elsewhere across the world.

We Germans is a fascinating read that takes place across Europe but also across the generations. You really feel like you are travelling the length of the country with the German forces.

We Germans by Alexander Starritt will be available from 06th August 2020.

For more information regarding John Murray Press (@johnmurrays) please visit www.johnmurraypress.co.uk.

Title: After the Silence

Author: Louise O’Neill

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Quercus

The Blurb

Nessa Crowley’s murderer has been protected by silence for ten years. Until a team of documentary makers decide to find out the truth.

On the day of Henry and Keelin Kinsella’s wild party at their big house a violent storm engulfed the island of Inisrun, cutting it off from the mainland. When morning broke Nessa Crowley’s lifeless body lay in the garden, her last breath silenced by the music and the thunder.

The killer couldn’t have escaped Inisrun, but no-one was charged with the murder. The mystery that surrounded the death of Nessa remained hidden. But the islanders knew who to blame for the crime that changed them forever.

Ten years later a documentary crew arrives, there to lift the lid off the Kinsella’s carefully constructed lives, determined to find evidence that will prove Henry’s guilt and Keelin’s complicity in the murder of beautiful Nessa.

In this bold, brilliant, disturbing new novel Louise O’Neill shows that deadly secrets are devastating to those who hold them close.

The Review

So, I have read the past three releases from Louise O’Neill and I have enjoyed them all – actually enjoyed seems like a weird word to use because the subject matters of her books are never easy. However, I have read them and got what I needed as a reader from them. Her latest book After the Silence is on another level to her first three. It is, by far, her best yet.

It centres on the murder of a beautiful young girl on a small island off Ireland. Those who live in Inisrun know the small town mentality. Everyone knows everyone’s business. And when Tessa Crowley is murdered the islanders all know who is to blame.

It is with the appearance of a documentary film team that the old murder case gets brought back into the minds of the islanders – though it has never really left their consciousness – but it leaves people uneasy. In particular, Keelin Kinsella whose husband is was the prime suspect.

After the Silence is a brilliant psychological mystery. The interplay between interviews, different voices and flashbacks to the past let the reader try and piece together what happened. At each point your mind changes over who is responsible and you flip-flop mercilessly as O’Neill leads you along the story. It is one of the best mystery stories that I have read in a long time and it was one that I didn’t feel frustrated with because it gave me enough clues that I could figure things out but without the answers being too obvious but equally still left me needing to turn the page because I knew that there was much more to discover.

Furthermore, in O’Neill’s typical style, she uses her writing to look at more difficult issues. In this case – domestic violence. So even without the mystery element you have a novel that packs a massive punch.

I am so genuinely impressed by After the Silence. Louise O’Neill is going from strength to strength.

After the Silence by Louise O’Neill is available from 03rd September 2020.

For more information regarding Louise O’Neill (@oneilllo) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Quercus (@QuercusBooks) please visit their Twitter page.

 

Title: Mythos

Author: Stephen Fry

Pages: 416 Pages

Publisher: Chronicle Books

The Blurb

Mythos is a modern collection of Greek myths, stylishly retold by legendary writer, actor, and comedian Stephen Fry. Fry transforms the adventures of Zeus and the Olympians into emotionally resonant and deeply funny stories, without losing any of their original wonder.

This stunning book features classical artwork inspired by the myths, as well as learned notes from the author.

  • Each adventure is infused with Fry’s distinctive wit, voice, and writing style
    • Connoisseurs of the Greek myths will appreciate this fresh-yet-reverential interpretation, while newcomers will feel welcome
    • Retellings brim with humour and emotion and offer rich cultural context

Celebrating the thrills, grandeur, and unabashed fun of the Greek myths, Mythos breathes life into ancient tales—from Pandora’s box to Prometheus’s fire.

The Review

I have often thought about how much fun it would be to holiday in Stephen Fry’s brain. It just seems like a pink squidgy museum of information. Couple that with my interest in Greek Mythology and you have one happy reader.

In his book, Mythos, Fry tells the stories from ancient Greece. He does this is such a classic Fry style that you cannot help but be entertained and informed. The stories are coupled with tales from his own life or little interjections of his own opinion that colour the book in a marvellously entertaining way.

One thing I will say is that if you read Mythos then I would recommend taking your time with it. Don’t plough through it or the stories will all seem to blend into one and you begin to lose the message behind them. If I was to read Mythos again I would use it more as a palette cleanser between other books.

Mythos by Stephen Fry is available now.

For more information regarding Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) please visit his Twitter page.

For more information regarding Chronicle Books (@ChronicleBooks) please visit their Twitter page.