Book Review: The Bone Clocks

The Bone ClocksThe Booklover’s Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Let’s start with the outside of this book — the cover is enticing and the title is subtle and wonderfully descriptive. The whole package makes you wonder what is inside. The book is written in five sections spanning several decades from the late twentieth century to the mid-twenty-first century. Each section is written from the point of view of different characters.  The story begins with teenaged Holly Sykes, the protagonist of the novel, finding her boyfriend in bed with her best friend.  Holly makes an appearance in each section in the middle of the book with the last section also told from her point of view.

David Mitchell is a superb storyteller and can take the reader to the scene like no other writer. This is especially exciting and interesting for the reader when Mitchell invents a post-apocalytic world as in the final section of The Bone Clocks or in Cloud Atlas or when Mitchell invents a place that exists only in his imagination and then takes the reader there. His descriptions are vivid and detailed.

The Bone Clocks is not my favorite Mitchell novel. That position is still held by Cloud Atlas. Although The Bone Clocks is probably the best book I’ve read thus far in 2014, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet and The Bone Clocks are tied for second place in my personal ranking of David Mitchell novels.

My only gripe about The Bone Clocks is Mitchell’s propensity for sharing his personal viewpoints through his novel. (Note: Mitchell was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME magazine in 2007.)  For example, the reader can surely glean his feelings about religion from the last section.  Or can they?  Does Holly consider the horologists gods when she says a prayer asking for salvation for her two charges?  Is her prayer answered?  You can decide when you read The Bone Clocks.  It is worth your time and your effort at over 600 pages.

Book Details:  Published by Random House (September 4, 2014), 640 pages.

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Business Insider: Classic Books Every Modern Gentleman Needs To Read

Business Insider has posted a slideshow of 39 Classic Books Every Modern Gentlemen Needs To Read new books to read this fall. Note the word “needs” versus “should” in the title!

There are some real gems for everyone on this list. The slideshow is definitely worth checking out.

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One Step Too Far Sweepstakes

seskisIf you enjoyed Gone Girl or The Husband’s Secret, then you’ll love One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis.  One Step Too Far is due out in January, but the publisher is giving away 1,000 Advanced Reader’s Editions of the international bestseller months before it is available in the United States.  You can enter the sweepstakes here.

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We Have a Winner!

pearl-that-broke-its-shellCongratulations to the winner of our The Pearl That Broke Its Shell giveaway!   The  sequence generator at choose Katie S. of Antioch, TN as the winner of the giveaway.  Thanks to all subscribers to this blog! 


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Business Insider: New Books to Read Fall 2014

Business Insider has posted a slideshow of 20 new books to read this fall.  Most of the books are not anything to get too excited over in my opinion, but there are a few gems.  The slideshow is definitely worth checking out.  A much better list to check out is on The Millions.  You can’t miss with their second-half preview.

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NYU Professor Mark Crispin Miller Introduces “The Forbidden Bookshelf”


This summer, NYU Professor Mark Crispin Miller launched the Forbidden Bookshelf project, re-introducing important books that were suppressed, lost or discredited.  These books cover important topics that are relevant today, from covert CIA operations to the battle over abortion rights.  These books also take a stance against today’s oppressive climate for free expression.

Mark Crispin Miller’s independent news service is called News From Underground. You can visit and sign up for alerts here.  Miller is professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University.

The first 5 books on the Forbidden Bookshelf are being made available as e-books.

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Giveaway: The Pearl That Broke Its Shell

pearl-that-broke-its-shellThe Booklover’s Rating:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

The Pearl That Broke Its Shell is the story of two afghan women separated by a century, but who share similar destinies.  In Kabul, 2007, with a drug-addicted father and no brothers, Rahima and her sisters can only sporadically attend school, and can rarely leave the house. Their only hope lies in the ancient custom of bacha posh, which allows young Rahima to dress and be treated as a boy until she is of marriageable age. As a son, she can attend school, go to the market, and chaperone her older sisters.  But Rahima is not the first in her family to adopt this unusual custom. A century earlier, her great-great grandmother, Shekiba, left orphaned by an epidemic, saved herself and built a new life the same way.  Nadia Hasimi’s debut novel weaves the stories of these two women across time and allows the reader to share in some of what it must be like to live in a culture so different from our own.  If you love Khaled Hosseini, Lisa See, or Jhumpa Lahiri then you will enjoy The Pearl That Broke Its Shell.

Now for the giveaway!  I have one hardback copy of The Pearl That Broke Its Shell to share with another booklover.   There are two ways to enter, first you can leave a comment on this post about your favorite book that takes place in an exotic location or involves a culture far different from American culture.  The second way to enter is by subscribing to this blog.  Current subscribers are already entered — they only need to leave a comment to get a second entry!

I will use the sequence generator at to choose one winner and will contact them by email.  It is important that you leave your email address if you leave a comment.  Note: There are a maximum of two entries per person.  The giveaway ends on Sunday, August 30th and the winner will be contacted by email on Tuesday, September 2nd.  This contest is open to U.S. addresses only.

Good luck!

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