“Have you ever wanted something so much, so to feel that nothing, absolutely nothing has sense if you don’t have it? The pure thought keeps you up all night. You are almost numb. You can’t breath, you can’t think and you sink into a haze that controls and modifies all that you knew was normal, dissolves your barriers and changes all the rules. You are so absorbed by that desire, that nothing else matters and you realise that all the self imposed rules have no value if you cannot get what you want. ” – Screaming in silence, p235
“The biggest evil has nothing to do neither with the intelligence nor with stupidity. An idiot who doubts is less dangerous than an imbecile who knows. Everybody gets mistaken, even the genius, even the moron, and not the error is dangerous, but fanaticism of the one who believes he is not mistaken. Altruistic bastards which arm themselves with a doctrine, with an explanation system or with the believing in themselves can drag humankind extremely far in their hungry delirium of purity. Who wants to make himself an angel only proves stupidity. I am scared, Adolf, I am afraid that it isn’t over, I am afraid of where it might get to now, with the progress of arming and communication techniques. I am afraid of radical, irremediable disasters, of ossuaries, of ruin… ” – The alternative hypothesis, p424 (The letter of sister Lucia to Adolf H.)
Another Quantum Publishers book is ready, and I couldn’t be more satisfied. I finished reading Screaming in silence by Marina Neagu.
It has started to be a habit of mine (like many of the others regarding books) to not be impressed at first sight by a book. And as all books do, they get to my soul and impress me deeply until I can no longer stay without finding out what is happening next.
Same thing was with this book. When I read the very first words, I wasn’t much impressed. But after the first page I was totally addicted. Two days were enough to finish it.
The story starts and ends in songs. At the beginning you see the lyrics of “Wherever you will go” from The calling and ends with “Someday” from Nickleback. What a great way to finish a book isn’t it?
So, let’s get started with the storyline. The author presents the life of a 16 years old girl called Sara that lives with her parents. In an unfortunate night, her house is being violently attacked and her parents are killed. The attackers try to kill her too by drowning her in the pool, but one way or another she survives and wakes up in the hospital with absolutely no memory about what happened after she was drowned.
Because of the shock, she can no longer talk, and spends her days in a complete bitterness, half dead and half alive, not knowing how to get over the accident.
One day though, when she starts her university studies, she meets Markus, a dangerous guy as everybody warns her. The guy seems to be of no good for her, but she is attracted to him like a magnet. This feeling pushes her to the edge of craziness and provokes her to do things she wouldn’t have done otherwise.
Her life at that point starts to be a continuous string of mysteries that she herself can’t understand as much as she is trying. One night, she dreams about a roman guy and a dacian priest woman called Sarula who fall in love, but who cannot be together because of the social differences between them. Sarula kills herself, but not before telling him that in 2000 years a girl will be born that will be her impersonation. Only then they could be together.
Having this dream, Sara wakes up confused and wonders what could that dream be. But odd events don’t stop here. She starts to know creatures that are not from this world and her nightmares become reality. She and Markus start an intense love story, but they cannot feel it, otherwise the nightmares will be fed, and no one will be safe any more.
As much as Markus tries to save her, the destiny seems to not be by their side.
But is he really in love with her? Does he have a connection with her dream? How can she hear his thoughts and how he can hear hers? Sara seems to go crazy with all that mistery, and the only way to find the truth is to realise it. Nobody else is allowed to make her aware of the role she has in all this story.
Will she find out who she really is, who Markus really is? Will their love prevail?
Honestly the book had such a mind blowing ending that I was in shock. It threw away all the scenario I have built before. All the predictions I have put in the destiny of the characters.
It was much more breath taking than I was expecting.
In the end, I can only recommend you to read it, as it is so captivating that you don’t even know when the time has passed.
Can’t wait to read the next volume! 🙂
Jodi Picoult, is the bestselling author of twenty-four novels.
Her last ten novels including her highly acclaimed new novel, Small Great Things (2016), have debuted at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. Small Great Things addresses the profoundly challenging yet essential concerns of our time: prejudice, race, and justice.
She wrote five issues of the Wonder Woman comic book series for DC Comics. Her books are translated into thirty four languages in thirty five countries. Four – The Pact, Plain Truth, The Tenth Circle, and Salem Falls – have also been screened. My Sister’s Keeper was a big-screen released from New Line Cinema, with Nick Cassavetes directing and Cameron Diaz starring, which is now available in DVD. She received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Dartmouth College in 2010 and another from the University of New Haven in 2012.
Jodi serves on the advisory board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, a research-driven organisation whose goal is to increase critical attention to contemporary women’s writing and to foster transparency around gender and racial equality issues in contemporary literary culture. She is part of the Writer’s Council for the National Writing Project, which recognises the universality of writing as a communicative tool and helps teachers enhance student writing, and is a spokesperson for Positive Tracks/Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth, which supports youth-led charity fundraising through athletics. She is on the advisory committee of the New Hampshire Coalition Against the Death Penalty. She is also is the founder and executive producer of the Trumbull Hall Troupe, a New Hampshire-based teen theatre group that performs original musicals to raise money for local charities; to date their contributions have exceeded $120K. She and her husband, Tim, and their three children live in Hanover, New Hampshire with two Springer spaniels, two rescue puppies, two donkeys, two geese, ten chickens, a smattering of ducks, and the occasional Holstein.
Picoult studied creative writing with Mary Morris at Princeton, and had two short stories published in Seventeen magazine while still a student. Realism – and a profound desire to be able to pay the rent – led Picoult to a series of different jobs following her graduation – as a technical writer for a Wall Street brokerage firm, as a copywriter at an ad agency, as an editor at a textbook publisher, and as an 8th grade English teacher – before entering Harvard to pursue a master’s in education. She married Tim Van Leer, whom she had known at Princeton, and it was while she was pregnant with her first child that she wrote her first novel, Songs of the Humpback Whale.
Honors and awards
In 2003 she was awarded the New England Bookseller Award for Fiction. She has also been the recipient for an Alex Award from the Young Adult Library Services Association, sponsored by the Margaret Alexander Edwards Trust and Booklist, one of ten books written for adults that have special appeal for young adults. She also won The Book Browse Diamond Award for novel of the year, a lifetime achievement award for mainstream fiction from the Romance Writers of America, Cosmopolitan magazine’s ‘Fearless Fiction’ Award 2007, Waterstone’s Author of the Year in the UK, a Vermont Green Mountain Book Award, a NH Granite State Book Award, a Virginia Reader’s Choice Award, the Abraham Lincoln Illinois High School Book Award, and a Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award. She’s the 2013-14 recipient of the New Hampshire Literary Award for Outstanding Literary Merit.
If you want to read something written by her, try one of the following:
- Songs of the Humpback Whale (1992)
- Harvesting the Heart(1994)
- Picture Perfect (1995)
- Mercy (1996)
- The Pact (1998)
- Keeping Faith (1999)
- Plain Truth (2000)
- Salem Falls (2001)
- Perfect Match (2002)
- Second Glance (2003)
- My Sister’s Keeper (2004)
- Vanishing Acts (2005)
- The Tenth Circle (2006),
- ineteen Minutes(2007)
- Change of Heart (2008)
- Handle With Care (2009)
- House Rules (2010)
- Sing You Home (2011)
- Lone Wolf (2012)
- The Storyteller (2013)
- Leaving Time (2014)
- Between The Lines (2012)
- Off The Page (2015), co-written with her daughter Samantha van Leer.
Happy reading! 🙂
We at “Books for your soul” are not racist, and try to promovate a good author regardles of his ethnicity, religion, sexual preferences etc. So let’s talk today about a black author: Dorothy Koomson.
She’s an author and a journalist, and lots of other things that are probably too many to mention.
She wrote her first novel called “There’s A Thin Line Between Love And Hate” when she was 13. She used to write a chapter every night then pass it around to her fellow convent school pupils every morning, and they seemed to love it.
She grew up in London and then moved to Leeds when she went to university. She eventually returned to London to study for her masters degree and stayed in the shadows for the following years. She took up various temping jobs and eventually got her big job in writing, editing and subbing for various women’s magazines and national papers.
Fiction and storytelling were still a HUGE passion of her and she continued to write short stories and novels every spare moment that she got. In 2001 she had the idea for The Cupid Effect, she signed up with her first publisher a year later and, in 2003, her career as a published novelist began. And it’s been fantastic. In 2006, her third novel called My Best Friend’s Girl was published. It was incredibly successful – selling nearly 90,000 copies within its first few weeks on sale. Six weeks later, it was selected for the Richard & Judy Summer Reads Book Club and the book went on to sell over 500,000 copies.
Nearly ten years ago she spent two years living in Sydney, Australia (and seems that the English/Australian authors tradition continues, but I will try to break it in the next articles), and returned to England to eventually move to the south coast. She love living by the sea. There’s nothing like a good walk along the seafront to clear your head. Those who’ve read her latest books will know that a lot of them have been set in Brighton and its surrounding area, often with a good dose of Leeds and South London thrown in.
Hope you will enjoy reading her books. I say that she worth it.
I don’t know if you have noticed, but it starts to become a trend on this blog to write about English or Australian authors. Well, in order to not blow away the trend, I will tell you something about Sarah Rayner.
She lives in Brighton with her husband, Tom and, in the university holidays, her 19-year-old stepson, Sebastian. She was born in London as the eldest daughter of psychoanalyst Eric Rayner and children’s book author/illustrator Mary Rayner. She and her two brothers spent their childhood in Richmond, Surrey, then Sarah became a punk, spiked her hair and went to Leeds University to study English and get chilblains. She returned to London in the late ’80s, flattened her hair and worked as a fashion PR for a bit, before her boss told her she was better at writing than schmoozing clients, suggesting her to become an advertising copywriter.
She took the hint, and after ten years in various London agencies, turned freelance, got some short stories published by Woman’s Own, and for many years combined life as an author and copywriter. Her first two novels, The Other Half (Orion 2001) and Getting Even (2002) were well received on publication, but it was her third novel, One Moment, One Morning (Picador 2010) that made the biggest mark in terms of sales, selling close to 300,000 copies in the UK alone. (Sarah is pictured, right, with the UK Bestseller Award she received for sales of over 250,000.) The last seven years have seen the novel translated into eleven languages and published in China, South America and Eastern Europe, and this success meant Sarah was able to focus on her fiction and non-fiction writing full t
Sarah’s fourth novel, The Two Week Wait, was published in 2012, and 2013 saw the reworked editions of her first two novels, The Other Half and Getting Even getting published in both the UK and US. Her fifth novel, Another Night, Another Day was published by Picador in 2014. Like The Two Week Wait, it features the Brighton-based characters who readers first met in One Moment, One Morning, but is a complete standalone novel.
You might have wondered why so many women authors and few men?
Well, let’s not put their efforts behind and talk about Doug Stanton, a #1 New York Times bestselling author, lecturer, screenwriter (and here it is how I broke the English/Australian authors trend also). His books include The Odyssey of Echo Company, In Harm’s Way, and Horse Soldiers. Horse Soldiers is the basis for a Jerry Bruckheimer-produced movie titled 12 Strong, starring Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon, released by Warner Bros, in 2018. In Harm’s Way, the definitive account of the sinking, rescue, and valour of the USS Indianapolis crew, spent more than six months on the New York Times bestseller list and became required reading on the U.S. Navy’s reading list for officers. The unabridged audio-book edition of In Harm’s Way is the winner of the 2017 Audie Award in the History category. Horse Soldiers was featured on the front page of the Sunday New York Times Book Review, and is also a New York Times bestselling ebook and audiobook. The Odyssey of Echo Company is a Military Times Best Book Of The Year and recipient of the The Society of Midlands Authors Best NonFiction Book Award. He has lectured at libraries, civic and corporate groups, bookstores, universities, including the US Department of State and The Center for Strategic International Studies. He recently appeared, with Lynn Novick, co-producer of PBS’s “The Vietnam War,” on CSPAN’s “American History” to discuss the Vietnam War.
Stanton has appeared on national TV and radio outlets, including the Today Show, CNN, Imus In The Morning, Discovery, A&E, History channel, Fox News, NPR, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, C-SPAN’s BookTV, PBS, and NBC Nightly News, and has been covered in prominent publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Miami Herald, New York Times. Drawing on his experiences working in the US and overseas, and with contacts in various branches of the U.S. military and government, Stanton lectures nationally to corporate and civic groups, libraries, writing & book clubs, and universities about current events, international affairs, politics, and writing.
Stanton says that he writes and talks about “existential moments when ordinary men and women are forced to adapt and make extraordinary decisions at the least likely moment. That’s when change happens, whether we like it or not.” He has also written on travel, sport, and entertainment, during which time he nearly drowned off Cape Horn waters, got mugged by jungle revolutionaries, played basketball with George Clooney, and took an acting lesson from a gracious Harrison Ford. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, TIME, the Washington Post, Men’s Journal, Smart, Sports Afield, The Daily Beast, and Newsweek; and at Esquire and Outside, where he also has been a contributing editor.
Stanton’s Horse Soldiers was a best-seller on lists in USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Entertainment Weekly Publisher’s Weekly, and IndieBound. Horse Soldiers was named a “Notable Book” by the New York Times. The Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association made Horse Soldiers a “Great Lakes, Great Reads” book, and it was chosen as a “Best Book” by Publishers Weekly, Christian Science Monitor, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com.
With the critical and commercial success of Horse Soldiers, Stanton was invited to address Special Forces personnel and officers, as well as the helicopter pilots of the 160th SOAR, at Ft Campbell, Kentucky and Ft Bragg, North Carolina. He was also invited to present a copy of the book to then-Lieutenant General John Mulholland, commander of U.S. Army Special Operations Command. Stanton heard from soldiers deployed around the world who’d read Horse Soldiers and who appreciated that their story had been told. Major General Geoffrey Lambert (Ret) explained to a news reporter that Stanton had probably received more access to the Special Forces community than any author writing about this post-9/11 conflict. Lambert also explained to Stanton that the book had grabbed the attention of military planners.
At the Pentagon, Stanton met with Mike Vickers, then-Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, who offered comparisons between the events of Horse Soldiers with his own experiences in Afghanistan during the Soviet era (Vickers’s feats of diplomacy and guerrilla war are chronicled in Charlie Wilson’s War by George Crile).
At the U.S. Senate, Stanton presented Senator Carl Levin, who had earlier read and admired In Harm’s Way, with a copy of Horse Soldiers. During the meeting, Stanton expressed his thoughts about how the campaign of 2001 chronicled in Horse Soldiers could influence U.S. thinking there today.
“The story is about the power of relationships,” one of the soldiers in the book told Stanton after he’d finished reading it. “The relationships between the U.S. soldiers and the Afghans, and between the men on the teams, and with their families at home. Without these, defeating the Taliban would have been close to impossible.
While writing, Stanton wanted to know, “What do you do when you are confronted with someone who wants to harm you?” The question was an organizing principle for his research. Do you use physical force? Social interaction? Cultural influence?
Answering the question, he hoped to create a language to articulate the physical violence that Americans had suddenly awakened to in the first days of the 21st century—- an existential state already familiar to much of the globe. And, finally, Stanton hoped to tell a story of how certain professionally-trained U.S. Army soldiers sought to neutralize this violence, using ideas as much as weaponry.
Stanton’s book In Harm’s Way, about the sinking of the WWII cruiser USS Indianapolis and the gallant fight of her crew to exonerate their court-martialed captain, was also an international bestseller (UK’s The Sunday Times).
The book has been translated into German, Japanese, Danish, Spanish, and Italian. In Harm’s Wayappeared on the Publisher’s Weekly, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, USA TODAY, Christian Science Monitor, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher’s Weekly, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free Press, and Book Sense bestseller lists, and was a Barnes & Noble and Amazon Notable/Best book.
In Harm’s Way was a finalist for the WH Smith Award in the UK, and the Great Lakes Book Festival Best Book Award, and was chosen as a New York Review of Book “Best Books In Print,” a Publisher’s Weekly “Notable Book,” and a Michigan Notable Book of the Year.
In Harm’s Way is also included in the US Navy’s required “core values” reading list for naval officers, and is regularly used in high schools throughout the country as part of the history curriculum. In Harm’s Way has also been chosen by book clubs as part of “Community Reads” programs, appealing to a wide range of readers, men, women, and young adults.
In July 2001, the US Department of Navy, joining with the US Congress, exonerated the ship’s court-martialed captain, Charles Butler McVay. This was a historic reversal of fortune for the survivors of the worst disaster at sea in naval history. In Harm’s Way is credited by those close to the story with helping in this exoneration.
Stanton attended Interlochen Arts Academy, Hampshire College, and received an MFA from the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa, where he graduated with coursework in both fiction and poetry workshops. Stanton has taught writing and English at the high school and college level, and worked as a commercial sports fisherman in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and caretaker of Robert Frost’s house in Vermont.
He lives in Michigan with his wife, Anne Stanton, and their three children, where he co-founded the National Writers Series, a year-round book festival featuring great conversations with America’s best storytellers; and Front Street Writers, a free, for-credit writing workshop for public high school students.
NWS is considered by writers, editors, and readers to be one of the United States’ “top-tier book events.” As a non-profit, The National Writers Series annually awards scholarships to college-bound students interested in writing. Stanton also founded a scholarship fund devoted to the educations of families of USS Indianapolis survivors. Visit www.dougstanton.com and www.nationalwritersseries.org