Paperback Down Subscription Box | Book Reveal: February 2024

Kickstart your 2024 reading goals with our top 3 book choices for February, as featured in this month's Paperback Down Subscription Box.

Local Voices: Dirty Laundry by Disha Bose

Image shows the cover of the book 'Dirty Laundry' by Irish Author Disha Bose

What's the craic?

Keep your friends close and your neighbours closer... Ciara has it all - a loving husband, well-behaved children and an immaculate home. But behind the filters, her reality is far from what it seems.

Mishti is stuck in a loveless marriage, raising her daughter in a country that is too cold, among children who look nothing like her. Lauren is mostly happy, despite being judged for letting her kids run naked, wild and free.

Then Ciara is found murdered in her pristine home and suddenly everyone is a suspect. Hushed whispers, secret rendezvous and bloody betrayals...

Everyone has their dirty laundry, but this goes beyond gossip. This is all-out war.

A deliciously scandalous page-turner about the dark side of suburbia that peels back the layers of Ciara's insta-perfect life to reveal friendships gone rotten, manipulation masquerading as love and families riddled with lies . . .

Paperback Down says...

Imagine Desperate Housewives but set in rural Cork...that's the vibe of this fantastically fun debut novel by Disha Bose. It's got murder, intrigue, scandalous affairs and a bucket load of village gossip.

But in between the dark humour and whodunit plot twists, there's a serious side to this book too. The story delves into just how it feels to be the outsider in a small community and looks at how playground bullies have a tendency to become school gate bullies too.

It looks too at the role of social media in creating a toxic and unattainable ideal of what life should be. If you've ever found yourself feeling inadequate or insecure after scrolling on social media through beautifully curated photos of someone's seemingly perfect life (and let's be honest, haven't we all done it at some point?!), then you'll enjoy this one! 

Science Fiction & Fantasy: The Mountain In The Sea by Ray Naylor

Image shows a cover of The Mountain In The Sea by Ray Nayler

What's the craic?

There are creatures in the water of Con Dao. To the locals, they're monsters. To the corporate owners of the island, an opportunity.

To the team of three sent to study them, a revelation. Their minds are unlike ours. Their bodies are malleable, transformable, shifting. They can communicate. And they want us to leave.

When pioneering marine biologist Dr.Ha Nguyen is offered the chance to travel to the remote Con Dao Archipelago to investigate a highly intelligent, dangerous octopus species, she doesn't pause long enough to look at the fine print.

DIANIMA - a transnational tech corporation best known for its groundbreaking work in artificial intelligence - has purchased the islands, evacuated their population and sealed the archipelago off from the world so that Nguyen can focus on her research. But the stakes are high: the octopuses hold the key to unprecedented breakthroughs in extrahuman intelligence and there are vast fortunes to be made by whoever can take advantage of their advancements.

And no one has yet asked the octopuses what they think. And what they might do about it.

Paperback Down says...

This is such a powerful novel that it's hard to sum it up with just a few sentences. It's a brilliantly thought-provoking near-future novel that asks what if an unanticipated consequence of climate change and environmental degradation was the rapid evolution of intelligent life in another species right here on earth? And one that's not so thrilled with what we're doing? With themes around language, AI, communication and the very nature of consciousness itself, it's a book that will definitely linger with you long after you've finished reading. (And certainly no trip to the fishmongers will ever be the same again!) 

Bucket List Books: The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Image shows the cover of The Princess Bride by William Golding

What's the craic?

Beautiful, flaxen-haired Buttercup has fallen for Westley, the farm boy, and when he departs to make his fortune, she vows never to love another. So when she hears that his ship has been captured by the Dread Pirate Roberts - who never leaves survivors - her heart is broken. But her charms draw the attention of the relentless Prince Humperdinck who wants a wife and will go to any lengths to have Buttercup.

So starts a fairytale like no other, of fencing, fighting, torture, poison, true love, hate, revenge, giants, hunters, bad men, good men, beautiful ladies, snakes, spiders, beasts, chases, escapes, lies, truths, passion and miracles. 

Paperback Down says...

February is the month of love and it would just inconceivable not to pick this iconic romantic fantasy from William Goldman as our Bucket List Book recommendation of the month! Originally published in 1973, it was subsequently brought to life in the equally iconic 1987 movie starring Robin Wright and Cary Elwes. If you've only ever watched the movie, then it's time to discover the original inspiration behind the magic. With epic adventure, cracking humour and of course, true love, what better choice could there be this Valentine's Day?! 

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