Why do I always feel a little bit like I really am confessing when I share new books? I can't help myself. I know I should not acquire as quickly as I sometimes do, but as books are my one weakness (good thing I don't have an affinity for very fine Italian shoes or something equally as expensive) I more often than not give in to buying whims. Besides books are good investments. They don't go out of style, they keep well on a shelf and can be used over and over again, loaned out, given away and generally have long and happy lives. So, this is about a month's worth or maybe more of the new books I've been acquiring.
I give a nod in the direction of Cornflower for the first three on the pile. I always make a note of the books she has on her sidebars--new arrivals, current reads and books read. Inevitably I find something that catches my attention. I try and resist as long as I can, but in the end it is usually futile. So I think a couple of these are books she read a while ago, but they stuck in my mind long enough that I had to have them in the end. This Time of Dying by Reina James was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writer's Prize. It's set during WWI is about the influenza pandemic that occurred towards the end of the war. Kissing Alice by Jacqueline Yallop is another book set post-WWI and is a story about sibling rivalry when a father returns home from the trenches. It was shortlisted for The McKitterick Prize. I'd read Rosie Thomas in my pre-blogging days, but it has been quite a while since I've looked for her books. The Kashmir Shawl is set in India during WWII and contemporary times.
I read Georgina Harding's The Solitude of Thomas Cave a few years ago, and while in some ways a difficult read, liked it very much. I still have The Spy Game at the ready, but when her newest, Painter of Silence, made the Orange Prize longlist I had to have it. I'm very curious about this one since it is set in Romania in the 1950s, a place I know very little about and have never come across (setting-wise) in any of my recent reading.
I very much enjoyed Michelle Paver's Dark Matter, a perfect read for autumn, and another pre-blogging book Place in the Hills, which is a historical romance set in Italy. Some time ago I picked up the third book in a trilogy she wrote, The Serpent's Tooth, which has a WWI (again!) setting. In the end I decided I might actually enjoy starting at the beginning, so I bought used copies of The Shadow Catcher and Fever Hill. The story follows several generations of one family beginning in Victorian London, but moving to a "decaying" Jamaican plantation and then back again to England.
I really love the titles that Peirene Press has published and thus far have borrowed them from the library, but so far I've not come across the newer releases. I do have The Brothers by Asko Sahlberg to read, "a Shakespearean drama from icy Finland." I'd love to be on their automatic release program and get each title as it comes out. Something to think about for later.
Although at the moment I don't have any books on the go with Middle Eastern settings or by authors from Middle Eastern countries, it is still in the back of my mind that I want to read more about the region. I liked the sound of Hilary Mantel's Eight Months on Ghazzah Street about an Englishwoman living in Saudi Arabia.
Not sure where I came across Margaret Wurtele's The Golden Hour, browsing no doubt. I'm so predictable in my book selections. This is set in Italy during WWII about a woman who joins the partisans in order to smuggle food initially, but later gets in deeper when she begins hiding a Jew. Sounds like it could be heart-wrenching.
I've heard many good things about The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino. So far this year I've had a so-so time choosing crime novels. Cozies seem to be more my thing at the moment, but maybe this will help me out of my rut. It won Japan's Naoki Prize for Best Novel.
And yay--I finally have a copy of Jenn Ashworth's recent Cold Light, which I bought second hand. I loved her first book, A Kind of Intimacy, and have been itching ever since to read her newest. It's not due out in the US until October and then the edition is listed as a large print edition, so there was no use in trying to wait and be patient about it.
The joys of a new stack of books! I want to pick out one and start reading this very minute. Temptations, temptations. I'm obviously one to give in to my whims . . .