It's wishful thinking because you know how it goes--so many books and so little time! And as you can see I've got very grand wishes indeed. A stack like this (and these are the highlights) is one that needs to be prioritized and I've been doing just that--dipping into them, reading a little and trying to decide which ones I want to read sooner than later. And then there is the issue of due dates and which books can be renewed and which will have to go back very soon. I've started a couple and am very excited about several others. If I don't get to them now, they'll certainly remain on my list of books that I hope to read eventually. So, which sound interesting to you? Here's a run down of what I've been bringing home over the course of the last month (there are several library visits-worth of books here . . . don't worry, I didn't bring them home all at once).
A Hidden Life: A Memoir of August 1969 by Johanna Reiss -- This sounds good, but very heavy. Reiss wrote a YA novel called The Upstairs Room about the more than two years she spent as a girl hiding in a farmhouse attic during WWII. Encouraged by her husband to return to Holland to research this book, he returned to America where he committed suicide. (No worries--this is the description given in the book's blurb). He left no note. So this memoir is one dealing with various kinds of (unexplainable) tragedies. "Subtle, disturbing, the book is a powerful consideration of memory, violence, and loss, told in stunning and sparse narrative style." See, heavy. But I bet it's very good, too.
Louise's War by Sarah R. Shaber -- A number of mysteries in my pile, and not surprising since they've been on my mind. This is a WWII era mystery set in Washington DC and featuring a young widow from North Carolina who comes across a document concerning a French Jewish woman who she tries to help get out of Occupied France. I came across this one by chance while browsing in my library's catalog.
Available Dark by Elizabeth Hand -- This is actually a sequel to Generation Loss, which brings back anti-heroine photographer Cass Neary. Both author and heroine sound intriguing--comparisons have been with Joyce Carol Oates, Patricia Highsmith, Margaret Atwood, John Fowles and A.S. Byatt. Quite a combination. Although the story begins in the US, it quickly moves to Helsinki and Reykjavik.
Wicked Autumn by G.M. Malliet -- I already mentioned this author, but as the book I had been referring to is a forthcoming title, I thought I might go back to the beginning. This is a cozy mystery set in a quaint English village. I'm very curious about this series as the sleuth is a former MI5 agent turned vicar (somehow seems a rather large leap), and a dishy one at that.
The House of Velvet and Glass by Katherine Howe -- I've not been reading many historical novels of late, though I generally do like them. This one is set in Boston in 1915 about a young woman whose mother and sister perished on the Titanic. This has a dash of mystery and romance in it and touches on the spiritualism movement of the period moving from low to high society.
The Detour by Andromeda Romano-Lax -- This one is especially promising since it is set in pre-WWII era Italy about a German man tasked to collect a Roman statue and bring it back to Hitler, a job he is not enamored by and ends up being something of an adventure.
More Than You Know by Penny Vincenzi -- I love Penny Vincenzi. Her novels are generally sprawling family dramas, which I find hugely entertaining and absorbing. They're not highbrow by any means, but they are great fun. This one is set in the fashion and literary world of 1960s and 70s London. I really want to read it, but I expect I'll have to get back in line for it ( . . . or maybe it's out in paper in the UK and I can just buy it. Hmm.).
Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton -- As I own and have not yet read Lupton's first book, I'm not sure why I requested her newest (general greed I'm afraid). This is another thriller about a "mother who will do anything to protect her child".
Okay, these last two books are the ones I am reading first.
Crown of Dust by Mary Volmer -- So I have this thing about female protagonists who take to wearing boys'/mens' clothing in order to get by either out of choice for adventure or because they're forced to do so. I'm interested in the idea of reinvention and an exploration of identities, which is why I guess I'm drawn to these sorts of stories. In this case Alex has arrived at the settlement of Motherlode disguised as a boy out of necessity. Motherlode is a makeshift town set up for those trying to strike it rich on gold in California. I've yet to discover what has made her take on such a precarious lifestyle, but I like the story so far very much.
The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani -- I've only read one other book by Trigiani, Lucia Lucia, which I recall enjoying. This story begins in the Italian Alps in the early 1900s and will follow two of its characters to America and through WWI. I've just barely begun and had better read quickly if I want to finish before it's due. The line is far too long for it to go to the back and wait another turn. I'm hoping (as I do pretty much with every book I read) that the story will sweep me away.