A little bookish (or library and new books) goodness today. I've got a wonderful selection of library books on hand at the moment. I thought I'd share a few highlights (meaning I actually have a few more but am too lazy to show all of them). I'm nearly finished reading The Song of Achilles, so will soon be able to choose a new library book from the pile.
Delicacy by David Foenkinos has been nominated for all five French literary prizes according to the author blurb on the back of the book. Booklist calls it a "mostly frothy dish of romance, lost love, new hope, and typically Gallic sensibilities". It sounds like fun.
I really liked Simon Mawer's The Glass Room, so I'm very curious about his newest novel, Trapeze. It's once again a WWII story about a woman with an English father and French mother who agrees to enter Occupied France and connect up with the Resistance. The more she learns about the operation, however, the more she realizes that her superiors have an entirely different agenda than the one she signed up for.
I thoroughly enjoyed Michelle Cooper's The Brief History of Montmaray (once I started reading again I couldn't put the book down until I finished and then immediately requested the sequel), so I've already managed to get The FitzOsbornes in Exile. Hmm. Since it is technically a fictional diary, I could just sneak it right into my reading pile without finishing something else first, right?
A Simple Murder by Eleanor Kuhns is a historical mystery set in the Shaker community just after the Revolutionary War. It won the Minotaur/Mystery Writers of America's 2011 First Crime Novel Competition.
I'm thinking that The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones is most likely the book I'll reach for first as it has a long line of readers waiting for it. It is a "frightening yet delicious drama of dark surprises--where social codes are uprooted and desire daringly trumps propriety--and all is alight with Edwardian with and opulence." It sounds right up my alley.
I have never read Peter Carey, and I feel like I should have. A number of his books appeal to me very much, as does this one, The Chemistry of Tears. The story includes "an automaton, a man and a woman who can never meet, two stories of love". It sounds sort of quirky, but quirky can be good sometimes.
I've been trying very, very hard not to order any books, though I've given in in a few instances. I also have a knack of finding books in the most unusual of places.
Stephen King is an author who I have not read for many years, but when I spotted The Gunslinger: The Dark Tower I at the supermarket (yes, I always look but rarely find anything worth buying) I had this strange desire all of a sudden to read one of his books. This isn't my normal reading fare, but it's good to read outside comfort zones sometimes. This is a story of a quest through parallel worlds and across time. It sounds very appealing to me at the moment.
I found A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway in a local museum bookstore marked down to half price. As I have never read it (and never had gotten around to buying it before) I snapped it up. This is his novel of an American ambulance driver who falls in love with an English nurse. It's been on my list of books to read, and now I conveniently have a copy of my own to pick up as soon as I am ready for it.
I had to take advantage of The Book Depository's recent 10% off sale and Harriet by Elizabeth Jenkins was at the top of my wishlist. I loved The Tortoise and the Hare when I read it, but this story sounds quite different. It's actually based on a true crime case. Another right up my alley book.
I have Darlene to thank for the heads up on Virginia Nicholson's Millions Like Us. Once again, I had read Nicholson before--thought Singled Out was excellent--so am hoping this will be equally as good. It's a nice, thick book which makes use of diaries, memoirs, autobiographies and interviews. It sounds like it follows a similar format to Singled Out, which I thought was very successfully done. I love social history!
And Ann Bridge's Illyrian Spring has finally been reissued by Daunt Books in a very attractive edition (complete with French flaps). I'm always happy when difficult books to find are published by small presses. Illyrian Spring had been published by Virago Modern Classics, but copies are rare and well out of my budget. Not this new edition happily. I've started taking my Nook to the gym for when I use the elliptical exercise machine (I can hold on yet prop my Nook on the shelf and easily read--I always had the fear I'd tumble off otherwise), so I've started the second Julia Probyn suspense novel, The Portuguese Escape. I enjoyed Julia's first escapade, and am looking forward to spending time in beautiful Lisbon this time out.