Oooh, such a pretty stack of books, don't you think? My most recent Persephone Biannually just came in the mail in the last week or so and it was a nice reminder that I really need to pick up a Persephone Book soon. Maybe sooner rather than later now, as you can see.
It's been a while since I've read one of their books and every year I say I am going to read more. I had a good look at the book blurbs which are included in the Biannually and realized how many new books have come out since my last purchase. I had forgotten that my public library ordered in the whole backlist a few years back and wondered if they were continuing to order in each new seasons releases and was so pleased to discover that indeed they are. So, yes, I went a little crazy requesting the newer titles (and I still have a few more that are in transit to my branch that should be arriving in the next day or so). I know I will not read them all (not all right now that is), but I thought how nice it would be so take a really good look at them before choosing one to read (and it is time really for me to order one, too, so I stay on their mailing list).
A few other books came home with me as well. So, from top to bottom here are the library books that have my attention at the moment.
Death of a Red Heroine by Qiu Xiaolong -- I came across this book on one of Book Riot's abundant book lists, in particular a list about mystery novels from around the world. It piqued my curiosity, a detective novel set in 1990 Shanghai, and as luck would have it it was on the library's shelves. NPR said "it does what detective fiction can do best: It captures the details, the grit of everyday life . . . a matchless pearl." Sold!
The Godwits Fly by Robin Hyde -- "A semi-autobiographical novel spanning the years 1910–28, The Godwits Fly is in some senses a bildungsroman: the story of Eliza Hannay growing up in a suburb of Wellington."
Long Live Great Bardfield: The Autobiography of Tirzah Garwood -- "Time and the honesty of Tirzah’s words have made this an immensely important document and it is a valuable primary record of a woman who was at the centre of an important group of artists, and who was herself a very good artist in her own right."
Every Good Deed and Other Stories by Dorothy Whipple -- Ten stories--this is the companion book to a previous story collection published by Persephone Books. Maybe this will help jump start my short story reading.
The Happy Tree by Rosalind Murray -- "This 1926 novel begins with the death of a young man during the war, flashes back to his happy childhood shared with the young woman who is the narrator, and then describes how the war – inevitably – took them unawares, destroyed their happiness and has left her, the young woman, emotionally maimed." Sounds a bit dire, doesn't it, but apparently it doesn't read that way.
In This Grave Hour by Jacqueline Winspear -- I had an egalley copy of this which I didn't finish before it expired. I have been in line for a library copy for so long I think I might have to just start from the beginning again. It's 1939 so we're just at the start of WWII. Maisie's newest case (and we're getting back to Maisie as an investigator rather than a spy for which I am actually rather grateful) is "to find the killer of a man who escaped occupied Belgium as a boy, some twenty-three years earlier during the Great War." I recall that I was enjoying this one very much before I was interrupted.
Cairo: A Graphic Novel by G. Willow Wilson -- I don't recall where I came across this one, but I like the sound of it: "a stolen hookah, a spiritual underworld, and a genie on the run change the lives of five strangers forever on the streets of the Middle East's largest metropolis." I have also gotten away from my graphic novel reading and hope this will also start (re-start anyway) the reading trend. It is all illustrated in B&W and sepia tones, so I am very curious if it will really grab me.
And as always I have a healthy stack of in progress reads that I will tell you about soon and am thinking about my "summer reading" (because you know I love a good plan and a good book lists to go along with it), especially since today it is topping out at 90F. I knew we would go straight from winter to summer.