Let' see is this only number two or we on to three times for a big reshuffle of books this year. I think I have lost count, which is just as well. So this is where my reading pile stands at the moment. The books in the back are those that I have not been reading as regularly as I could be yet I don't want to give up on them. The books in the front are the ones I choose from daily with a new addition . . .let's start with those (top to bottom).
I finished a collection of stories by John Burnside, which I really loved, but I wasn't quite sure where to turn to next. I am opting for a reread of some old favorites by Daphne du Maurier. I have several of her collections but grabbed The Breaking Point which was originally published in 1959. The stories it contains: The Alibi, The Blue Lenses, Ganymede, The Pool, The Menace, The Chamois, The Lordly Ones and The Limpet. "The Blue Lenses" is one of my favorite stories so I think I will start there.
I mentioned yesterday wanting to find a good nonfiction book so have pulled out Emma Beddington's We'll Always Have Paris, which I plan on starting this weekend. It starts, "At the age of sixteen, I decide what I want to be when I grow up: French." I think I am going to enjoy this.
Since the last month or so has pretty draining and I want to get my reading mojo back, I've decided to more or less pick and choose at whim, and I felt like having more than one mystery on the go at the moment, and I also felt like something Italian, so I have started Maurizio de Giovanni's The Bastards of Pizzofalcone. I already have a crush on Commissario Ricciardi despite his rather dark and slightly taciturn demeanor. While the Ricciardi mysteries are set in 1930s Fascist Naples, this new series is equally noirish and a bit more edgy and hardboiled are set in the culturally mixed area of contemporary Naples. Inspector Lojacono reminds me of Ricciardi--dark, serious and with a "checkered past". He is moved from Sicily to Naples and thrown in with a group of misfit cops hoping for second chances. This is going to be a mystery I can sink my teeth into.
I've been slowly working my way through Chantel Acevedo's The Living Infinite, which is just as good a all those lists of books to watch for this year said it would be. It is set in the 19th century Spanish court and moves from Spain to Cuba to America. Literary historical fiction at its finest.
For my Cambridge setting I have been reading P.D. James's An Unsuitable Job for a Woman. Did James really only write two Cordelia Gray mysteries? Although I am not yet far into the story (and it has only just moved to Cambridge), I really like Cordelia. Young and untried but smart but I love her inner thoughts and commentary. I am going to enjoy getting to know her. I also like that the books are set in 1970s England--and era I have been increasingly interested in reading about.
And last but not least is Joy Rhoades's The Woolgrower's Companion. It is so far, unputdownable good. Even though it is a thick hardcover I have been carrying it about with me almost everywhere. It is set in Australia during WWII. A young woman who has grown up on a rural sheep ranch must pull things together when her father begins to grow ill. She is newly married, her husband away in Sydney on war work when she finds herself drawn to one of the Italian POWs working on her ranch despite all her wishes he would just go away. It's Rhoades's first book and I hope she is writing another!
The back pile of books I won't list here, though the bottom two, Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy, and Jane Smiley's Golden Age are two I want to either finish (the Smiley) or make more progress in (the Seth). I read the first two of Smiley's trilogy earlier this year and hate to leave the last one hanging. And our poor Unsuitable Boy . . . really need to get back to Lata. It's a good thing I have been posting on each section of the book as I think I will need to go back and refresh my memory. Maybe I will make a big reading push in the last few months of the year to get through ASB. Now that would be an achievement indeed!
So, you see my reading weekend is all booked up.