I was going to write about my last NYRB that I just finished, but I'm just feeling out of sorts today, so I'll share a few new books I am really looking forward to. I seem to have an endless list of those! A few are very recent releases and a few forthcoming.
No One But You by Tessa Levy and Shelley Cassidy -- " a fictional account of a young girl's extraordinary life, from the post-war East End of London to the high life of America and back again. It portrays Tessa Levy's yearning for adventure and opportunity and ultimately love on both sides of the Atlantic."
Summer of Love by Caro Fraser -- "In the hot summer of 1949, a group of family and friends gather at Harry Denholm's country house in Kent. Meg and Dan Ranscombe, emerging from a scandal of their own making; Dan's godmother, Sonia and her two young girls, Laura and Avril, only one of whom is Sonia's biological daughter. Among the heat, memories, and infatuations, a secret is revealed to Meg's son, Max, and soon a terrible tragedy unfolds that will have consequences for them all. Afterwards, Avril, Laura and Max must come of age in a society still reeling from the war, haunted by the choices of that fateful summer. Cold, entitled Avril will go to any lengths to take what is hers. Beautiful, naive Laura finds refuge and love in the London jazz clubs, but Max, with wealth and unrequited love, has the capacity to undo it all."
Belleweather by Susanna Kearsley -- "It's late summer, war is raging, and families are torn apart by divided loyalties and deadly secrets. In this complex and dangerous time, a young French Canadian lieutenant is captured and billeted with a Long Island family, an unwilling and unwelcome guest. As he begins to pitch in with the never-ending household tasks and farm chores, Jean-Philippe de Sabran finds himself drawn to the daughter of the house. Slowly, Lydia Wilde comes to lean on Jean-Philippe, true soldier and gentleman, until their lives become inextricably intertwined. Legend has it that the forbidden love between Jean-Philippe and Lydia ended tragically, but centuries later, the clues they left behind slowly unveil the true story."
Bryant & May: Hall of Mirrors: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery by Christopher Fowler -- "London, 1969. With the Swinging Sixties under way, Detectives Arthur Bryant and John May find themselves caught in the middle of a good, old-fashioned manor house murder mystery."
In the Distance with You by Carla Guelfenbein -- "Vera Sigall, now eighty years old, has lived a mysterious, ascetic life far from the limelight of literary circles. This powerful character has a profound effect on those around her—Daniel, an architect and her neighbor and friend, unhappy in his marriage and career; Emilia, a Franco-Chilean student who travels to Santiago to write a thesis on the elusive Vera; and Horacio, an acclaimed poet with whom Vera had a tumultuous, passionate affair in her youth." The author is Brazilian and the book is apparently inspired by Clarice Lispector.
Tango Lessons: A Memoir by Maghan Flaherty -- "Tango was an unlikely choice for Meghan Flaherty. A young woman living with the scars of past trauma, she was terrified of being touched and shied away from real passion. But by her late twenties, she knew something had to change. She dug up an old dream and tried on her dancing shoes. Written in wry, lyrical prose, and beautifully enriched by the vivid history and culture of the dance, Tango Lessons is a transformative story of conquering your fears, living your dreams, and enjoying the dizzying freedom found in the closest embrace."
A Double Life by Flynn Berry -- I really liked her first book! "Claire is a hardworking doctor living a simple, quiet life in London. She is also the daughter of the most notorious murder suspect in the country, though no one knows it. Nearly thirty years ago, while Claire and her infant brother slept upstairs, a brutal crime was committed in her family's townhouse. Her father's car was found abandoned near the English Channel the next morning, with bloodstains on the front seat. Her mother insisted she'd seen him in the house that night, but his powerful, privileged friends maintained his innocence. The first lord accused of murder in more than a century, he has been missing ever since. When the police tell Claire they've found her father, her carefully calibrated existence begins to fracture. She doesn't know if she's the daughter of a murderer or a wronged man, but Claire will soon learn how far she'll go to finally find the truth."
The Diamond Setter by Moshe Sakal -- "The uneventful life of a jeweler from Tel Aviv changes abruptly in 2011 after Fareed, a handsome young man from Damascus, crosses illegally into Israel and makes his way to the ancient port city of Jaffa in search of his roots. In his pocket is a piece of a famous blue diamond known as "Sabakh." Intending to return the diamond to its rightful owner, Fareed is soon swept up in Tel Aviv's vibrant gay scene, and a turbulent protest movement. He falls in love with both an Israeli soldier and his boyfriend--the narrator of this book--and reveals the story of his family's past: a tale of forbidden love beginning in the 1930s that connects Fareed and the jeweler."
Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History by Keith O'Brien -- "Between the world wars, no sport was more popular, or more dangerous, than airplane racing. Thousands of fans flocked to multi‑day events, and cities vied with one another to host them. The pilots themselves were hailed as dashing heroes who cheerfully stared death in the face. Well, the men were hailed. Female pilots were more often ridiculed than praised for what the press portrayed as silly efforts to horn in on a manly, and deadly, pursuit. Fly Girls recounts how a cadre of women banded together to break the original glass ceiling: the entrenched prejudice that conspired to keep them out of the sky."
Okay Fine Whatever: The Year I Went from Being Afraid of Everything to Only Being Afraid of Most Things by Courtenay Hameister -- "Refreshing, relatable, and pee-your-pants funny, Okay Fine Whatever is Courtenay's hold-nothing-back account of her adventures on the front lines of Mere Human Woman vs. Fear, reminding us that even the tiniest amount of bravery is still bravery, and that no matter who you are, it's possible to fight complacency and become bold, or at least bold-ish, a little at a time."
So, a few books I am waiting for (most of these I am in line for at the library) thrown in with the serendipity of those unplanned finds.