Once again I am faced with that library book (due dates!) conundrum. I am quickly approaching the end of Maggie O'Farrell's most excellent This Must Be the Place. (To all who recommended it, yes, good choice!). It's a bit unfair that the most popular books get the most attention (sort of like in real life, I think). Do I choose from this pile my next library read? The book at the top is a collection of short stories which has no one else waiting for it (sadly, but so often the case with short stories, right?!), but the rest have long lines behind me. Part of me wants to go look over my other library books and choose one that has no one waiting for it, just to be contrary (besides those quiet books that are so unassuming deserve more attention and like a quiet person no doubt there is more that meets the eye in those pages). Very soon a decision must be made:
Hot Little Hands by Abigail Ulman -- "Over the course of nine loosely connected stories, Hot Little Hands introduces us to young women, at once clever and naïve, who struggle to navigate the chronic uncertainty and very real dangers that come with being impatient for the future and reluctant to leave childhood behind."
Invincible Summer by Alice Adams -- "A dazzling depiction of the highs and lows of adulthood, Invincible Summer is a story about finding the courage to carry on in the wake of disappointment, and a powerful testament to love and friendship as the constants in an ever-changing world."
Leaving Lucy Pear by Anna Solomon -- "In mesmerizing prose, award-winning author Anna Solomon weaves together an unforgettable group of characters as their lives collide on the New England coast. Set against one of America's most turbulent decades, Leaving Lucy Pear delves into questions of class, freedom, and the meaning of family, establishing Anna Solomon as one of our most captivating storytellers."
Belgravia by Julian Fellowes -- "Julian Fellowes's Belgravia is the story of a secret. A secret that unravels behind the porticoed doors of London's grandest postcode. Set in the 1840s when the upper echelons of society began to rub shoulders with the emerging industrial nouveau riche, Belgravia is people by a rich cast of characters. But the story begins on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. At the Duchess of Richmond's now legendary ball, one family's life will change forever."
They all sound good in different ways (if I pick one at this moment in time I am leaning towards Belgravia), but they will still be just as good if I send them on to the next reader and get back in line.
To make a difficult choice even harder I have had a little influx of new and forthcoming books from authors and publishers that need attention as well. I've already started a couple of these and the others are in great anticipation:
Girl Singer by Mick Carlon -- "Harlem 1938: eighteen-year-old Avery, aspiring singer, is heard by Lester "Pres" Young, Count Basie's tenor saxophonist. Pres recommends her to Basie, and Avery is whisked into the jazz life. Years later, with several hit records to her credit, Avery settles in Greenwich Village. But her life takes a sharp turn when she meets Karl, a Jewish refugee from Hitler's Germany." I just recently started this and feel like to make it a truly rich reading experience I should put together a play list of songs since they are mentioned in the story. It's a story steeped in the place and period so a sound track to accompany it would be perfect.
The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis -- "Fiona Davis's stunning debut novel pulls readers into the lush world of New York City's glamorous Barbizon Hotel for Women, where in the 1950's a generation of aspiring models, secretaries, and editors lived side-by-side while attempting to claw their way to fairy-tale success, and where a present-day journalist becomes consumed with uncovering a dark secret buried deep within the Barbizon's glitzy past." Another New York story rich in detail!
All Sleep by A.C. Moyer -- "All Sleep is a collection of psychological thrillers." I think I am holding this one in reserve for later in the month in anticipation of the upcoming RIP readalong--it sounds like perfect fall reading. I can already imagine the rustle of leaves falling from the trees and opening my window to a cool night breeze. (Or is that just really wishful thinking on yet another hot, grossly steamy summer weather).
I Will Send Rain by Rae Meadows -- " Rich in detail and epic in scope, I Will Send Rain is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, filled with hope, morality, and love." My most recent arrival of new books. This one was literally just released. I can't wait to start reading!
(All of a sudden that library conundrum has become even more difficult--see the pressure of being pulled in so many bookish directions). I know. I am greedy. I want all the good stories (and the free time in which to read them).
I have just one more link to share with you today.
First there was The Prize List.
Then there was an alternate prize list.
Now we have the list of Almost Prize Winning Books (you know, those books you wish had won but were passed over . . .). Another list I can totally warm up to!