It's good to have something to look forward to, don't you think? Maybe I rely too much on books, but stories make me happy and I'm not sure what I would do without them. I'm not even actively looking for new books to add to my wishlist, but they seem to seek me out and find me anyway. (It's all them and not me, right . . .).
Here are a few books recently added to my wishlist. Have you noticed I rarely share new books (not that a few don't occasionally show up on my doorstep) these days. I am trying hard to be a discerning book shopper these days (discerning being a relative term), but I have few qualms about looking and writing them down.
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."
The Mersault Investigation by Kamel Daoud -- "A tour-de-force reimagining of Camus’s The Stranger, from the point of view of the mute Arab victims." —The New Yorker. After reading Daoud's story in the New Yorker I have to read the book (to be read in tandem with or after The Stranger, of course).
Dietland by Sarai Walker -- "Dietland is a bold, original, and funny debut novel that takes on the beauty industry, gender inequality, and our weight loss obsession—from the inside out, and with fists flying."
Ghost Fleet by P.W. Singer and August Cole -- "Ghost Fleet is a page-turning speculative thriller in the spirit of The Hunt for Red October. The debut novel by two leading experts on the cutting edge of national security, it is unique in that every trend and technology featured in the novel — no matter how sci-fi it may seem — is real, or could be soon." I like the sound of this--sort of like an alternate history, or rather alternate future? But it sounds a little scary, too.
Maud's Line by Margaret Verble -- "Eastern Oklahoma, 1928. Eighteen-year-old Maud Nail lives with her rogue father and sensitive brother on one of the allotments parceled out by the U.S. Government to the Cherokees when their land was confiscated for Oklahoma’s statehood. Maud’s days are filled with hard work and simple pleasures, but often marked by violence and tragedy, a fact that she accepts with determined practicality. Her prospects for a better life are slim, but when a newcomer with good looks and books rides down her section line, she takes notice. Soon she finds herself facing a series of high-stakes decisions that will determine her future and those of her loved ones." Good books? Hmmm. Must check this one out.
The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler -- Oh, sure, a book about books and librarians--you know how many people like me are going to reach for this book just because . . . "The Book of Speculation is Erika Swyler's gorgeous and moving debut, a wondrous novel about the power of books, family, and magic." The main character is a librarian. The cover alone is enough to suck me in.
Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry -- ". . . Church of Marvels takes readers back to turn-of-the-century New York—a city of hardship and dreams, love and loneliness, hope and danger. In magnetic, luminous prose, Leslie Parry offers a richly atmospheric vision of the past in a narrative of astonishing beauty, full of wondrous enchantments, a marvelous debut that will leave readers breathless." Oh dear, another one I am going to have to try.
Mislaid by Nell Zink -- "A sharply observed, mordantly funny, and startlingly original debut from an exciting, unconventional new voice—the author of the acclaimed The Wallcreeper—about the making and unmaking of the American family that lays bare all of our assumptions about race and racism, sexuality and desire."
The Anchoress by Robyn Cadwallader -- "With the lyricism of Nicola Griffith's Hild and the vivid historical setting of Hannah Kent's Burial Rites, Robyn Cadwallader's powerful debut novel tells an absorbing story of faith, desire, shame, fear, and the very human need for connection and touch. Compelling, evocative, and haunting, The Anchoress is both quietly heartbreaking and thrillingly unpredictable."
The Photographer's Wife by Suzanne Joinson -- "In 1920s Jerusalem, civic advisor and architect Charles Ashton has an ambitious (and crazy) project to redesign the Holy City by importing English parks to the desert and knocking down Ottoman minarets. He employs William Harrington, a British pilot, to take aerial photographs of the city and surrounding desert. At this time, Palestine, under British administration, is a surprisingly peaceful mix of British colonials, exiled Armenians, and Greek, Arab, and Jewish officials rubbing elbows; but there are simmers of trouble ahead. Eleanora, the young English wife of a famous Jerusalem photographer, meets and falls for Harrington, threatening her marriage--particularly when William discovers that Eleanora's husband is part of an underground nationalist group intent on removing the British." Sigh. I want to read this one now--with a Jerusalem setting it fits in so perfectly with my current reading. It isn't published until next February. Heavy sigh.
Saint Mazie by Jamie Attenberg -- "Meet Mazie Phillips: big-hearted and bawdy, she's the truth-telling proprietress of The Venice, the famed New York City movie theater. It's the Jazz Age, with romance and booze aplenty--even when Prohibition kicks in--and Mazie never turns down a night on the town. But her high spirits mask a childhood rooted in poverty, and her diary, always close at hand, holds her dearest secrets." This sounds like fun and right up my alley!
Innocence: Or, Murder on Steep Street by Heda Margolius Kovaly -- "Famed Holocaust memoirist Heda Margoulis Kovály (Under a Cruel Star) knits her own terrifying experiences in Soviet Prague into a powerful, Raymond Chandler-esque work of literary suspense."
I could go on (I always have more books on my list . . .), but I will stop here and save a few for next time.
All this browsing has nudged my reading mood just a little. Along with all the other reads that are keeping me entertained at the moment, I am thinking a story about life in the circus would be interesting at the moment. I know I have one or two on my shelves--I think I am off in search of them now. Is it a stretch to ask if you have any good books about circus life (fiction or non) to suggest? I'll let you know what I come up with, too.