Some habits are hard to break it seems. Even as I make a list of the "books I am determined to finish that are already in progress on my nightstand" (meaning I am going to try not to start more new books just quite yet), I have a pile of library holds waiting for me to add to my already small pile of borrows already at home. Is it just me (I bet not . . .), or is your pile of to be read soon books like a sea of shifting sands? Just when I clear out and make plans to focus on just a few books, a pile of new books shows up . . .
I probably have more than thirteen library books waiting for me (at home and on the library hold shelf), but here are thirteen I want to read (even if I only end up perusing them):
I See You by Clare Mackintosh -- I checked this one out once before but had to return it as there was a line of readers waiting for it. Will the second time be a charm? "As creepy as they come ... We raced through this deeply unsettling thriller in two days ... and looked over our shoulder the whole time." "Clare Mackintosh's I See You is chilling-but that's not the best part about it. It's mind-bending; it makes you reevaluate every step you take and you will see the world in a different light. And that is genius Alexandra Burt, author of Little Girl Gone."
Paris Spring by James Naughtie -- "A complex first spy novel which comes with all the convincing insider knowledge you’d expect from a political journalist with his experience on both sides of the Atlantic…entertaining…vivid." Independent.
4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster -- "Paul Auster’s greatest, most heartbreaking and satisfying novel―a sweeping and surprising story of birthright and possibility, of love and of life itself." Ah, 880 pages mean I will probably barely be able to carry this home let alone read it in three weeks time.
Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan by Ruth Gilligan -- A paperback. This one looks more promising (realistically speaking). "At the start of the twentieth century, a young girl and her family emigrate from Lithuania in search of a better life in America, only to land on the Emerald Isle instead. In 1958, a mute Jewish boy locked away in a mental institution outside of Dublin forms an unlikely friendship with a man consumed by the story of the love he lost nearly two decades earlier. And in present-day London, an Irish journalist is forced to confront her conflicting notions of identity and family when her Jewish boyfriend asks her to make a true leap of faith. These three arcs, which span generations and intertwine in revelatory ways, come together to tell the haunting story of Ireland’s all-but-forgotten Jewish community."
The Spy by Paulo Coelho -- "Told in Mata Hari’s voice through her final letter, The Spy is the unforgettable story of a woman who dared to defy convention and who paid the ultimate price."
A Word for Love by Emily Robbins -- "With melodic meditation on culture, language, and familial devotion. Robbins delivers a powerful novel that questions what it means to love from afar, to be an outsider within a love story, and to take someone else's passion and cradle it until it becomes your own." (I very much like the sound of this one).
Leopard at the Door by Jennifer McVeigh -- "Set in Kenya in the 1950s against the fading backdrop of the British Empire, a story of self-discovery, betrayal, and an impossible love."
The Strays by Emily Bitto -- "For readers of Atonement, a hauntingly powerful story about the fierce friendship between three sisters and their friend as they grow up on the outskirts of their parents' wild and bohemian artistic lives."
Nine Island by Jane Alison -- "Nine Island is an intimate autobiographical novel, told by J, a woman who lives in a glass tower on one of Miami Beach’s lush Venetian Islands. After decades of disaster with men, she is trying to decide whether to withdraw forever from romantic love."
The Gardens of Consolation by Parisa Reza -- "Parisa Reza has written a powerful love story filled with scenes of hope and heartbreak centered around an Iranian woman named Talla, "a formidable and hard-to-forget heroine (Publisher's Weekly)," whose pursuit for a better life runs with the backdrop of a rapidly changing Iran."
Selection Day by Aravind Adiga -- "From Aravind Adiga, the bestselling, Booker Prize–winning author of The White Tiger, a dazzling new novel about two brothers in a Mumbai slum who are raised by their obsessive father to become cricket stars, and whose coming-of-age threatens their relationship, future, and sense of themselves."
Dificult Women by Roxane Gay -- "Gay has fun with these ladies. Her narrative games aren’t rulesy. She plays with structure and pacing . . . She moves easily from first to third person, sometimes within a single story. She creates worlds that are firmly realist and worlds that are fantastically far-fetched . . . With Difficult Women, you really have no idea what’s going to happen next." (New York Times Book Review)
Paris Stories by Mavis Gallant -- "Michael Ondaatje's new selection of Gallant's work gathers some of the most memorable of her stories set in Europe and Paris, where Gallant has long lived. Mysterious, funny, insightful, and heartbreaking, these are tales of expatriates and exiles, wise children and straying saints. Together they compose a secret history, at once intimate and panoramic, of modern times."
I know I won't get to all of them, but if I can manage to read one or two I will be most pleased. At the moment I am leaning heavily towards the books by Ruth Gilligan, Emily Robbins or Emily Bitto. Some I will be able to renew but as most are just released titles I know my time with them is short . . . Have you read any or are looking forward to reading any of these titles?