My Week in Books


New arrivals

 Carol by Patricia Highsmith (paperback, charity shop)

This was previously published as The Price of Salt but now retitled to tie in with the film starring Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett.  Two women from different backgrounds – Therese, a department store clerk who dreams of a better life and Carol, wealthy and married – strike up a love affair in 1950s New York that will have consequences for them both. This novel forms part of my From Page to Screen Reading Challenge and my Classics Club challenge.

Feast of Sorrow: A Novel of Ancient Rome by Crystal King (NetGalley ARC)

On a blistering day in the twenty-sixth year of Augustus Caesar’s reign, a young chef, Thrasius, is acquired for the exorbitant price of twenty thousand denarii. His purchaser is the infamous gourmet Marcus Gavius Apicius, wealthy beyond measure, obsessed with a taste for fine meals from exotic places, and a singular ambition: to serve as culinary advisor to Caesar, an honor that will cement his legacy as Rome’s leading epicure. Apicius rightfully believes that Thrasius is the key to his culinary success, and with Thrasius’s help he soon becomes known for his lavish parties and fantastic meals. Thrasius finds a family in Apicius’s household, his daughter Apicata, his wife Aelia, and her handmaiden, Passia whom Thrasius quickly falls in love with. But as Apicius draws closer to his ultimate goal, his reckless disregard for any who might get in his way takes a dangerous turn that threatens his young family and places his entire household at the mercy of the most powerful forces in Rome.

The Girl in the Glass Tower by Elizabeth Fremantle (NetGalley ARC)

Hardwick Hall, sixteenth-century England. Formerly a beacon of wealth and power. Now a gilded prison. Hidden away, forgotten, one young woman seeks escape. But to do so she must trust those on the outside. Those who have their own motives… Discovery means death. But what choice has any woman trapped in a man’s world? Imprisoned by circumstance, Arbella Stuart is an unwilling contender for the throne. In a world where women are silenced, what chance does she have to take control of her destiny?

The Outcasts of Time by Ian Mortimer (NetGalley ARC)

The year is 1348 and brothers John and William have been infected by the plague. Their fate is sealed. Until a voice from the skies offers them a choice: ‘You may stay here and spend your last six days with your wife and children. Or you may put yourself in my hands now. I will wipe the scars from your face and the swellings from your body. I will extinguish your fever. I will let you live your last six days in the distance of the future.’ John and William agree: they will live for six more days and in return they will do good deeds in order to try to save their souls. But there’s a twist: each of those six days will begin ninety-nine years after the last, delivering them each time to an increasingly alien existence. As they travel, the reader travels with them, seeing the world change with conflict, disease, progress and enlightenment. But all the while time is counting down to a moment of judgement…

Shelter by Sarah Franklin (NetGalley ARC, final cover not yet available)

It’s 1944 and Connie is a trainee ‘lumberjill.’ She’s been transferred from blitzed Coventry to the Forest of Dean to learn the lumberjack trade as one of the women forming the backbone of Britain’s war effort. She’s nursing a huge secret and running from her tragic past, and will soon have to make a life-changing decision… Women like Connie are finding opportunity and liberty like never before, but in this explosive moment of history everything is changing for women … and nothing is changing. Then, as now, is the price Connie must pay for her freedom too great? This is a novel about imprisonment and escape, about what makes a family, about solace in nature as civilisation is ripping itself apart, about renewal after devastation, about searching for safety, about love and about what personal liberty means for a woman.

On What Cathy Read Next last week

On What Cathy Read Next this week

  • Currently reading
  • Planned posts
    • Book Review: Meeting with my Brother by Mun-Yol Yi
    • Blog Tour/Book Review: Gone Without A Trace by Mary Torjussen
    • Book Review: Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor
    • Blog Tour/Excerpt: In the Eyes of an Angel by Kimberly Livingston
    • Book Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
  • NetGalley reviews
    • If the Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss
    • Shelter by Sarah Franklin