I thought this was going to be a quiet for week for acquisitions and then I remembered that trip to the Oxfam Bookshop just to drop off books…and what happened next at the £1 sale table.
Choose to Rise: The Victory Within by M N Mekaelian (ebook, review copy courtesy of the author)
Set in a forgotten land in the heart of World War One, Choose to Rise: The Victory Within paints the vividly realistic portrait of one of the most horrific atrocities of the modern world- The Armenian Genocide of 1915. Told through eyes of old Armen Hagopian, reliving his youth, this is a story of survival against the merciless Ottoman Turkish government. Through his journey, Armen and his older brother, Vartan, must discover what it takes to overcome the brutality while deciding who will live, who will die, and whether or not they have the strength to save an entire race from total annihilation. Filled with passion, suspense, love, and inspiration, Choose to Rise is a book that questions everything you know about humanity, what it means to be alive, and will stay with you long after you finish it.
Stranger by David Bergen (ARC courtesy of Duckworth Books)
Íso Perdido, a young Guatemalan woman, works at a fertility clinic at Ixchel, named for the Mayan goddess of creation and destruction. Íso tends to the rich women who visit the clinic for the supposed conception-enhancing properties of the local lake. She is also the lover of Dr. Mann, the American doctor in residence. When an accident forces the doctor to leave Guatemala abruptly, Íso is abandoned, pregnant. After the birth, tended to by the manager of the clinic, the baby disappears. Determined to reclaim her daughter, Íso follows a trail north, eventually crossing illegally into a United States where the rich live in safe zones, walled away from the indigent masses. Travelling without documentation, and with little money, Íso must penetrate this world, and in this place of menace and shifting boundaries, she must determine who she can trust and how much, aware that she might lose her daughter forever.
At Dusk All Cats Are Grey by Jerrard Tickell (ebook, Kindle deal, free)
It’s not only the cats slinking through the dark…Twenty-two-year-old Joanna Shirley is the only daughter and child of Lady and Sir Robert Shirley. Joanna grew up in the countryside of the Cotswold; in her view, she had an idyllic childhood roaming the rolling, green hills. Her teens were spent socialising in France, Austria and Germany, where she learnt of her affinity for languages and accents. In fact, while skiing once in Austria, her German was so good that she was arrested by the Gestapo on suspicion of being a spy…It once seemed a jolly funny story to tell people, but now rumours that Hitler is edging his way to the Polish border and, feeling that now she must earn her own keep, Joanna moves to London. She soon gets a job at an advertisement firm – Silvertops – wheren she meets Colonel Seymour. The Colonel wants to know if she’s interested in something a little more profitable and discreet than a receptionist. All she has to do is report back about a group of Austrian refugees…A sinister darkness is creeping over Europe, and Joanna finds herself unable to recognise the world she once knew so well…
Beyond Top Secret U by Ewen Montagu (ebook, Kindle deal, 99p)
A keen sailor in the years preceding the outbreak of World War II, Ewen Montagu joined the Navy’s supplementary reserve, hoping that they would find some use for him. Following the emergence of his qualifications as a K.C. he found himself attached to the Admiralty and stepping into the shadowy world of British Intelligence. For most officers Top Secret was the highest classification, but for those involved with Enigma it was Ultra Secret (Top Secret U), and yet there was a higher classification still. Working under the Director of Naval Intelligence, Montagu was one of those few privy to that highest classification, beyond Top Secret U, and the Double Cross System. Involved in the strategic deception surrounding D-Day and V-bombs, as well a lead role in Operation Mincemeat, his work was so secretive that it even prevented promotion. Beyond Top Secret U is a very personal account of the secret war, filled with intrigues and ingenuity, ne’er-do-wells and corpses … and more incredible than any thriller.
Pompeii by Robert Harris (hardback, charity shop purchase, £1)
All along the Mediterranean coast, the Roman Empire’s richest citizens are relaxing in their luxurious villas, enjoying the last days of summer. The world’s largest navy lies peacefully at anchor in Misenum. The tourists are spending their money in the seaside resorts of Baiae, Herculaneum, and Pompeii. But the carefree lifestyle and gorgeous weather belie an impending cataclysm, and only one man is worried. The young engineer Marcus Attilius Primus has just taken charge of the Aqua Augusta, the enormous aqueduct that brings fresh water to a quarter of a million people in nine towns around the Bay of Naples. His predecessor has disappeared. Springs are failing for the ﬁrst time in generations. And now there is a crisis on the Augusta’s sixty-mile main line—somewhere to the north of Pompeii, on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius. Attilius—decent, practical, and incorruptible—promises Pliny, the famous scholar who commands the navy, that he can repair the aqueduct before the reservoir runs dry. His plan is to travel to Pompeii and put together an expedition, then head out to the place where he believes the fault lies. But Pompeii proves to be a corrupt and violent town, and Attilius soon discovers that there are powerful forces at work—both natural and man-made—threatening to destroy him.
Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee (hardback, charity shop purchase, £1)
Maycomb, Alabama. Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch – ‘Scout’ – returns home from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise’s homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in a painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past – a journey that can be guided only by one’s conscience.
On What Cathy Read Next last week
Monday – I shared my review of If The Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss as part of the blog tour. I adored this book and found it hard to believe it was the author’s debut novel.
Tuesday – I took part in the blog tour for the latest thriller by Carys Jones, Dead Girls Can’t Lie, publishing an enticingly teasing extract from the book. Top Ten Tuesday is back after a summer break and this week’s topic was Recommendations for… I shared Ten Recommendations For People Who Think They Don’t Like John Buchan!
Wednesday –Wednesday is WWW Wednesday, where I and other book bloggers share what we’ve been reading, are currently reading and plan to read next.
Thursday – The subject of my Throwback Thursday post was The Light Between Oceans by M L Stedman which was one of the early books I reviewed as part of my ongoing From Page To Screen Challenge (books that have been made into films). I also took part in the blog tour for The Floating Theatre by Martha Conway, sharing my review and featuring a giveaway (closes 24th August, UK/ROI & Europe only) to win a copy of the book, complete with its gorgeous cover.
Friday – I did some more clearing out of my To-Read shelf on Goodreads courtesy of the Down the TBR Hole meme which is growing in popularity. I took part in the book blitz for Fallen Star by Allison Morse, a mystery set in Hollywood. Finally I shared my review of The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz, the second book in my ARC August reading list. Very clever, very funny.
Saturday – I was thrilled to take part in the cover reveal for Alison Brodie’s next book, Zenka, due to be published in November. Following the Q&A I featured last week with Lachlan Walter, author of The Rain Never Came, I shared an extract from the book.
Sunday – To close the week, I featured a Q&A with Emma Dibdin, author of The Room by the Lake, as part of the blog tour for this dark, unsettling psychological thriller.
- Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge – 98 out of 104 books read, 3 more than last week
- Classics Club Challenge– 4 out of 50 books reviewed, same as last week
- NetGalley/Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2017 (Gold) – 44 ARCs reviewed out of 50, 1 more than last week
- From Page to Screen 2017– 7 book/film comparisons out of 12 completed, same as last week
- ARC August – 2 ARCs out of 6 read, 1 more than last week
- The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction Shortlist 2017 – completed
On What Cathy Read Next this week
- Blog Tour/Review: Path of Lucas by Susanne Bellefeuille
- Book Review: The Wardrobe Mistress by Patrick McGrath
- Throwback Thursday: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
- Book Review: The Scribe’s Daughter by Stephanie Churchill