Hosted by Taking on a World of Words, this meme is all about the three Ws:
- What are you currently reading?
- What did you recently finish reading?
- What do you think you’ll read next?
Why not join in too? Leave a comment with your link at Taking on a World of Words and then go blog hopping!
Beautiful Star & Other Stories by Andrew Swanston (ARC, courtesy of The Dome Press)
History is brought alive by the people it affects, rather than those who created it.
Beautiful Star is a moving and affecting journey through time, bringing a new perspective to the defence of Corfe Castle, the battle of Waterloo, the siege of Toulon and, in the title story, the devastating dangers of the life of the sea in 1875.
The Things We Learn When We’re Dead by Charlie Laidlaw (paperback, review copy courtesy of the author)
On the way home from a dinner party, Lorna Love steps into the path of an oncoming car. When she wakes up she is in what appears to be a hospital – but a hospital in which her nurse looks like a young Sean Connery, she is served wine for supper, and everyone avoids her questions. It soon transpires that she is in Heaven, or on HVN. Because HVN is a lost, dysfunctional spaceship, and God the aging hippy captain. She seems to be there by accident… Or does God have a higher purpose after all?
At first Lorna can remember nothing. As her memories return – some good, some bad – she realises that she has decision to make and that maybe she needs to find a way home.
Recently finished (click on title for review)
Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon (eARC, NetGalley)
There are three things you should know about Elsie. The first thing is that she’s my best friend. The second is that she always knows what to say to make me feel better. And the third thing… might take a little bit more explaining.
84-year-old Florence has fallen in her flat at Cherry Tree Home for the Elderly. As she waits to be rescued, Florence wonders if a terrible secret from her past is about to come to light; and, if the charming new resident is who he claims to be, why does he look exactly a man who died sixty years ago?
Oliver Loving by Stefan Merrill Block (eARC, NetGalley)
One warm, West Texas November night, a shy boy named Oliver Loving joins his classmates at Bliss County Day School’s annual dance, hoping for a glimpse of the object of his unrequited affections, an enigmatic Junior named Rebekkah Sterling. But as the music plays, a troubled young man sneaks in through the school’s back door. The dire choices this man makes that evening – and the unspoken story he carries – will tear the town of Bliss, Texas apart.
Nearly ten years later, Oliver Loving still lies wordless and paralyzed at Crockett State Assisted Care Facility, the fate of his mind unclear. Orbiting the still point of Oliver’s hospital bed is a family transformed: Oliver’s mother, Eve, who keeps desperate vigil; Oliver’s brother, Charlie, who has fled for New York City only to discover he cannot escape the gravity of his shattered family; Oliver’s father, Jed, who tries to erase his memories with bourbon. And then there is Rebekkah Sterling, Oliver’s teenage love, who left Texas long ago and still refuses to speak about her own part in that tragic night. When a new medical test promises a key to unlock Oliver’s trapped mind, the town’s unanswered questions resurface with new urgency, as Oliver’s doctors and his family fight for a way for Oliver to finally communicate – and so also to tell the truth of what really happened that fateful night. (Review to follow 13th January)
Carol (The Price of Salt) by Patricia Highsmith (paperback)
Two women from different backgrounds – one a department store clerk who dreams of a better life, one who is wealthy and married – strike up a love affair with each other in 1950s New York.
Written in 1952, the novel was originally titled The Price of Salt and published under the pseudonym Claire Morgan. (Review to follow 13th January)
Shadows on the Grass by Misha M. Herwin (eARC, courtesy of the author)
In nineteen sixties Bristol, seventeen year old Kate is torn between the new sexual freedom and her rigid Catholic upbringing. Her parents have high expectations of her; she however is determined to lead her own life. Meanwhile, Mimi, her grandmother, is dying. In her final hours, her cousin the Princess keeps watch at her bedside. Born in the same month in the same year, the two women are bound by their past and a terrible betrayal. Caught between the generations, Hannah, Mimi’s daughter, struggles to come to come to terms with her relationship with her mother and to keep the peace between her daughter and her husband. She too must find her own way in this foreign land in a new post war world, where the old certainties have gone and everything she knows has been swept away.
The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen, Vol. 1 by Collins Hemingway (ebook, review copy courtesy of HF Virtual Book Tours)
Tradition holds that Jane Austen lived a prim and proper life as a single woman. But what if she wed a man as passionate and intelligent as she -and the marriage remained secret for 200 years? The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen is a trilogy that resolves the biggest mysteries of Austen’s life, the “lost years” of her twenties -a period of which historians know virtually nothing.
– Why the enduring rumours of a lost love or tragic affair? – Why, afterward, did the vivacious Jane Austen prematurely put on “the cap of middle age” and shut herself away to write her books? – Why, after her death, did her beloved sister destroy her letters, journals, and diaries from this period?
The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen trilogy presents an original love story, based on actual history, to put forth a believable, compelling, and plausible answer to Austen’s lost years. Go with Jane Austen as this thinking woman, and sensitive soul, seizes the opportunity for meaningful love with a man who inspires her and understands her independent spirit—the one man worthy of her mind, heart, and soul. (Review to follow 11th January)
What Cathy (will) Read Next
The Good Doctor of Warsaw by Elisabeth Gifford (eARC, NetGalley)
Set in the ghettos of wartime Warsaw, this is a sweeping, poignant and heartbreaking tale, based on the true story of one of World War II’s quiet heroes – Dr Janusz Korczak.
Deeply in love and about to marry, students Misha and Sophia flee a Warsaw under Nazi occupation for a chance at freedom. Forced to return to the Warsaw ghetto, they help Misha’s mentor, Dr Korczak, care for the two hundred children in his orphanage. As Korczak struggles to uphold the rights of even the smallest child in the face of unimaginable conditions, he becomes a beacon of hope for the thousands who live behind the walls. As the noose tightens around the ghetto Misha and Sophia are torn from one another, forcing them to face their worst fears alone. They can only hope to find each other again one day…
Meanwhile, refusing to leave the children unprotected, Korczak must confront a terrible darkness. Half a million people lived in the Warsaw ghetto. Less than one percent survived to tell their story. This novel is based on the true accounts of Misha and Sophia, and on the life of one of Poland’s greatest men, Dr Janusz Korczak.
Nucleus (Tom Wilde #2) by Rory Clements (ARC, courtesy of Bonnier Zaffre)
The eve of war: a secret so deadly, nothing and no one is safe.
June 1939. England is partying like there is no tomorrow, gas masks at the ready. In Cambridge the May Balls are played out with a frantic intensity – but the good times won’t last… In Europe, the Nazis have invaded Czechoslovakia, and in Germany he persecution of the Jews is now so widespread that desperate Jewish parents send their children to safety in Britain aboard the Kindertransport. Closer to home, the IRA’s S-Plan bombing campaign has resulted in more than 100 terrorist outrages around England.
But perhaps the most far-reaching event of all goes largely unreported: in Germany, Otto Hahn has produced the first man-made fission and an atomic device is now a very real possibility. The Nazis set up the Uranverein group of physicists: its task is to build a superbomb. The German High Command is aware that British and US scientists are working on similar line. Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory is where the atom was split in 1932. Might the Cambridge men now win the race for a nuclear bomb? Hitler’s generals need to be sure they know all the Cavendish’s secrets. Only then will it be safe for Germany to wage war.
When one of the Cavendish’s finest brains is murdered, Professor Tom Wilde is once more drawn into an intrigue from which there seems no escape. In a conspiracy that stretches from Cambridge to Berlin and from Washington DC to the west coast of Ireland, he faces deadly forces that threaten the fate of the world.