My Week in Books – 14th January ’18


New arrivals  

The Secrets Between UsThe Secrets Between Us by Laura Madeleine (ebook)

High in the mountains in the South of France, eighteen-year-old Ceci Corvin is trying hard to carry on as normal. But in 1943, there is no such thing as normal; especially not for a young woman in love with the wrong person. Scandal, it would seem, can be more dangerous than war.

Fifty years later, Annie is looking for her long-lost grandmother. Armed with nothing more than a sheaf of papers, she travels from England to Paris in pursuit of the truth. But as she traces her grandmother’s story, Annie uncovers something she wasn’t expecting, something that changes everything she knew about her family – and everything she thought she knew about herself…

The Secret Life of Mrs LondonThe Secret Life of Mrs London by Rebecca Rosenberg (review)

San Francisco, 1915. As America teeters on the brink of world war, Charmian and her husband, famed novelist Jack London, wrestle with genius and desire, politics and marital competitiveness. Charmian longs to be viewed as an equal partner who put her own career on hold to support her husband, but Jack doesn’t see it that way…until Charmian is pulled from the audience during a magic show by escape artist Harry Houdini, a man enmeshed in his own complicated marriage. Suddenly, charmed by the attention Houdini pays her and entranced by his sexual magnetism, Charmian’s eyes open to a world of possibilities that could be her escape.

As Charmian grapples with her urge to explore the forbidden, Jack’s increasingly reckless behavior threatens her dedication. Now torn between two of history’s most mysterious and charismatic figures, she must find the courage to forge her own path, even as she fears the loss of everything she holds dear.

Memento MoriMemento Mori by Muriel Spark (paperback, giveaway prize)

In late 1950s London, something uncanny besets a group of elderly friends: an insinuating voice on the telephone informs each, “Remember you must die.” Their geriatric feathers are soon thoroughly ruffled by these seemingly supernatural phone calls, and in the resulting flurry many old secrets are dusted off. Beneath the once decorous surface of their lives, unsavories like blackmail and adultery are now to be glimpsed. As spooky as it is witty, poignant and wickedly hilarious, Memento Mori may ostensibly concern death, but it is a book which leaves one relishing life all the more.

Our Kind of CrueltyOur Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall (ARC, courtesy of Century) – draft cover shown

Mike knows that most of us travel through the world as one half of a whole, desperately searching for that missing person to make us complete.  But he and Verity are different. They have found each other and nothing and no one will tear them apart.  It doesn’t matter that Verity is marrying another man.  You see, Verity and Mike play a game together, a secret game they call ‘the crave’, the aim being to demonstrate what they both know: that Verity needs Mike, and only Mike.  Verity’s upcoming marriage is the biggest game she and Mike have ever played. And it’s for the highest stakes.  Except this time in order for Mike and Verity to be together someone has to die…

Fred's FuneralFred’s Funeral by Sandy Day (ebook, review copy courtesy of the author)

Fred Sadler has just died of old age. It’s 1986, seventy years after he marched off to WWI, and the ghost of Fred Sadler hovers near the ceiling of the nursing home. To Fred’s dismay, the arrangement of his funeral falls to his prudish sister-in-law, Viola. As she dominates the remembrance of Fred, he agonizes over his inability to set the record straight.

Was old Uncle Fred really suffering from shell shock? Why was he locked up most of his life in the Whitby Hospital for the Insane? Could his family not have done more for him?

Fred’s memories of his life as a child, his family’s hotel, the War, and the mental hospital, clash with Viola’s version of events as the family gathers on a rainy October night to pay their respects.

Getting HomeGetting Home by Wolfe Butler (ebook, review copy courtesy of the author)

Dealing with a past he cannot remember, a future he is not sure he wants and questioning everything from his sanity to his sexuality, Tom Jacobs feels ever more certain that the only solution is to end it all. A high level career, a perfect marriage, a power family – from the outside Tom seems to have everything he could want. Yet, try as he will, he cannot seem to escape a constant need to run. Plagued with nightmares and an ever increasing need to control his life with alcohol, Tom is spinning out of control. What begins as a mission to end it all becomes a twenty year journey to the life he was meant to live. With unexpected turns, heartbreaking revelations and unlikely allies Tom is finally on the road that leads to Getting Home.

On What Cathy Read Next last week

Blog posts

Monday – I published my review of Under an Amber Sky by Rose Alexander, a story of loss, love and starting over set in Montenegro.

Tuesday – I shared my Top Ten Books I Meant To Read in 2017, focussing on books I’ve received from authors that are still languishing in my review stack.

WednesdayWWW Wednesday is the opportunity to share what I’ve just finished reading, what I’m reading now and what I’ll be reading next.   I also published my review of Shadows on the Grass by Misha M. Herwin about three generations of women from a Polish family.

Thursday – I took part in the blog tour for The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen, Vol.1 by Collins Hemingway, an affectionate, witty reimagining of the romantic life of the famous author.

Friday – I published a list of books  – some I’ve read, some I’ve only heard about – that I’d like to see on the longlist for The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction when it’s announced in February.

Saturday – I published my review of Carol by Patricia Highsmith.  Not two but three birds with one stone because as well as being a book on my Classics Club list, it’s also part of my 2018 TBR Pile Challenge and my From Page to Screen reading project.

Challenge updates

  • Goodreads 2018 Reading Challenge – 7 out of 156 books read, 4 more than last week
  • Classics Club Challenge – 8 out of 50 books read, 1 more than last week
  • NetGalley/Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2018 (Silver) – 1 ARCs read and reviewed out of 25, 1 more than last week
  • From Page to Screen– 9 book/film comparisons out of 15 completed, same as last week
  • 2018 TBR Pile Challenge – 2 out of 12 books read, 1 more than last week
  • Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2018 – 4 books out of 50 read, 3 more than last week
  • When Are You Reading? Challenge 2018 – 2 out of 12 books read, 1 more than week
  • What’s In A Name Reading Challenge – 0 out of 6 books read
  • Buchan of the Month – 0 out of 12 books read

On What Cathy Read Next this week

Currently reading

 Planned posts

  • Blog Tour/Review & Q&A: Beautiful Star & Other Stories by Andrew Swanston
  • Review: Oliver Loving by Stefan Merrill Block
  • Review: The Good Doctor of Warsaw by Elisabeth Gifford
  • Review: Nucleus (Tom Wilde #2) by Rory Clements
  • Review: The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar
  • Blog Tour/Extract: The Start of Something Wonderful by Jane Lambert
  • From Page to Screen: Carol

3 thoughts on “My Week in Books – 14th January ’18

  1. I love the sound of The Secret Life of Mrs London, I’m definitely going to look out for this book! I’m trying to resist NetGalley at the moment until I’ve caught up a bit but I’m so tempted to request Our Kind of Cruelty as it sounds so good. I hope you enjoy all of your new books and that you have a good week ahead. 🙂
    Here’s my weekly wrap-up:

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