My Week in Books – 1st April ’18


New arrivals  

The Last Painting of Sara de VosThe Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith (ebook)

In the 1600s Sara de Vos loses her young daughter suddenly to illness. In her grief, she secretly begins painting a dark landscape of a girl watching a group of ice skaters from the edge of a wood.

In 1950s New York, Martijn de Groot has At the Edge of a Wood hanging above his bed. Though it is a dark, peculiar painting, he holds it dear and when it is stolen, he is bereft. In Brooklyn, struggling art student Ellie Shipley accepts a commission to paint an intricate forgery of the painting, not realising that her decision will come to haunt her successful academic career.

The Biographies of Ordinary People, Vol.2The Biographies of Ordinary People, Vol. 2 by Nicole Dieker (eARC, NetGalley)

The Gruber sisters grow up in this second volume of The Biographies of Ordinary People, navigating jobs, friendships, and relationships in a constantly changing world.

The Biographies of Ordinary People is the story of the Gruber family: Rosemary and Jack, and their daughters Meredith, Natalie, and Jackie. The two-volume series begins in July 1989, on Rosemary’s thirty-fifth birthday; it ends in November 2016, on Meredith’s thirty-fifth birthday.

The second volume follows the three Gruber sisters as they each leave their rural Midwestern hometown and try to make their way in the larger world. Meredith is determined to pursue a career in the theatre. Natalie begins sorting and filing for an insurance company. Jackie… well, Jackie still wants to sing, and if the classical music world isn’t interested in what she can do, she’ll figure out how to do it on her own.

Set against the Great Recession, Presidents Obama and Trump, and a growing sense of national unrest, this final volume explores Meredith’s question: is it possible for ordinary people to make art? It also takes us into the close emotional connections between mothers and daughters, sisters and friends, and the people we choose to love as adults.

Fault LinesFault Lines by Doug Johnstone (ebook, review copy courtesy of Orenda Books )

In a re-imagined contemporary Edinburgh, in which a tectonic fault has opened up to produce a new volcano in the Firth of Forth, and where tremors are an everyday occurrence, volcanologist Surtsey makes a shocking discovery. On a clandestine trip to The Inch—the new volcanic island—to meet Tom, her lover and her boss, she finds his lifeless body, and makes the fatal decision to keep their affair, and her discovery of his corpse secret. Desperate to know how he died, but also terrified she’ll be exposed, Surtsey’s life quickly spirals into a nightmare when someone makes contact—someone who claims to know what she’s done.

On What Cathy Read Next last week

Blog posts

Tuesday – This week’s theme for Top Ten Tuesday was Books Set in Another Country.  I also published my review of The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, a book from my Classics Club list.

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 the latest book in my Buchan of the Month reading project, one of my favourite books by John Buchan, Mr. Standfast.

Thursday – I published my review of Tightrope by Simon Mawer, which won The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction in 2016 and was my book for this month’s theme for The BookBum Club on Goodreads.

Friday – I shared my review of the latest book by M. Jonathan Lee, Drift Stumble Fall.

Saturday – I took part in the blog tour for We Were the Salt of the Sea by Roxanne Bouchard, a beautifully written literary crime novel.   I also published an excerpt from a book I’m really keen to read, The Antipodeans by Greg McGee.

Challenge updates

  • Goodreads 2018 Reading Challenge – 47 out of 156 books read, 5 more than last week
  • Classics Club Challenge – 13 out of 50 books read, 1 more than last week
  • NetGalley/Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2018 (Silver) – 13 ARCs read and reviewed out of 25, 1 more than last week
  • From Page to Screen– 10 book/film comparisons out of 15 completed, same as last week
  • 2018 TBR Pile Challenge – 4 out of 12 books read, same as last week
  • Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2018 – 21 books out of 50 read, 2 more than last week
  • When Are You Reading? Challenge 2018 – 7 out of 12 books read, same as last week
  • What’s In A Name Reading Challenge – 0 out of 6 books read, same as last week
  • Buchan of the Month – 3 out of 12 books read, 1 more than last week

On What Cathy Read Next this week

Currently reading

Planned posts

  • Review: Friends and Traitors by John Lawton
  • Review: Manipulated Lives by H A Leueschel
  • Blog Tour/Guest Post: Lords of the Greenwood by Chris Thorndycroft
  • My Five Favourite March Reads
  • Review: The Pharmacist’s Wife by Vanessa Tait
  • Review: Things Bright and Beautiful by Anbara Salam
  • Spotlight: The Ticket by Fred Shackelford
  • Review: Charlemagne by in60Learning
  • Blog Tour/Review: A Mother’s Sacrifice by Gemma Metcalfe
  • Blog Tour/Q&A: The Death Chamber by Lesley Thomson

How was your week in books?  Guilty pleasure beach read or highbrow literary epic?

4 thoughts on “My Week in Books – 1st April ’18

    1. I read the first part of The Biographies of Ordinary People when the author sent me a review copy and really enjoyed it. Very believable characters. So I’m looking forward to catching up with the characters in this second part.

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