Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.
The rules are simple:
- Each Tuesday, Jana assigns a new topic. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want.
- Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.
- Add your name to the Linky widget on that day’s post so that everyone can check out other bloggers’ lists.
- Or if you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment.
This week’s topic is Books I Meant To Read In 2018 But Didn’t Get To. Where do I start? In an effort to narrow it down from the myriad possibilities in my TBR pile, I’ve looked back at some previous Top Ten Tuesday posts to find books I publicly declared I intended to read but which – I’m sure for very good reasons that I can’t immediately call to mind – I haven’t yet read.
Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to the house of a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. Anna observes the uniformed servants, the lavishing of toys on the children, and some secret pact between her father and Dexter Styles.
Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that had always belonged to men. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. She is the sole provider for her mother, a farm girl who had a brief and glamorous career as a Ziegfield folly, and her lovely, severely disabled sister. At a night club, she chances to meet Styles, the man she visited with her father before he vanished, and she begins to understand the complexity of her father’s life.
Top Ten Tuesday (18th September 2018): Books On My Fall 2018 TBR
Land of the Living by Georgina Harding
Every time the dream came it was different and yet he felt that he had dreamt it exactly that way before. The trees, there were always the trees, and the mist and the shadows and the running.
Charlie’s experiences at the Battle of Kohima and the months he spent lost in the remote jungles of Northern India are now history. Home and settled on a farm in Norfolk with his wife Claire, he is one of the lucky survivors. The soil promises healthy crops and Claire is ready for a family. But a chasm exists between them. Memories flood Charlie’s mind; at night, on rain-slicked roads and misty mornings in the fields, the past can feel more real than the present.
What should be said and what left unsaid? Is it possible to find connection and forge a new life in the wake of unfathomable horror?
Tombland by C. J. Sansom
Spring, 1549 – Two years after the death of Henry VIII, England is sliding into chaos…
The nominal king, Edward VI, is eleven years old. His uncle Edward Seymour, Lord Hertford, rules as Protector. The extirpation of the old religion by radical Protestants is stirring discontent among the populace while the Protector’s prolonged war with Scotland is proving a disastrous failure and threatens to involve France. Worst of all, the economy is in collapse, inflation rages and rebellion is stirring among the peasantry.
Since the old King’s death, Matthew Shardlake has been working as a lawyer in the service of Henry’s younger daughter, the Lady Elizabeth. The gruesome murder of the wife of a distant Norfolk relation of Elizabeth’s mother, John Boleyn – which could have political implications for Elizabeth – brings Shardlake and his assistant Nicholas Overton to the summer assizes at Norwich. There they are reunited with Shardlake’s former assistant Jack Barak.
The three find layers of mystery and danger surrounding the death of Edith Boleyn, as a second murder is committed. And then East Anglia explodes, as peasant rebellion breaks out across the country. Shardlake has to decide where his ultimate loyalties lie, as government forces in London prepare to march north and destroy the rebels. Meanwhile he discovers that the murder of Edith Boleyn may have connections reaching into both the heart of the rebel camp and of the Norfolk gentry…
Top Ten Tuesday (5th November 2018): Backlist Books I Want To Read
Deposed by David Barbaree
In a darkened cell, a brutally deposed dictator lies crippled – deprived of his power, his freedom – and his eyes. On the edge of utter despair, his only companion is the young boy who brings him his meagre rations, a mere child who fears his own shadow. But to one who has held and lost the highest power, one thing alone is crystal clear: even emperors were mere children once.
Ten years later, the new ruler’s son watches uneasily over his father’s empire. Wherever he looks rebellion is festering, and those closest to him have turned traitor once before.
To this city in crisis comes a hugely wealthy senator from the very edge of the empire, a young and angry ward at his heels. He is witty but inscrutable, generous with his time and money to a leader in desperate need of a friend – and he wears a bandage over his blinded eyes.
The fallen emperor’s name is Nero. But this isn’t his story.
The Assassin of Verona by Benet Brandreth
All is not well in Venice. Threatened daily by Papal assassins, William Shakespeare and his close friends Oldcastle and Hemminges are increasingly isolated – the lies that have protected them so far beginning to wear thin.
His companions want desperately to leave, but Will is tied to the city – his lover, the beautiful Isabella, is growing ever more sick. As tensions reach breaking point, their company is forced to split…
The Dark Isle by Clare Carson
Sam grew up in the shadow of the secret state. Her father was an undercover agent, full of tall stories about tradecraft and traitors. Then he died, killed in the line of duty.
Now Sam has travelled to Hoy, in Orkney, to piece together the puzzle of his past. What she finds is a tiny island of dramatic skies, swooping birds, rugged sea stacks and just 400 people. An island remote enough to shelter someone who doesn’t want to be found. An island small enough to keep a secret.
The Summer House Party by Caro Fraser
In the gloriously hot summer of 1936, a group of people meet at a country house party. Within three years, England will be at war, but for now, time stands still.
Dan Ranscombe is clever and good-looking, but he resents the wealth and easy savoir faire of fellow guest, Paul Latimer. Surely a shrewd girl like Meg Slater would see through that, wouldn’t she? And what about Diana, Paul’s beautiful sister, Charles Asher, the Jewish outsider, Madeleine, restless and dissatisfied with her role as children’s nanny? And artist Henry Haddon, their host, no longer young, but secure in his power as a practised seducer.
As these guests gather, none has any inkling the choices they make will have fateful consequences, lasting through the war and beyond. Or that the first unforeseen event will be a shocking death.
Munich by Robert Harris
September 1938 – Hitler is determined to start a war. Chamberlain is desperate to preserve the peace. The issue is to be decided in a city that will forever afterwards be notorious for what takes place there.
As Chamberlain’s plane judders over the Channel and the Fürher’s train steams relentlessly south from Berlin, two young men travel with secrets of their own. Hugh Legat is one of Chamberlain’s private secretaries, Paul Hartmann a German diplomat and member of the anti-Hitler resistance. Great friends at Oxford before Hitler came to power, they haven’t seen one another since they were last in Munich six years earlier. Now their paths are destined to cross again as the future of Europe hangs in the balance.
When the stakes are this high, who are you willing to betray? Your friends, your family, your country or your conscience?
Pompeii by Robert Harris
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.
The Body in the Ice by A J Mackenzie
Christmas Day, Kent, 1796 – On the frozen fields of Romney Marsh stands New Hall; silent, lifeless, deserted. In its grounds lies an unexpected Christmas offering: a corpse, frozen into the ice of a horse pond.
It falls to the Reverend Hardcastle, justice of the peace in St Mary in the Marsh, to investigate. But with the victim’s identity unknown, no murder weapon and no known motive, it seems like an impossible task. Working along with his trusted friend, Amelia Chaytor, and new arrival Captain Edward Austen, Hardcastle soon discovers there is more to the mystery than there first appeared.
With the arrival of an American family torn apart by war and desperate to reclaim their ancestral home, a French spy returning to the scene of his crimes, ancient loyalties and new vengeance combine to make Hardcastle and Mrs Chaytor’s attempts to discover the secret of New Hall all the more dangerous.
P. S. I’d love to say I’d read the three books in this picture that are not included in my list but unfortunately I’ve only read one – Sugar in the Blood – and I still have to get round to writing the review for that…