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!
I’ve made limited progress on The Long Take and given its structure (novel in free verse) and that it’s an audiobook, which I find needs more of my concentration, I think I may start it over from the beginning. It’s one of the books on the shortlist for The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2019.
The Long Take by Robin Robertson (audiobook)
Walker, a young Canadian recently demobilised after war and his active service in the Normandy landings and subsequent European operations. Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and unable to face a return to his family home in rural Nova Scotia, he goes in search of freedom, change, anonymity and repair.
We follow Walker through a sequence of poems as he moves through post-war American cities of New York, Los Angles and San Francisco.
A Devil Comes To Town by by Paolo Maurensig, trans. by Anne Milano Appel (review copy courtesy of World Editions Books)
A small village full of aspiring writers + The devil in the form of a hot-shot publisher = A refined and engaging literary fable on narcissism, vainglory and human weakness.
Wild rabies runs rampant through the woods. The foxes are gaining ground, boldly making their way into the village. In Dichtersruhe, an insular yet charming haven stifled by the Swiss mountains, these omens go unnoticed by all but the new parish priest. The residents have other things on their mind: Literature. Everyone’s a writer—the nights are alive with reworked manuscripts. So when the devil turns up in a black car claiming to be a hot-shot publisher, unsatisfied authorial desires are unleashed and the village’s former harmony is shattered.
Taut with foreboding and Gothic suspense, Paolo Maurensig gives us a refined and engaging literary parable on narcissism, vainglory, and our inextinguishable thirst for stories.
Recently finished (click on title for review)
Three books for blog tours and one from my NetGalley shelf…
Where the Hornbeam Grows: A Journey in Search of a Garden by Beth Lynch (eARC, courtesy of Orion and NetGalley)
What do you do when you find yourself living as a stranger? When Beth Lynch moved to Switzerland, she quickly realised that the sheer will to connect with people would not guarantee a happy relocation.
Out of place and lonely, Beth knows that she needs to get her hands dirty if she is to put down roots. And so she sets about making herself at home in the way she knows best – by tending a garden, growing things. The search for a garden takes her across the country, through meadows and on mountain paths where familiar garden plants run wild, to the rugged hills of the Swiss Jura. In this remote and unfamiliar place of glow worms and dormice and singing toads she learns to garden in a new way, taking her cue from the natural world. As she plants her paradise with hellebores and aquilegias, cornflowers and Japanese anemones, these cherished species forge green and deepening connections: to her new soil, to her old life in England, and to her deceased parents, whose Sussex garden continues to flourish in her heart.
Where the Hornbeam Grows is a memoir about carrying a garden inwardly through loss, dislocation and relocation, about finding a sense of wellbeing in a green place of your own, and about the limits of paradise in a peopled world. It is a powerful exploration by a dazzling new literary voice of how, in nurturing a corner of the natural world, we ourselves are nurtured. (Review to follow)
This Is Me by Shari Low (eARC, courtesy of Aria and NetGalley)
This is… Denise.
Married to Ray, her first and only love, Denise has never for one moment regretted putting the husband she idolised on a pedestal above everyone and everything else. But, after forty years of marriage, he is gone, leaving Denise to discover that their perfect marriage was fatally flawed. Now she faces a future alone, but first she must face the betrayals of the past.
This is… Claire.
he estranged daughter of Denise, the woman who put her husband before her children, Claire took the opposite path and devoted her life to raising her family, sacrificing her marriage along the way. With her teenage sons about to flee the nest, she realises she may have left it too late to find her own happy ever after.
This is the story of two women, both alone, both cautionary tales of one of motherhood’s biggest decisions.
Who is more important, your partner or your children? And what happens if you make the wrong choice?
De Bohun’s Destiny (The Meonbridge Chronicles #3) by Carolyn Hughes (eARC, courtesy of the author and Rachel’s Random Resources)
A lie told for the best of reasons; the truth told for the worst…
How can you uphold a lie when you know it might destroy your family?
It is 1356, seven years since the Black Death ravaged Meonbridge, turning society upside down. Margaret, Lady de Bohun, is horrified when her husband lies about their grandson Dickon’s entitlement to inherit Meonbridge. She knows that Richard lied for the very best of reasons – to safeguard his family and its future – but lying is a sin. Yet she has no option but to maintain her husband’s falsehood…
Margaret’s companion, Matilda Fletcher, decides that the truth about young Dickon’s birth really must be told, if only to Thorkell Boune, the man she’s set her heart on winning. But Matilda’s “honesty” serves only her own interests, and she’s oblivious to the potential for disaster.
For Thorkell won’t scruple to pursue exactly what he wants, by whatever means are necessary, no matter who or what gets in his way…
Storm of Steel (Bernicia Chronicles #6) by Matthew Harffy (eARC, courtesy of Aria and NetGalley)
AD 643, Anglo-Saxon Britain. Heading south to lands he once considered his home, Beobrand is plunged into a dark world of piracy and slavery when an old friend enlists his help to recover a kidnapped girl.
Embarking onto the wind-tossed seas, Beobrand pursues his quarry with single-minded tenacity. But the Whale Road is never calm and his journey is beset with storms, betrayal and violence.
As the winds of his wyrd blow him ever further from what he knows, will Beobrand find victory on his quest or has his luck finally abandoned him? (Review to follow as part of blog tour)
What Cathy (will) Read Next
Another book on the shortlist for The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2019…
Warlight by Michael Ondaatje (hardcover)
It is 1945, and London is still reeling from years of attritional war. 15-year-old Nathaniel and his sister seem to have been abandoned by their parents in a big house in Putney, and the ruined city is a strange Expressionist jungle after the Blitz, which the teenagers use as their playground. The Black Market and petty criminals are thriving and the two children’s eccentric guardians – nicknamed the Moth and the Darter – are busy smuggling munitions through the darkened London streets, or greyhounds from France through the rivers and canals.
When the children discover that their mother has not gone to Singapore as announced, and is actually engaged in perilous work for British Intelligence – and that the Moth and the Darter are protecting them from harm – the novel darkens and deepens into Nathaniel’s search for the truth: for the mother he lost once and may well lose again.
Michael Ondaatje, one of our greatest living writers, surpasses himself with this vivid, thrilling new novel: a classic adventure with a cast of brilliantly-drawn characters on secret missions through the Suffolk countryside and the London blackout, and one boy’s quest to discover his mother – who she was, and who she really is.