WWW Wednesday – 10th July ’19

WWWWednesdays

Hosted by Sam at 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!


Currently reading

The Dinner ListThe Dinner List by Rebecca Serle (paperback, courtesy of Allen & Unwin and Readers First)

“We’ve been waiting for an hour.” That’s what Audrey says. She states it with a little bit of an edge, her words just bordering on cursive. That’s the thing I think first. Not: Audrey Hepburn is at my birthday dinner, but Audrey Hepburn is annoyed.”

At one point or another, we’ve all been asked to name five people, living or dead, with whom we’d like to have dinner. Why do we choose the people we do? And what if that dinner was to actually happen?

When Sabrina arrives at her thirtieth birthday dinner she finds at the table not just her best friend, but also three significant people from her past, and well, Audrey Hepburn. As the appetizers are served, wine poured, and dinner table conversation begins, it becomes clear that there’s a reason these six people have been gathered together.

Fake Like Me by Barbara Bourland (paperback, review copy courtesy of Quercus Books)

When a fire rips through her studio and burns the seven enormous paintings for her next exhibition, a young, no-name painter is left with an impossible task: recreate her art in just three months – or ruin her fledgling career. Thirty-four, single and homeless, she desperately secures a place at an exclusive upstate retreat.

Brimming with creative history and set on a sparkling black lake, Pine City and its founders – a notorious collective of successful artists – is what she’s idolized all her life. She’s dreamt of the parties, the celebrities, the privilege. What she finds is a ghost of its former self.

The recent suicide of founding member Carey Logan haunts everyone, lurking beneath the surface like a shipwreck. And one thought begins to shadow her every move – what really happened to her hero?


Recently finished

Hudson’s Kill (Justice Flanagan #2) by Paddy Hirsch (hardcover, advance review copy courtesy of Corvus and Readers First)hudson's kill

New York in 1803 is rife with tension as the city expands, and whoever knows where the city will build can control it. And violence builds as a mysterious provocateur pits the city’s black and Irish gangs against each other.

When a young black girl is found stabbed to death, both Justy Flanagan, now a City Marshal, and Kerry O’Toole, now a school teacher, decide separately to go after the killer. They each find their way to a shadowy community on the fringes of the growing city, where they uncover a craven political conspiracy bound up with a criminal enterprise that is stunning in its depravity.

Justy and Kerry have to fight to save themselves and the city, and only then can they bring the girl’s killer to justice.

In My Life SignedIn My Life: A Music Memoir by Alan Johnson (hardcover)

From being transported by the sound of ‘True Love’ by Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly on the radio, as a small child living in condemned housing in ungentrified West London in the late 1950s, to going out to work as a postman humming ‘Watching the Detectives’ by Elvis Costello in 1977, Alan Johnson’s life has always had a musical soundtrack. In fact music hasn’t just accompanied his life, it’s been an integral part of it.

In the bestselling and award-winning tradition of This Boy, In My Life vividly transports us to a world that is no longer with us – a world of Dansettes and jukeboxes, of heartfelt love songs and heart-broken ballads, of smoky coffee shops and dingy dance halls. From Bob Dylan to David Bowie, from Lonnie Donnegan to Bruce Springsteen, all of Alan’s favourites are here. As are, of course, his beloved Beatles, whom he has worshipped with undying admiration since 1963.

But this isn’t just a book about music. In My Life adds a fourth dimension to the story of Alan Johnson the man. (Review to follow)

Train ManTrain Man by Andrew Mulligan (ebook, courtesy of Vintage, NetGalley and Random Things Tours)

It’s never too late to get back on track.

Michael is a broken man. He’s waiting for the 9.46 to Gloucester, so as to reach Crewe for 11.22: the platforms are long at Crewe, and he can walk easily into the path of a high-speed train to London. He’s planned it all: a net of tangerines (for when the refreshments trolley is cancelled), and a juice carton filled with neat whisky (for Dutch courage). He has his last credit card taped to the inside of his shoe – and that should make identification swift and easy.

What Michael hasn’t factored in is the twelve minute delay, which risks him missing his connection, and making new ones. He longs to silence the voices in his own head: ex-girlfriends, work colleagues, and the memories from his schooldays, decades old. They all torment him. What he really needs is someone to listen, and help him make sense of his grief.

Journeys intersect. People find people when and where they least expect it. A missed connection needn’t be a disaster: it can save your life.


What Cathy (will) Read Next

the mathematical bridgeThe Mathematical Bridge by Jim Kelly (hardcover, review copy courtesy of Allison & Busby)

Cambridge, 1940. It is the first winter of the war, and snow is falling. When an evacuee drowns in the river, his body swept away, Detective Inspector Eden Brooke sets out to investigate what seems to be a deliberate attack. The following night, a local electronics factory is attacked, and an Irish republican slogan is left at the scene. The IRA are campaigning to win freedom for Ulster, but why has Cambridge been chosen as a target? And when Brooke learns that the drowned boy was part of the close-knit local Irish Catholic community, he begins to question whether there may be a connection between the boy’s death and the attack at the factory. As more riddles come to light, can Brooke solve the mystery before a second attack claims a famous victim?

Razia by Abda Khan (e-book, courtesy of Unbound and Random Things Tours)Razia

Farah is a young lawyer living and working in London. She’s just ended a long relationship, and her parents are looking for a husband – whether Farah wants one or not. So far, so normal. But at a work dinner, hosted by a dangerously powerful man, she comes across a young woman called Razia, who Farah soon realises is being kept as a domestic slave. We follow Farah’s daring investigations from the law courts of London to the brick kilns of Lahore, as she begins to uncover the traps that keep generation after generation enslaved. Everywhere she turns there is deep-rooted oppression and corruption, and when the authorities finally intervene, their actions have dire consequences. Farah teams up with a human rights lawyer, Ali, and the two become close… but can she trust him; can they help Razia and others like her; and will they ever discover the explosive secret behind these tragic events?

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