My Week in Books – 17th January 2021

MyWeekinBooks

On What Cathy Read Next last week

Blog posts

Monday – I shared my Five Favourite December Reads

Tuesday This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic was Bookish Resolutions/Hopes For 2021

WednesdayWWW Wednesday is the opportunity to share what I’ve just read, what I’m currently reading and what I plan to read next…as well as have a good nose around to see what other bloggers are reading.

Thursday – I published my review of The Art of Dying by Ambrose Parry as part of the blog tour. 

Sunday – As part of the blog tour, I shared my review of Game of the Gods by Paolo Maurensig, translated by Anne Milano Appel.

As always, thanks to everyone who has liked, commented on or shared my blog posts on social media.


New arrivals

How Much of These Hills is GoldHow Much Of These Hills Is Gold by C. Pam Zhang (hardcover, signed edition)

America. In the twilight of the Gold Rush, two siblings cross a landscape with a gun in their hands and the body of their father on their backs…

Ba dies in the night, Ma is already gone. Lucy and Sam, twelve and eleven, are suddenly alone and on the run. With their father’s body on their backs, they roam an unforgiving landscape dotted with giant buffalo bones and tiger paw prints, searching for a place to give him a proper burial.

How Much of These Hills is Gold is a sweeping adventure tale, an unforgettable sibling story and a remarkable novel about a family bound and divided by its memories.

One August NightOne August Night by Victoria Hislop (hardcover)

25th August 1957. The island of Spinalonga closes its leper colony. And a moment of violence has devastating consequences.

When time stops dead for Maria Petrakis and her sister, Anna, two families splinter apart and, for the people of Plaka, the closure of Spinalonga is forever coloured with tragedy. In the aftermath, the question of how to resume life looms large. Stigma and scandal need to be confronted and somehow, for those impacted, a future built from the ruins of the past.

Number one bestselling author Victoria Hislop returns to the world and characters she created in The Island. It is finally time to be reunited with Anna, Maria, Manolis and Andreas in the weeks leading up to the evacuation of the island… and beyond.

SnowSnow (St. John Strafford #1) by John Banville (hardcover)

‘The body is in the library,’ Colonel Osborne said. ‘Come this way.’

Following the discovery of the corpse of a highly respected parish priest at Ballyglass House – the Co. Wexford family seat of the aristocratic, secretive Osborne family – Detective Inspector St John Strafford is called in from Dublin to investigate.

Strafford faces obstruction from all angles, but carries on determinedly in his pursuit of the murderer. However, as the snow continues to fall over this ever-expanding mystery, the people of Ballyglass are equally determined to keep their secrets.

Where The Crawdads SingWhere the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (paperback)

For years, rumours of the “Marsh Girl” haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet fishing village. Kya Clark is barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when the popular Chase Andrews is found dead, locals immediately suspect her.

But Kya is not what they say. A born naturalist with just one day of school, she takes life’s lessons from the land, learning the real ways of the world from the dishonest signals of fireflies. But while she has the skills to live in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. Drawn to two young men from town, who are each intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world–until the unthinkable happens.

There’s No Story There: And Other Wartime Writing by Inez Holden (paperback, advance copy)

There’s No Story There is about the lives of conscripted workers at Statevale, an enormous rural munitions factory somewhere in England during the Second World War. The workers are making shells and bombs, and no chances can be taken with so much high explosive around. Trolleys are pushed slowly, workers wear rubber-soled soft shoes, and put protective cream on their faces. Any kind of metal, moving fast, can cause a spark, and that would be fatal. All cigarettes and matches are handed in before the workers can enter the danger zone, and they wear asbestos suits.

This remarkable novel from 1944 about wartime life and work is a companion to Blitz Writing (2019), Handheld Press’s edition of Inez Holden’s novella Night Shift (1941) and her wartime diaries It Was Different At The Time (1943). This edition of There’s No Story There includes three pieces of Holden’s long-form journalism, detailing wartime life. 

Where Stands A Winged Sentry by Margaret Kennedy (paperback, advance copy) 

‘Most people knew in their hearts that the lid had been taken off hell, and that what had been done in Guernica would one day be done in London, Paris and Berlin.’

Margaret Kennedy’s prophetic words, written about the pre-war mood in Europe, give the tone of this riveting 1941 wartime memoir: it is Mrs Miniver with the gloves off. Her account, taken from her war diaries, conveys the tension, frustration and bewilderment of the progression of the war, and the terror of knowing that the worst is to come, but not yet knowing what the worst will be.

English bravery, confusion, stubbornness and dark humour (‘Nanny says that an Abbess is threatening to swallow the whole of Europe’) provide the positive, more hopeful side of Kennedy’s experiences, in which she and her children move from Surrey to Cornwall, to sit out the war amidst a quietly efficient Home Guard and the most scandalous rumours. Where Stands A Wingèd Sentry (the title comes from a 17th-century poem by Henry Vaughan) was only published in the USA, and has never been published in the UK before.

The Dead of WinterThe Dead of Winter by S. J. Parris (hardcover)

Three exhilarating novellas – The Secret Dead, The Academy of Secrets, and The Dead of Winter – following the early adventures of young priest Giordano Bruno in the dramatic days of sixteenth century Italy.

Even the dead have a story to tell…

Naples, 1566. During a sweltering summer, eighteen-year-old Giordano Bruno takes his final vows at San Domenico Maggiore and is admitted to the Dominican Order – despite doubts over his tendency to ask difficult questions. Assisting in the infirmary, Bruno witnesses an illicit autopsy performed on the body of a young woman. Her corpse reveals a dark secret, and Bruno suspects that hers may not have been an accidental death. His investigation leads him to a powerful figure who wants to keep the truth buried – and Bruno is forced to make a choice between his future in the Order, and justice for an innocent victim and her grieving family…


On What Cathy Read Next this week

Currently reading

Planned posts

  • Book Review: Forgotten Lives by Ray Britain
  • Top Ten Tuesday 
  • Blog Tour/Extract: One Chance: Surviving London’s Gangs by Terroll Lewis 
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Book Review: Artist, Lover, Soldier, Muse by Arthur D. Hittner
  • Blog Tour/Book Review: To The Dark by Chris Nickson

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