#WWWWednesday – 30th November 2022

WWWWednesdays

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!


Currently reading

My Father's HouseMy Father’s House by Joseph O’Connor (eARC, Vintage via NetGalley)

When the Nazis take Rome, thousands go into hiding. One priest will risk everything to save them.

September 1943: German forces occupy Rome. SS officer Paul Hauptmann rules with terror. The war’s outcome is far from certain.

An Irish priest, Hugh O’Flaherty, dedicates himself to helping those escaping from the Nazis. His home is Vatican City, the world’s smallest state, a neutral, independent country within Rome where the occupiers hold no sway. Here Hugh brings together an unlikely band of friends to hide the vulnerable under the noses of the enemy.

But Hauptmann’s net begins closing in on the Escape Line and the need for a terrifyingly audacious mission grows critical. By Christmastime, it’s too late to turn back.

Attempting to squeeze this in as my final book for #NetGalleyNovember. I’m around 75% of the way through but confident of finishing it later today as it’s absolutely gripping. 

Devils and SaintsDevils and Saints by Jean-Baptiste, trans. by Sam Taylor  (ARC, Gallic Books)

An elderly man gives virtuoso piano performances in airports and train stations. To the incredulity of the passers-by, he refuses their offers to play in concert halls, or at prestigious gatherings. He is waiting for someone, he tells them.

Joseph was just sixteen when he was sent to a religious boarding school in the Pyrenees: les Confins, a dumping ground for waifs, strays, and other abandoned souls. His days were filled with routine and drudgery, and he thought longingly of the solace he found through music in his former life.

Joe dreams constantly of escape, but it seems impossible. That is, until a chance encounter with the orphanage’s benefactor leads him to Rose, and a plan begins to form…

An ARC courtesy of the lovely people at Gallic Books. I very much enjoyed the author’s previous book, A Hundred Million Years and a Day.


Recently finished

The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, trans. by Lucia Graves (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)

Forest of Foes by Matthew Harffy (Head of Zeus)

AD 652. Beobrand has been ordered to lead a group of pilgrims to the holy city of Rome. Chief among them is Wilfrid, a novice of the Church with some surprisingly important connections. Taking only Cynan and some of his best men, Beobrand hopes to make the journey through Frankia quickly and return to Northumbria without delay, though the road is long and perilous.

But where Beobrand treads, menace is never far behind. The lands of the Merovingian kings are rife with intrigue. The queen of Frankia is unpopular and her ambitious schemes, though benevolent, have made her powerful enemies. Soon Wilfrid, and Beobrand, are caught up in sinister plots against the royal house.

After interrupting a brutal ambush in a forest, Beobrand and his trusted gesithas find their lives on the line. Dark forces will stop at nothing to seize control of the Frankish throne, and Beobrand is thrown into a deadly race for survival through foreign lands where he cannot be sure who is friend and who is foe.

The only certainty is that if he is to save his men, thwart the plots, and unmask his enemies, blood will flow. (Review to follow for blog tour)


What Cathy (will) Read Next

Animal LifeAnimal Life by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir (eARC, Pushkin Press)

In the days leading up to Christmas, Dómhildur delivers her 1,922nd baby. Beginnings and endings are her family trade; she comes from a long line of midwives on her mother’s side and a long line of undertakers on her father’s. She even lives in the apartment that she inherited from her grandaunt, a midwife with a unique reputation for her unconventional methods.

As a terrible storm races towards Reykjavík, Dómhildur discovers decades worth of letters and manuscripts hidden amongst her grandaunt’s clutter. Fielding calls from her anxious meteorologist sister and visits from her curious new neighbour, Dómhildur escapes into her grandaunt’s archive and discovers strange and beautiful reflections on birth, death, and human nature.

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