My Week in Books – 27th November 2022

MyWeekinBooksOn What Cathy Read Next last week

Monday – I shared Five Series Continuations I’m eagerly awaiting.

Tuesday – This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic was a freebie on the theme of thankfulness. 

Wednesday – As always WWW Wednesday is a weekly opportunity to share what I’ve just read, what I’m currently reading and what I plan to read next… and to take a peek at what others are reading. 

Thursday – I published my review of short story anthology Night-Time Stories edited by Yen-Yen Lu.

Friday – I hosted a guest post by David Cairns of Finavon about his forthcoming historical mystery The Case of the Emigrant Niece

Saturday – I published my review of The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, one of the books on my list for the #NetGalleyNovember reading challenge.

New arrivals

The Bookshop of Second ChancesThe Bookshop of Second Chances by Jackie Fraser (Simon & Schuster)

Thea’s having a bad month. Not only has she been made redundant, she’s also discovered her husband of nearly twenty years is sleeping with one of her friends. And he’s not sorry – he’s leaving.

Bewildered and lost, Thea doesn’t know what to do. But, when she learns the great-uncle she barely knew has died and left her his huge collection of second-hand books and a house in the Scottish Lowlands, she seems to have been offered a second chance.

Running away to a little town where no one knows her seems like exactly what Thea needs. But when she meets the aristocratic Maltravers brothers – grumpy bookshop owner Edward and his estranged brother Charles, Lord Hollinshaw – her new life quickly becomes just as complicated as the life she was running from…

Animal LifeAnimal Life by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir, trans. by Brian Fitzgibbon (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 Reykjavik, 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.

For even in the depths of an Icelandic winter, new life will find a way.

The Scarlet PapersThe Scarlet Papers by Matthew Richardson (eARC, Michael Jospeh via NetGalley)

VIENNA, 1946 – A brilliant German scientist spirited out of the ruins Nazi Europe in search of a new life

MOSCOW, 1964 – A rising star of the British diplomatic service whose job is not what it seems

LONDON, THE PRESENT DAY – A once promising academic offered an opportunity to seal his place in history

Their stories, their lives, and the fate of the world, are bound by a single document: THE SCARLET PAPERS

The devastating secrets contained within teased by a brief invitation: Tomorrow 11AM. Take a cab and pay in cash. Tell no one.

On What Cathy Read Next this week

Currently reading

Planned posts

  • Book Review: The Night Ship by Jess Kidd 
  • Book Review: Mother of Valor by Gary Corbin
  • My Five Favourite November 2022 Reads
  • #NetGalleyNovember Reading Challenge Wrap-Up
  • #6Degrees of Separation


#WWWWednesday – 23rd November 2022


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

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

As a child, Daniel Sempere discovered among the passageways of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books an extraordinary novel that would change the course of his life. Now a young man in the Barcelona of the late 1950s, Daniel runs the Sempere & Sons bookshop and enjoys a seemingly fulfilling life with his loving wife and son. Yet the mystery surrounding the death of his mother continues to plague his soul despite the moving efforts of his wife Bea and his faithful friend Fermín to save him.

Just when Daniel believes he is close to solving this enigma, a conspiracy more sinister than he could have imagined spreads its tentacles from the hellish regime. That is when Alicia Gris appears, a soul born out of the nightmare of the war. She is the one who will lead Daniel to the edge of the abyss and reveal the secret history of his family, although at a terrifying price.

This is one of the books I’m reading for #NetGalleyNovember. It’s a whopper – 833 pages – and I’m around 65% of the way through. This is the fourth – and final – instalment in the ‘The Cemetery of Forgotten Books’ series. Ruiz Zafón sadly died in 2020.

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

Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver (Head of Zeus)

The Night Ship by Jess Kidd (Canongate)

Night-Time Stories edited by Yen-Yen Lu (The Emma Press)

What Cathy (will) Read Next

Forest of FoesForest of Foes by Matthew Harffy (ARC, 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.