The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2018 Shortlist

WalterScottPrize

It’s what lovers of historical fiction (not to mention a few nervous authors and publishers) have been waiting for – the publication of the shortlist for The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2018.    Unfortunately, the announcement came too soon for me to have read all thirteen titles on the longlist as I’d intended, but I definitely plan to read the three books in the shortlist I haven’t already read.

Visit The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction page on my blog for details of the shortlist, a reminder of the longlist plus links to my reviews or the book description on Goodreads.  I’ll be updating the links as I read and review them.  Well worth a visit is The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction website where you can find more information about the prize and the full comments by the judges on the shortlisted books.

Without further ado, here are the shortlisted titles along with some quotes from the judges’ comments.  Plus my own comments, indulging myself by imagining  (in my dreams) that I’m one of the judges…


WaltScott_ManhattanBeachManhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

What the judges say: ‘This is a novel from a writer at the top of her form.’
What Cathy Read Next’s verdict: Coming soon!

WaltScott_Sugar MoneySugar Money by Jane Harris

What the judges say: ‘a thrilling adventure story with a warm, human heart.’
What Cathy Read Next’s verdict: Coming soon!

WaltScott_GraceGrace by Paul Lynch

What the judges say: ‘Lynch’s narrative gripped us from the start and never let us go.’
What Cathy Read Next’s verdict: Coming soon!

TheWardrobeMistressThe Wardrobe Mistress by Patrick McGrath

What the judges say: ‘a novel which, whilst superbly evoking post-war theatrical life, pulses with contemporary disquiet.’
What Cathy Read Next’s verdict: ‘The Wardrobe Mistress had it all for me: atmospheric period setting, intriguing mystery and well-developed characters.’

Miss Boston and Miss Hargreaves PbackMiss Boston and Miss Hargreaves by Rachel Malik

What the judges say: ‘a quietly beautiful and brilliant novel that captures the heart and essence of a love story.’
What Cathy Read Next’s verdict: ‘Moving, tender, engaging…. I absolutely fell in love with it.’

WaltScott_The Gallows PoleThe Gallows Pole by Benjamin Myers

What the judges say: ‘The writing is brutal but lyrical and deeply affecting.’
What Cathy Read Next’s verdict: ‘The story that unfolds is as compelling as the language…gritty, immersive.’


Are there books you’re surprised to see on the shortlist?  Are there favourites you’re sad didn’t make it?  Are you planning to read some or all of the shortlisted books?  Do you have any early predictions for the eventual prizewinner?  

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My Week in Books – 15th April ’18

MyWeekinBooks

New arrivals  

Smile of the WolfSmile of the Wolf by Tim Leach (ARC, NetGalley)

Eleventh-century Iceland. One night in the darkness of winter, two friends set out on an adventure but end up killing a man. Kjaran, a travelling poet who trades songs for food and shelter, and Gunnar, a feared warrior, must make a choice: conceal the deed or confess to the crime and pay the blood price to the family. But their decision leads to a brutal feud: one man is outlawed, free to be killed by anyone without consequence; the other remorselessly hunted by the dead man’s kin. Set in a world of ice and snow, this is an epic story of exile and revenge, of duels and betrayals, and two friends struggling to survive in a desolate landscape, where honour is the only code that men abide by.

The Story KeeperThe Story Keeper by Anna Mazzola (ARC, NetGalley)

Audrey Hart is on the Isle of Skye to collect the word-of-mouth folk tales of the people and communities around her. It is 1857, the Highland Clearances have left devastation and poverty, and the crofters are suspicious and hostile, claiming they no longer know their stories. Then Audrey discovers the body of a young girl washed up on the beach and the crofters tell her that it is only a matter of weeks since another girl has disappeared. They believe the girls are the victims of the spirits of the unforgiven dead. Initially, Audrey is sure the girls are being abducted, but then she is reminded of her own mother, a Skye woman who disappeared in mysterious circumstances. It seems there is a link to be explored, and Audrey may uncover just what her family have been hiding from her all these years.

The Cliff HouseThe Cliff House by Amanda Jennings (ARC, NetGalley)

Some friendships are made to be broken

Cornwall, summer of 1986. The Davenports, with their fast cars and glamorous clothes, living the dream in a breathtaking house overlooking the sea.

If only… thinks sixteen-year-old Tamsyn, her binoculars trained on the perfect family in their perfect home.  If only her life was as perfect as theirs.  If only Edie Davenport would be her friend.  If only she lived at The Cliff House…

I Will Find YouI Will Find You (Seal Island #2) by Daniela Sacerdoti (ARC, NetGalley)

After her mother dies, grief-stricken Cora discovers she has been left a cottage, a crumbling shelter on a mysterious Scottish island. The moment Cora arrives on the windswept isle of Seal, she falls under its spell and is drawn to brooding Innes, back on the island to confront his past.

As Cora begins to trace her mother’s roots, she learns Gealach Cottage has a dark, turbulent history. Another young woman has sought refuge here, fleeing terrible danger, and waiting for her lover to return. What became of her? Only by unravelling a forgotten story of passion and courage can Cora understand what has pulled her to Seal…and led her to a man of many secrets.

The Boy at the DoorThe Boy at the Door by Alex Dahl (ARC, NetGalley)

What would you do for the perfect life? Would you lie? Would you steal? Would you kill?…

Cecilia Wilborg has the perfect life. A handsome husband, two beautiful daughters and a large house in the picture-postcard town of Sandefjord.

But then Tobias enters her life. He is a small, friendless eight-year-old. And he threatens to bring Cecilia’s world crashing down.

That Summer in PugliaThat Summer in Puglia by Valeria Vescina (review copy courtesy of Bookollective)

Tommaso has escaped discovery for thirty years but a young private investigator, Will, has tracked him down.

Tommaso asks him to pretend never to have found him.  To persuade Will, Tommaso recounts the story of his life and his great love. In the process, he comes to recognise his true role in the events which unfolded, and the legacy of unresolved grief.

Now he’s being presented with a second chance – but is he ready to pay the price it exacts?

The DraughtsmanThe Draughtsman by Robert Lautner (paperback)

1944, Germany. Ernst Beck’s new job marks an end to months of unemployment. Working for Erfurt’s most prestigious engineering firm, Topf Sons, means he can finally make a contribution to the war effort, provide for his beautiful wife, Etta, and make his parents proud. But there is a price.

Ernst is assigned to the firm’s smallest team – the Special Ovens Department. Reporting directly to Berlin his role is to annotate plans for new crematoria that are deliberately designed to burn day and night. Their destination: the concentration camps. Topf’s new client: the SS.

As the true nature of his work dawns on him, Ernst has a terrible choice to make: turning a blind eye will keep him and Etta safe, but that’s little comfort if staying silent amounts to collusion in the death of thousands.

Behind the Scenes at the MuseumBehind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson (hardcover)

Ruby Lennox begins narrating her life at the moment of conception, and from there takes us on a whirlwind tour of the twentieth century as seen through the eyes of an English girl determined to learn about her family and its secrets.

March VioletsMarch Violets (Bernie Gunther #1) by Philip Kerr (ebook, Kindle deal)

Ex-Berlin cop and private detective Bernie Gunther has seen his share of bad guys. But when the worst guys of all are the ones running the show, it’s much harder to stay out of their reach.

Hired by a wealthy industrialist to investigate the murder of his daughter and her husband in an apparent botched robbery, Bernie soon finds himself drawn into the complex – not to mention lethal – internal politics and corruption of the Nazi party. When Herman Goering himself calls Bernie in with a task for him that throws his existing case into a whole new light, he must weigh up his hatred of the Nazis against his desire to stay alive.

Mutiny on the BountyMutiny on the Bounty by John Boyne (ebook, Kindle deal)

Pickpocket John Jacob Turnstile is on his way to be detained at His Majesty’s Pleasure when he is offered a lifeline, what seems like a freedom of sorts – the job of personal valet to a departing naval captain. Little does he realise that it is anything but – and by accepting the devil’s bargain he will put his life in perilous danger. For the ship is HMS Bounty, his new captain William Bligh and their destination Tahiti.

From the moment the ship leaves port, Turnstile’s life is turned upside down, for not only must he put his own demons to rest, but he must also confront the many adversaries he will encounter on the Bounty’s extraordinary last voyage. Walking a dangerous line between an unhappy crew and a captain he comes to admire, he finds himself in a no-man’s land where the distinction between friend and foe is increasingly difficult to determine…


On What Cathy Read Next last week

Blog posts

Monday – I published my review of the atmospheric Things Bright and Beautiful by Anbara Salam, set in the New Hebrides in the 1950s.  I also took part in the blog tour for The Room by the Lake by Emma Dibdin, sharing a Q&A with Emma and my review of this intense thriller.

Tuesday – I shared my version of the I Spy Book Challenge, choosing to make my selections only from collection of books by John Buchan.

WednesdayWWW Wednesday is the opportunity to share what I’ve just finished reading, what I’m reading now and what I’ll be reading next.   I also took part in the blog tour for Lady Helena Investigates by Jane Steen, an engaging historical mystery that is the first in a new series.

Thursday – My Throwback Thursday book was The Clocks in This House All Tell Different Times by Xan Brooks, one of the books on the long-list for this year’s Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction.  I also introduced my Buchan of the Month for April –  Greenmantle.

Friday – I shared an excerpt from El Hacho by Luis Carrasco, a novel set in Andalusia, and a guest post by Chris Bridge, author of Girl Without a Voice.

Saturday – I featured a guest post by Sara Cook about the personal journey she and her brother, Robert Peacock, undertook in order to bring to life their recently published historical novel, The Jinn and the Sword.

Challenge updates

  • Goodreads 2018 Reading Challenge – 53 out of 156 books read, 2 more than last week
  • Classics Club Challenge – 13 out of 50 books read, same as last week
  • NetGalley/Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2018 (Silver) – 17 ARCs read and reviewed out of 25, 1 more than last week
  • From Page to Screen– 10 book/film comparisons out of 15 completed, same as last week
  • 2018 TBR Pile Challenge – 5 out of 12 books read, same as last week
  • Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2018 – 25 books out of 50 read, 2 more than last week
  • When Are You Reading? Challenge 2018 – 7 out of 12 books read, same as last week
  • What’s In A Name Reading Challenge – 0 out of 6 books read, same as last week
  • Buchan of the Month – 3 out of 12 books read, same as last week

On What Cathy Read Next this week

Currently reading

Planned posts

  • Blog Tour/Review: The Black Earth by Philip Kazan
  • Book Review: White Houses by Amy Bloom
  • Blog Tour/Excerpt: Stories We Tell Ourselves by Sarah Françoise
  • Blog Tour/Q&A: Warrior of Woden by Matthew Harffy
  • Book Review: Prussian Blue by Philip Kerr
  • Book Review: Staying On by Paul Scott
  • Blog Tour/Review: Suitors and Sabotage by Cindy Anstey
  • Blog Tour/Guest Post: Tapestry of War by Jane MacKenzie
  • Book Review: The Good Father by S. R. Wilsher

How was your week in books?  Page-turner or snorefest?

Buchan of the Month: Introducing…Greenmantle

Buchan of the Month

Greenmantle is the fourth book in my John Buchan reading project, Buchan of the Month. To find out more about the project and my reading list for 2018, click here.  If you would like to read along with me you will be very welcome – leave a comment on this post or on my original challenge post.

GreenmantleWhat follows is an introduction to the book (no spoilers!).  It is also an excuse to show off a picture of my 1950 Hodder & Stoughton edition of Greenmantle complete with dust jacket.  I will be posting my review of the book later in the month.

Although Buchan did not see active military service in World War One, he visited the Western Front on a number of occasions.  In May 1915 he was there as a special correspondent for The Times and in October the same year, this time in uniform, as a Lieutenant in the Intelligence Corps.  In June 1916 he was appointed Director of the Department of Information.   In between, during the first half of 1916, he worked on Greenmantle, his second novel featuring the character Richard Hannay.

The Man Who Was GreenmantleCharacters and events in Greenmantle draw strongly on real life events.  For example, the character of Sandy Arbuthnot was inspired by Aubrey Herbert.  In her book The Man Who Was Greenmantle, Margaret FitzHerbert reports that, on learning of Herbert’s death in 1923, Buchan wrote to a friend “I drew Sandy in Greenmantle from him”.  Aubrey Herbert’s wife had recognised the similarity when Greenmantle first appeared in 1916, noting “I must confess I prefer my Aubrey to his Sandy but I daresay it’s like him.”  She sent a copy of Buchan’s book to Herbert, who was in Salonika at the time.  Reportedly his only comment was “He brings in my nerves all right doesn’t he?”

The plot of Greenmantle involves the uncovering of a German plot to incite an Islamic uprising in the Middle East that will cause Britain and its allies to divert troops from the Western Front.  The action moves from wartime Germany, through Europe to Constantinople as Hannay and his comrades seek to disrupt the plot.  The book features a cryptic code, plenty of disguises, narrow escapes, a bit of homoeroticism and a formidable female character.

Like Buchan’s earlier adventure stories, Greenmantle first appeared in instalment form.  It was serialised weekly in Land and Water magazine between 6th July and 9th November 1916.  Originally a magazine about sporting country life, in 1914 Land and Water switched its coverage to World War One under the editorship of Hilaire Belloc.

Greenmantle was published in novel form by Hodder & Stoughton on 26th October 2016.  Priced at six shillings, by the following March it had sold 34,000 copies.  Buchan’s biographer, Janet Adam Smith, reports that by 1960 combined sales of the Nelson and Hodder & Stoughton editions had reached 368,000, meaning that Greenmantle actually outsold its now more famous predecessor, The Thirty-Nine Steps.  Furthermore, the Pan paperback edition of Greenmantle published in 1952 had sold 200,000 copies by 1965.  Buchan’s advance for Greenmantle was £200 so, even taking into account royalties, Buchan’s publishers got a good deal.

David Daniell, author of The Interpreter’s House: A Critical Assessment of the Works of John Buchan, puts Greenmantle up alongside Mr Standfast as one of Buchan’s greatest books.  However, Daniell admits that one reviewer called Greenmantle ‘a daft sort of book’ that was ‘about two parts mad, but the third part was uncommonly like inspiration’.  I leave you, dear reader, to decide which of them is right.

Sources:

David Daniell, The Interpreter’s House: A Critical Assessment of the Work of John Buchan (Nelson, 1975)
Kate Macdonald, John Buchan: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction (McFarland, 2009)
Janet Adam Smith, John Buchan: A Biography (OUP, 1985 [1965])
Margaret FitzHerbert, The Man Who Was Greenmantle: A Biography of Aubrey Herbert by (OUP, 1985)

 

My Week in Books – 8th April ’18

MyWeekinBooks

New arrivals  

Crooked HeartCrooked Heart by Lissa Evans (ebook)

When Noel Bostock – aged ten, no family – is evacuated from London to escape the Blitz, he winds up in St Albans with Vera Sedge – thiry-six, drowning in debts. Always desperate for money, she’s unscrupulous about how she gets it.

The war’s thrown up all manner of new opportunities but what Vee needs is a cool head and the ability to make a plan. On her own, she’s a disaster. With Noel, she’s a team.

Together they cook up an idea. But there are plenty of other people making money out of the war and some of them are dangerous. Noel may have been moved to safety, but he isn’t actually safe at all…

Ike and KayIke and Kay by James MacManus (ebook)

In 1942, Cork-born Kay Summersby’s life is changed forever when she is tasked with driving General Eisenhower on his fact-finding visit to wartime London. Despite Eisenhower’s marriage to Mamie, the pair takes an immediate liking to one another and he gifts Kay a rare wartime luxury: a box of chocolates.

So begins a tumultuous relationship that against all military regulation sees Kay travelling with Eisenhower on missions to far flung places before the final assault on Nazi Germany. She becomes known as “Ike’s shadow” and in letters Mamie bemoans his new obsession with ‘Ireland’. That does not stop him from using his influence to grant Kay US citizenship and rank in the US army, drawing her closer when he returns to America. When the US authorities discover Eisenhower’s plans to divorce from his wife they threaten the fragile but passionate affair and Kay is forced to take desperate measures to hold onto the man she loves…

Elizabeth Is MissingElizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey (ebook)

Meet Maud.

Maud is forgetful. She makes a cup of tea and doesn’t remember to drink it. She goes to the shops and forgets why she went. Sometimes her home is unrecognisable – or her daughter Helen seems a total stranger.

But there’s one thing Maud is sure of: her friend Elizabeth is missing. The note in her pocket tells her so. And no matter who tells her to stop going on about it, to leave it alone, to shut up, Maud will get to the bottom of it.

Because somewhere in Maud’s damaged mind lies the answer to an unsolved seventy-year-old mystery. One everyone has forgotten about.  Everyone, except Maud . . .

Forsaking All OthersForsaking All Others by Catherine Meyrick (ebook, review copy courtesy of Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours)

England 1585. Bess Stoughton, waiting woman to the well-connected Lady Allingbourne, has discovered that her father is arranging for her to marry an elderly neighbour. Normally obedient Bess rebels and wrests from her father a year’s grace to find a husband more to her liking.

Edmund Wyard, a taciturn and scarred veteran of England’s campaign in Ireland, is attempting to ignore the pressure from his family to find a suitable wife as he prepares to join the Earl of Leicester’s army in the Netherlands.

Although Bess and Edmund are drawn to each other, they are aware that they can have nothing more than friendship. Bess knows that Edmund’s wealth and family connections place him beyond her reach. And Edmund, with his well-honed sense of duty, has never considered that he could follow his own wishes. With England on the brink of war and fear of Catholic plots extending even into Lady Allingbourne’s household, time is running out for both of them.

Trigger MortisTrigger Mortis by Anthony Horowitz (ebook)

It’s 1957 and James Bond (agent 007) has only just survived his showdown with Auric Goldfinger at Fort Knox. By his side is Pussy Galore, who was with him at the end. Unknown to either of them, the USSR and the West are in a deadly struggle for technological superiority. And SMERSH is back.

The Soviet counter-intelligence agency plans to sabotage a Grand Prix race at the most dangerous track in Europe. But it’s Bond who finds himself in the driving seat and events take an unexpected turn when he observes a suspicious meeting between SMERSH’s driver and a sinister Korean millionaire, Jai Seong Sin.  Soon Bond is pitched into an entirely different race uncovering a plan that could bring the West to its knees.

Welcoming back familiar faces, including M and Miss Moneypenny, international bestselling author Anthony Horowitz ticks all the boxes: speed, danger, strong women and fiendish villains, to reinvent the golden age of Bond in this brilliantly gripping adventure. Trigger Mortis is also the first James Bond novel to feature previously unseen Ian Fleming material.  This is James Bond as Fleming imagined him.


On What Cathy Read Next last week

Blog posts

Monday – I took part in the blog tour for Lords of the Greenwood featuring a fantastic guest post by its author, Chris Thorndycroft.

Tuesday – I shared my five favourite books in March and my review of Friends and Traitors by John Lawton, the eighth in his Inspector Troy series.  This one features, in fictionalised form, Guy Burgess, one of the Cambridge Spies whose defection rocked a nation.

WednesdayWWW Wednesday is the opportunity to share what I’ve just finished reading, what I’m reading now and what I’ll be reading next.   I also hosted a spotlight feature on crime novel The Ticket by Fred Shackelford and published my review of historical mystery The Pharmacist’s Wife by Vanessa Tait.

Thursday – My Throwback Thursday book was The Winner by Erin Bomboy set in the competitive world of professional ballroom dancing.  I also published my review of Manipulated Lives by H. A. Leuschel, a collection of five compelling stories exploring the theme of manipulation.

Friday – I shared my review Charlemagne, one of the titles in in60Learning’s new range of concise historical and biographical works that can be read or listened to in under 60 minutes.  Ideal for history buffs with little spare time on their hands.

Saturday – I took part in the blog tour for Lesley Thomson’s latest novel in her The Detective’s Daughter series, The Death Chamber.  In a fascinating Q&A, Lesley shared some insights into the process of coming up with a great title for a book.   I also took part in the blog tour for A Mother’s Sacrifice by Gemma Metcalfe, sharing my review of this twisty, fast-paced psychological thriller.   Finally, I participated in the 6 Degrees of Separation meme constructing, through some twisted logic of my own, a chain that started with Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden and ended onboard a plague-ridded cruise ship!

Challenge updates

  • Goodreads 2018 Reading Challenge – 51 out of 156 books read, 4 more than last week
  • Classics Club Challenge – 13 out of 50 books read, same as last week
  • NetGalley/Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2018 (Silver) – 16 ARCs read and reviewed out of 25, 3 more than last week
  • From Page to Screen– 10 book/film comparisons out of 15 completed, same as last week
  • 2018 TBR Pile Challenge – 5 out of 12 books read, same as last week
  • Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2018 – 23 books out of 50 read, 2 more than last week
  • When Are You Reading? Challenge 2018 – 7 out of 12 books read, same as last week
  • What’s In A Name Reading Challenge – 0 out of 6 books read, same as last week
  • Buchan of the Month – 3 out of 12 books read, same as last week

On What Cathy Read Next this week

Currently reading

Planned posts

  • Blog Tour/Q&A: The Room by the Lake by Emma Dibdin
  • Review: Things Bright and Beautiful by Anbara Salam
  • Buchan of the Month: Introducing…Greenmantle by John Buchan
  • Review: The Clocks In This House All Tell Different Times by Xan Brooks
  • Blog Tour/Review: Lady Helena Investigates by Jane Steen
  • Throwback Thursday: Prussian Blue by Philip Kerr
  • Excerpt: El Hacho by Luis Carrasco
  • Guest Post: Girl Without A Voice by Chris Bridge
  • Review: The Good Father by S. R. Wilsher

My Week in Books – 1st April ’18

MyWeekinBooks

New arrivals  

The Last Painting of Sara de VosThe Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith (ebook)

In the 1600s Sara de Vos loses her young daughter suddenly to illness. In her grief, she secretly begins painting a dark landscape of a girl watching a group of ice skaters from the edge of a wood.

In 1950s New York, Martijn de Groot has At the Edge of a Wood hanging above his bed. Though it is a dark, peculiar painting, he holds it dear and when it is stolen, he is bereft. In Brooklyn, struggling art student Ellie Shipley accepts a commission to paint an intricate forgery of the painting, not realising that her decision will come to haunt her successful academic career.

The Biographies of Ordinary People, Vol.2The Biographies of Ordinary People, Vol. 2 by Nicole Dieker (eARC, NetGalley)

The Gruber sisters grow up in this second volume of The Biographies of Ordinary People, navigating jobs, friendships, and relationships in a constantly changing world.

The Biographies of Ordinary People is the story of the Gruber family: Rosemary and Jack, and their daughters Meredith, Natalie, and Jackie. The two-volume series begins in July 1989, on Rosemary’s thirty-fifth birthday; it ends in November 2016, on Meredith’s thirty-fifth birthday.

The second volume follows the three Gruber sisters as they each leave their rural Midwestern hometown and try to make their way in the larger world. Meredith is determined to pursue a career in the theatre. Natalie begins sorting and filing for an insurance company. Jackie… well, Jackie still wants to sing, and if the classical music world isn’t interested in what she can do, she’ll figure out how to do it on her own.

Set against the Great Recession, Presidents Obama and Trump, and a growing sense of national unrest, this final volume explores Meredith’s question: is it possible for ordinary people to make art? It also takes us into the close emotional connections between mothers and daughters, sisters and friends, and the people we choose to love as adults.

Fault LinesFault Lines by Doug Johnstone (ebook, review copy courtesy of Orenda Books )

In a re-imagined contemporary Edinburgh, in which a tectonic fault has opened up to produce a new volcano in the Firth of Forth, and where tremors are an everyday occurrence, volcanologist Surtsey makes a shocking discovery. On a clandestine trip to The Inch—the new volcanic island—to meet Tom, her lover and her boss, she finds his lifeless body, and makes the fatal decision to keep their affair, and her discovery of his corpse secret. Desperate to know how he died, but also terrified she’ll be exposed, Surtsey’s life quickly spirals into a nightmare when someone makes contact—someone who claims to know what she’s done.


On What Cathy Read Next last week

Blog posts

Tuesday – This week’s theme for Top Ten Tuesday was Books Set in Another Country.  I also published my review of The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, a book from my Classics Club list.

WednesdayWWW Wednesday is the opportunity to share what I’ve just finished reading, what I’m reading now and what I’ll be reading next.   I also published my review of the latest book in my Buchan of the Month reading project, one of my favourite books by John Buchan, Mr. Standfast.

Thursday – I published my review of Tightrope by Simon Mawer, which won The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction in 2016 and was my book for this month’s theme for The BookBum Club on Goodreads.

Friday – I shared my review of the latest book by M. Jonathan Lee, Drift Stumble Fall.

Saturday – I took part in the blog tour for We Were the Salt of the Sea by Roxanne Bouchard, a beautifully written literary crime novel.   I also published an excerpt from a book I’m really keen to read, The Antipodeans by Greg McGee.

Challenge updates

  • Goodreads 2018 Reading Challenge – 47 out of 156 books read, 5 more than last week
  • Classics Club Challenge – 13 out of 50 books read, 1 more than last week
  • NetGalley/Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2018 (Silver) – 13 ARCs read and reviewed out of 25, 1 more than last week
  • From Page to Screen– 10 book/film comparisons out of 15 completed, same as last week
  • 2018 TBR Pile Challenge – 4 out of 12 books read, same as last week
  • Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2018 – 21 books out of 50 read, 2 more than last week
  • When Are You Reading? Challenge 2018 – 7 out of 12 books read, same as last week
  • What’s In A Name Reading Challenge – 0 out of 6 books read, same as last week
  • Buchan of the Month – 3 out of 12 books read, 1 more than last week

On What Cathy Read Next this week

Currently reading

Planned posts

  • Review: Friends and Traitors by John Lawton
  • Review: Manipulated Lives by H A Leueschel
  • Blog Tour/Guest Post: Lords of the Greenwood by Chris Thorndycroft
  • My Five Favourite March Reads
  • Review: The Pharmacist’s Wife by Vanessa Tait
  • Review: Things Bright and Beautiful by Anbara Salam
  • Spotlight: The Ticket by Fred Shackelford
  • Review: Charlemagne by in60Learning
  • Blog Tour/Review: A Mother’s Sacrifice by Gemma Metcalfe
  • Blog Tour/Q&A: The Death Chamber by Lesley Thomson

How was your week in books?  Guilty pleasure beach read or highbrow literary epic?