March 4, 2012 21 Comments
Books keep arriving chez Leeswammes and I feel a bit embarrassed writing yet another New Arrivals! post. I used to get enough books to do a post every 2 weeks or so, but my last post is from exactly a week ago and I’ve got six new books already. Still, I like to show you what I got so you can tell me what you think of the books (if you’ve read them) or the authors. And I like to show you what new books are coming out (for review copies that I get) or to show you which book reviews you can expect to see on my blog soon. And also, I write these posts because it’s become a habit!
Books for review
The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani
I got this book as an egalley from Harper. Yay! A new Trigiani! Apart from her YA novels, I’ve read them all. This newest Trigiani is out on April 3rd.
From the publisher’s website: “The majestic and haunting beauty of the Italian Alps is the setting of the first meeting of Enza, a practical beauty and Ciro, a strapping mountain boy, who meet as teenagers, despite growing up in villages just a few miles apart. When Ciro catches the local priest in a scandal, he is banished from his village and sent to hide in America as an apprentice to a shoemaker in Little Italy. Without explanation, he leaves a bereft Enza behind. Soon, Enza’s family faces disaster and she, too, is forced to go to America with her father to secure their future.
[...] From the stately mansions of Carnegie Hill, to the cobblestone streets of Little Italy, over the perilous cliffs of northern Italy, to the white-capped lakes of northern Minnesota, these star-crossed lovers meet and separate, until, finally, the power of their love changes both of their lives forever. ”
Books I won
The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai
I won this on Facebook from Orlando Reading Club (Dutch publisher). I know some of the people whose blogs I follow had read this but I didn’t remember whether their reviews were favorable. According to my Goodreads friends, it’s a so-so book. Well, I can judge for myself now.
From the author’s website: “Lucy Hull, a young children’s librarian in Hannibal, Missouri, finds herself both kidnapper and kidnapped when her favorite patron, ten-year-old Ian Drake, runs away from home. The precocious Ian is addicted to reading, but needs Lucy’s help to smuggle books past his overbearing mother, who has enrolled Ian in weekly anti-gay classes.
Lucy, a rebel at heart beneath her librarian’s exterior, stumbles into a moral dilemma when she finds Ian camped out in the library after hours with a knapsack of provisions and an escape plan. Desperate to save him from the Drakes, Lucy allows herself to be hijacked by Ian. The odd pair embarks on an improvised road trip from Missouri to Vermont, with ferrets and an inconvenient boyfriend thrown in their path. Along the way, Lucy struggles to make peace with her Russian immigrant father and his fugitive past, and is forced to use his shady connections to escape discovery.”
The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell
I won this book in a competition on Twitter from @WindmillBooks. The book came out just a few days ago in the UK. Windmill Books are the UK publishers of some great books that I read recently: Mudbound by Hillary Jordan, Every Last One by Anna Quindlen, and Good To a Fault by Marina Endicott. If this book is as good as those, I’ll become a fan of them!
From the publisher’s website: “Hazlehurst housing estate, Glasgow, Christmas Eve 2010. Fifteen-year-old Marnie and her little sister Nelly have just finished burying their parents in the back garden. Only Marnie and Nelly know how they got there. Lennie, the old guy next door, has taken a sudden interest in his two young neighbours and is keeping a close eye on them. He soon realises that the girls are all alone, and need his help – or does he need theirs?
As the year ends and another begins, the sisters’ friends, their neighbours, and the authorities – not to mention the local drug dealer, who’s been sniffing around for their father – gradually start to ask questions. And as one lie leads to another, darker secrets about Marnie’s family come to light, making things even more complicated.”
Books from the library
De fazantmoordenaars [The Pheasant Murderers] by Jussi Adler-Olsen
I read Mercy, the first book in the Department Q series, just a few weeks ago, and I loved it so much, that I got the second book straight away! It’s not translated into English yet, I think, but if you’ll all buy Mercy, I’m sure it won’t be long.
From Dutch online book store Bol.com (translated by me): “The mutilated bodies of a brother and sister are found in a summer cottage near Rørvig in North Sealand. From the police reports it is clear that the murderer is one of a group of rich public school boys. There isn’t enough evidence until one of the suspects turns himself in and the mystery is solved.
But many years later detective Mørck of Department Q for Unsolved Cases gets the file on his desk. He thinks it ended up there by accident but soon this turns out not to be the case. He realises something has gone terribly wrong. Together with his assistant Assad he starts an investigation that brings them in contact with people from all parts of society. [...] ”
The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon
I read the first chapter of this book for a series of posts on my Dutch blog and decided this book would be worth reading. So, when my library had it on the New Books shelf, I had to bring it home, even though I had enough to read already.
From the author’s website: “It is 1968. Lynnie, a young white woman with a developmental disability, and Homan, an African American deaf man, are locked away in an institution, the School for the Incurable and Feebleminded, and have been left to languish, forgotten. Deeply in love, they escape, and find refuge in the farmhouse of Martha, a retired schoolteacher and widow.
But the couple is not alone-Lynnie has just given birth to a baby girl. When the authorities catch up to them that same night, Homan escapes into the darkness, and Lynnie is caught. But before she is forced back into the institution, she whispers two words to Martha: “Hide her.” And so begins the 40-year epic journey of Lynnie, Homan, Martha, and baby Julia-lives divided by seemingly insurmountable obstacles, yet drawn together by a secret pact and extraordinary love.“
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
In a few weeks’ time, a number of Dutch book bloggers will meet up for their 3rd meeting. We decided to read and discuss The Sense of an Ending.
From the author’s website: “Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they navigated the girl drought of gawky adolescence together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they swore to stay friends forever. Until Adrian’s life took a turn into tragedy, and all of them, especially Tony, moved on and did their best to forget.
Now Tony is in middle age. He’s had a career and a marriage, a calm divorce. He gets along nicely, he thinks, with his one child, a daughter, and even with his ex-wife. He’s certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer’s letter is about to prove. The unexpected bequest conveyed by that letter leads Tony on a dogged search through a past suddenly turned murky. And how do you carry on, contentedly, when events conspire to upset all your vaunted truths?”
Do you know any of these books?