May 16, 2012 20 Comments
Yesterday I had a delivery of four books (three packages)! I just love getting packages, checking who it is from, guessing what can be in it. I also received some other books recently and I don’t expect many more packages for a while – that gives me time to read what I got.
I’m considering doing a “Read a book a day” challenge, just for a week, rather than a whole year as Nina Sankovitch did. I’m always up for a challenge, maybe next week or the week after. Watch this space!
Look at this great haul…
Books for review
The First Warm Evening of the Year by Jamie M. Saul
I received this book (and the next two) from Willam Morrow, an imprint from HarperCollins. I’ve already started this book, and it’s less of a woman’s book than the cover make me believe. It’s OK, a bit more reflective than I like.
Description (from the publishers): “Geoffrey Tremont and Laura Wells were friends in college. After graduation they lost touch, and now, twenty years later, Geoffrey is more than a little confused to discover that Laura has named him executor of her estate. Though she left no explanation, Geoffrey agrees to honor the final request of this woman who was once his closest friend.
Traveling to the small town of Shady Grove, New York, Geoffrey gets to know the people who were most influential in Laura’s life, particularly her best friend Marian. To Geoffrey’s surprise, the more he learns about Laura’s life, the more he seems to be discovering about himself—knowledge that transforms him in subtle yet profound ways.
In this emotionally compelling love story, Jamie M. Saul explores the intricate relationships between siblings and friends; how we lose the passions of life and rekindle them; and, ultimately, how to discover the courage to reach out for love.”
The Unseen by Katherine Webb
This is the new book from the writer of The Legacy, a book that in my memory, I read and enjoyed, but according to my Shelfari account, I never read. Oh well, I must be remembering other people’s great reviews, then.
About the book (from the publisher): “England, 1911. The Reverend Albert Canning, a vicar with a passion for spiritualism, leads a happy existence with his naive wife Hester in a sleepy Berkshire village. As summer dawns, their quiet lives are changed forever by two new arrivals. First comes Cat, the new maid: a free-spirited and disaffected young woman sent down from London after entanglements with the law. Cat quickly finds a place for herself in the secret underbelly of local society as she plots her escape.
Then comes Robin Durrant, a leading expert in the occult, enticed by tales of elemental beings in the water meadows nearby. A young man of magnetic charm and beauty, Robin soon becomes an object of fascination and desire. During a long spell of oppressive summer heat, the rectory becomes charged with ambition, love and jealousy; a mixture of emotions so powerful that it leads, ultimately, to murder.“
The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen
Historical fiction based on a real story about a black woman, starting life as a slave, ending up in espionage? That’s intriguing!
About the book (from the publisher): “Mary is a loving daughter, a quick-witted girl, and a slave to one of the wealthiest families in Richmond, Virginia. When Bet Van Lew, the outspoken daughter of the family that owns Mary, decides to send her to Philadelphia to be educated, Mary must leave her parents to seize her freedom.
Life in the North offers Mary a different kind of education than she ever expected. Carefully keeping the secrets of her own enslaved family, she joins the abolition movement to bring fugitive slaves to freedom. As the nation edges toward war, Mary defies Virginia law by returning to Richmond, vowing to care for her ailing father—and to fight for emancipation. Knowing that slaves are considered incapable of intelligence, she poses as a slave in the Confederate White House to spy on President Jefferson Davis. Together Mary and Bet risk their own lives to smuggle invaluable information to the Union commanders.
As illness and hunger ravage the city, Mary’s espionage leads her to deceive even those who are closest to her. Just when it seems all her dangerous gambles to end slavery will pay off, the death and destruction of the war take their greatest toll, and Mary discovers that everything comes at a cost—even freedom.
Based on a true story , written with immense heart, The Secrets of Mary Bowser is an illuminating and inspiring tale of injustice and courage, friendship and war—and of one daring woman willing to sacrifice her own freedom to change the course of history.“
Beneath the Shadows by Sara Foster
A thriller in Yorkshire in which a husband disappears without a trace. Sounds like good fun and I was especially attracted by the cover. For review from St. Martin’s Press via Netgalley (ebook).
Description (from the publishers): “When Grace’s husband, Adam, inherits an isolated North Yorkshire cottage, they leave the bustle of London behind to try a new life. A week later, Adam vanishes without a trace, leaving their baby daughter, Millie, in her stroller on the doorstep. The following year, Grace returns to the tiny village on the untamed heath. Everyone—the police, her parents, even her best friend and younger sister—is convinced that Adam left her. But Grace, unable to let go of her memories of their love and life together, cannot accept this explanation. She is desperate for answers, but the slumbering, deeply superstitious hamlet is unwilling to give up its secrets.
As Grace hunts through forgotten corners of the cottage searching for clues, and digs deeper into the lives of the locals, strange dreams begin to haunt her. Are the villagers hiding something, or is she becoming increasingly paranoid? Only as snowfall threatens to cut her and Millie off from the rest of the world does Grace make a terrible discovery. She has been looking in the wrong place for answers all along, and she and her daughter will be in terrible danger if she cannot get them away in time.”
Ze komt nooit meer terug [She Will Never Come Back] by Hans Koppel
This book I got from a (probably the) Dutch book tour organisation, Not Just Any Book. I’ve already read it and it was a good read, a 4-star thriller. A woman, wife and mother, disappears. She is imprisoned in the basement of her neighbours’ house. The reader knows but the husband has no idea what happened to his wife.
Books I won
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I won this book from Ellie at CuriosityKilled the Bookworm. It’s a beautiful hardback and I can’t wait to start reading it. I have heard so much (good) about this author and this book! I think it might also be a book for my teenage sons, but to be sure, I want to read it myself first.
Description (from the publishers): “Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.”
Recipe for Love by Katie Fforde
I won the Dutch edition of this book, De kers op de taart, from a Dutch website called damespraatjes.nl. I have read at least 6 of Katie Fforde’s books, but not recently. This is a new one, and involves a cooking competition on tv. As you can wake me up for Master Chef, this is my sort of book!
From the author’s website: “When Zoe Harper wins a coveted place in a televised cookery competition she’s thrilled. It’s a chance to cook her way to fame and fortune and the little delicatessen she’s set her heart on.
The first task has hardly begun when she finds herself with rather too much on her plate. Not only has she got to contend with the fiercely competitive and downright devious Cher, but she’s fast developing an inconvenient crush on one of the judges – the truly delicious Gideon Irving.
All too soon there’s more than canapés, cupcakes and cordon bleu at stake. Will Zoe win the competition or is Gideon one temptation too far? And is Zoe really prepared to risk it all for love?”
Book I was given
A Fair Cop by Michael Bunting
This book was a present from The Friday Project on facebook. Everyone Liking the facebook page got a free random ebook. This is what I got and it looks like something I’d enjoy reading.
From the author’s website: “Within hours of being locked in solitary confinement in Leeds’s notorious Armley Prison, PC Michael Bunting had already received his first death threat.
A Fair Cop is the true story of a Leeds police officer attacked and injured on an August night in 1997. Two years later he found himself defending a charge of common assault at Leeds Crown Court. He was found guilty and received a four month prison sentence. The book gives graphic accounts of life behind bars for a policeman in one of England’s hardest prisons as one by one the inmates turn on him.”