July 14, 2012 22 Comments
New books! Always great fun: a book from the postman, an email that I can pick up a reservation from the library, an email that I can download a Netgalley book. I try to keep up with the reading, but it’s not easy.
Here’s what I got…
Books for review
The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman
For review from Simon & Schuster via Netgalley (ebook). I read a few chapters of this book in the BEA Buzz Books book and I think I’m really going to love this book!
From Netgalley: “In 1918, after four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia to take a job as the lighthouse keeper on remote Janus Rock. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes only four times a year and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel.
Three years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel is tending the grave of her newly lost infant when she hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up on shore carrying a dead man and a living baby. Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the dead man and the infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast.
Against Tom’s judgment, they claim the child as their own and name her Lucy, but a rift begins to grow between them. When Lucy is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world…and one of them is desperate to find her lost baby.”
John Saturnall’s Feast by Lawrence Norfolk
I downloaded this for review from Grove/Atlantic via Netgalley (ebook). I read and loved Lemprière’s Dictionary by the same author many years ago and also tried a few chapters of this book that were in the BEA Buzz Books book. This looks like a really good historical read.
From Netgalley: “A beautiful, rich, and sensuous historical novel, John Saturnall’s Feasttells the story of a young orphan who becomes a kitchen boy at a manor house and rises through the ranks to become the greatest cook of his generation. It is a story of food, star-crossed lovers, ancient myths, and one boy’s rise from outcast to hero.”
Choose the Life You Want by Tal Ben-Shahar, PhD
From The Experiment via Netgalley (ebook). I’m not much of a self-help reader but my eye caught this book and I noticed something remarkable: This author is making the same point that I’ve been making in my student years – every little thing you do influences what life you have – “ Every moment of our waking lives we face choices whose cumulative effect on us is just as great, if not greater, than the effect of the big decisions. ” So I want to know what else the author has to say!
From Netgalley: “Sometimes the hardest part of decision-making is being aware that there’s a decision to be made in the first place. Choose the Life You Want shows us how we can view our lives as a series of choices. Tal Ben-Shahar advocates a proactive approach to well-being in which every moment offers opportunities for positive changes in our lives. He promises no simple trick or secret, no quick-fix for instant improvement. Instead, he proposes being continuously mindful of the power we hold to choose our courses of action at every moment of our lives.
As Ben-Shahar himself writes, “The dramas of life’s ‘big decisions’ (which, almost by definition, are few and far between) should not hide the fact that in life we face choices all the time. Every moment of our waking lives we face choices whose cumulative effect on us is just as great, if not greater, than the effect of the big decisions. I can choose whether to sit up straight or stooped; whether to say a warm word to my partner or give her a sour look; whether to appreciate my health, my friend, and my lunch, or to take these for granted; whether to choose to choose or to remain oblivious to the choices that are there for the making. Individually, these choices may not seem important, but together they are the very bricks that make up the road we create for ourselves.
“Not to be aware of the choices we make moment by moment, is to relinquish control over our ability to improve our life. For instance, we take it for granted that our feelings are what they are and cannot be altered; we react to someone else’s behavior automatically without considering alternative options; we are faced with the same situation over and over again and respond in the same way over and over again—as if no other course of action were available to us. We assume that our thoughts and actions and feelings are inevitable, that we do not have a choice, when in fact we do.””
Vissen voeren [Feeding the Fish] by Fabio Genovesi
A Dutch translation of an Italian book (Esche Vive) that I got for review from Dutch publishers Signatuur.
I have started it already and I’m enjoying it a lot. It’s about 19-year old Fiorenzo, who disappointed his father terribly a few years before, when he lost his hand in a fireworks accident. It meant he could not compete in bicycle races any longer. When the father discovers a new young racing cyclist, Fiorenzo is no longer important. Fiorenzo tries to make the life of young cyclist Mirko a misery, hoping he will leave, but it doesn’t seem to work.
There’s also 32-year old Tiziana who has studied abroad and is now back in the small town of Muglione where she is wasting her talent. She finds a soul mate in the much younger Fiorenzo.
Book I won
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
I didn’t actually win this, but was sent this by Stephanie of Read In a Single Sitting. She loved being part of the Literary Giveaway Blog Hop and wanting to thank me for organising it. So nice!! Thanks, Stephanie. I read this lovely book many years ago at school and will enjoy reading it again (I only have vague memories of it now).
From Wordsworth Editions: “The Little Prince is a classic tale of equal appeal to children and adults. On one level it is the story of an airman’s discovery, in the desert, of a small boy from another planet – the Little Prince of the title – and his stories of intergalactic travel, while on the other hand it is a thought-provoking allegory of the human condition.
First published in 1943, the year before the author’s death in action, this translation contains Saint-Exupery’s delightful illustrations.”
Forty Stories: New Writing from HarperPerennial (Downloaded, free), with stories by Harper authors such as Blake Butler, Jess Walter (http://www.fiftytwostories.com/)
Have you read any of these books? Which of these would appeal to you?