August 30, 2012 15 Comments
More new books! The postwoman is keeping busy, which is a good thing. I’m also keeping busy, which is fine, too. I get better and better at selecting the books that I want to read, so here is a list of goodies that you might want to put on your wishlist, if you haven’t read them already.
Books for review
The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
I got this book for review from Harper. I read a few chapters of it in the BEA Buzz Book at the beginning of the summer and I loved it.
From the publisher’s website: “At the turn of the twentieth century, in a rural stretch of the Pacific Northwest in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, a solitary orchardist named Talmadge carefully tends the grove of fruit trees he has cultivated for nearly half a century. A gentle, solitary man, he finds solace and purpose in the sweetness of the apples, apricots, and plums he grows, and in the quiet, beating heart of the land—the valley of yellow grass bordering a deep canyon that has been his home since he was nine years old. Everything he is and has known is tied to this patch of earth. [...]
One day, while in town to sell his fruit at the market, two girls, barefoot and dirty, steal some apples. Later, they appear on his homestead, cautious yet curious about the man who gave them no chase. Feral, scared, and very pregnant, Jane and her sister Della take up on Talmadage’s land and indulge in his deep reservoir of compassion. Yet just as the girls begin to trust him, brutal men with guns arrive in the orchard, and the shattering tragedy that follows sets Talmadge on an irrevocable course not only to save and protect them, putting himself between the girls and the world, but to reconcile the ghosts of his own troubled past.”
The Miracle Inspector by Helen Smith
The author contacted me about this book and when she mentioned the word “dystopian”, my ears pricked up. You probably know I love dystopian novels. Not all of them, of course, but this one sounded very interesting.
From the author’s website: “The Miracle Inspector is a darkly comic dystopian thriller. The book is set in the near future. England has been partitioned and a young couple, Lucas and Angela, try to escape from oppression in London – with disastrous consequences.”
Reach for a Different Sun by Jenni O’Connor
The author is a friend of a friend. I’ve never met Jennifer but I’m looking forward to her book.
From amazon.co.uk: “Reach for a Different Sun is a complex tale of love, truth, identity, self-discovery and betrayal which shuttles between Jamaica and London, from the turbulent 70s to the present day. When retired Jamaican campaigner and lobbyist Mary Odell dies suddenly, her niece, Monique a London-based journalist suspects foul play. Her misgivings lead her deep into the murky waters of Jamaica s turbulent past, opening up a Pandora s box of atrocities dating back to the 1970s, when the country was caught in a vicious armed power struggle between opposing factions.
As Monique battles to come to terms with her loss and make sense of her aunt’s death, there are powerful forces at work trying to thwart her, protecting a secret, which if uncovered, would change the course of history in Jamaica and put her in grave danger. But she is prepared to risk her life to expose the perpetrators, for therein lies a greater truth about herself and her roots… – Shortlisted for the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award”
Books I was given
Under the Poppy by Kathe Koja
I received this book from Adam, Roof Beam Reader, just because. Or more or less: just because. Adam and I have been blogging friends for ages. At a recent giveaway, he asked what book people would ask for, if they won. I said Under the Poppy, because it was (high) on my wishlist and I knew it was one of his own favorite books. And I didn’t win, but Adam sent me the book, a beautiful hardback, anyway. That is SO nice! Thank you very much, Adam!
From the publisher’s website: “FROM A WARTIME BROTHEL to the intricate high society of 1870s Brussels, Under the Poppy is a breakout novel of childhood friends, a love triangle, puppet masters, and reluctant spies.
Under the Poppy is a brothel owned by Decca and Rupert. Decca is in love with Rupert but he in turn is in love with her brother, Istvan. When Istvan comes to town, louche puppet troupe in tow, the lines of their age-old desires intersect against a backdrop of approaching war.
Hearts are broken when old betrayals and new alliances—not just their own—take shape, as the townsmen seek refuge from the onslaught of history by watching the girls of the Poppy cavort onstage with Istvan’s naughty puppets.
With the war getting too close, Istvan and Rupert abandon the Poppy and find a place in high society where they try to avoid becoming more than puppets themselves in the hands of those they have helped before and who now want to use them again.”
In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant
I got this book from my mother, after she read it first. Sarah Dunant is a bit hit and miss with me, so we shall see…
From the publisher’s website: “Escaping the sack of Rome in 1527, with their stomachs churning on the jewels they have swallowed, the courtesan Fiammetta and her dwarf companion, Bucino, head for Venice, the shimmering city born out of water to become a miracle of east-west trade: rich and rancid, pious and profitable, beautiful and squalid.
With a mix of courage and cunning they infiltrate Venetian society. Together they make the perfect partnership: the sharp-tongued, sharp-witted dwarf, and his vibrant mistress, trained from birth to charm, entertain, and satisfy men who have the money to support her.
Yet as their fortunes rise, this perfect partnership comes under threat, from the searing passion of a lover who wants more than his allotted nights to the attentions of an admiring Turk in search of human novelties for his sultan’s court. But Fiammetta and Bucino’s greatest challenge comes from a young crippled woman, a blind healer who insinuates herself into their lives and hearts with devastating consequences for them all.”
A swapped Book
The Recessionistas by Alexandra Lebenthal
This book was on my wishlist and when it became available via Bookmooch, I asked for it. It came all the way from the Philippines and took about 4 months to arrive. But here it is! I can’t quite remember how it got on my wishlist, but I do know that I’m keen to read the book.
From the publisher’s website: “It’s the day after Labor Day, 2008, and the elite universe of New York’s Upper East Side is about to unravel along with the economy. Socialite Grigsby Somerset is barely aware of her changing world, and has no idea her investment banker husband Blake is about to enter into a devil’s bargain with hedge fund owner John Cutter.
As autumn unfolds, Grigsby’s fairytale life starts to unwind. Street-smart Renee Parker has been hired as John’s executive assistant and is convinced that something is amiss with her new boss. Renee enlists her friend Sasha Silver, CEO of Silver Partners, to help her decipher what is happening. They soon discover that John is nearly ruined, except for the assets he is hiding in the Cayman Islands from his wife Mimi, and has concocted with Blake a scheme to redeem himself. This tale of expulsion from a modern-day Garden of Eden captures what happens when economic decline spells ruin for Manhattan’s pampered elite.”
Have you read any of these books? Which of these would appeal to you?