Sometimes you don’t need an avalanche of books… Just the right six or seven. :)
Araminta Hall – Dot
Dot is due out in May, my review copy arrived in the post from We Love This Book on Saturday. The blurb and cover quote are rather cagey but it involves ‘a higgledy-piggledy house with turrets and tunnels’ and a mysterious photograph being discovered by a little girl called Dot during a game of hide-and-seek…
Hunting in Waterstones:
Kathleen Jamie – Sightlines
Sightlines is a collection of essays, nature writing about icebergs, whales, remote Scottish islands and satellites. I’m reading lots of essays this year (though I am behind on my posts about this challenge, updates are coming!) and I am trying to keep the mix of subjects quite varied. I love good nature writing so this fits the bill wonderfully.
Katie Roiphe – Uncommon Arrangements: Seven Marriages in Literary London 1910 -1939
Uncommon Arrangements was a book I hadn’t heard of before but found in the essays/literary biography/books about books corner of the store. As each chapter is about a different couple and their unorthodox relationship (for example H G Wells, his wife and his mistress, Rebecca West) this fits my essay challenge criteria as well as being a rather unusual sort of literary history book.
From the library, three of my reserved items came in:
George Saunders – Tenth of December
Tenth of December came out in January and I’m always looking for new story collections to dip into. Oddly, I’m aware of the book because of hype on Twitter and in the press but don’t honestly remember reading a review. Interestingly I see that it’s split the Amazon reviewers between 1/5 and 5/5 ratings, though this seems in part because there was some expectation that short stories=upbeat which frankly baffles me. One I need to try for myself, clearly.
Connie Willis – Blackout
I’ve enjoyed most of Willis’ books already but decided to order Blackout and All Clear from the library rather than buy them straight away. Willis writes interesting, quirky and often rather funny tales of time travel and consequences. However, her books are often a little too long/under-edited and this pair of books set alarm bells ringing as they are apparently the beginning and ending of one bigger story. As each book is 600/700 pages long it seems she has excelled herself to write a 1500 page monster this time. They do sound good though – a team of university students working on observation assignments in WWII discover that they might actually be affecting the future, something they’d always been taught was impossible. There’s characters I liked from previous books running around in here too.
Claire Tomalin – The Winter Wife
The Winter Wife is the slim little book above Blackout. I ordered it because I am reading all of Tomalin’s biographies this year and this popped up when I searched her name looking for a title I don’t own. I didn’t know what it was when I requested it, I decided to let it be a surprise and it turns out to be a play about Katherine Mansfield. Perfect for a companion read when I read Tomalin’s biography of Mansfield.
I don’t review everything I read but I suspect these books will definitely feature here again over the next couple of weeks. :)