I have collected a huge stack of books that I ordered from Plymouth libraries this week from Plympton Library for a change. I am moving away from the 200 page books that I have been reading as I have a few reviews in reserve and therefore can run the risk of reading a hefty book for a couple of weeks if I choose.
Here are the seven books that I brought home yesterday, all fiction, and I have tried to grab some more recent releases.
Title: the long way to a small angry planet
Author: Becky Chambers
Series: Wayfarer No 1
Why I chose this book: I read a clear and common orbit which is the stand alone sequel to this book and adored it. Both books would be classified as a space opera, as it is a futuristic setting but concentrating on the relationships between people and AI’s rather that on battles and suchlike. From the blurb the main character is a young human, Rosemary Harper who joins the inter-species crew of the Wayfarer, a patched-up ship that has seen better days. The crews job is to create stable wormholes in space to create transport routes. Life is mostly peaceful until they are offered a job of “tunnelling” to a distant planet with huge risk and huge payout.
I can’t wait. If this is anything like its sequel (review to follow soon) this will be a joy to read. Oh and if you are interested the publishers have produced this free board game based on the book.
Published in Hardback in the US in 2014 and UK in 2015 404 pages
Title: A Gentleman in Moscow
Author: Amor Towle
Why I chose this book: This book was on a list of my library’s most recent acquisitions and the goodreads reviewers rate it highly. Looking at the blurb and the first chapter The book appears to be about a disgraced Russian count under house arrest in a one of the grandest hotels in Moscow. On first impressions, the prose appears to be delightful and I am not sure how the plot is going to be driven but I can’t wait to find out.
Published in Hardback in the US in 2016 and UK 2017 with 462 pages
Title: Swimming Lessons
Author: Claire Fuller
Why I chose this book: There have been many good reviews of this book in the blogosphere and combined with being well received on Goodreads it looked like it was worth a look.
Ingrid when she and Gil where married would leave letters to him inside his extensive book collection. She disappears from a Dorset beach, presumed drowned but Gil continues to catch glimpses of her in the street. Their youngest daughter Flora, not believing in her mothers death investigates 12 years after her disappearance, not realising that the answers are all around her. Sounds intriguing.
Published in Hardback in the UK in 2017
Author: Hasan Ali Toptaş
Why I chose this book: This was picked up on the spur of the moment as I haven’t ever read anything by a Turkish author before. The plot seems to focus on a small Anatolian village where the local muhtar has been elected for 16 years in a row. Waking up with a steaming hangover after celebrating his win, he discovers that the local barber has disappeared and the community starts to slowly fall apart. The folks on goodreads have rated this very highly but most of the reviews are in Turkish. Not sure why but this book took over 20 years to become translated into English.
Published in hardback, translated by Maureen Freely and John Angliss in the UK in 2017 303 pages, originally published in Turkish in 1995
Title: Fever Dream
Author: Samantha Schweblin
Why I chose this book: I do try to read some of the books on the Booker prize shortlist and this short book, written by a Spanish woman seemed interesting. I am trying sporadically to learn Spanish and have been reading some translations of familiar books, so I had a vague idea to read it in Spanish once I was done with the translation. Ill let you know how that goes. Looking at the inside cover the story is about a woman ill, in hospital with an unrelated boy by her side. They are both anxious and with his prompting she recounts the events leading to her hospitalization and open a “chest of horrors”. This looks to be a fairly harrowing book, and I will have to wait for a time I am feeling cheery to read it I think. Looking at the goodreads reviews it is a good book to read in a single sitting, so one rainy day in the future.
Published in hardback translated by Megan McDowell in 2017
Title: Oryx and Crake
Author: Margaret Atwood
Series: MaddAddam Trilogy No1
Why I chose this book: This has been on my goodreads to be read pile for a while, so long that can’t remember why. This appears to be a dystopian future but I can’t quite get a handle on the plot yet. This is from the back cover:
“A man once named Jimmy, now calls himself Snowman and lives in a tree wrapped in old bed sheets”
As you would expect from Margaret Atwood it is beautifully written and I am amazed by the breath and depth of her imagination.
Title: The Name of the Wind
Author : Patrick Rothfuss
Series: Kingkiller Chronicle Day 1
This book was recommended as what to read once you are waiting for a new game of thrones book, not sure why I ordered it because I still have both books of dance with dragons to read but I was getting a bit reservation happy.
Again the folks over at goodreads rate this book highly and any fantasy that is described as believable has got to be good.
Published in Paperback in 2008 (Hardback in 2007) with 661 pages and very small print.
Well that lot will keep me busy for a while, I will be updating my progress sporadically on Goodreads if you are interested.