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A library haul after months | Notes from my Reading

Despite so much going on over here between work, house projects, yard work, and just daily living challenges in this pandemic era, I've been able to squeeze in time to read as well, which I'm thankful for, because the news has been abysmal these past few weeks for various reasons and I'm continually worrying about where humanity is headed, even more so than I did before.

A library haul after months...My biggest highlight in books this past week was that the library opened for holds pickup. I'd been checking their website every week to find if next week was going to be the week it opened. So when the notice finally came through last week, I was beyond thrilled. I was also very unsure what books to request from the library since I had gotten very used to reading online. Still, I had a few requested when they called me to schedule a one-hour window for pickup. I did request a ton of books after that though, so I expect a bigger bag this week. 

Some of these are books to rea…

Friday Finds -- May 07, 2010

Friday Finds Hosted by MizB at Should be reading, this meme asks you what great books did you hear about/discover this past week?

As always, I've managed to feed my TBR with more delicious books. What wouldn't I give to have all the time in the world to get through all the books. Now isn't that something we would ask for from a genie?

Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada

I know nothing about this book, but that Hans Fallada "wrote this novel in twenty-four days in 1947, the last year of his life; he was addicted to drugs and alcohol, and had just been released from a Nazi insane asylum". That has me interested enough. According to The New Yorker, the book has the suspense of a John le Carré novel, and offers a visceral, chilling portrait of the distrust that permeated everyday German life during the war.

"This never-before-translated masterpiece - by a heroic best-selling writer who saw his life crumble under the Nazis - is based on a true story." "It presents a richly detailed portrait of life in Berlin under the Nazis and tells the sweeping saga of one working-class couple who decides to take a stand when their only son is killed at the front. With nothing but their grief and each other against the awesome power of the Reich, they launch a simple, clandestine resistance campaign that soon has an enraged Gestapo on their trail, and a world of terrified neighbors and cynical snitches ready to turn them in." In the end, it's more than an edge-of-your-seat thriller, more than a moving romance, even more than literature of the highest order - it's a deeply stirring story of two people standing up for what's right, and each other.

 

I have never read any Kate Morton books though I'm reminded of this fact almost every day by many of her fans. I was interested by Cat's review of The Shifting Fog. I was going to add this book to my TBR, when I noticed that the US (and UK?) edition is called The House at Riverton. Interesting cover comparison too!

Summer 1924: On the eve of a glittering society party, by the lake of a grand English country house, a young poet takes his life. The only witnesses, sisters Hannah and Emmeline Hartford, will never speak to each other again.

Winter 1999: Grace Bradley, ninety-eight, one-time housemaid of Riverton Manor, is visited by a young director making a film about the poet's suicide. Ghosts awaken and old memories - long consigned to the dark reaches of Grace's mind - begin to sneak back through the cracks. A shocking secret threatens to emerge, something history has forgotten but Grace never could.


Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors

I'll admit that the first time I saw this book, I wasn't intrigued. Taj Mahal's history as the monument of love and its association with the Shah Jahan -- Mumtaz Mahal pair is a story well known. I had read about this enough in history books as I was growing up. But after seeing so many good reviews of this book, I guess I'll give it a try and hope that it doesn't rehash the same story but take a different approach.

Journey to dazzling seventeenth-century Hindustan, where the reigning emperor, consumed with grief over the tragic death of his beloved wife, commissions the building of the Taj Mahal as a testament to the marvel of their love. Princess Jahanara, their courageous daughter, recounts their mesmerizing tale, while sharing her own parallel tale of forbidden love with the celebrated architect of the Taj Mahal. This impressive novel sweeps readers away to a historical Hindustan brimming with action and intrigue in an era when, alongside the brutalities of war and oppression, architecture and the art of love and passion reached a pinnacle of perfection.


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Comments

Lucia said…
Hi, sounds like you have some interesting books this week. I've read 'The Shifting Fog,' and really enjoyed it. Have fun!
bermudaonion said…
Those all look good. Every Man Dies Alone is totally new to me and sounds fascinating.
Carina said…
Beneath a Marble Sky looks interesting ... I've added it to my wishlist! My picks for this week are here.
Ash said…
Every Man Dies Alone looks like a good read, I'm adding it to my list. Thanks for sharing!
Margot said…
You found some good ones. The Shifting Fog really appeals to me. I'm going to have to look for the US version,
Cat said…
The names changes can be so confusing - hope you will enjoy Shifting Fog.
I have Beneath a Marble Sky on my TBR but haven't been able to find a copy yet.
Great finds, Aths! Every Man Dies Alone particularly interests me.
hi, you have an award at my blog:

http://thebooknerdclub.blogspot.com/2010/05/awards.html
Tales of Whimsy said…
Such awesome covers :0)