This last week has gone way too fast, mainly thanks to work being much busier than I expected plus a lovely weekend away with my folks. Still, all the driving I found I had to do meant I got to listen to the whole of one of my planned reads for last week, Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King by Antonia Fraser. I should get the review for that posted later this week and for my other completed read, Us by David Nicholls, which I really enjoyed.
I didn’t manage to finish The Wake even though I started it first. Because of how it’s written, it is a slow read, one that requires lots of stopping and starting as I try to understand just what is being said. Still, it’s an interesting concept so I’ll stick with it and see how I do this week. For the times I don’t think I have the brain power, I picked up a few quicker and easier reads Friday which I’ll be cracking open over the next few days (at least I think they’ll be quicker and easier!).
The Book: The Orphan Choir by Sophie Hannah
The Blurb: Louise Beeston is being haunted. Louise has no reason left to stay in the city. She can’t see her son, Joseph, who is away at boarding school, where he performs in a prestigious boys’ choir. Her troublesome neighbor has begun blasting choral music at all hours of the night—and to make matters worse, she’s the only one who can hear it. Hoping to find some peace, Louise convinces her husband, Stuart, to buy them a country house in an idyllic, sun-dappled gated community called Swallowfield. But it seems that the haunting melodies of the choir have followed her there. Could it be that her city neighbor has trailed her to Swallowfield, just to play an elaborate, malicious prank? Is there really a ghostly chorus playing outside her door? And why won’t they stop? Growing desperate, she begins to worry about her mental health. Against the pleas and growing disquiet of her husband, Louise starts to suspect that this sinister choir is not only real but a warning. But of what? And how can it be, when no one else can hear it?
The Reason: Because I have enjoyed Sophie Hannah’s other books and this seemed appropriately spooky with Halloween coming up. Looking at Goodreads this doesn’t get the most positive reviews so we’ll see if I’ve made the right choice.
The Book: The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher
The Blurb: One of Britain’s most accomplished, acclaimed, and garlanded writers, Hilary Mantel delivers a brilliant collection of contemporary short stories that demonstrate what modern England has become. In The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher, Hilary Mantel’s trademark gifts of penetrating characterization, unsparing eye, and rascally intelligence are once again fully on display. Her classic wicked humor in each story—which range from a ghost story to a vampire story to near-memoir to mini-sagas of family and social fracture—brilliantly unsettles the reader in that unmistakably Mantel way. Mantel brutally and acutely writes about gender, marriage, class, family, and sex, cutting to the core of human experience. Unpredictable, diverse, and even shockingly unexpected, each story grabs you by the throat within a couple of sentences. The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher displays a magnificent writer at the peak of her powers.
The Reason: I grew up in Thatcher’s Britain so the title was enough but also, as the only Hilary Mantel I’ve read are the Wolf Hall books I wanted so try something else by her.
And that’s it for this week, though think it’s more than enough! If you’ve read any of these I’d love to know your thoughts.
As with last week, I’m linking in with Sheila at Book Journey, who has a weekly post I’ve enjoyed following – It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Click on the link to find out what Sheila and other book bloggers are reading.