So, I have to say last week (well this week as I’m writing on a Sunday not Monday as I normally do) didn’t go as well as planned reading wise. I had a master plan of listening versus reading to my book choices because I was away for the first part of the week and had six train journeys in my future. This way I could work and do something I actually enjoyed at the same time. Unfortunately, I forgot my headphones…meaning no listening at all to distract me from some mind-numbing spreadsheets.
Thankfully, I had taken a book with me so not all was lost. The book was Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro, a collection of short stories. I picked it because I had really liked Lives of Girls and Women, which I’d read back in April.
A young wife and mother receives release from the unbearable pain of losing her children from a most surprising source. In the aftermath of an unusual, humiliating seduction, a young woman reacts in a clever if less-than-admirable way. Other stories uncover the “deep holes” in a marriage and their consequences, the unsuspected cruelty of children, and how a boy’s disfigured face molds his fate. And in the long title story, we accompany Sonia Kovalevsky—a late-nineteenth-century Russian émigré and mathematician—on a winter journey that takes her from the Riviera, where she visits her lover, to Paris, Germany, and the Danish Isles, where she has a fateful meeting with a local doctor, and finally to Sweden, where she teaches at the only university in Europe willing to employ a female mathematician.
Too Much Happiness is from the library and was part of a great haul.
Without You by Saskia Sarginson: When 17-year-old Eva goes missing at sea, everyone presumes that she tragically drowned. Her parents’ relationship starts to fall apart, undermined by guilt and grief. But her younger sister, Faith, refuses to consider a life without Eva; she’s determined to bring her sister home alive.
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters: It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned; the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa — a large, silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants — life is about to be transformed as impoverished widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.
The Boy Who Could See Death by Salley Vickers: Eli is an ordinary boy with an extraordinary gift. It will shape the course of his whole life but, he learns the hard way, he must keep it hidden from those who know him best. Seeing death is a mixed blessing.
All The Little Pieces by Jilliane Hoffman: She could have stopped an awful crime. She could have saved a life. She tried to forget about it. But now, the truth is out.
How To Be Both by Ali Smith: How to be both is a novel all about art’s versatility. Borrowing from painting’s fresco technique to make an original literary double-take, it’s a fast-moving genre-bending conversation between forms, times, truths and fictions. There’s a Renaissance artist of the 1460s. There’s the child of a child of the 1960s. Two tales of love and injustice twist into a singular yarn where time gets timeless, structural gets playful, knowing gets mysterious, fictional gets real—and all life’s givens get given a second chance.
Tucked in amongst the pile is The Other Child by Lucy Atkins, which I won in a Goodread giveaway. I never win anything so a rather chuffed to have received it.
Sometimes a lie seems kinder than the truth … but what happens when that lie destroys everything you love?.
When Tess is sent to photograph Greg, a high profile paediatric heart surgeon, she sees something troubled in his face, and feels instantly drawn to him. Their relationship quickly deepens, but then Tess, single mother to nine-year-old Joe, falls pregnant, and Greg is offered the job of a lifetime back in his hometown of Boston. Before she knows it, Tess is married, and relocating to the States. But life in an affluent American suburb proves anything but straightforward.
Unsettling things keep happening in the large rented house. Joe is distressed, the next-door neighbours are in crisis, and Tess is sure that someone is watching her. Greg’s work is all-consuming and, as the baby’s birth looms, he grows more and more unreachable. Something is very wrong, Tess knows it, and then she makes a jaw-dropping discovery…
I’m not sure which ones I’ll read first because they have all been on my to-read list and all sound good, which makes this post not so much a what I’m reading but what should I read? Any suggestions? What about you, what are you reading?
This week, I’m linking in with Kimberly at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer and her Sunday Post. Head over to see what other bloggers have read, written about or just added to their shelves.