Considering that we've had a postal strike this week there doesn't seem to have been any shortage of parcels arriving and in amongst them I think a few in-flight novels that will be just the ticket.
I have been up to my eyes with life and lists so apologies to anyone who hasn't received a thankyou message from me, I'm as grateful as ever for everything received.
Em at Snowbooks sent along The Book of Names by Jill Gregory and Karen Tintori and this is first on the in-flight reading pile; intelligent suspense thriller which looks so good and has a gorgeous sprinkling of subtle gold book-bling dust on the cover.
Next in the flight pile, The Black Tea Experiments by Ray Atkinson which is billed as one that can be read "during a single average airline flight".
The Tinker and I will test it out.
In the same parcel Infamous Eve A History by May Sinclair.This will require application but looks like an enlightening trail around all the legends, stories and folktales that have surrounded Eve down the years. I think it will yield some gems.
Kate Williams very kindly sent me a copy of England's Mistress now out in paperback and I hot-footed off to my book group (we are called Goldfish, best not to ask for explanations, I'm not sure we really know but the library needs a collective name and we were in quirky mood) with this as my recommend for the next read.There's always a nerve-wracking moment before the chooser of the next read unveils their selection.
We ask around, who's read any great books lately?
Anyone read anything awful?
So you sit there having palpitations in case anyone trashes your choice before you've announced it.I wasn't in the least bit worried, this was one of my best reads of 2006 and I'm quietly confident they will enjoy it too.
Hesperus kindly sent their latest books and I have had a hard job not to carry on reading The Calligrapher's Night by Yasmine Ghata but I'm being disciplined and trying to clear the reading slate of all unfinished reads before I go away.It gets off to the most beautiful, lyrical start but it will be waiting on my return and make a useful addition to my Islamic reading project.
Zed Books have kindly sent a couple more general background non-fiction titles to give this project a bit of variety, Iraqi Women by Nadje Sadig Al-Ali and From Homebreakers to Jailbreakers : Southall Black Sisters edited by Rahila Gupta.I had to read some of this once I'd opened it and read the words "Victoria Climbie". These names become synonymous with child protection, when I first started health visiting it was Maria Colwell, but currently let no one be in any doubt, a great deal has been implemented since the Victoria Climbie inquiry.Sometimes almost too many lessons to be learnt.
The Darkroom of Damocles by W.F.Hermans originally published in 1958 and now back in print again thanks to Harvill Secker. Wartime assignments during the German occupation of Holland and the aftermath once the war is over.
Despite the postal strike a parcel from John Murray arrived at a very odd time of day and was mysteriously left under the doormat.Polly must had nipped down from London with it herself I think.A paperback copy of The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox which I'm delighted with as I only have a hefty proof copy. I read this as part of a reader's opinions survey before the book was published and I really enjoyed it. I know plenty who have hated it, nay loathed it, but I just found it a really entertaining read, start to finish.Then a wonderful contrast The Diplomatic Corpse by Anne Marshall-Zwack.This is the diplomatic wife who discovers her husband's worldwide infidelities after his death and heads off on the revenge trip of a lifetime.
Good poolside read I think, this one's in.
Free from newbooksmag who are worth the subscription alone for any number of cut-price and free books you can get hold of, Wild Mary A Life of Mary Wesley by Patrick Marnham.An unusual and colourful life is what I'm expecting.Mary Wesley synonymous with my reading in 1988 the first year my journal began. That year we had a seven, a five and a three year old. I read thirty-one books (heaven knows when) and five of them were by Mary Wesley. Time must have been even more at a premium in 1989 when I only read twenty.
Finally I bought a book.
You didn't think a week could go by without expenditure did you? I missed Be Near Me by Andrew O'Hagan on last year's Booker longlist but it came highly recommended by many visitors here and it's just out in paperback.
Two books I left behind and now wish I hadn't, The Seventh Gate by Richard Zimler and The Lightning Keeper by Starling Lawrence, am I right? They both looked good.