It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This weekly meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey

I'm late posting this meme again. Last week I missed out altogether. Lately I've been unable to focus on blogging and review writing and reading has been pushed aside for other pursuits. Perhaps it's due to planetary alignment, a spate of cold weather or just plain laziness on my part. Hopefully it's only a temporary glitch.

I'd promised myself that I would set aside a day to catch up on my book reviews and planned to sacrifice good reading time to do this. Alas, it wasn't to be. The day I'd set aside for the catch up didn't start well. The electricity went off at 8.30 a.m. and didn't come back on until 3.30 p.m. It was a scheduled outage, but we didn't get the memo (sigh). Unfortunately by the time the power came back on at 3.30 p.m. my motivation had disappeared. To add to my frustration the internet was down too. However, I did manage to decipher my hand written notes in readiness for my review catch up.

On the reading front, I finished one book, Year of Wonders,  and started another, The Absolutist. I'm still plodding through The Tea Chest  and Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite

What I Read Last Week

Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks

A young woman's struggle to save her family and her soul during the extraordinary year of 1666, when plague suddenly struck a small Derbyshire village. In 1666, plague swept through London, driving the King and his court to Oxford, and Samuel Pepys to Greenwich, in an attempt to escape contagion. The north of England remained untouched until, in a small community of lead miners and hill farmers, a bolt of cloth arrived from the capital. The tailor who cut the cloth had no way of knowing that the damp fabric carried with it bubonic infection. So begins the Year of Wonders, in which a Pennine village of 350 souls confronts a scourge beyond remedy or understanding. Desperate, the villagers turn to sorcery, herb lore, and murderous witch-hunting. Then, led by a young and charismatic preacher, they elect to isolate themselves in a fatal quarantine. The story is told through the eyes of Anna Frith who, at only 18, must contend with the death of her family, the disintegration of her society, and the lure of a dangerous and illicit attraction.

I enjoyed this story, though the ending was unusual and not what I expected.

What I'm Reading Today

The Tea Chest by Josephine Moon

Kate Fullerton, talented tea designer and now co-owner of The Tea Chest, could never have imagined that she'd be flying from Brisbane to London, risking her young family's future, to save the business she loves from the woman who wants to shut it down. Meanwhile, Leila Morton has just lost her job; and if Elizabeth Clancy had known today was the day she would appear on the nightly news, she might at least have put on some clothes. Both need to start again. When the three women's paths unexpectedly cross, they throw themselves into realising Kate's magical vision for London's branch of The Tea Chest. But every time success is within their grasp, increasing tensions damage their trust in each other. With the very real possibility that The Tea Chest will fail, Kate, Leila and Elizabeth must decide what's important to each of them. Are they willing to walk away or can they learn to believe in themselves? An enchanting, witty novel about the unexpected situations life throws at us, and how love and friendship help us through. Written with heart and infused with the seductive scents of bergamot, Indian spices, lemon, rose and caramel, it's a world you won't want to leave.

Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite by Anthony Trollope

Since its first appearance in 1870, "Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite" has been regarded as one of Trollope's finest short novels. Trollope wrote the book with what he considered to be more 'romance proper' than his other works; his object here was to tell a single 'pathetic incident' rather than to portray 'a number of living human beings.' This is a tale of a conscientious father vacillating between a desire to marry his daughter to a cousin destined to inherit the family title, and his fear that the cousin, reportedly a scheming wastrel, in unworthy of her. "Sir Harry Hotspur" has been called Trollope's saddest story, and at the same time the superlative exception to the rule that Trollope's long, comfortable books are his best.

The Absolutist by John Boyne

September 1919: Twenty-years-old Tristan Sadler takes a train from London to Norwich to deliver a clutch of letters to Marian Bancroft. Tristan fought alongside Marian's brother Will during the Great War. They trained together. They fought together. But in 1917, Will laid down his guns on the battlefield and declared himself a conscientious objector, an act which has brought shame and dishonour on the Bancroft family. The letters, however, are not the real reason for Tristan's visit. He holds a secret deep within him. One that he is desperate to unburden himself of to Marian, if he can only find the courage. Whatever happens, this meeting will change his life - forever.

What I Hope to Read Next

Gallipoli Street by Mary Anne O'Connor

An Anzac tale of three families whose destinies are entwined by war, tragedy and passion.
At 17, Veronica O’Shay is happier running wild on the family farm than behaving in the ladylike manner her mother requires, and she despairs both of her secret passion for her brother’s friend Jack Murphy and what promises to be a future of restraint and compliance. 
But this is 1913 and the genteel tranquillity of rural Beecroft is about to change forever as the O’Shay and Murphy families, along with their friends the Dwyers, are caught up in the theatre of war and their fates become intertwined.
From the horrors of Gallipoli to the bloody battles of the Somme, through love lost and found, the Great Depression and the desperate jungle war along the Kokoda Track, this sprawling family drama brings to life a time long past… a time of desperate love born in desperate times and acts of friendship against impossible odds.
A love letter to Australian landscape and character, Gallipoli Street celebrates both mateship and the enduring quality of real love. But more than that, this book shows us where we have come from as a nation, by revealing the adversity and passions that forged us.
A stunning novel that brings to life the love and courage that formed our Anzac tradition.

No comments:

Post a Comment