10 additions to my #TBR list

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is:

The Ten Most Recent Additions to My To-Read List

 

 

 

So I’ve decided to go via my Goodreads list skipping over some that I had mentioned last week.

The Arsonist – Chloe Hooper

My library doesn’t have much of an Australian authors collection so I may have to see if I can put in a purchase request for this – although it looks like it’s only published in Australia at the moment.

On the scorching February day in 2009 that became known as Black Saturday, a man lit two fires in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, then sat on the roof of his house to watch the inferno. In the Valley, where the rates of crime were the highest in the state, more than thirty people were known to police as firebugs. But the detectives soon found themselves on the trail of a man they didn’t know.

The Arsonist takes readers on the hunt for this man, and inside the strange puzzle of his mind. It is also the story of fire in this country, and of a community that owed its existence to that very element. The command of fire has defined and sustained us as a species – understanding its abuse will define our future.

A powerful real-life thriller written with Hooper’s trademark lyric detail and nuance, The Arsonist is a reminder that in an age of fire, all of us are gatekeepers.

Leap In: A Woman, Some Waves, and the Will to Swim – Alexandra Heminsley

I like swimming so books about swimming always are a plus! This one was via The Captive Reader.

 

Alexandra Heminsley thought she could swim. She really did.

It may have been because she could run. It may have been because she wanted to swim; or perhaps because she only ever did ten minutes of breaststroke at a time. But, as she learned one day while flailing around in the sea, she really couldn’t.

Believing that a life lived fully isn’t one with the most money earned, the most stuff bought or the most races won, but one with the most experiences, experienced the most fully, she decided to conquer her fear of the water.

From the ignominy of getting into a wetsuit to the triumph of swimming from Kefalonia to Ithaca, in becoming a swimmer, Alexandra learns to appreciate her body and still her mind. As it turns out, the water is never as frightening once you’re in, and really, everything is better when you remember to exhale.

 

The Games House – Claire North

The cover of this book hasn’t been revealed yet so this is the German edition

Everyone has heard of the Gameshouse. But few know all its secrets…

It is the place where fortunes can be made and lost through chess, backgammon – every game under the sun.
But those whom fortune favors may be invited to compete in the higher league… a league where the games played are of politics and empires, of economics and kings. It is a league where Capture the Castle involves real castles, where hide and seek takes place on the scale of a continent.

Among those worthy of competing in the higher league, three unusually talented contestants play for the highest stakes of all…

Tailor-Made – Yolanda Wallace

Before Grace Henderson began working as a tailor in her father’s bespoke suit shop in Wiliamsburg, Brooklyn, she established a hard and fast rule about not dating clients. The edict is an easy one for her to follow, considering the overwhelming majority of the shop’s clients are men. But when Dakota Lane contacts her to commission a suit to wear to her sister’s wedding, Grace finds herself tempted to throw all the rules out the window.

Dakota Lane works as a bicycle messenger by day and moonlights as a male model. Her high-profile career, gender-bending looks, and hard-partying ways garner her plenty of romantic attention, but she would rather play the field than settle down. When she meets sexy tailor Grace Henderson, however, she suddenly finds herself in the market for much more than a custom suit

What Language Do I Dream In? – Elena Lappin

My life could be described as ‘five languages in search of an author’. I was born into Russian; transposed into Czech, then German; introduced to Hebrew; and finally adopted by English.’ Elena Lappin was born in Russia. Her parents speak Russian to one another, and to their children. Elena speaks Czech to her brother, but he writes in German and she writes in English. What does it mean to be brought up in family that speaks several different languages, and where all members are writers? Elena Lappin explores what it is to be a writer, what language is, and it’s also a wonderful look at the life of a woman who has moved from country to country looking for a language to think in.

 

Unexploded – Alison MacLeod

I used to live in Brighton so I’m always attracted to books set there

May, 1940. On Park Crescent, Geoffrey and Evelyn Beaumont and their eight-year-old son, Philip, anxiously await news of the expected enemy landing on the beaches of Brighton.

It is a year of tension and change. Geoffrey becomes Superintendent of the enemy alien camp at the far reaches of town, while Philip is gripped by the rumour that Hitler will make Brighton’s Royal Pavilion his English HQ. As the rumours continue to fly and the days tick on, Evelyn struggles to fall in with the war effort and the constraints of her role in life, and her thoughts become tinged with a mounting, indefinable desperation.

Then she meets Otto Gottlieb, a ‘degenerate’ German-Jewish painter and prisoner in her husband’s internment camp. As Europe crumbles, Evelyn’s and Otto’s mutual distrust slowly begins to change into something else, which will shatter the structures on which her life, her family and her community rest.Love collides with fear, the power of art with the forces of war, and the lives of Evelyn, Otto and Geoffrey are changed irrevocably

A Duke by Default – Alyssa Cole

I really liked Cole’s A Princess in Theory, the first book in the Reluctant Royals series! This is the second book.

Award-winning author Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series continues with a woman on a quest to be the heroine of her own story and the duke in shining armor she rescues along the way

New York City socialite and perpetual hot mess Portia Hobbs is tired of disappointing her family, friends, and—most importantly—herself. An apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotland is a chance to use her expertise and discover what she’s capable of. Turns out she excels at aggravating her gruff silver fox boss
when she’s not having inappropriate fantasies about his sexy Scottish burr.

Tavish McKenzie doesn’t need a rich, spoiled American telling him how to run his armory
even if she is infuriatingly good at it. Tav tries to rebuff his apprentice, and his attraction to her, but when Portia accidentally discovers that he’s the secret son of a duke, rough-around-the-edges Tav becomes her newest makeover project.

Forging metal into weapons and armor is one thing, but when desire burns out of control and the media spotlight gets too hot to bear, can a commoner turned duke and his posh apprentice find lasting love?

The Farm by Joanne Ramos

I quite like the cover of this one

Nestled in the Hudson Valley is a sumptuous retreat boasting every amenity: organic meals, private fitness trainers, daily massages–and all of it for free. In fact, you get paid big money–more than you’ve ever dreamed of–to spend a few seasons in this luxurious locale. The catch? For nine months, you belong to the Farm. You cannot leave the grounds; your every move is monitored. Your former life will seem a world away as you dedicate yourself to the all-consuming task of producing the perfect baby for your ĂŒberwealthy clients.

Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines and a struggling single mother, is thrilled to make it through the highly competitive Host selection process at the Farm. But now pregnant, fragile, consumed with worry for her own young daughter’s well-being, Jane grows desperate to reconnect with her life outside. Yet she cannot leave the Farm or she will lose the life-changing fee she’ll receive on delivery–or worse.

Heartbreaking, suspenseful, provocative, The Farm pushes our thinking on motherhood, money, and merit to the extremes, and raises crucial questions about the trade-offs women will make to fortify their futures and the futures of those they love.

The Far Field – Madhuri Vijay

I can’t remember where I got this recommendation from. Possibly a booklist?

Gorgeously tactile and sweeping in historical and socio-political scope, Pushcart Prize-winner Madhuri Vijay’s The Far Field follows a complicated flaneuse across the Indian subcontinent as she reckons with her past, her desires, and the tumultuous present.

In the wake of her mother’s death, Shalini, a privileged and restless young woman from Bangalore, sets out for a remote Himalayan village in the troubled northern region of Kashmir. Certain that the loss of her mother is somehow connected to the decade-old disappearance of Bashir Ahmed, a charming Kashmiri salesman who frequented her childhood home, she is determined to confront him. But upon her arrival, Shalini is brought face to face with Kashmir’s politics, as well as the tangled history of the local family that takes her in. And when life in the village turns volatile and old hatreds threaten to erupt into violence, Shalini finds herself forced to make a series of choices that could hold dangerous repercussions for the very people she has come to love.

 

Dust – Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor

From a breathtaking new voice, a novel about a splintered family in Kenya—a story of power and deceit, unrequited love, survival and sacrifice.

Odidi Oganda, running for his life, is gunned down in the streets of Nairobi. His grief-stricken sister, Ajany, just returned from Brazil, and their father bring his body back to their crumbling home in the Kenyan drylands, seeking some comfort and peace. But the murder has stirred memories long left untouched and unleashed a series of unexpected events: Odidi and Ajany’s mercurial mother flees in a fit of rage; a young Englishman arrives at the Ogandas’ house, seeking his missing father; a hardened policeman who has borne witness to unspeakable acts reopens a cold case; and an all-seeing Trader with a murky identity plots an overdue revenge. In scenes stretching from the violent upheaval of contemporary Kenya back through a shocking political assassination in 1969 and the Mau Mau uprisings against British colonial rule in the 1950s, we come to learn the secrets held by this parched landscape, buried deep within the shared past of the family and of a conflicted nation.

Here is a spellbinding novel about a brother and sister who have lost their way; about how myths come to pass, history is written, and war stains us forever.

Have you read any of these books?


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.

 

This post contains affiliate links from Book Depository, an online book retailer with free international shipping.  If you buy via these links it means I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you). 

 

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A Readathon reading list

dewey

 

It wasn’t too long ago that I took part in my first Readathon. I had followed along as my favourite bloggers took part in readathons, reading updates, a little bit envious as it seemed such fun, but at the same time, wondering, how does one Readathon, especially when there’s so much going on?

But I decided last April to just jump in and take part! And it was fun.

So just in case you’re a readathon newbie, first, sign up! And maybe figure out your start time (it’s 5am on Saturday for me here on the West Coast of the US). Also, don’t worry about that whole 24-hour thing. Read what you can, but more importantly, check out other blogs, or Instagram or Twitter and see what everyone else is up to!

That very first readathon, I was rather concerned about updating my blog and other social media. Some bloggers manage it every hour, others seem to do every couple hours or so. But I’ve learnt that it’s way too stressful for me to try updating often. If I can manage an update three or four times throughout the day, that’s a yay for me already.

I am always envious of those readathon-ers who manage to clear their schedule and devote the day to reading! I want to do that! I really really do! But with a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old, that’s rather difficult. And this Saturday is even more difficult, partly because the Husband has been away for the whole week for a work thing, and also because it’s my mum’s last day staying with us before she flies off home to Singapore on Sunday morning. So will there will be much reading done? I kind of doubt it.

But that’s where I am going to do some prep. I have downloaded library e-books on Overdrive on my phone, I have downloaded some Netgalley ARCs onto the tablet (using Aldiko), I also have some e-books on my Scribd app! Technology really has given my reading on the go a major boost. While I still adore the printed book, e-books have become such an important part of my life! How odd that is to type that sentence!

Anyway, I plan to only update my blog a few times on Saturday, probably using a master blog post. I probably will do quite a bit of Instagramming, and there’s a great community of Instagramming book bloggers and readers on Instagram. I’ve actually added quite a few books to my TBR list via others’ Instagram feeds!

So here’s what I’ve got planned…

On the Kindle (these are library e-books)

Binti – Nnedi Okorafor (which may be a novella?)

In the shadow of blackbirds – Cat Winters (RIP X reading)

On Aldiko (ARCs via NetGalley)

Descender Vol 1: Tin Stars – Jeff Lemire

Bitch Planet Vol 1: Extraordinary Machine – by Kelly Sue DeConnick, Valentine De Landro, Taki Soma(Artist), Robert Wilson (Goodreads Author) (Artist)

On Overdrive

A Wrinkle in Time graphic novel -Madeleine L’Engle, Hope Larson (Adapter)

Barracuda – Christos Tsiolkas

Six suspects – Vikas Swarup

spiritsabroad

I’ve also got countless e-books on my Scribd library, but one of those that I may try to dip into is Zen Cho’s Spirits Abroad, especially since I loved her Sorcerer to the Crown

Also I’m heading to the library on Friday – supposedly to get new library books for the kids, but really, to poke around and see what else I can dig up and add to my stack.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? And are you taking part in the Readathon this weekend? What are you most looking forward to?