Five Books To Anticipate Reading in 2018

Five Books to Pre-Order for the New Year

Unknown Winter by Ali Smith – available in the United States on January 9th.

If you enjoyed Smith’s first book in this series, Autumn, she follows up with the second in her seasonal quartet – Winter.  In her keynote lecture for this year’s Goldsmiths Prize for innovative fiction, Ali Smith promised –  “The novel (Winter) matters because of Donald Trump.”  Smith’s second novel in the series is set in the aftermath of Trump’s election; Winter has “four people, strangers and family, {who}converge on a fifteen-bedroom house in Cornwall for Christmas…It’s the season that teaches us survival.”

9780812995664 White Houses by Amy Bloom – available in the United States February 13th

Historical fiction about the relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok, the Associated Press journalist who fell in love with the First Lady and moved into the White House with her and the President.  Hickok was Eleanor Roosevelt’s increasingly confidante, cheerleader and intimate partner.

34888106  The Black Painting by Neil Olson – available January 9th

A wealthy East Coast family faces the suspicious death of its patriarch and the unsolved theft of a self-portrait by Goya rumored to cause madness and death. Art in a mystery thriller.

9780735221925  The Maze at Windermere by Gregory Blake – available  January 9th

  1. Five parallel stories, from Colonial times to the present, set in Newport, Rhode Island.  Smith weaves lives into “a narrative odyssey that braids together three centuries of aspiration and adversity. A witty and urbane bachelor of the Gilded Age embarks on a high-risk scheme to marry into a fortune; a young writer soon to make his mark turns himself to his craft with harrowing social consequences; an aristocratic British officer during the American Revolution carries on a courtship that leads to murder; and, in Newport’s earliest days, a tragically orphaned Quaker girl imagines a way forward for herself and the slave girl she has inherited…(Kirkus)”

51EOygu5XjL._AC_US218_The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani – available January 9th

Winner of France’s Goncourt literary prize.   Set in an apartment in the upscale tenth arrondissement of Paris, the story “is a compulsive, riveting…exploration of power, class, race, domesticity, and motherhood (Publisher’s Weekly).”   Louise is the perfect nanny to two young children; she cleans, stays late whenever asked, and hosts children’s parties, but as the parents’ dependence on her increases, she has embedded herself so deeply in their lives that it now seems impossible to remove her.

 

 

 

 

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Reminder List – Books to Read

  Whenever I discover a book I want to read, I find it on my iPhone, download a sample to remind myself to look for it in the library – and then promptly forget about it.  If the book has not yet been published in the United States, I need extra incentive to look for it again.

 Hoping to remember, here is my short list of books to read soon:

  • Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth
  • Maria Semple’s Today Will Be Different
  • Robert Seethaler’s A Whole Life
  • Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures
  • A.L. Kennedy’s Serious Sweet

Currently, I am reading The Secret River by Kate Grenville.

What books do you have on your to do list?

 

 

Maggie O’Farrell’s This Must Be the Place

When one of my favorite place for books recommended Maggie O’Farrell’s This Must Be the Place, I decided to order it.  First, the library system, but the book must be too new since it has not caught the attention of the ordering queen. A book by the same title was in the system – by Kate Racculia published in 2010.

Next, to iBook – imagine my surprise to learn a third book has the same title: one by Anna Winger  published in 2009.  Last on the list is Maggie O’Farrell.  Irrelevant, but a song released in 1983 also has the name as well as a movie with Sean Penn in 2011.  Popular title.

Wondering what such a title could predict?

Winger’s debut novel tells of two people who find each other when they least expect it in a city haunted by history.  Racculia involves four eclectic boarders, Mona and her daughter, who find their quiet life upended by the arrival of a widower in the middle of a nervous breakdown.   O’Farrell’s book focuses on a marriage.

Unknown-2  Maggie O’Farrell is one of my favorite writers.  I found her with The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, then sought out her Instructions for a Heatwave, and The Hand That First Held Mine (see my reviews below).

Now I have the sample of her latest book on my iPhone – a reminder to try the library again, but if it doesn’t appear when I’ve finished my latest library stack, I may have to just  just download it.  I have time; the book is due to be published in the United State on July 19th.

Have you read any of O’Farrell’s books?

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