Since I last wrote anything on this blog, I’ve searched, found, bought, and moved into a marvellous new condo overlooking the Ottawa River. And although I haven’t found the time to write, I’ve certainly been reading. Here’s a sample from my bookshelf:
Finally read The Girl in the Spider’s Web. Great modern, computer-age adventure full of cyber-/ industrial-spies, insights into autism, and surprising twists and turns. Highly recommend.
Also read Wedlock about Queen Elizabeth’s great, great, great grandmother whose infamous divorce from a sadistic, conniving, philandering brute of a husband finally succeeded in freeing her from his control and restored what was left of her family fortune. At a time when divorces were few and far between, this was an amazing story and extremely scandalous.
Also read another in the Maggie Hope series, His Majesty’s Hope, about her first adventure into enemy territory, her discovery of her half-sister as well as coming face to face with her mother — a notorious enemy spy who had abandoned her and her father when she was little — and her discovery of the truth about the euthanasia of “defective” children in Nazi Germany. Lots of action and intrigue.
I’ve recently finished a first novel by Canadian author Ami Mckay, The Birth House, which gives wonderful insight into a period in history where women were seeking the vote, autonomy over their own bodies, and the right to birth their children in their homes with the assistance of a midwife. Set in a rural community in Nova Scotia, Canada, Ami’s heroine comes of age during WWI and shows great courage and compassion. An illuminating and captivating story.
A favourite author of Viking romance and adventure, Bernard Cornwell was also on my list. I’ve read The Last Kingdom, the first in a series about Alfred the Great.
I’m currently reading Motherless Daughters: the Legacy of Loss by Hope Edelman, a book that has sat on my shelf for quite a number of years and one that I should have read long ago.
What’s up next? I’ve recently watched (for the umpteenth time) Casablanca because I picked up the Time anniversary edition with everything you ever wanted to know about the movie and the cult that grew up around it and still exists today. A book mentioned there is called We’ll Always Have Casablanca, a play on the movie line where Bogart tells Ingrid Bergman, “We’ll always have Paris”.
A novel I picked up at the same time, one I’d never heard of but it caught my eye, The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck which takes place in the aftermath of WWII and involves the widow of one of the German assasination conspirators who, after the war, reopens her old family castle and takes in the other widows in similar situations to her own, to help them get back on their feet. Sounds great!
What have you been reading or what’s up next?