My ‘to be read’ pile is not exactly what I would call a pile… it’s more like multiple lists, a few leaning towers and a very full Kindle hard drive. I don’t usually plan ten books ahead… I tend to go with whatever I’m feeling… but I’ve managed to pin down the next ten I’d like to read (unless I find something else particularly exciting…)
[All blurbs borrowed from GoodReads]
This is How it Ends – Kathleen MacMahon
THIS IS HOW IT ENDS tells the story of two people who collide with each other just as the whole world seems to be caught between the hope and promise of Obama’s election and the catastrophic collapse of the global economy.
Bruno is a middle-aged American banker who has come to Ireland to escape the financial meltdown in his own country. Addie is an out-of-work Irish architect. Childless and isolated when she meets Bruno, her life seems to be on a downward spiral.
Addie and Bruno’s story is one of nationality and identity, of the power of optimism to defeat despair and the unstoppable march of time. It’s the story of two people who find joy together when they were least expecting it. It’s about the past and the future and the elusive skill of living in the moment. It is a love story for our times.
Fugitive Pieces – Anne Michaels
In 1940 a boy bursts from the mud of a war-torn Polish city, where he has buried himself to hide from the soldiers who murdered his family. His name is Jakob Beer. He is only seven years old. And although by all rights he should have shared the fate of the other Jews in his village, he has not only survived but been rescued by a Greek geologist, who does not recognize the boy as human until he begins to cry.
With this electrifying image, Anne Michaels ushers us into her rapturously acclaimed novel of loss, memory, history, and redemption. As Michaels follows Jakob across two continents, we witness his transformation from a half-wild casualty of the Holocaust to an artist who extracts meaning from its abyss. Filled with mysterious symmetries and rendered in heart-stopping prose, FUGITIVE PIECES is a triumphant work, a book that should not so much be read as it should be surrendered to.
Close My Eyes – Sophie McKenzie
When Geniver Loxley lost her daughter at birth eight years ago, her world stopped… and never fully started again. Mothers with strollers still make her flinch; her love of writing has turned into a half-hearted teaching career; and she and her husband, Art, have slipped into the kind of rut that seems inescapable. For Art, the solution is simple: Have another child to replace Beth. For Gen, the thought of replacing her first child feels cruel, nearly unbearable. A part of her will never let go of Beth, no matter how much she needs to move on.
But then a stranger shows up on their doorstep, telling Gen the very thing she’s always desperately longed to hear: that her daughter was not stillborn, but was taken away as a healthy infant. That Beth is still out there, somewhere, waiting to be found. A fissure suddenly opens up in Gen’s carefully reconstructed life, letting in a flood of unanswerable questions. How could this possibly be true? Where is Beth? And why is Art so reluctant to get involved?
As Gen delves into the darkest parts of her past, she starts to realize that finding the answers might open the door to something even worse, a truth that could steal everything she holds close. Even her own life.
With searing emotional insight, Sophie McKenzie weaves a breathless thriller that digs in its hooks without mercy and twists without warning, confirming her place among today’s most exciting new voices in psychological suspense.
Dangerous Liaisons – Choderlos de Laclos
Published just years before the French Revolution, Laclos’s great novel of moral and emotional depravity is a disturbing and ultimately damning portrayal of a decadent society. Aristocrats and ex-lovers Marquise de Merteuil and Vicomte de Valmont embark on a sophisticated game of seduction and manipulation to bring amusement to their jaded lives. While Merteuil challenges Valmont to seduce an innocent convent girl, he is also occupied with the conquest of a virtuous married woman. Eventually their human pawns respond, and the consequences prove to be more serious-and deadly-than the players could have ever predicted.
The Biscuit Witch – Deborah Smith
Biscuit witches, Mama called them. She’d heard the term as a girl. She’d inherited that talent. My mother could cast spells on total strangers simply by setting a plate of her biscuits in front of them. –Tal MacBride
Welcome back to the Crossroads Cove where new loves, old feuds, and poignant mysteries will challenge siblings Tal, Gabby, and Gus MacBride to fight for the home they lost and to discover just how important their family once was, and still is, to the proud people of the Appalachian highlands. Tallulah MacBride hasn’t been back to North Carolina since their parents’ tragic deaths, twenty years ago. But now, Tal heads to cousin Delta Whittlespoon’s famous Crossroads Café in the mountains above Asheville, hoping to find a safe hiding place for her young daughter, Eve. What she finds is Cousin Delta gone, the café in a biscuit crisis, and a Scotsman, who refuses to believe she’s passing through instead of “running from.” He believes she needs a knight in shining flannel.When a pair of sinister private eyes show up, Tal’s troubles are just beginning. For Tal’s brother and sister—Gabby, the Pickle Queen, and Gus, the Kitchen Charmer—the next part of the journey will lead down forgotten roads and into beautiful but haunted legacies.
The Sea Sisters – Lucy Clarke
There are some currents in the relationship between sisters that run so dark and so deep, it’s better for the people swimming on the surface never to know what’s beneath . . .
Katie’s carefully structured world is shattered by the news that her headstrong younger sister, Mia, has been found dead in Bali – and the police claim it was suicide.
With only the entries of Mia’s travel journal as her guide, Katie retraces the last few months of her sister’s life, and – page by page, country by country – begins to uncover the mystery surrounding her death.
What she discovers changes everything. But will her search for the truth push their sisterly bond – and Katie – to breaking point?
In Love – Alfred Hayes
A powerful novel, telling of a middle-aged man who falls in love with a young divorcee who lives alone in a tiny, untidy apartment in the New York of the 1940s. Here, he visits her, erratically and not always happily. All is soon inexorably overturned when a rich interloper comes between the couple with an indecent proposal-a thousand dollars for a night.
Sovay – Celia Rees
It’s England, 1783. When the rich and beautiful Sovay isn’t sitting for portraits, she’s donning a man’s cloak and robbing travelers—in broad daylight. But in a time when political allegiances between France and England are strained, a rogue bandit is not the only thing travelers fear. Spies abound, and rumors of sedition can quickly lead to disappearances. So when Sovay lifts the wallet of one of England’s most powerful and dangerous men, it’s not just her own identity she must hide, but that of her father. A dazzling historical saga in which the roles of thieves and gentry, good and bad, and men and women are interchanged to riveting effect.
The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
THE POISONWOOD BIBLE is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it — from garden seeds to Scripture — is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family’s tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.
Nicholas Nickleby – Charles Dickens
When Nicholas Nickleby is left penniless after his father’s death, he appeals to his wealthy uncle to help him find work and to protect his mother and sister. But Ralph Nickleby proves both hard-hearted and unscrupulous, and Nicholas finds himself forced to make his own way in the world. His adventures gave Dickens the opportunity to portray an extraordinary gallery of rogues and eccentrics: Wackford Squeers, the tyrannical headmaster of Dotheboys Hall, a school for unwanted boys; the slow-witted orphan Smike, rescued by Nicholas; and the gloriously theatrical Mr and Mrs Crummles and their daughter, the ‘infant phenomenon’. Like many of Dickens’s novels, Nicholas Nickleby is characterised by his outrage at cruelty and social injustice, but it is also a flamboyantly exuberant work, revealing his comic genius at its most unerring.
No doubt my mind will change once I’m half way through the first on this list, but even if it does, this lot will remain firmly on my TBR stack.
So how about you? What are the next few books you’re planning to read?
P.S. This post is linked up to Top Ten Tuesday, a book meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.