Sunday Selection

Newbooks magazine arrived yesterday, with articles about James, Naughtie, Deborah Moggach and Jodie Picoult amongst others – all interesting reading. There’s also a recipe for Parsnip Cake with Walnuts and Raisins that I may try.

Now I’m wondering whether to send off for one (or more) of these books, offered for just the cost of p&p. I haven’t read anything by any of these authors, so have no knowledge of their writing. Newbooks gives extracts from the opening of the books and articles about the authors.

newbooks March 13

  • Jasmine Nights by Julia Gregson – described as a love story set against the backdrop of the Second World War in Egypt and Turkey, in which Saba Tarcan enlists in ENSA to entertain the troops, but also is drafted as a spy. I have Julia Grigson’s first book The Water Horse, but haven’t read it yet. It looks very interesting and well located – Julia Grigson travelled to both Egypt and Turkey to get the settings right. Although the book is not about her parents, their experiences during the War were the springboard into writing the book. 
  • Among Others by Jo Walton – set in Wales in 1979, this is a story about a 15 year-old girl and her twin sister who commune with fairies. When her sister is killed, she is crippled and sent away to a boarding school. It’s a fantasy and science fiction novel and centres on books and their importance.  Jo Walton is well-known (if not by me) as a science fiction/fantasy writer. She is a Welsh-born author, living in Canada.
  • The Forbidden Queen by Anne O’Brien – historical fiction about Katherine de Valois, who married Henry V. Anne O’Brien has made use of the historic outline of Katherine’s life and incorporated the romantic myths of her love for Owen Tudor and her liaison with Edmund Beaufort. Not a political history for this is a coming-of-age novel – a tragic love story.
  • The Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin – a version of Edgar Allan Poe’s tale, a dark, gothic dystopian story of the plague and apocalypse. It’s targeted at young adults/teenagers. I don’t think this book is for me.
  • The Passage by Justin Cronin and The Twelve by Justin Cronin. These are the first two books in Justin Cronin’s post-apocalyptic trilogy, more dystopian fiction. I’m not interested in reading books featuring vampires (apart from Dracula, which to my surprise, I liked), even bio-engineered vampires. Justin Cronin is a multi-award-winning writer, a Professor of English at Rice University, who lives with his family in Houston, Texas.

At the moment I’m veering towards sending off for Jasmine Nights, or The Forbidden Queen.

6 thoughts on “Sunday Selection

  1. I’d love to try the parsnip cake. Some of the books on your list look interesting. I’m not big on dystopian fiction , but I do like historical fiction, I shall have to check out your list more closely. Thanks Margaret, I enjoyed Fatherland.


  2. I’ve found Jo Walton difficult to get from our library services, but the one book of her’s that I did read I enjoyed very much. This has been on my radar for sometime but I’m still waiting for the libraries to catch up with her.


    • Alex, which book of hers did you read? The article in Newbooks referred to an earlier novel, Tooth and Claw, in which all the characters are dragons, but I see from her website she has written several.

      Her books aren’t in our library services either!


  3. Margaret – You’ve got quite a variety there! I’ve actually heard and read that the Grigson is very good. If you choose that one I’ll be really interested in what you think of it.


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