New Additions at BooksPlease

I’ve been lucky with some of the 99p e-books on offer on Amazon recently and bought three books, well five actually as one is a trilogy.

First a nonfiction book, Winds of Change: Britain in the Early Sixties by historian, Peter Hennessy. The centre of the book is 1963 – the year of the Profumo Crisis, the Great Train Robbery, the satire boom, de Gaulle’s veto of Britain’s first application to join the EEC, the fall of Macmillan and the unexpected succession to the premiership of Alec Douglas-Home. Then, in 1964, the battle of what Hennessy calls the tweedy aristocrat and the tweedy meritocrat – Harold Wilson, who would end 13 years of Conservative rule and usher in a new era. It’s the final book in Hennessy’s Post War trilogy.

Then three novels – all historical fiction: The Regeneration Trilogy: Regeneration; The Eye in the Door; The Ghost Road by Pat Barker, three novels set during the First World War. I already had the third book, but hadn’t read it because I wanted to read the trilogy in order. It tells the story of three men, shell-shocked soldiers, who were sent back to the front. It’s based on the experiences of poets, Siegfried Sassoon and Wifred Owen who met at Craiglockhart Hospital near Edinburgh.

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton – A few years ago I borrowed this book from the library but had to return it unread. Later on I watched the TV series and thought I’d like to read the book. So, when it was on offer for 99p I bought it. It’s set in Amsterdam in 1686. Nella Oortman marries a rich merchant, but life in her new home is unfulfilled. Even her cabinet house brings a mystery to the secretive world she has entered as the lifelike miniatures somehow start eerily foreshadowing her fate.

This last book is my choice this month from Amazon First Reads free books:

Tears of Amber by Sofía Segovia – a novel set during the Second World War in East Prussia between 1938 and 1947. In her author’s note Sofia Segovia says her novel was inspired by the story of Ilse and Arno Schipper, who established a factory in Monterrey, Mexico, her home town. It is a mix of fact and fiction. Publication date 1 May 2021. I have started reading and it’s looking good so far.

10 comments

  1. Great! I’m glad I’m not the only one without willpower – I’m a sucker for the 99p offers, although I have slowed down after I realised how much that would cost if I bought one every day! 🙂

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  2. Those do look good, Margaret. I love it when I find a really interesting book (or three, or four, or…) on sale like that. The Hennessy in particular interests me, as I do like history. But the rest look terrific, too.

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  3. I read Pat Barker’s Regeneration Trilogy in the mid-late 90s and thought it was tremendous — easily one of the most powerful things I had read in years (and I’m not even particularly interested in the WWI era). That being said, I also thought Ghost Road (the last volume and the winner of the Booker Prize), the weakest of the three books. I think you were really wise to hold off until you could read the books in order, as this is one of those trilogies where the cumulative effect of events matters a lot.
    So far I’ve passed on Burton’s The Miniaturist. Perhaps I’ll change my mind after your review! Tears of Amber looks interesting and, tbh, you really can’t beat the price!

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    • That’s good to know about Pat Barker’s Regeneration Trilogy – I hope I’ll think it’s tremendous too. I was cautious about reading The Miniaturist until I watched the TV series, but I’m hoping it’ll be good.

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  4. Very interesting choices. I’m terrible about buying bargains for my Kindle and then never reading them! I recently read Siegfried Sassoon’s Memoirs of a Foxhunting Man which [I’m sure you know] is a fictionalized memoir of his pre-war and early war life. I’d like to read that trilogy sometime due to my interest in PTSD.

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  5. Oh dear, I’m afraid my Kindle is like a black hole – books go in some never to be seen again. I hope I’ll get round to reading these particular books before I forget they’re there. I read Siegfried Sassoon’s Memoirs of a Foxhunting Man when I was at school and re-read it some years ago – a lovely book about his early carefree life and then First World War brought him face to face with the grim realities of life and death.

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  6. I’ve read The Regeneration Series and The Miniaturist and was completely immersed in all of them. The life of 17th century Amsterdam with all the guilds is fascinating and the lives and decisions of the characters at Craiglockhart Hospital led me to a better understanding, I think, of going to war and conscientious objectors. Well worth the 99p’s!

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  7. I’ve read a lot of WW1 fiction and non-fiction including the Pat Barker trilogy, it’s very good, I think you’ll like it too. The other books all sound interesting to me, I’m not surprised you were tempted by them!

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