14 May 2010

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED.

Ok, so I can't decide just what to read next, wanna help? Of course you do.

I've just received my latest book package - a set of 6 books, all of which have been shortlisted for the ORANGE PRIZE but am hopelessly lost as to which to read first. Please choose for me.


When George and Sabine Harwood arrive in Trinidad from England George instantly takes to their new life, but Sabine feels isolated, heat-fatigued, and ill at ease with the racial segregation and the imminent dawning of a new era. Her only solace is her growing fixation with Eric Williams, the charismatic leader of Trinidad's new national party, to whom she pours out all her hopes and fears for the future in letters that she never brings herself to send. As the years progress, George and Sabine's marriage endures for better or worse. When George discovers Sabine's cache of letters, he realises just how many secrets she's kept from him - and he from her - over the decades. And he is seized by an urgent, desperate need to prove his love for her, with tragic consequences…
Jay Porter is hardly the lawyer he set out to be. His most promising client is a low-rent call girl and he runs his fledgling law practice out of a dingy strip mall. But he's long since made peace with not living the American Dream and carefully tucked away his darkest sins: the guns, the FBI file, the trial that nearly destroyed him.
Houston, Texas, 1981. It is here that Jay believes he can make a fresh start. That is, until the night in a boat out on the bayou when he impulsively saves a woman from drowning—and opens a Pandora's box. Her secrets put Jay in danger, ensnaring him in a murder investigation that could cost him his practice, his family, and even his life. But before he can get to the bottom of a tangled mystery that reaches into the upper echelons of Houston's corporate power brokers, Jay must confront the demons of his past.


England, the 1520s. Henry VIII is on the throne, but has no heir. Cardinal Wolsey is his chief advisor, charged with securing the divorce the pope refuses to grant. Into this atmosphere of distrust and need comes Thomas Cromwell, first as Wolsey's clerk, and later his successor. Cromwell is a wholly original man: the son of a brutal blacksmith, a political genius, a briber, a charmer, a bully, a man with a delicate and deadly expertise in manipulating people and events. Ruthless in pursuit of his own interests, he is as ambitious in his wider politics as he is for himself. His reforming agenda is carried out in the grip of a self-interested parliament and a king who fluctuates between romantic passions and murderous rages. From one of our finest living writers, Wolf Hall is that very rare thing: a truly great English novel, one that explores the intersection of individual psychology and wider politics. With a vast array of characters, and richly overflowing with incident, it peels back history to show us Tudor England as a half-made society, moulding itself with great passion and suffering and courage.

Set just after the events of September 2001, it is a story about Tassie Keltjin, a twenty-year-old making her way in a new world and coming of age. Tassie is a “smile-less” girl from the plains of the mid-west. She has come to a university town, her brain on fire with Chaucer, Sylvia Plath, and Simone de Beauvoir. In between semesters, she takes a part-time job as a nanny for a family that seems mysterious and glamorous to her. Though her liking for children tends to dwindle into boredom, Tassie begins to care for, and protect, their newly adopted little girl as her own. As the year unfolds, she is drawn even deeper into the world of the child and her hovering parents, and her own life back home becomes alien to her. As life reveals itself dramatically and shockingly, Tassie finds herself forever changed — less the person she once was, and more and more the stranger she feels herself to be. 31st August 1939: the world is on the brink of war. As Hitler prepares to invade Poland, thousands of children are evacuated from London to escape the impending Blitz. Torn from her mother, eight-year-old Anna Sands is relocated with other children to a large Yorkshire estate which has been opened up to evacuees by Thomas and Elizabeth Ashton, an enigmatic childless couple. Soon Anna gets drawn into their unhappy relationship, seeing things that are not meant for her eyes - and finding herself part-witness and part-accomplice to a love affair, with tragic consequences. A story of love, loss and complicated loyalties, combining a sweeping narrative with subtle psychological observation, "The Very Thought of You" is a haunting and memorable debut.
The Lacuna is the heartbreaking story of a man’s search for safety of a man torn between the warm heart of Mexico and the cold embrace of 1950s McCarthyite America. Born in the U.S. and reared in Mexico, Harrison Shepherd is a liability to his social-climbing flapper mother, Salomé. Making himself useful in the household of the famed Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, and exiled Bolshevik leader Lev Trotsky, young Shepherd inadvertently casts his lot with art and revolution. A violent upheaval sends him north to a nation newly caught up in World War II. In the mountain city of Asheville, North Carolina he remakes himself in America’s hopeful image. But political winds continue to throw him between north and south, in a plot that turns many times on the unspeakable breach – the lacuna – between truth and public presumption. A gripping story of identity, loyalty and the devastating power of accusations to destroy innocent people. The Lacuna is as deep and rich as the New World.


Too late, Husband dearest has decided he'll read The Lacuna first. That leaves us with the other five.

24 comments:

Chris and Jess said...

I dont think I can wish a doorstopper like Wolf Hall on anyone so I'm going to go with the very thought of you. If I was to pick one of those up based on the blurb thats the one I'd pick

Nina said...

Wolf Hall! I haven't read it, but Henry VIII is fun to read about! :)

Vivienne said...

I was perusing these books this morning in the bookstore. I nearly picked up The Lacuna to read as I have heard brilliant things about them.

Did you get these on a good deal?

Kelly said...

I would go with "Wolf Hall" or "The Very Thought of You".

Looking forward to the reviews on all of them!

themethatisme said...

She did Vivienne. all six books for £20.00 plus £3.95 p&p from
The Book People

chitra said...

PW
you read and write review i will come and read it. I don't know what to suggest:(

NabilaHazirah said...

thanks for sharing this! these sound interesting!

Doorman-Priest said...

I like the look of "The White Woman on the Green Bicycle.

Kissed by an Angel said...

I would choose Black Water Rising!! Looks the best to me!!!
xxxx

Alexia561 said...

Tough choice! Think I'll vote for The Very Thought of You, but they all look interesting. Enjoy!

jacabur1 said...

Being that I love John Grisham lawyer thrillers and I am from Texas would pick "Black Water Rising" for you to read first. It was the only book you had that was my normal "mindless" easy read kind of book and sounds intriguing too!!!


jackie b central texas

Heather said...

i have about 15 pages left in Wolf Hall and am planning to read Black Water Rising next. Also have The Lacuna. have to order the other three yet. I would go with Black Water Rising . Will certainly be looking forward to your comments.

Short Poems said...

These sounds really interesting!
Thanks for sharing this with us :)
marinela x

Traci said...

Lots of great books but this Texan is voting for "Black Water Rising". Actually, this book is on my list, as well, so I am eager for an opinion that I value!
:-)

Oddyoddyo13 said...

I'd go with A Gate At the Stairs-the thought of becoming a stranger to yourself is intriguing. Good luck!

Pam said...

That is a tough choice. I'd go with Wolf Hall or Black Water Rising. I like mysteries and intrigue!

Jenners said...

I vote for "Black Water Rising."

WhisperingWriter said...

I read Wolf Hall and enjoyed it. I like anything that has to do with Henry VIII.

....Petty Witter said...

Thanks everyone. As Black Water Rising got the most votes, Black Water Rising it is.

Tracie said...

I'm late to the party but my vote would have gone to The Very Thought of You. I'm putting most of these on my 'to-read list'.

quid said...

"Wolf Hall" was on my top 10 list of books in 2009.

I'm just sayin'

quid

Dorte H said...

I am sure I would pick Black Water Rising first.

Jennifer McLean said...

awww, I'm too late to put in my vote! ok, well, how about this, can you read "The Gate At The Stairs" next? It seriously sounds interesting! Can't wait for the reviews. :o)

Right now I'm reading a Harlen Coben thriller called "Long Lost". It's really great, but one starting Coben for the first time would benefit from starting from the beginning of this character (Myron Bolitar series).

Thanks so much for the birthday wish, I just put my totally self serving announcement up on my blog. I thought, hey, my day, I get to be selfish. Hehehe.

Hope hubby is doing wonderfully. Hugs to you both.
Best,
Jenn

Teresa said...

There are some great books there. I'm anxious to read Kingsolver's new one. Just need to pick it up somewhere! Thanks for stopping by my blog.