This is a list where I am never going to cross off the last item. Here are four on my current list, typical of what I read. In no particular order:
The Library Book by Susan Orlean. This is the story of a fire in the Los Angeles Library and an exploration of the value of libraries. The fire occurred in the Los Angeles Library on 29th April, 1986 destroying over a million books.
Orlean’s book is part history, part investigation, part memoir, part science. She investigates book burning acres the ages and the struggle of libraries to continue across the ages. I wonder how we would feel if one of our great libraries lost over a million books. I like reading non-fiction and I value libraries so this should suit.
I am waiting for the release on June 4 of Martin Walker’s latest, the twelfth in the Bruno series. Bruno is a policeman in a picturesque area of France. As well as a complex mystery the good bring a delightful array of village characters, descriptions of mouth-watering food and a sense of life in modern rural France. I was introduced to these books by a close friend and we would discuss them in detail. Book 11 was probably the last book she read before her death and it will be strange not to talk this over with her.
Walker’s new book Body in the Castle Well starts with the death of a young art student and leads into the world of art forgery, the Resistance, a recurring theme in the Bruno books. The story involves also a young falconer who works at the chateau, the former home of jazz singer Josephine Baker. Navarino of lamb, apparently, is a featured dish.
I enjoy books with a historical setting and in Tea Cooper, I have found an author who handles historical material deftly, tells a fascinating story with strong characters and conveys a vivid sense of time and place. The Cedar Cutters is the next book of hers I intend reading. Set in the Hunter Valley this is the story of Cousin Ogilvie and her young son escaping from the boy’s powerful and dangerous father and Carrick O’Connor, champion cedar cutter, bent on revenge for the death of his wife and child and his own transportation.
I like to keep up with recently published novels, particularly where people have been divided in their reaction. The last book is Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak. While generally receiving rave reviews I have read some less than enthusiastic comments so I shall see for myself. Spanning generations this is a sweeping Australian family saga, this is the story of five brothers who struggle to bring themselves up after their mother has died and their father has fled. The novel was published in 2018.
I do not think this is a list I will ever cross off completely. There is always another to take the place of a book just finished.