This weekend has been kind to me and I have managed to finish two books. I have certainly got my reading mojo back.
The first book I managed to complete was The Overstory by Richard Powers. I believe this may be my favourite book of all time. I know that is a big statement but my mind was completely blow by Richard’s writing style. He embraced the love and adoration his characters had for trees and the importance trees have not just for the environment but to people’s lives. The Overstory reflected the greed and disrespect humans have for trees and potentially forget that we need to look after nature and trees to enable the world to work in harmony. My mind is completely blow, with The Overstory. This book has left me wanting to read more and despite the 625 pages, I was sad to say goodbye to the book.
The Overstory is a must-read novel and one that certainly should not be missed.
Synopsis – An artist inherits a hundred years of photographic portraits, all of the same doomed American chestnut tree. A hard-partying under-graduate in the late 1980s electrocutes herself, dies and is sent back into life by creatures of air and light. A hearing- and speech-impaired scientist discovers that trees are communicating with one another. An Air Force loadmaster in the Vietnam War is shot out of the sky, then saved by falling into a banyan.
This is the story of these and five other strangers, each summoned in different ways by the natural world, who are brought together in the last stand to save it from catastrophe.
When looking at the words I wrote on Friday I still believe this book is simply breathtaking overwhelms you with nature and what we miss because in this day in age people do not look around and spend too much time on phones or just being busy. Richard has triggered a reminded in my brain to take some time and look around me and really appreciate nature and how it is imperative to our lives.
Thank you, Richard Powers, – what a book!
The Overstory is published by Vintage .
I am also reading A Moth To A Flame by Stig Dagerman. This book is part of the Penguin European Writers collection. I have read a couple of chapters and already want to collect the rest of the books within the series. Stig Dagerman was a popular writer in Europe but had not quite made the same impact on the UK market.
Synopsis – In 1940s Stockholm, a young man named Bengt falls into deep, private turmoil after the unexpected death of his mother. As he struggles to cope with his loss, his despair slowly transforms to rage when he discovers that his father had a mistress. Bengt swears revenge on behalf of his mother’s memory, but he soon finds himself drawn into a fevered and forbidden affair with the very woman he set out destroy….
Unfortunately, this book I did not managed to get to this weekend, but of course it will remain on my reading pile.
A Moth To A Flame is published by Penguin .
Another book I have managed to finish this weekend was The Bees by Laline Paull. This is another book that has been sat on my shelf for some time and I have not managed to get to. Another book that I am crossed for neglecting it for so long. Another book that will be in my top ten for the year.
Synopsis – Accept. Obey. Serve. Flora 717 is a survivor. Born into the lowest class of the totalitarian hive society she is prepared to sacrifice everything for the Queen, surviving internal massacres, religious purges an terrifying invasions by vicious wasps. With each act of bravery her status grows, revealing both the enemies within and the sinister secrets overwhelmed by a fierce and deeply forbidden maternal love, she breaks the mast sacred law of all….
When you finish reading this novel, you really appreciate the complexities within the bee community. Even within the hive. Every bee has their own social standings and roles / responsibilities and do not cross that line. We witness seasons with the bees and the survival of the hive and the impact foreign visitors have and how the bees deal with them. At times the violence and barbaric behavior is mind-blowing, but when you reflect this is the circle of life and how the bee community continue to live and attempt to keep the hive going and fulfil their jobs which have an integral part to the maintenance of a healthy hive.
We follow Flora, she is certainly a special bee who has many sides to her story. Her heart is in the right place, however, at times she puts herself at risk of being killed by her fellow bee colleagues. We witness the terrible downfall of not only the hive but the Queen too which was simply heartbreaking. We also go through the grieving and mourning process with the hive, and how they cope without a leader. It was simply sad demise.
The Bees is a special book, and enables and empowers you to understand the complexities and dynamics of the bee community and how such a small issue can have a catastrophic impact on them.
The Bees is published by 4th estate publishing.
The next book is Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Book Store by Robin Sloan which is another book I did not managed to get to over the weekend, but will remain on the pile to be read.
Synopsis – Clay Jannon, twenty-six and unemployed, reads books about vampire policemen and teenage wizards. Familiar, predictable books that fit neatly into a section at the bookstore. But he is about to encounter a new species of book entirely; secret. Strange and frantically sought after.
These books will introduce him to the strangest, smartest girl he’s ever met. They will lead him across the country, through the shadowed spaces where old words hide. They will set him on a quest to unlock a secret held tight since the time of Gutenberg – a secret that touches us all.
But before that, these books will get him a job.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Book Store is published by Text Publishing .
Lastly, is Paris Savages by Katherine Johnson, this is another book sadly I did not manage to get to, but with the bank holiday long weekend coming up I intend to attempt to make a dent in this pile of amazing books.
Synopsis – Fraser Island 1882. The population of the Badtjala people is in sharp decline following a run of brutal massacres. When German scientist Louis Muller offers to sail three Badtjala people – Bonny, Jurano and Dorondera – to Europe to perform to huge crowds, the proud and headstrong Bonny agrees, hoping to bring his people’s plight to the Queen of England.
Accompanied by Muller’s bright, grieving daughter, Hilda, the group begin their journey to belle-epoque Europe to perform in Hamburg, Berlin, Paris and eventually London. While crowds in Europe are enthusiastic to see the unique dances, singing, fights and pole climbing is relentless and the culture in the world, the attention is relentless and the fascination of scientists intrusive. When disaster strikes, Bonny must find a way to return home.
Paris Savages is published by Ventura Press .
I have two books joining my reading pile. The first book is The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton I cannot believe I have not read this book before, but love following Jessie on Instagram. (I have serious house envy). I found a copy in my local library and am hoping to read this over the week. I know once I will start reading it, I will devour it.
Synopsis – There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed.
On an autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives at a grand house in Amsterdam to begin her new life as the wife of wealthy merchant Johannes Brandt. Though curiously distant, he presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift; a cabinet-sized presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift; a cabinet-sized replica of her home. It is to be furnished by an elusive miniaturist; whose tiny creations ring eerily true.
As Nella uncovers the secrets of her new household, she realizes the escalating dangers they face. The miniaturist seems to hold their fate in her hands – but does she plan to save or destroy them?
The Miniaturist is published by Picador.
The next book that I have added is The War Artist by Simon Cleary I have always had an interested in war and the impact this has on soldiers and families. With being an ex-military wife, I have heard a lot of stories and just wanted to continue to hear them as I believe this is important to educate others who may not necessarily by touched by military life.
Synopsis – When Brigadier James Phelan returns from Afghanistan with the body of a young soldier killed under his command, he is traumatized by the tragedy. An encounter with young Sydney tattoo artist Kira leaves him with a permanent tribute to the soldier, and it is a meeting that will change the course of his life. What he isn’t expecting on his homecoming is a campaign of retribution from the soldiers who blame him for the ambush and threaten his career. With his marriage also on the brink, his life spirals out of control.
The War Artist is published by University of Queensland Press
Hopefully, I can get started on my reading pile, I of course will keep you up to date on how I get on.
If you would like your book to feature in my wrap up or on my blog, please do email me at Thesecretworldofabookblogger@mail.com
Have a great week x