The Literary Giveaway Blog Hop, hosted and organised by the lovely Judith at Leeswammes’ Blog, is such fun I naturally signed up for it once again. I’m a complete book hoarder and I don’t even like lending people books, but I love gifting my favourites to friends and family and, well, YOU.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time going through my books, trying to decide what to offer up this time (which is dependent on whether The Book Depository actually has it – I would love to offer up a couple of Canadian books, but TBD rarely has them). It was a hard choice (made a bit easier by the knowledge that there’s always another giveaway in the future!) but I finally settled on these two:
This was pretty much the first book I read this year, and it also turned out to be a much-loved one. Set in the Blue Mountains it’s the story of a retired teacher and principal now in her late 70s, forced to sell the beautiful house she had built because of bad investments that have made her broke. At first, Thea’s determined to have nothing to do with the young couple and their twelve-year-old niece who moves in, but she still lives in the old cottage across the road and can’t avoid them. With her preoccupation with her neighbours growing into a kind of protective obsession, especially at Frank’s lazy disregard to keep his work – borderline pornographic – away from his niece, Kim, the line separating right from wrong becomes blurred and Thea’s past experience – of doing too little, too late and the horrible consequences – take over her moral reasoning. This is a wonderful, subtle novel, told in Thea’s very distinct voice. Keep your expectations low (don’t expect some kind of big thriller or anything) and you’ll be very impressed with this literary novel. My review.
I read this for a class at uni, can’t remember which one now but it’s such an excellent book, and I want to share the love. I’ll let the publisher’s summary describe it for you, since it’s been a long time since I read it: “Sophi Fevvers – the toast of Europe’s capitals, courted by the Prince of Wales, painted by Toulouse-Lautrec – is an “aerialiste extraordinaire,” star of Colonel Kearney’s circus. She is also part woman, part swan. Jack Walser, an American journalist, is on a quest to discover Fevvers’s true identity: Is she part swan or all fake? Dazzled by his love for Fevvers, and desperate for the scoop of a lifetime, Walser joins the circus on its tour. The journey takes him – and the reader – on an intoxicating trip through turn-of-the-century London, St. Petersburg, and Siberia – a tour so magical that only Angela Carter could have created it.” There’s some great magical realism at work here, but it’s also historical fiction, a mystery and a thought-provoking story on the nature of identity, belief and hope. A classic.
That’s it! Good luck and thanks for playing, and don’t forget to visit the other participating blogs to enter more giveaways! (see the list below)