Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield – Fiction.
E-book from Netgalley. Can you believe it, a new book – finally! – from Diane Setterfield?! We’ve been waiting such a long time, I can almost feel the pressure of high expectations dooming this book before anyone’s even read it. I have to admit that I’ll probably buy a print copy when it’s released in October, but when I’ll do I’ll definitely want the Orion edition – I’m so in love with the cover! (click the title link to check it out.) “As a boy, William Bellman commits one small cruel act that appears to have unforseen and terrible consequences. The killing of a rook with his catapult is soon forgotten amidst the riot of boyhood games. And by the time he is grown, with a wife and children of his own, he seems indeed, to be a man blessed by fortune. Until tragedy strikes, and the stranger in black comes, and William Bellman starts to wonder if all his happiness is about to be eclipsed. Desperate to save the one precious thing he has left, he enters into a bargain. A rather strange bargain, with an even stranger partner, to found a decidedly macabre business. And Bellman & Black is born.”
You Knew Me When by Emily Liebert – Fiction.
Received for review from the publisher, NAL. “Best friends forever … until life got in the way. Katherine Hill left her small New England hometown in pursuit of a dream. Now, twelve years later, she’s a high-powered cosmetics executive in Manhattan and a much glossier version of her former self, unrecognizable to her family and old friends. Not that she would know – she hasn’t been home in over a decade. Laney Marten always swore she’d never get ‘stuck’ in Manchester, Vermont. No, she was destined to live out her glamorous big-city dreams. Instead, she wound up a young wife and mother. That was when her best friend ran out. When Katherine receives word of an inheritance from former neighbor Luella Hancock, she reluctantly returns home to the people and places she left behind. Hoping for a second chance, she’s met by an unforgiving Laney, her former best friend. And there’s someone else who’s moved on without her – someone she once loved. Tethered to their shared inheritance of Luella’s sprawling Victorian mansion, Katherine and Laney are forced to address their long-standing grudges. Through this, they come to understand that while life has taken them in different directions, ultimately the bonds of friendship and sisterhood still bind them together. But are some wounds too old and deep to mend?”
The Mimosa Tree by Antonella Preto – YA Fiction.
I heard about this one through the Australian Women Writers Challenge – I pretty much look up all the books that intrigue me on the Book Depository, in case they’re available over here, and yay because this one was! “This is a beautifully written, heartfelt look at the effects of breast cancer and the loss of a loved one to the disease. It’s the summer of 1987, and Mira is beginning her first year at university. She has a radical new haircut, and an all-black wardrobe: she should be having the time of her life. But, it’s hard for her to get excited about anything when she’s being smothered by her crazy Italian family, enrolled in a course she’s not interested in, and expecting nuclear warfare at any moment. Even a new best friend and the magnetic boy from art class can’t wipe away the image of a looming mushroom cloud – her mother has breast cancer. Mira’s world is about to explode, but it’s not the skies she should be checking.”
Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead – Fiction.
Sent directly to Tassie. “The Van Meters have gathered at their family retreat on the New England island of Waskeke to celebrate the marriage of daughter Daphne to an impeccably appropriate young man. The weekend is full of lobster and champagne, salt air and practiced bonhomie, but long-buried discontent and simmering lust seep through the cracks in the revelry. Winn Van Meter, father-of-the-bride, has spent his life following the rules of the east coast upper crust, but now, just shy of his sixtieth birthday, he must finally confront his failings, his desires, and his own humanity.”
The Best Australian Essays 2012 edited by Ramona Koval – Non-fiction: Essays.
Sent directly to Tassie. This kind of essay collection inspires me, and seems like a great way to catch up on current events (from the past!). I enjoy reading essays but rarely get the chance to. I was surprised to see JM Coetzee in this list of contributors, as I’d always thought he was South African, but it turns out he’s also an Australian citizen and lives in Adelaide. Learned something new just from the summary! ” ‘When looking for wisdom, it’s a good idea to range widely’ -RAMONA KOVAL. The Best Australian Essays 2012 presents the country’s most eloquent voices at the peak of their powers. Helen Garner, Anna Krien and Romy Ash discuss animals; David Marr, Rhys Muldoon and James Button discuss those of the political variety. Peter Robb meets Akira Isogawa, J.M. Coetzee considers Les Murray’s black dog, and Gillian Mears her award-winning novel. John Bryson reflects on the drawn-out, unnecessary agony of the Azaria case. With humour, Louis Nowra walks in the shadow of death, while Lee Kofman’s teenage passions unfurl in a time of war. There’s Andrew Ford on John Cage, Maria Tumarkin on food, Clive James on Pauline Kael, and Nick Bryant on Gina Rinehart. These are essays full of insight and wit, on the subjects that moved us in 2012.”
The Little Red Hen by Diane Muldrow – Children’s Classics; Picture Book; Fable.
Sent directly to Tassie. I want to get Hugh some books of fairy tales and things, and while I haven’t found the right editions yet I came across this old classic, which I vaguely remember and wanted to reacquaint myself with. It’ll be months before our stuff arrives and I wanted to make sure Hugh had some books to read when we get there, and this is the start!
Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins – Children’s Classics; Picture Book.
Sent directly to Tassie. As I mentioned above, I want there to be some books for Hugh to read when we get back to Australia, so I’ve started with these two. I remember really enjoying this book as a kid, though I have only a vague recollection of the contents. The illustrations especially appealed to me. I got the board book edition – paper pages just can’t withstand a toddler’s enthusiasm!
The New Adventures of Curious George by Margret and HA Rey – Children’s Classics.
Another one! Second-hand again, though unread I think. Hugh wants to read “the George book” constantly, and Adam and I are getting mightily sick of reading the stories over and over again, we thought we’d go insane! Having more than one book provides some variety, though I know soon enough they’ll all be familiar. I had wanted to save A Treasury of Curious George for his birthday, but we’ve already broken into it, so now I’m aiming to save this one for his birthday!