To me, June and the rest of winter appear to bring out a plethora of good books. The grey rainy weather makes me want to snuggle under a blanket and read all day long. Is it because people want beach reads for the northern hemisphere summer? Or am I more open to trying new things?
One of the nicest things about a new month is the emails from publishers that land in your inbox talking about new titles.
Harper Collins came into my inbox at 7:42am on the 1st, starting my lemmings with Pennies for Hitler by Jackie French.
It′s 1939, and for Georg, son of an English academic living in Germany, life is full of cream cakes and loving parents. It is also a time when his teacher measures the pupils′ heads to see which of them have the most ′Aryan′- shaped heads. But when a university graduation ceremony turns into a pro-Nazi demonstration, Georg is smuggled out of Germany to war-torn London and then across enemy seas to Australia where he must forget his past and who he is in order to survive.
Hatred is contagious, but Georg finds that kindness can be, too.
Why I’m interested: Always partial to WWII fiction, but I’ve read less about the effects on children. I haven’t read Hitler’s Daughter by the same author, but I think I’ll get it too, even though I think it’s designed for younger readers. YA fiction is full of gems!
never disappoint (can I marry a publishing house, LOL?) I’ve already jumped the gun and bought Mrs Robinson’s Disgrace by Kate Summerscale, The email I received in time for morning tea states:
Set in Edinburgh’s Georgian New Town, Kate Summerscale tells the tale of Isabella Robinson’s enchantment with the handsome Mr. Lane. He was ‘fascinating’, she told her diary, before chastising herself for being so susceptible to the charms of another woman’s husband.
A compelling story of romance and fidelity, insanity, fantasy, and the boundaries of privacy in a society clinging to rigid ideas about marriage and female sexuality, Mrs Robinson’s Disgrace brings vividly to life a complex, frustrated Victorian wife, longing for passion and learning, companionship and love.
Why I rushed to get this: I’m a sucker for Victorian times, romance and insanity. I love to read about the repressed feelings of this time.
Ignorance by Michele Roberts is another WWII story, this time set in France. (Nearly all the WWII books I read come from the English or Australian point of view. My education is lacking in the others).
From the website:
After every war there are stories that are locked away like bluebottles in drawers and kept silent. But sometimes the past can return: in the smell of carbolic soap, in whispers darting through a village after mass, in the colour of an undelivered letter.
Jeanne Nerin and Marie-Angèle Baudry grow up, side by side yet apart, in the village of Ste Madeleine. Marie-Angèle is the daughter of the grocer, inflated with ideas of her own piety and rightful place in society. Jeanne’s mother washes clothes for a living. She used to be a Jew until this became too dangerous. Jeanne does not think twice about grasping the slender chances life throws at her. Marie-Angèle does not grasp; she aspires to a future of comfort and influence.
When war falls out of the sky, along with it tumbles a new, grown-up world. The village must think on its feet, play its part in a game for which no one knows the rules. Not even the dubious hero with ‘business contacts’ who sweeps Marie-Angèle off her feet. Not even the reclusive artist living alone with his sensual, red canvases. In these uncertain times, the enemy may be hiding in your garden shed and the truth is all too easily buried under a pyramid of recriminations.
Michèle Roberts’s new novel is a mesmerising exploration of guilt, faith, desire and judgment, bringing to life a people at war in a way that is at once lyrical and shocking.
Text Publishing gave us our book news earlier – 28th May to be exact. Why wouldn’t you spread the news when there’s a new Carlos Ruiz Zafon coming out on the 21st of June, The Prisoner of Heaven. There’s not a lot of detail out yet, but I’m certain this book will be excellent.
magazine also featured some great books in its June issue. (Another secret revealed – I’m a compulsive magazine reader too). All of their picks looked fantastic. The ones I’m interested in are:
The Painted Bridge by Wendy Wallace – Victorian historical fiction involving an asylum. I’m there!
The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Simon Mawer – Another WWII book (detecting a theme, anyone?) involving a young woman working in Special Ops for the British.
Are there any new releases you’re interested in this month? Do tell!