Books to Look Forward to in July

This month I didn’t do my usual research on line for new books. Why? Well, I had a bit more time to loiter research Twitter last week and I saw this:

So I ventured down on Friday (all in the name of research) to see what was new and this is what I found:

The Engagements by J.Courtney Sullivan (Hachette)

I’ve wanted this since Dymocks Hay St posted a picture of the gorgeous ARC copy. I love books that move through different time periods.

From the publisher:

A diamond is forever. But forever isn’t for everyone. . .

1947: Mary Frances Gerety, a young copywriter in an eminent advertising agency, has to convince the world of two things – that marriage means a diamond ring on every woman’s finger, and that she is as good at her job as any man. And then, in one moment of brilliant inspiration, Mary Frances writes down four words which will achieve both her aims. . .

Moving from a Harvard swim-meet in 1927 to the three-martini lunches of 1940s advertising, from the back streets of 1980s Boston to an exquisite Parisian music shop in 2003, THE ENGAGEMENTS is a novel about love, marriage, commitment and betrayal; it is as sharp, as fiery and as beautiful as the stone we have taken to represent our dreams.

Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole (Random House)

I adore books filled with letters (the ones you write to people; not the ones that make up the alphabet – I expect those in my books!)

From the publisher:

March 1912: Twenty-four-year-old Elspeth Dunn, a published poet and a fisherman’s wife, has never seen the world beyond her home on Scotland’s bucolic Isle of Skye. So she is astonished when a fan letter arrives from an American college student, David Graham.

As the two strike up a correspondence — sharing their favorite books, wildest hopes, and deepest secrets — their exchanges blossom into friendship, and eventually into love. But as World War I moves across Europe and David volunteers as an ambulance driver on the Western front, Elspeth can only wait for him on Skye, hoping he comes back alive.

June 1940: More than twenty years later, at the start of World War II, Elspeth’s daughter, Margaret, has fallen for her best friend, a pilot in the Royal Air Force. Her mother warns her against finding love in wartime, an admonition Margaret doesn’t understand. And after a nearby bomb rocks Elspeth’s house, and letters that were hidden in a wall come raining down, Elspeth disappears.

Only a single letter, sent decades before by a stranger named David Graham, remains as a clue to Elspeth’s whereabouts. As Margaret sets out to discover who David is and where her mother has gone, she must also face the truth of what happened to her family long ago . . .

The Inheritor’s Powder by Sandra Hempel (Hachette)

A non fiction book about arsenic and toxicology – this sounds really interesting and different. Plus, what a cool cover!

From the publisher:

This is the story of how an infamous murder case led to the birth of modern toxicology.

In the 19th century criminal poisoning with arsenic was frighteningly easy. For a few pence and with few questions asked, it was possible to buy enough poison to kill off an entire family, hence arsenic’s popular name: the Inheritor’s Powder. Yet if poisoning was easy, it was a notoriously difficult crime to prove. The popular press led to the nation becoming transfixed by the idea that danger lurked in every cup and on every plate. ‘The fell spirit of the Borgias’ was ‘stalking through English society’ wrote one commentator. Thus, armed with a coffee pot and some ‘rat poison’ one potential heir saw his opportunity. The case became a cause ce lebre and led an unknown chemist, James Marsh, to develop a failsafe test. This proved a turning point in the way such crimes were investigated – but years later there was a twist in the tale!

An Englishwoman in New York by Anne-Marie Casey (Hachette)

This sounds like a fun chick lit type book.

From the publisher:

From Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Last Exit to Brooklyn, this homage to the charm and romance of New York is a coming-of-age novel for grown-ups.

When Lucy’s husband loses his job and is relocated to New York, she is forced to give up her posh London life and move to a tiny Manhattan apartment. Homesick and resentful at first, Lucy soon finds herself embarking on an exhilarating new affair (no, not with her husband, although she is surprised to find they do still love each other), but with the city itself and the three women she meets at the school gates who – against all odds – become her friends.

Christy, married to a wealthy older man, questions her life choices as she fantasizes about her doorman and tries to make peace with her angry stepdaughter. Julia is a workaholic television writer who becomes convinced her family is better off without her, until a neighbour’s dog makes her re-think everything. Meanwhile Robyn, bread-winning wife to an aspiring novelist, has had enough. She wants what her friends are having – even if it means an affair with at least one, if not all, of their husbands… In the tradition of Melissa Bank’s THE GIRL’S GUIDE TO HUNTING AND FISHING, with shades of Candace Bushnell, An Englishwoman in New York is the perfect coming-of-age novel for grown-ups.

The Last Days of the National Costume by Anne Kennedy (Allen and Unwin)

A love story involving sewing (which means fashion!), blackouts and Ireland = irresistible.

From the publisher:

Narrated by one of the funniest, wisest literary observers of all time this is a brilliant, charming and heartwarming novel about illicit love, sewing, blackouts and Belfast.


In a minute she’d beg me to do anything I could to save the garment. That’s what they always did. Begged and pleaded. There was usually a lover involved, and a cheated-upon spouse. I, as the mender, would be saving their life. People had actually said I was worth my weight in gold . . .
But it wasn’t my skill the clients were grateful for. No. It was my collusion. What lies are worth: their weight in gold.
You’d think that mending clothes would be an uneventful, uncomplicated occupation. No drama, no unnecessary explanations, no personal involvement. But people love to talk, and as they make their excuses to GoGo Sligo, of Megan Sligo Mending and Alterations, they reveal the holes in their stories as well. It doesn’t take long for GoGo to get to the truth behind the rips and tears they’ve brought her to fix.
As GoGo listens and sews, she realises she is also helping her clients cheat and lie to their husbands and wives. She’s covering their tracks so they won’t be found out.
A five-week blackout brings the city to its knees, and a drama to her doorstep. A lover, a wife, and finally the cheating husband all come to claim a vintage Irish costume that GoGo’s been mending. She doesn’t want to like the guilty husband, but can’t resist being drawn into the enticing web of his deceit, and then into his story of heartbreak and death on the streets of Belfast.
To keep him coming back to the blacked-out house and to prolong the telling of his family’s story, GoGo pretends the costume isn’t finished. As she makes him return to her, day after day, it becomes clear that another kind of spell is being woven, and GoGo must face the truth about herself and her own life and marriage.
An intoxicating, entrancing, gripping novel of illicit love, passion and embroidery, told in an inimitable voice by a brilliant writer.

Do any of these tickle your fancy? I did resist buying last week but I don’t know how long I can hold out!

Please note that I don’t have any affliation with Dymocks Hay St Perth except that I like to visit, buy books and discuss books with the staff. I do highly recommend them as a customer! I also have picked these books solely by choice and haven’t been influenced by anyone except my reading likes.


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