Looking forward to February and March…

By | January 22, 2015

When it’s cold and snowy and miserable outside, it’s a wonderful time to catch up on all those outstanding reviews and get some reading done, get a bit of a headstart on that Goodreads challenge. 

I’m currently reading The Ties That Bind by Erin Kelly – it’s been on my Kindle for ages (thank you netgalley!) and comes out in paperback on 29th January. I’m really enjoying it – despite initially being put off by the fact that its focus is Brighton gangland in the 60s, it’s very different – but I’ll tell you more about that one soon. I’ve been organising my reading for the next few months – leaving lots of space for all those other books that are bound to vie for attention – and I thought it might be good to share some of my upcoming reads.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Coincidence Authority by John Ironmonger – different, quirky, engaging brain and emotions plus a really good story -and I’m looking forward greatly to reading his new one.  Not Forgetting The Whale is due for publication on 12 February (Weidenfeld and Nicolson), and I love the description.

When a young man washes up, naked, on the sands of St Piran in Cornwall, he is quickly rescued by the villagers. From the retired village doctor and the schoolteacher, to the beachcomber and the owner of the local bar, the priest’s wife and the romantic novelist, they take this lost soul into their midst. But what the villagers don’t know is that Joe Haak has fled the City of London fearing a worldwide collapse of civilisation, a collapse forecast by Cassie, a computer program he designed. 

But is the end of the world really nigh? Can Joe convince the village to seal itself off from the outside world?  And what of the whale that lurks in the bay? 

February also sees the publication of new books by some of my favourite authors in the field of women’s literature.  After the joy of Summer At The Lake, I can’t wait to read The Dandelion Years by Erica James, due for publication on 26th February by Orion. Her books have long been among my favourites, and this new one sounds quite perfect.

Ashcombe was the most beautiful house Saskia had ever seen as a little girl. A rambling pink cottage on the edge of the Suffolk village of Melbury Green, its enchanting garden provided a fairy-tale playground of seclusion, a perfect sanctuary to hide from the tragedy which shattered her childhood.

Now an adult, Saskia is still living at Ashcombe and as a book restorer devotes her days tending to the broken, battered books that find their way to her, daydreaming about the people who had once turned their pages. When she discovers a notebook carefully concealed in an old Bible – and realising someone has gone to a great deal of trouble to hide a story of their own – Saskia finds herself drawn into a heart-rending tale of wartime love…

And there are more getting me quite excited. The latest book by Katie Fforde,  A Vintage Wedding, is due for publication by Century on 12th February.  Then on 26th February comes the latest from Jenny Colgan, published by Sphere – Summer At Little Beach Street Bakery.  I also plan to pick up a book by Lesley Lokko, an author whose books have long been on my shelves but never read – In Love And War is published in paperback by Orion on 26th February so this seems a really good time to start.

There are a couple of other books out in February – already on my Kindle – that are getting me looking forward to my reading.  The Ship by Antonia Honeywell has been appearing on a number of published “books to look forward to” lists, and is published by W&N on 19th February. Described as The Hunger Games meets The Handmaid’s Tale, the description is quite fascinating:

Welcome to London – but not as you know it.

Oxford Street burned for three weeks. The British Museum is occupied by ragtag survivors. The Regent’s Park camps have been bombed. The Nazareth Act has come into force. If you can’t produce your identity card, you don’t exist.

Lalla, sixteen, has grown up sheltered from the new reality by her visionary father, Michael Paul. But now the chaos has reached their doorstep. Michael has promised to save them. His escape route is a ship big enough to save five hundred people. But only the worthy will be chosen. 

Once on board, as day follows identical day, Lalla’s unease grows. Where are they going? What does her father really want? What is the price of salvation?

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

As for March, it’s beginning to look like thriller month.  The new book by Belinda Bauer, The Shut Eye, is out on 12th March from Bantam Press – I loved Rubbernecker, and I’m really looking forward to this one.  Also out on 12th March – from Century – is You Belong To Me by Samantha Hayes.  I loved Until You’re Mine, but chose not to review Before You Die – I really didn’t enjoy it as much – and I’m hoping this book will be the one to turn me into a fan again.

There’s another thriller due out in March that has me really excited too, another one on all those lists of books you must read – Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum, published by Mantle on 26th March. It sounds wonderful.

Anna Benz lives in comfort and affluence with her husband and three young children in Dietlikon, a picture-perfect suburb of Zurich. Anna, an American expat, has chosen this life far from home; but, despite its tranquillity and order, inside she is falling apart.

Feeling adrift and unable to connect with her husband or his family; with the fellow expatriates who try to befriend her; or even, increasingly, her own thoughts and emotions, Anna attempts to assert her agency in the only way that makes sense to her: by engaging in short-lived but intense sexual affairs.

But adultery, too, has its own morality, and when Anna finds herself crossing a line, she will set off a terrible chain of events that will end in unspeakable tragedy. As her life crashes down around her, Anna must then discover where one must go when there is no going back. 

I’m looking forward to them all immensely, and to sharing my thoughts when I review nearer to the publication dates.