I have an embarrassing number of unread books sitting on the shelves in my personal library. Carole of Carole's Random Life in Books has given me the perfect excuse to spotlight and discuss those neglected books in her Books from the Backlog feature. After all, even those older books need a bit of love! Not to mention it is reminding me what great books I have waiting for me under my own roof still to read!
In the First Circle by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, translated by Harry Willets (Harper Perennial, 2009, originally published in 1968)
The thrilling cold war masterwork by the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, published in full for the first time
Moscow, Christmas Eve, 1949.The Soviet secret police intercept a call made to the American embassy by a Russian diplomat who promises to deliver secrets about the nascent Soviet Atomic Bomb program. On that same day, a brilliant mathematician is locked away inside a Moscow prison that houses the country's brightest minds. He and his fellow prisoners are charged with using their abilities to sleuth out the caller's identity, and they must choose whether to aid Joseph Stalin's repressive state—or refuse and accept transfer to the Siberian Gulag camps . . . and almost certain death.
First written between 1955 and 1958, In the First Circle is Solzhenitsyn's fiction masterpiece. In order to pass through Soviet censors, many essential scenes—including nine full chapters—were cut or altered before it was published in a hastily translated English edition in 1968. Now with the help of the author's most trusted translator, Harry T. Willetts, here for the first time is the complete, definitive English edition of Solzhenitsyn's powerful and magnificent classic. [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: I imagine this first intrigued me for being a classic thriller set during the Cold War. And maybe too because it had been originally censored--a word that always piques my interest. It's size (761 pgs) probably played a part in what has made it linger on my TBR shelf all time, but I'm still interested in reading it at some point.
Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by the marvelous Tressa at Wishful Endings to spotlight and discuss upcoming release we are excited about that we have yet to read.
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
Release Date: June 2, 2020 by Riverhead Books
From the New York Times -bestselling author of The Mothers, a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.
The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' storylines intersect?
Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person's decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.
As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise. [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: Stories about twins have always interested me, but this one in particular calls even louder to me. The two women lead such different lives and I am curious about their history as well as their present, their family relationships and so much more.
The Court of Miracles (A Court of Miracles #1) by Kester Grant
Release Date: June 2, 2020 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Les Misérables meets Six of Crows in this page-turning adventure as a young thief finds herself going head to head with leaders of Paris's criminal underground in the wake of the French Revolution.
In the violent urban jungle of an alternate 1828 Paris, the French Revolution has failed and the city is divided between merciless royalty and nine underworld criminal guilds, known as the Court of Miracles. Eponine (Nina) Thénardier is a talented cat burglar and member of the Thieves Guild. Nina's life is midnight robberies, avoiding her father's fists, and watching over her naïve adopted sister, Cosette (Ettie).
When Ettie attracts the eye of the Tiger--the ruthless lord of the Guild of Flesh--Nina is caught in a desperate race to keep the younger girl safe. Her vow takes her from the city's dark underbelly to the glittering court of Louis XVII. And it also forces Nina to make a terrible choice--protect Ettie and set off a brutal war between the guilds, or forever lose her sister to the Tiger. [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: Alternate history and the tie-in to my beloved Les Misérables are what make me want to read The Court of Miracles most.
The Grim Reader (Bibliophile Mystery #14) by Kate Carlisle
Release Date: June 2, 2020 by Berkley
San Francisco book-restoration expert Brooklyn Wainwright was hoping for a fun, relaxing weekend at a local book fair, but a murderer made other plans in the latest in this New York Times bestselling series.
Brooklyn and her new hunky husband, Derek, are excited to be guests at Dharma’s first annual Book Festival. The entire town is involved and Brooklyn’s mom Rebecca is taking charge. In addition to all of her other event related duties, she’s got Brooklyn doing rare book appraisals and is also staging Little Women, the musical to delight the festival goers. If that wasn’t enough, she and Meg—Derek’s mom—will have a booth where they read palms and tarot cards.
Brooklyn couldn’t be prouder of her mom’s do-it-all attitude so when a greedy local businessman who seems intent on destroying Dharma starts harassing Rebecca, Brooklyn is ready to take him down. Rebecca is able to hold her own with the nasty jerk until one of her fellow festival committee members is brutally murdered and the money for the festival seems to have vanished into thin air. Things get even more personal when one of Brooklyn’s nearest and dearest is nearly run down in cold blood. Brooklyn and Derek go into attack mode and the pressure is on to catch a spineless killer before they find themselves skipping the festival for a funeral. [Goodreads Summary]
Why I want to read this: I really enjoyed the one book in this cozy mystery series I read and look forward to reading more.
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I want to add The Vanishing Half to my TBR audiobook list-- sounds like a great mystery!ReplyDelete
Cal - I think Vanishing Half sounds good too. I hope you like it if you give it a try! Thank you for stopping by.Delete
These are all new to me. They sound really good!ReplyDelete
Jenea - I hope they will be as good as they sound. Thank you for visiting!Delete
In the First Circle really has the potentional to be a really amazing read I think! The Vanishing Half also sounds super intriguing. I also am interested by stories about twins. The Court of Miracles is another amazing looking title. And Les Misérables meets Six of Crows??! I must read it! And The Grim Reader... that cover first of all is so freaking cute! Can you read these as standalones or do you have to follow the series?ReplyDelete
Stephanie - I think so too. I hope it will be good. It seems to have some good reviews out there. I hope all of these will be as good as they sound! I think Carlisle's series can be read as standalones--the one I've read was later in the series and I really enjoyed it. I think the character relationships though grow over time throughout the series, so if that's something that is important for you to follow on order, you might need to start at the beginning. Thank you for stopping by!Delete
What a scrumptious cover for The Court of Miracles! I look forward to hearing how you get on with the Solzhenitsyn novel - I read Cancer Ward in my teens and found his writing remarkable. Have a great reading week, Wendy:)ReplyDelete
Sarah - I really like that cover too! I am glad to hear you enjoyed Solzhenitsyn's writing. I look forward to giving this one a try. Thank you for visiting!Delete
I am currently reading The Grim Reader (Bibliophile Mystery #14) by Kate Carlisle and loving it! Enjoy all of your books!ReplyDelete
Cindy - I am so glad to hear you are loving The Grim Reader! I can't wait to read it too. Thank you for stopping by!Delete
The Court of Miracles sounds really good! I like the cover as well! Hope you can get a copy when it comes out (:ReplyDelete
Eustacia - I think it sounds good too. I hope it will be good! Thank you for visiting!Delete
One of these days I’m going to binge on the Bibliphile Mystery series :)ReplyDelete
Shelleyrae - I should probably go back and read from the beginning. Haha. Thank you for stopping by!Delete
I have a feeling In the First Circle would be too dense for me.ReplyDelete
Kathy - I'll read it and let you know. ;-) Thank you for visiting!Delete
Oooh! I love the cover to Court of Miracles! Awesome picks!ReplyDelete
Here’s my WoW!
Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog
Ronyell - Isn't it nice? I like that cover too! Thank you for stopping by.Delete
I've never read Solzhenitsyn, but I wouldn't mind giving him a try sometime. Although, The Grim Reader looks like more my speed right now. :)ReplyDelete
Lark - I haven't either and am curious what I will think. But I'm with you. More in the mood for a cozy right now. Thank you for visiting!Delete
I've never read Solzhenitsyn, but need to since our students are required to read that during one of their summer assignments. Hope you get to these soon!ReplyDelete
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Lisa - That might a good reason to give him a try. :-) Thank you for stopping by!Delete
The Court of Miracles has a great cover and I'm always on the lookout for new cozy mysteries!ReplyDelete
Barb - Hopefully these will be good. :-) Thank you for visiting!Delete
The Kate Carlisle series is up to book 14?! I'm way behind now but that is a cute cozy. Totally appeals to me because of the book restoration aspect and that the main character is a bookbinder. Lots of good books to look forward to for sure!ReplyDelete
Barb - I need to go back to the beginning. I jumped into the series way late. Thank you for stopping by!Delete
Ooh, alternate history. The book world needs more of those. I hope you enjoy these!ReplyDelete
Aj @ Read All The Things!
AJ - I think so too! Thank you for visiting.Delete
The Vanishing Half and the Kate Carlisle books both appeal a lot. Sadly they on Netgalley with a wish list! I have no luck with wishing for a book on Netgalley though I do get lots of books just requesting for them. The Vanishing Half particularly sounds intriguing (and different)ReplyDelete
Hope you and family are safe. I am stunned at American indifference to rules of safety and responsibility towards others.
Mystica - I'm sorry about that! Hopefully your wishes will come true! Mine rarely do either.Delete
I wish I could say I was surprised by American indifference to others safety, but it goes along with the American value of individualism. I think there are many who aren't like that, but the ones that are seem to get the most media attention.
Thank you for stopping by!
All of these are new to me! Thanks for steering me to them.ReplyDelete
Laura - I hope you enjoy whichever you give a try. Thank you for visiting!Delete
All of these are new to me this week. I am really curious what was cut out of the censored version of In the First Circle. The Grim Reader sounds really cute.ReplyDelete
Carole - I am curious to know too! Mention censorship, and I only get more curious. Thank you for stopping by!Delete
The first one looks good! I just finished A Gentleman in Moscow and anything set in Russia is calling me. And I love that Kate Carlisle series! It's so fun and bookish.ReplyDelete
Katherine - I had forgotten it was on my shelf--although it's hard to miss because it's so big. LOL It does sound good though, doesn't it? Thanks for visiting!Delete