September, September, where did you go? Fairly quiet month on the blog (-ish?), but here we go:
- Books reviewed this month include: Rupi Kaur’s milk and honey (review), Mhairi McFarlane’s You Had Me at Hello (review), and Yangsze Choo’s The Ghost Bride (review). You can check out all the books I’ve reviewed recently in the book review tag.
- For this month’s So You Want to Read…, I featured books written by Canadian historical fantasy author Guy Gavriel Kay. It’s funny because for years I thought I would never get around to the bulk of his bibliography, but I actually did earlier this year! So here I am recommending which books of his to check out first 🙂 For all my previous recommendations under this feature, check out this tag.
- Really cool but France Book Tours named me book blogger of the month for September :3 Many thanks again Emma!
- On a final note, I noticed this week that my blog has been acting up considerably–my Goodreads plugin that I was using before wasn’t loading, Revive Old Post hasn’t been working, blog is loading slower than usual, scheduled posts aren’t going live when they’re scheduled to. I don’t know if you guys have been experiencing any issues loading the blog or posting comments but I will try to look into it in the coming days.
And that’s about it from me for the month of September! Wishing you all a wonderful October. Keep a lookout here on the blog as I’ve got something going on early in the month (those who know me fairly well/been following me for years on end will probably guess what it is) 😉
The Stockholm Octavo
By: Karen Engelmann
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
Life is close to perfect for Emil Larsson, a self-satisfied bureaucrat in the Office of Customs and Excise in 1791 Stockholm. He is a true man of the Town–a drinker, card player, and contented bachelor–until one evening when Mrs. Sofia Sparrow, a fortune-teller and proprietor of an exclusive gaming parlor, shares with him a vision she has had: a golden path that will lead him to love and connection. She lays an Octavo for him, a spread of eight cards that augur the eight individuals who can help him realize this vision–if he can find them.
Oh man, this book has been on my wish-to-read list for so long. What intrigued me the most about this book was that it’s set in 18th century Sweden; I haven’t come across very many historical fiction titles set in the Scandinavian countries so this book already got brownie points from me. Plus, how cool is that book cover? So imagine my elation when I finally got my hands on this book 😉
In Bitter Chill
By: Sarah Ward
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase
Bampton, Derbyshire, January 1978. Two girls go missing: Rachel Jones returns, Sophie Jenkins is never found. Thirty years later: Sophie Jenkins’ mother commits suicide. Rachel Jones has tried to put the past behind her and move on with her life. But news of the suicide re-opens old wounds and Rachel realises that the only way she can have a future is to finally discover what really happened all those years ago. This is a story about loss and family secrets, and how often the very darkest secrets are those that are closest to you.
I mentioned this in a Top Ten Tuesday post but I first heard of this book from Elena @ Books and Reviews. It sounded interesting, a mix of a crime drama/cold case and family secrets, and I was in the mood for a thriller mystery a few months ago so I decided to check it out 🙂
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
This week’s topic: Books on my Autumn TBR
Yaaassss, it’s that time of season again: cooler weather and books I plan on reading this season 😉
In no particular order:
- The Frozen Heart by Almuneda Grandes — This was the only book from my summer TBR list that carried over, lol. I actually did start reading it, but then other books cropped up and drew my attention away. But I think there’s a very good chance I will finally read this title this autumn season 😉
- Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon van Booy — I’ve been wanting to read this book for a very long time. There’s something about the title alone that makes it perfect as an autumn read…
- Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death by James Runcie — I still haven’t watched series 1 of Granchester but in the meantime I look forward to reading the first book in the series that the show was based off on 🙂
- The Trails by Robert Moor — I received this book from Simon & Schuster CA. I had seen it in passing but yeah, now I’m curious about it…
- Time and Again by Jack Finney — This book has been on my TBR for a few years now…With Sci-Fi Month coming up, maybe this is the time (and the year) to read it?
- Brian McClellan’s Promise of Blood — I think I started it once months back but then decided to pick it up again at a later date. Not that my TBR has gotten any smaller since, but there’s something about the book that makes me think of the autumn time…
- Vicious by V.E. Schwab — Is this the season that I finally read something by V.E. Schwab? I have this and A Darker Shade of Magic sitting on my TBR pile waiting to be read…
- Worst. Person. Ever by Douglas Coupland — It’s been so long since I’ve read anything by Douglas Coupland…
- Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman — There’s something about the autumn time that’s perfect for cozying up to a Neil Gaiman book (or two; I also have Anansi Boys on my TBR pile)…
- The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte — Throwing in a classic to my TBR list as I haven’t read very many classics this year (I think it’s because the classics that are sitting on my eReader waiting to be read are such chunksters…have to be in a particular mood to read them). This is the only major Bronte book I haven’t read yet so it would be nice to finally get around to reading it 🙂
And those are the books that I plan on reading this autumn season! What books are you planning on reading? Lrt me know, I’d love to hear from you!
Just Send Me Word: A True Story of Love and Survival in a Gulag
By: Orlando Figes
Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase
“I went to get the letters for our friends, and couldn’t help but feel a little envious, I didn’t expect anything for myself. And suddenly—there was my name, and, as if it was alive, your handwriting.”
In 1946, after five years as a prisoner—first as a Soviet POW in Nazi concentration camps, then as a deportee (falsely accused of treason) in the Arctic Gulag—twenty-nine-year-old Lev Mishchenko unexpectedly received a letter from Sveta, the sweetheart he had hardly dared hope was still alive. Amazingly, over the next eight years the lovers managed to exchange more than 1,500 messages, and even to smuggle Sveta herself into the camp for secret meetings. Their recently discovered correspondence is the only known real-time record of life in Stalin’s Gulag, unmediated and uncensored.
I have a bit of a long history with Orlando Figes’ works. I was introduced to his work in undergrad when my undergraduate Soviet History supervisor recommended his book The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin’s Russia for my undergrad independent paper (for this interested, my thesis was on private life at the height of the Great Terror of the late 1930s). Not only was that book immensely useful for my research but it was one of my inspirations to continue my studies into Soviet Russian history at grad school. Another one of his books, Natasha’s Dance: A Cultural History of Russia, was incredibly useful when I was working on my Master’s research. Suffice to say I highly recommend his books, the topics are fascinating but they are also quite accessible; you don’t have to be specialising in the field to understand what he’s writing about.
Anyway, I was greatly interesting in this book when it was released: much of it took place in the immediate postwar period (ka-ching! My area of study), it had to do with surviving the gulag (very tough subject) and the fact that it’s uncensored means we’re bound to get a very frank view of exactly what is happening there.