This book has been on my want-to-read list for a few years now, after having watched the movie years ago. Weeks ago I was in the mood for a historical fiction novel and finally decided to pick it up (I have the version with the cover below (which is awesome, the cover’s very intriguing); then I went to the bookstore yesterday and found out that the Vintage Classics version came out xD). I didn’t get around to reading it until I came back from my (surprise!) trip home last weekend.
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
By: Louis de Bernieres
It is the salad days of the Second World War and Captain Antonio Corelli, a young Italian officer, is serving out his time as part of the occupying forces on the Greek island of Cephallonia. While the war is raging, things seem awkwardly serene from his agreeable posting, as Corelli is a kind, conscientious man who wants nothing more than peaceful war. A consummate musician, he passes time plucking his mandolin and courting the daughter of a local daughter. Just as their love begins to bloom, the intensity of the war is turned up, bringing the savagery within a heartbeat of the island.
Now, I’ve read a lot of books set in World War Two, but I’ve never read anything set in the Balkan front of the war. In fact, I’ve only read two other books (that I can recall) that even take place in Greece (Victoria Hislop’s The Island and Byron Ayanoglu’s Crete on the Half Shell) so this was an interesting read for me. But anyways, I finished reading it and I have to say, I loved it a lot more than I initially thought I would!Spoilers ahoy!
Kieli, Vol. 1: The Dead Sleep in the Wilderness
By: Fukako Yabei
Kieli is a reclusive girl isolated by her ability to see ghosts. Her only friend is her “roommate,” Becca, the precocious spirit of a former student still residing in Kieli’s dorm. Everything in Kieli’s life changes suddenly when the girls meet the handsome but distant Harvey who, like Kieli, can see ghosts. He also turns out to be one of the legendary Undying, an immortal soldier bred for war now being hunted by the Church. When Kieli joins Harvey on a pilgrimage to lay to rest the spirit of a corporal possessing an old radio, as unlikely as it seems, she feels she may have finally found a place where she belongs in the world. And in Kieli, Harvey may have found a reason to live again.
I actually read the manga (published by Yen Press first and fell in love with the story that my brother and I picked up the book when it was released. What’s awesome is that this is a 9-volume series and the manga only covered the first book—so that means more adventures with Kieli and Harvey! 🙂
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
By: Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
January 1946: writer Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a stranger, a founding member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. And so begins a remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German occupation, and of a society as extraordinary as its name.
I first came across this book back in June while I was browsing the books at Costco. It was an unusual title but the book blurb and the first page didn’t catch my attention enough to pick it up then. Since then, reviews have come to my attention, from over at GoodReads and even over at Livejournal, at how wonderful the novel was. So a couple of days ago while I was at the bookstore, I saw that the book was on sale and decided to pick it up. I’m so glad I did 🙂
Winter in Madrid
By: C.J. Sansom
The Spanish Civil War is over and Madrid lies ruined, its people starving, while the Germans continue their relentless march through Europe. Britain now stands alone while General Franco considers whether to abandon neutrality and enter the war. Harry Brett, a traumatised veteran of Dunkirk turned reluctant spy for the British Secret Service, has been sent to gain the confidence of old schoolfriend Sandy Forsyth, now a shady Madrid businessman. Harry finds himself involved in a dangerous game and surrounded by memories. Meanwhile Sandys girlfriend, ex-Red Cross nurse Barbara Clare, is engaged in a secret mission of her own to find her former lover Bernie Pipera passionate Communist in the International Brigadeswho vanished on the bloody battlefields of the Jarama. In a vivid and haunting depiction of wartime Spain, Winter in Madrid is an intimate and compelling tale which offers a remarkable sense of history unfolding, and the profound impact of impossible choices.
I came across this book while trying out a new website for book recommendations (What Should I Read Next?); I typed in The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. This book was either the first or second recommendation from the list. I looked it up on Indigo and Amazon; the premise sounded really interesting and since my TBR list was getting smaller and smaller by the day, I decided to pick it up next. I’m glad I did 🙂
The Angel’s Game
By: Carlos Ruiz Zafon
In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man, David Martín, makes his living by writing sensationalist novels under a pseudonym. The survivor of a troubled childhood, he has taken refuge in the world of books and spends his nights spinning baroque tales about the city’s underworld. But perhaps his dark imaginings are not as strange as they seem, for in a locked room deep within the house lie photographs and letters hinting at the mysterious death of the previous owner.
Like a slow poison, the history of the place seeps into his bones as he struggles with an impossible love. Close to despair, David receives a letter from a reclusive French editor, Andreas Corelli, who makes him the offer of a lifetime. He is to write a book unlike anything that has ever existed-a book with the power to change hearts and minds. In return, he will receive a fortune, and perhaps more. But as David begins the work, he realizes that there is a connection between his haunting book and the shadows that surround his home.
When I found out that another of Zafon’s books was coming out, I became really excited as I had enjoyed his previous book, The Shadow of the Wind (which easily became one of my favourite books ever). At first I told myself that I would wait for it to come out on paperback (to match my other book) but after seeing it everywhere, I succumbed and bought the hardcover (for a good price, I might add) *blushes*