Thursday, May 2, 2013

Books I'm looking forward to

As if I didn't have enough sources of new books & more than enough to read on the tbr shelves, I've recently discovered NetGalley. This is a website that supplies free pre-publication e-books for reviewers, bloggers & anyone who promotes books & reading. I've already enjoyed reading several books from NetGalley including Martin Edwards' The Frozen Shroud & The Creation of Anne Boleyn by Susan Bordo.

I've recently downloaded several books to be published over the next few months that I'm very excited about. John Guy is a well-known historian who has written biographies of Mary, Queen of Scots & Thomas Becket. His new book, published in July, is The Children of Henry VIII. As I'm always interested in another book about the Tudors & I've read & enjoyed Guy's other books, I'm looking forward to this very much.

A first novel to be published in July, Letters from Skye, by Jessica Brockmole, immediately caught my attention. It ticks so many boxes - Skye, set during WWI & WWII, a poet, letters & a mysterious disappearance. Already, without having read a word, it has echoes for me of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, The Glass Guardian by Linda Gillard & Pictures at an Exhibition by Camilla Macpherson. Here's the blurb from Amazon,

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 . . .

I've always been fascinated by nuns & movies featuring nuns are among my absolute favourites. So, I was so pleased to be offered a copy of Veiled Desires by Maureen A Sabine which is published in August. This is an exploration of the way nuns have been portrayed in the movies from the 1940s to the present day. Among the movies discussed are Black Narcissus (that's Deborah Kerr as Sister Clodagh on the cover), The Nun's Story (Audrey Hepburn & the most distinguished cast of Sisters & Reverend Mothers ever seen in a movie, I think - Dame Peggy Ashcroft, Dame Edith Evans, Rosalie Crutchley & Mildred Dunnock), In This House of Brede (Diana Rigg, Pamela Brown & Gwen Watford) & Change of Habit (Mary Tyler Moore with Elvis Presley as a doctor!). And those are just my favourites. Other movies include Heaven Knows, Mr Allison, Sea Wife & The Bells of St Mary's.

My only problem is stopping myself from reading all three books straight away! I like to read & review books as close as I can to the publication date so I'm trying to forget that these gems are on my e-reader until it's closer to publication day. Wish me luck!


  1. I must admit you've set yourself a hard task... you've made them sound so tempting... I'm itching to read them now...especially the Skye book...and they are out of reach (if I was you I'd have to read them NOW !!!! (lol) then write the reviews and save them until near their publishing date (but I obviously have little self restraint)

    But I'll wish you Luck!!!!

    1. I think I'll have to do that as I'm very keen to read them all. I've just downloaded a couple more books from NetGalley so I'll have to be very disciplined about reading & reviewing those as well. If only there were more hours in the day - or less hours that I had to work!

  2. Letters from Skye caught my attention too.I get a bit excited at some of the books that are on Netgalley and have a tendency to request too many.

    1. I've had to write myself a priority list with pub dates to get my NetGalleys in some sort of order. I only have about half a dozen but I want to read & review them close to the pub date so I need to focus on that. I try to only request books I'm sure I'll enjoy. Letters from Skye is a definite temptation though.