I’ve been eagerly anticipating some great new titles coming out this fall. Now that they’re finally showing up at my library, I’ve been blissfully trying to get through them all before their due dates. Let’s dive right in.
Nutshell by Ian McEwan–Trudy has been cheating on her husband John, with John’s brother, Claude. Claude and Trudy have a plan, but their every move is observed (and commented on) by Trudy’s unborn baby, who is currently residing in her uterus. The fetus is the narrator of the story, and is wise and witty beyond his years.
I thought this was a really creative and unique angle to tell a story from. It isn’t the type of book I generally enjoy, but I wanted to give it a shot. I read the first and last chapters of the book, and decided it wasn’t for me. (I’m a chronic read-the-end-of-the-book-first-er. It’s a sickness, I know. However, it helps me use my limited reading time wisely, and avoid the heartbreak I had over books like Orphan Train. You can read about that here.) However, what I read was beautifully written, and wildly original, so do give it a try if you’re interested.
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo–I’m a huge fan of Leigh Bardugo, I loved the Grisha trilogy and read the spin off book, Six of Crows, as soon as it came out. Crooked Kingdom picks up right where Six of Crows ends–Kaz Brekker and his crew of misfit criminals are dealing with the fall out from an impossible heist they were hired to complete. Set in a fantasy world loosely based on Russia, Crooked Kingdom has adventure, romance, and high stakes. I couldn’t read it fast enough.
I do feel that you need to read Six of Crows before reading Crooked Kingdom (It would also help to first read the Grisha trilogy, but it’s not completely necessary. They are wonderful, so add them to your list). I wish that I had had the time to reread Six of Crows, to refresh my memory. However, I did find this charming video recap, which helped get me up to speed.
As always, the illustrations and physical details of the book greatly enhance the reading experience. (LOVE the red pages!)
The Wonder by Emma Donoghue–Lib Wright, an English nurse trained by Florence Nightengale, is sent to a remote Irish village to keep watch over patient Anna O’Donnell. Anna hasn’t eaten in months, but appears to be thriving, which the local villagers see as a miracle. She has become something of a celebrity, and tourists flock to see the miraculous girl. Lib’s job is to watch Anna for two weeks, and verify that she is not eating.
The story unfolds through Lib’s viewpoint. She is completely skeptical of the situation, as I myself was. As the layers of the O’Donnell family life are unpeeled, we find that there is much more to the situation than first observed. The situation grows tense as Lib must discover the truth in order to save lives.
The Wonder is a deep, and sometimes very dark book. It’s extremely thought provoking, and explores themes of truth, lies, religion and faith. I tend to stay away from sad and depressing books, and there was plenty of darkness in The Wonder. Once all the story lines were unraveled, I felt like faith and truth prevailed, even if some of the truths were hard to swallow. I enjoyed the book, and felt like the whole journey justified all the darkness along the way.
Karolina’s Twins by Ronald H Balson–Lena Woodward is a Holocaust survivor, who made a promise 70 years ago to her best friend Karolina. At age 89, Lena hires a private investigator and lawyer to finally fulfill that promise. However, as Lena begins to recount her story to them, the pieces don’t all add up. Lena’s son claims she is delusional in her old age, and feels the search is a waste of time and money.
There have been several outstanding WWII novels written in recent years, and Karolina’s Twins is among the best that I’ve read. Fans of The Nightingale, and All the Light We Cannot See will definitely enjoy this book. (I also liked the lesser known Letters to the Lost.)
This novel is based on a true story, which was told to the author by a Holocaust survivor. Balson has actually been a lawyer for 40 years, and self published his first book, which was later picked up by a traditional publisher. If you haven’t read the amazing story of his journey to publication, you need to check it out here.
Lady Cop Makes Trouble by Amy Stewart–at the end of Girl Waits with Gun, Constance Kopp is deputized after she fights back against a factory owner and his gang of thugs that terrorize her family. Lady Cop Makes Trouble sets Constance on the trail of criminals in 1915 New Jersey and New York. Her lovably eccentric sisters, Norma and Fleurette, enrich the story with their unique personalities.
I haven’t yet finished Lady Cop, but so far it’s just as funny and entertaining as Girl Waits with Gun. The Kopp sisters were real people, and while the novel is based on them and real events that happened, it is fiction. I hope there will be many more books of the Kopp sister’s adventures.
Share your thoughts on any of the books I’ve read, or let me know what you’ve been reading in the comments!
Linking up with the Modern Mrs. Darcy for QuickLit. Head over there for more great book recommendations!