This weeks Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by Broke and Bookish, is about the top 10 books recently added to my to read pile. The top 10 books I’m most looking forward to are:
1. You by Nuala Ni Chonchuir
The most recent addition to my list after reading a review on 746 books. Set against the semi-urban backdrop of the River Liffey in 1980, this novel about a 10-year-old girl who lives with her separated mother and two brothers unfolds through the narrator’s observations and interactions, and her naive interpretations of adult conversations and behaviour
2. Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
I came across this one when someone I know randomly found a copy in work. They are really enjoying it and since we have similar taste in classics it’s now on my list.
Miss Lucy Graham is a newcomer to the parish of Audley. She may be an impoverished governess, but she is also kind, and ineffably beautiful. When Sir Michael Audley sets eyes upon her he finds himself in the grip of “the terrible fever called love.” Their courtship raises many eyebrows, but Sir Audley has set his heart on the sweet-natured girl, and before long they marry. Appearances, however, can be deceptive; and Sir Michael’s nephew, Robert, begins to suspect that his new aunt is not all she seems. His investigations into her murky past soon bring shocking secrets to the surface. Originally published in 1862, the massive success of this novel featuring blackmail, bigamy, and murder made Mary Elizabeth Braddon a household name. It remains a classic Victorian spine-tingler.
3. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
The much anticipated long lost sequel to Harper Lee’s classic How to Kill a Mockingbird. No doubt this will turn up on many peoples list.
4. A Struggle for Fame by Charlotte Riddell
Riddell was a long forgotten 19th century Irish writer until her work was republished by Tramp Press as part of their forgotten voices series.
After the death of her mother and the loss of her family’s fortune, it falls to young Glen Westley to do what she can for herself and her ailing father. Determined to make her own way in the world, she moves from the West of Ireland to London and works tirelessly to succeed as a novelist, despite the limitations her sex and nationality represent. Having struggled so long for fame, it is at last thrust upon her – but fame always comes at a price.
5. Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch
The latest book in the Peter Grant series. After this I’m entirely caught up and will have to waits who knows how long till the next book is published. No indication of when that will be.
6. Middlemarch by George Eliot
I read The Mill on the Floss earlier tis year and really enjoyed it. At some point this year I intend to tackle Eliots social epic Middlemarch.
In Middlemarch George Eliot gives us a portrait of provincial life in Victorian England that has never been surpassed. Wit, irony, pathos and brilliant insight into human nature colour every strand of plot and every beautifully drawn character. Foremost among these and Dorothea Booke, passionate to use her spirit and talent in a wider world than that typically afforded to women in the 1830s; Casuabon, the dry, jealous academic; Doctor Lydgate, who dreams of pioneering research in medical science; spoilt, pretty Rosamond Vincy who sees as ‘a man whom it would be delightful to enslave’.
7. How to be both by Ali Smith
Winner of the Costa Novel of the Year. How to be both is a novel all about art’s versatility. Borrowing from painting’s fresco technique to make an original literary double-take, it’s a fast-moving genre-bending conversation between forms, times, truths and fictions. There’s a Renaissance artist of the 1460s. There’s the child of a child of the 1960s. Two tales of love and injustice twist into a singular yarn where time gets timeless, structural gets playful, knowing gets mysterious, fictional gets real—and all life’s givens get given a second chance.
8. Dodger by Terry Pratchett
Pratchett is always popular, at least within certain circles. Of course for obvious reasons his books are going huge resurgence at the moment. When considering what book to read to honour the great man, this was recommended to me. Based around Dickens character Dodger from Oliver Twist, it combines references to two of my favourite genres, historical and classics.
9. Number 5 by Glenn Patterson
I recently read The International and really enjoyed Pattersons style. This was recommened to me as a good one to try next. Number 5 is a 3-bedroom terrace house in a suburban Belfast street. Successive occupants fill the house with their troubles and joys, simply trying to cope with all that life hurls their way whilst outside the front door the city shivers and sweats with the passing seasons. Yet the presence of those who have come before is an ever-present memory.
10. The Puppet Boy of Warsaw
The story of Mika, a Jewish boy who inherits a coat from his grandfather and discovers a puppet in one of its many secret pockets. He becomes a puppeteer in the Warsaw ghetto, but when his talent is discovered, Mika is forced to entertain the occupying German troops instead of his countrymen.
It is also the story of Max, a German soldier stationed in Warsaw, whose experiences in Poland and later in Siberia’s Gulag show a different side to the Second World War. As one of Mika’s puppets is passed to the soldier, a war-torn legacy is handed from one generation to another.