Once again, as I do at the end of every month, I’ve taken a big breath, dived deep into my stack of books and come up with some volumes I’d Quite Like To Read over the next several weeks. This time, I broke the surface clutching six books. August is the last month of winter here in Australia and I wanted some reading material that I was already pretty sure I’d enjoy, to see out the last of the winter, especially as I’ll be heading back to chilly Bathurst after two weeks at the coast. Here are my picks and the reasons I chose each one.
1.ONCE UPON A RIVER
By Diane Setterfield
GENRE: Literary Fiction
A dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the Thames. The regulars are entertaining themselves by telling stories when the door bursts open on an injured stranger. In his arms is the drowned corpse of a little child. Hours later the dead girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Is it magic? Or can it be explained by science? Replete with folklore, suspense and romance, as well as with the urgent scientific curiosity of the Darwinian age, Once Upon a River is as richly atmospheric as Setterfield’s bestseller The Thirteenth Tale.
I bought this quite a while ago, straight after I finished reading The Thirteenth Tale. I loved that book so much and this one sounds just as good. Plus, the cover is lovely.
2. HABITAT: A practical guide to creating a wildlife-friendly Australian garden
By A B Bishop
GENRE: Non-fiction – Gardening
I’m pretty excited about getting my teeth into this book. After I read Kate Bradbury’s The Bumblebee Flies Anyway in July, I was inspired to make my own garden more wildlife-friendly. Her book is set in England, so I needed a resource for Australian wildlife and preferably for a similar climate to my own. This book seems ideal. Even better, my library has it available. If it’s as good as I hope, I’ll probably buy my own copy later on for future reference. And if I read it in August, I’ll be all ready to start putting some of it into practice this spring.
3.MOM’S PERFECT BOYFRIEND
By Crystal Hemmingway
A smart romantic comedy about mothers and daughters, and the hilarious consequences of a white lie.
I received this novel as an Advanced Reader Copy through LibraryThing. I don’t read many romances, but I was in the mood for something light, fun and even a bit silly and I think this might fit the bill. It even has an android in it (sci-fi crossover- awesome).
4.WALKING ON WATER
By Madeleine L’Engle
GENRE: Non-fiction – Essays – Christian – Writing
In this classic book, Madeleine L’Engle addresses the questions, What makes art Christian? What does it mean to be a Christian artist? What is the relationship between faith and art? Through L’Engle’s beautiful and insightful essays, readers will find themselves called to what the author views as the prime tasks of an artist: to listen, to remain aware, and to respond to creation through one’s own art.
I’ve been looking forward to reading this, the second non-fiction selection this month. Madeleine L’Engle’s middle grade fantasy novels delighted me so much as a child and teenager. I loved her settings, her characters and the emotion she was able to convey to me as a reader. I didn’t know she was a Christian and the books aren’t overtly Christian in any way, although they are spiritual. Now that I’m an adult, a Christian myself and a fantasy writer, I’m really interested in what L’Engle has to say about the connection between her faith and her writing. It’s quite a short book but I suspect it will pack a punch.
5.EMBERS OF WAR
By Gareth Powell
GENRE: Science Fiction
The warship Trouble Dog was built and bred for calculating violence, yet following a brutal war, she finds herself disgusted by conflict and her role in a possible war crime. Seeking to atone, she joins an organisation dedicated to rescuing ships in distress.When a ship goes missing in a disputed system, Trouble Dog and her new crew of misfits and loners are assigned to investigate and save whoever they can. Quickly, what appears to be a straightforward rescue mission turns into something far more dangerous.If she is to survive and save her crew, Trouble Dog is going to have to remember how to fight.
I’m a bit embarrassed that as a keen reader of sci-fi and someone partial to the occasional space opera, I have never read any of Gareth Powell’s work. In August, that is going to change. As soon as I saw the words “warship…Trouble Dog…she…misfits” I was already hooked. It sounds epic and action-packed. Should be a nice change of pace from the other books on my August list.
6.MISS MARPLE’S FINAL CASES
By Agatha Christie
GENRE: Crime – Detective – Short stories
A collection of Miss Marple mysteries, plus some bonus short stories…First, the mystery man in the church with a bullet-wound…then, the riddle of a dead man’s buried treasure…the curious conduct of a caretaker after a fatal riding accident…the corpse and a tape-measure…the girl framed for theft…and the suspect accused of stabbing his wife with a dagger.
Mission Marple is almost over. This is the final volume, the last stories Christie ever wrote about Miss Marple, her elderly village lady sleuth. It’s been a truly enjoyable journey and I’m so glad I joined in. My library has this book available now, so there’s nothing stopping me from completing my mission. This will be the only book this month that is a re-read for me.
I have a good feeling about all my picks for August. What are you looking forward to reading in the next month?