I haven't had a chance to post any Friday Finds recently, but Debi's mini-challenge this month for the Dewey's Books Reading Challenge is the perfect opportunity to take a look at some of the books I'm looking forward to. Dewey's Book Coveting posts were some of my favourites of her regular features as well, and it's always fun to see everyone's lists of what they'd like to read. So here are a few of the books that I'm coveting these days.
The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
I really enjoyed The Shadow of the Wind and am looking forward to returning to the Barcelona filled with books and mystery that he introduced to us in it.
In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man - David Martin - 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 are letters hinting at the mysterious death of the previous owner.The Owl Killers by Karen Maitland
I first heard about this book on the Simon Mayo Book Reviews podcast that I listen to each week, and it sounded fascinating. Set in England in 1321, a little plague, a little witchcraft, what's not to like? It won't be released until the end of September in the US but is available now in the UK.
England, 1321. Deep in the heart of countryside lies an isolated village governed by a sinister regime of Owl Masters - theirs is a pagan world of terror and blackmail, where neighbour denounces neighbour and sin is punishable by murder. This dark status quo is disturbed by the arrival of a house of religious women, who establish a community outside the village. Why do their crops succeed when village crops fail; their cattle survive despite the plague? But petty jealousy turns deadly when the women give refuge to a young martyr.Beyond the Blossoming Fields by Jun'ichi Watanabe
I found this one while browsing the Alma Books website. Dear Everybody by Michael Kimball, which I read recently, is one of their titles.
As a young girl from a wealthy family, Ginko Ogino seems set for a conventional life in the male-dominated society of nineteenth-century Japan. But when she contracts gonorrhoea from her husband, she suffers the ignominy of divorce. Forced to bear the humiliation of being treated by male doctors, she resolves to become a doctor herself in order to treat fellow female sufferers and spare them some of the shame she had to endure.Then I was updating my Orange Prize list today and added this book from this year's shortlist to my wishlist.
Her struggle is not an easy one: her family disown her, and she has to convince the authorities to take seriously the very idea of a female doctor, and allow her to study alongside male medical students and sit the licensing exam.
Based on the real-life story of Ginko Ogino – Japan’s first female doctor – Beyond the Blossoming Fields does full justice to the complexity of her character and her world in a fascinating and inspirational work of fiction.
Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie
I'm always interested in stories with a Japanese connection, and this sounds like a slightly different look at the after-effects of the war.
August 9, 1945, Nagasaki. Hiroko Tanaka steps out onto her veranda, taking in the view of the terraced slopes leading up to the sky. Wrapped in a kimono with three black cranes swooping across the back, she is twenty-one, in love with the man she is to marry, Konrad Weiss.And I'm still lusting after Kabuki: The Alchemy by David Mack. I first heard about this graphic novel from Carl, and the art in it looks fantastic. Visit Carl's post to see some of the awesome images with a strong Japanese flavour. As I mentioned above, I'm always intrigued by all things Japanese so how could I possibly resist this one?
In a split second, the world turns white. In the next, it explodes with the sound of fire and the horror of realization. In the numbing aftermath of a bomb that obliterates everything she has known, all that remains are the bird-shaped burns on her back, an indelible reminder of the world she has lost.
I could go on but I think I'll stop there. I haven't bought a single book this month, although I did receive a couple last week that I'll mention tomorrow, and am refraining until after we move. I have far too many books to move as it is, it seems silly to add more right now. A little book buying post-move sounds like a nice incentive though. As I mentioned last week we'll be moving sometime in June to a different area of Tokyo so I won't be around too much over the next few weeks, but will try to stop in when I have time. I hope you all have a great week! Happy reading!