I like to read fiction and non-fiction that has to do with other parts of the world. I like to read mysteries and historical novels and history non-fiction.
‘Wolf winter,’ she said, her voice small. ‘I wanted to ask about it. You know, what it is.’He was silent for a long time. ‘It’s the kind of winter that will remind us we are mortal,’ he said. ‘Mortal and alone.’ Swedish Lapland, 1717. Maija, her husband Paavo and her daughters Frederika and Dorotea arrive from their native Finland, hoping to forget the traumas of their past and put down new roots in this harsh but beautiful land. Above them looms Blackåsen, a mountain whose foreboding presence looms over the valley and whose dark history seems to haunt the lives of those who live in its shadow.While herding the family’s goats on the mountain, Frederika happens upon the mutilated body of one of their neighbors, Eriksson. The death is dismissed as a wolf attack, but Maija feels certain that the wounds could only have been inflicted by another man. Compelled to investigate despite her neighbors’ strange disinterest in the death and the fate of Eriksson’s widow, Maija is drawn into the dark history of tragedies and betrayals that have taken place on Blackåsen. Young Frederika finds herself pulled towards the mountain as well, feeling something none of the adults around her seem to notice.As the seasons change, and the “wolf winter,” the harshest winter in memory, descends upon the settlers, Paavo travels to find work, and Maija finds herself struggling for her family’s survival in this land of winter-long darkness. As the snow gathers, the settlers’ secrets are increasingly laid bare. Scarce resources and the never-ending darkness force them to come together, but Maija, not knowing who to trust and who may betray her, is determined to find the answers for herself. Soon, Maija discovers the true cost of survival under the mountain, and what it will take to make it to spring.
Spanning four generations, The Midnight Rose sweeps from the glittering palaces of the great maharajas of India to the majestic stately homes of England, following the extraordinary life of a remarkable girl, Anahita Chaval, from 1911 to the present day . . .In the heyday of the British Raj, eleven-year-old Anahita, from a noble but impoverished family, forms a lifelong friendship with the headstrong Princess Indira, the privileged daughter of Indian royalty. As the princess's official companion, Anahita accompanies her friend to England just before the outbreak of World War I. There, she meets young Donald Astbury—reluctant heir to the magnificent, remote Astbury Estate—and his scheming mother.Ninety years later, Rebecca Bradley, a young American film star, has the world at her feet. But when her turbulent relationship with her equally famous boyfriend takes an unexpected turn, she's relieved that her latest role, playing a 1920s debutante, will take her away from the glare of publicity to a distant corner of the English countryside. Shortly after filming begins at the now-crumbling Astbury Hall, Ari Malik, Anahita's great-grandson, arrives unexpectedly, on a quest for his family's past. What he and Rebecca discover begins to unravel the dark secrets that haunt the Astbury dynasty . . .A multilayered, heartbreaking tale filled with unforgettable characters caught in the sweep of history, The Midnight Rose is Lucinda Riley at her most captivating and unforgettable.
Dave is fourteen years old, living with his family in a cabin on Oregon's Mount Hood (or as Dave prefers to call it, like the Native Americans once did, Wy'east). He is entering high school, adulthood on the horizon not far off in distance, and contemplating a future away from his mother, father, and his precocious younger sister.And Dave is not the only one approaching adulthood and its freedoms on Wy'east that summer. Martin, a pine marten (a small animal of the deep woods, of the otter/mink family), is leaving his own mother and siblings and setting off on his own as well. As Martin and Dave's paths cross on forest trails and rocky mountaintops, they—and we—witness the full, unknowable breadth and vast sweep of life, and the awe-inspiring interconnectedness of the world and its many inhabitants, human and otherwise.Martin Marten is a coming-of-age tale like no other, told in Brian Doyle's joyous, rollicking style.
Barcelona, 1952.General Franco's fascist government is at the height of its oppressive powers, casting a black shadow across the city. When wealthy socialite Mariona Sobrerroca is found dead in her mansion in the exclusive Tibidabo district, the police scramble to seize control of the investigation.Ana Martí Noguer, an eager young journalist, is surprised to be assigned this important story, shadowing Inspector Isidro Castro.But Ana soon realizes that a bundle of strange letters unearthed at the scene point to a sequence of events dramatically different from the official version. She enlists the help of her cousin Beatriz, a scholar, and what begins as an intriguing puzzle opens up a series of revelations that implicate the regime's most influential figures. The two women have placed themselves in mortal danger. As the conspiracy unfolds, Ana's courage and Beatriz's wits will be their only weapons against the city's corrupt and murderous elite.
Unflinching, taut and masterfully plotted, Blood, Salt, Water is the brilliant fifth novel in the Alex Morrow series from two-time Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award–winning author Denise MinaDI Alex Morrow and her team have been shadowing a woman suspected of being involved in a large drug-smuggling and money-laundering operation. Roxanna Fuentecilla recently moved from London to Glasgow under suspicious circumstances, and Morrow's bosses want all the glory when she's finally arrested. But then Roxanna disappears. She's left her partner and her two children, and something about the situation, and the children's evasive attitude, leads Morrow to question what's really going on.In the nearby picturesque town of Helensburgh, Iain Fraser is struggling to live with his overwhelming guilt. Under orders from the infamous Mark Barratt, he's just killed a woman, and now he's left with blood on his hands. Meanwhile, Miss Grierson, a former scout leader who left the sleepy seaside town decades ago, has returned. Allegedly she's back to sort out her recently deceased mother's estate, but Iain suspects she has an ulterior motive.PRAISE FOR DENISE MINA“The most exciting crime writer to have emerged in Britain for years.” —IAN RANKIN“If you don't love Denise Mina, you don't love crime fiction.” —VAL McDERMID“Denise Mina is the finest contemporary exponent of British crime fiction.” —THE TIMES (UK)
An international bestseller and finalist for the Prix Goncourt, France’s most prestigious literary award, The Age of Reinvention is a suspenseful Gatsbian tale of a famous New York lawyer whose charmed and glamorous life is a sham.Top Manhattan criminal defense attorney Sam Tahar seems to have it all: fame, fortune, an enviable marriage to a prominent socialite, and two wonderful children. But his success is built on a lie—he isn’t the person he pretends to be.Growing up a poor Tunisian immigrant, crammed inside the walls of a grimy Paris apartment tower, Samir Tahar seemed destined for life as either a drug dealer or a delivery man—until he decided “he was going to cut through the bars of his social jail cell, even if he had to do it with his teeth.” At law school in Montpelier, France, he became fast friends with Jewish student Samuel Baron. The two were inseparable until the irresistible Nina, torn between the men, ultimately chose Samuel. Samir fled to America, where he assumed Samuel’s identity and background while his former friend remained stuck in a French suburb, a failed, neurotic writer seething at Samir’s overseas triumphs.Decades later, the three meet again in this dark, powerful story of a deeply tangled love triangle that becomes subsumed by the war on terror. Called “a masterful novel...unquestionably one of the season’s best” (Paris Match) and “a work of great magnitude” (Le Figaro), The Age of Reinvention is an intriguing tale about the wonderful possibilities and terrible costs of remaking oneself.
An absorbing novel of dissident life in the Soviet Union, by one of Russia’s most popular writersThe Big Green Tent is the kind of book the term “Russian novel” was invented for. A sweeping saga, it tells the story of three school friends who meet in Moscow in the 1950s and go on to embody the heroism, folly, compromise, and hope of the Soviet dissident experience. These three boys—an orphaned poet; a gifted, fragile pianist; and a budding photographer with a talent for collecting secrets—struggle to reach adulthood in a society where their heroes have been censored and exiled. Rich with love stories, intrigue, and a cast of dissenters and spies, The Big Green Tent offers a panoramic survey of life after Stalin and a dramatic investigation into the prospects for integrity in a society defined by the KGB. Each of the central characters seeks to transcend an oppressive regime through art, a love of Russian literature, and activism. And each of them ends up face-to-face with a secret police that is highly skilled at fomenting paranoia, division, and self-betrayal. An artist is chased into the woods, where he remains in hiding for four years; a researcher is forced to deem a patient insane, damning him to torture in a psychiatric ward; a man and his wife each become collaborators, without the other knowing. Ludmila Ulitskaya’s big yet intimate novel belongs to the tradition of Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and Pasternak: a work of politics, love, and belief that is a revelation of life in dark times.
From the author of the New York Times bestseller The Art Forger comes a thrilling new novel of art, history, love, and politics that traces the life and mysterious disappearance of a brilliant young artist on the eve of World War II. Alizée Benoit, an American painter working for the Works Progress Administration (WPA), vanishes in New York City in 1940 amid personal and political turmoil. No one knows what happened to her. Not her Jewish family living in German-occupied France. Not her artistic patron and political compatriot, Eleanor Roosevelt. Not her close-knit group of friends, including Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Lee Krasner. And, some seventy years later, not her great-niece, Danielle Abrams, who while working at Christie’s auction house uncovers enigmatic paintings hidden behind recently found works by those now famous Abstract Expressionist artists. Do they hold answers to the questions surrounding her missing aunt? Entwining the lives of both historical and fictional characters, and moving between the past and the present, The Muralist plunges readers into the divisiveness of prewar politics and the largely forgotten plight of European refugees refused entrance to the United States. It captures both the inner workings of today’s New York art scene and the beginnings of the vibrant and quintessentially American school of Abstract Expressionism. B.A. Shapiro is a master at telling a gripping story while exploring provocative themes. In Alizée and Danielle she has created two unforgettable women, artists both, who compel us to ask, What happens when luminous talent collides with inexorable historical forces? Does great art have the power to change the world? And to what lengths should a person go to thwart evil?
Caryl Phillips's The Lost Child is a sweeping story of orphans and outcasts, haunted by the past and fighting to liberate themselves from it. At its center is Monica Johnson—cut off from her parents after falling in love with a foreigner—and her bitter struggle to raise her sons in the shadow of the wild moors of the north of England. Phillips intertwines her modern narrative with the childhood of one of literature's most enigmatic lost boys, as he deftly conjures young Heathcliff, the anti-hero of Wuthering Heights, and his ragged existence before Mr. Earnshaw brought him home to his family.The Lost Child is a multifaceted, deeply original response to Emily Bronte's masterpiece, Wuthering Heights. A critically acclaimed and sublimely talented storyteller, Caryl Phillips is "in a league with Toni Morrison and V. S. Naipaul" (Booklist) and "his novels have a way of growing on you, staying with you long after you've closed the book." (The New York Times Book Review) A true literary feat, The Lost Child recovers the mysteries of the past to illuminate the predicaments of the present, getting at the heart of alienation, exile, and family by transforming a classic into a profound story that is singularly its own.
Twelve year old Caitlin lives alone with her mother—a docker at the local container port—in subsidized housing next to an airport in Seattle. Each day, while she waits to be picked up after school, Caitlin visits the local aquarium to study the fish. Gazing at the creatures within the watery depths, Caitlin accesses a shimmering universe beyond her own. When she befriends an old man at the tanks one day, who seems as enamored of the fish as she, Caitlin cracks open a dark family secret and propels her once-blissful relationship with her mother toward a precipice of terrifying consequence.In crystalline, chiselled yet graceful prose, Aquarium takes us into the heart of a brave young girl whose longing for love and capacity for forgiveness transforms the damaged people around her.
“Utterly irresistible…The Gold Eaters is truly the gold standard to which all fiction — historical and otherwise — should aspire.” — BuzzfeedA sweeping, epic historical novel of exploration and invasion, of conquest and resistance, and of an enduring love that must overcome the destruction of one empire by another. Kidnapped at sea by conquistadors seeking the golden land of Peru, a young Inca boy named Waman is the everyman thrown into extraordinary circumstances. Forced to become Francisco Pizarro's translator, he finds himself caught up in one of history's great clashes of civilzations, the Spanish invasion of the Incan Empire of the 1530s. To survive, he must not only learn political gamesmanship but also discover who he truly is, and in what country and culture he belongs. Only then can he be reunited with the love of his life and begin the search for his shattered family, journeying through a land and a time vividly depicted here. Based closely on real historical events, The Gold Eaters draws on Ronald Wright’s imaginative skill as a novelist and his deep knowledge of South America to bring alive an epic struggle that laid the foundations of the modern world.
The first inside account to be published about Hillary Clinton's time as secretary of state, anchored by Ghattas's own perspective and her quest to understand America's place in the worldIn November 2008, Hillary Clinton agreed to work for her former rival. As President Barack Obama's secretary of state, she set out to repair America's image around the world—and her own. For the following four years, BBC foreign correspondent Kim Ghattas had unparalleled access to Clinton and her entourage, and she weaves a fast-paced, gripping account of life on the road with Clinton in The Secretary.With the perspective of one who is both an insider and an outsider, Ghattas draws on extensive interviews with Clinton, administration officials, and players in Washington as well as overseas, to paint an intimate and candid portrait of one of the most powerful global politicians. Filled with fresh insights, The Secretary provides a captivating analysis of Clinton's brand of diplomacy and the Obama administration's efforts to redefine American power in the twenty-first century.Populated with a cast of real-life characters, The Secretary tells the story of Clinton's transformation from popular but polarizing politician to America's envoy to the world in compelling detail and with all the tension of high stakes diplomacy. From her evolving relationship with President Obama to the drama of WikiLeaks and the turmoil of the Arab Spring, we see Clinton cheerfully boarding her plane at 3 a.m. after no sleep, reading the riot act to the Chinese, and going through her diplomatic checklist before signing on to war in Libya—all the while trying to restore American leadership in a rapidly changing world.Viewed through Ghattas's vantage point as a half-Dutch, half-Lebanese citizen who grew up in the crossfire of the Lebanese civil war, The Secretary is also the author's own journey as she seeks to answer the questions that haunted her childhood. How powerful is America really? And, if it is in decline, who or what will replace it and what will it mean for America and the world?
A secret chamber.
A mysterious shipwreck.
A murder in the desolate salt marshes.
A seemingly straightforward private case turns out to be much more complicated-and sinister-than Special Agent A.X.L. Pendergast ever could have anticipated.
Pendergast, together with his ward Constance Greene, travels to the quaint seaside village of Exmouth, Massachusetts, to investigate the theft of a priceless wine collection. But inside the wine cellar, they find something considerably more disturbing: a bricked-up niche that once held a crumbling skeleton.
Simon Serrailler is on sabbatical on a Scottish island, recovering from an exhausting murder investigation, when he is urgently summoned back to Lafferton. Two local prostitutes have been found strangled. By the time Serrailer has reached the town, another girl has vanished. Is this a vendetta against prostitutes by someone with a warped mind? Or a series of killings by an angry punter? Then the wife of the new Dean at the Cathedral goes missing - has the killer widened their net or is there more than one murderer at large?
When Sarah Brown, daughter of abolitionist John Brown, realizes that her artistic talents may be able to help save the lives of slaves fleeing north, she becomes one of the Underground Railroad’s leading mapmakers, taking her cues from the slave code quilts and hiding her maps within her paintings. She boldly embraces this calling after being told the shocking news that she can’t bear children, but as the country steers toward bloody civil war, Sarah faces difficult sacrifices that could put all she loves in peril. Eden, a modern woman desperate to conceive a child with her husband, moves to an old house in the suburbs and discovers a porcelain head hidden in the root cellar—the remains of an Underground Railroad doll with an extraordinary past of secret messages, danger and deliverance. Ingeniously plotted to a riveting end, Sarah and Eden’s woven lives connect the past to the present, forcing each of them to define courage, family, love, and legacy in a new way.
In the Valley of the Shadow, they wrote their names in blood.From a daring Confederate raid that nearly seized Washington, D.C., to a stunning reversal on the bloody fields of Cedar Creek, the summer and autumn of 1864 witnessed some of the fiercest fighting of our Civil War—in mighty battles now all but forgotten.The desperate struggle for mastery of Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, breadbasket of the Confederacy and the South's key invasion route into the North, pitted a remarkable cast of heroes in blue and gray against each other: runty, rough-hewn Phillip Sheridan, a Union general with an uncanny gift for inspiring soldiers, and Jubal Early, his Confederate counterpart, stubborn, raw-mouthed and deadly; the dashing Yankee boy-general, George Armstrong Custer, and the brilliant, courageous John Brown Gordon, a charismatic Georgian who lived one of the era's greatest love stories.From hungry, hard-bitten Rebel privates to a pair of Union officers destined to become presidents, from a neglected hero who saved our nation's capital and went on to write one of his century's greatest novels, to doomed Confederate leaders of incomparable valor, Ralph Peters brings to life yesteryear's giants and their breathtaking battles with the same authenticity, skill and insight he offered readers in his prize-winning Civil War bestsellers, Cain at Gettysburg and Hell or Richmond.Sharp as a bayonet and piercing as a bullet, Valley of the Shadow is a great novel of our grandest, most-tragic war.
A neighbor called the police to warn that there is a young man sitting by the pool of the victim. Hugo, a young drug addict seems the only suspect in the crime but when investigated, they discover something far worse: Julian Hirtmann, a perverse serial murderer could be behind the crime. Bernard Minier gives us a stunning new novel, which renews the laws of the genre.
The first victim is a horse: its headless body hangs suspended from the edge of a frozen cliff.On the same day as the gruesome discovery, a young psychiatrist starts her first job at a secure asylum for the criminally insane, just a few miles away.Commandant Servaz, a Toulouse city cop, can't believe he has been called out over the death of an animal. But there is something disturbing about this crime that he cannot ignore.Then DNA from one of the most notorious inmates of the asylum is found on the corpse... and a few days later the first murder takes place.In this snowbound valley, deep in the Pyrenees, a dark story of madness and revenge is unfolding. It will take all of Servaz's skill to solve it.
The final novel from a great American storyteller. Donal Cameron is being raised by his grandmother, the cook at the legendary Double W ranch in Ivan Doig’s beloved Two Medicine Country of the Montana Rockies, a landscape that gives full rein to an eleven-year-old’s imagination. But when Gram has to have surgery for “female trouble” in the summer of 1951, all she can think to do is to ship Donal off to her sister in faraway Manitowoc, Wisconsin. There Donal is in for a rude surprise: Aunt Kate–bossy, opinionated, argumentative, and tyrannical—is nothing like her sister. She henpecks her good-natured husband, Herman the German, and Donal can’t seem to get on her good side either. After one contretemps too many, Kate packs him back to the authorities in Montana on the next Greyhound. But as it turns out, Donal isn’t traveling solo: Herman the German has decided to fly the coop with him. In the immortal American tradition, the pair light out for the territory together, meeting a classic Doigian ensemble of characters and having rollicking misadventures along the way.Charming, wise, and slyly funny, Last Bus to Wisdom is a last sweet gift from a writer whose books have bestowed untold pleasure on countless readers.
After leaving Atlanta in disgrace three years before, detective Thomas Canby is called back to the city on the eve of Atlanta's 1881 International Cotton Exposition to partner with Atlanta's first African American police officer, Cyrus Underwood. The case they're assigned is chilling: a serial murderer who seems to be violently targeting Atlanta's wealthiest black entrepreneurs. The killer's method is both strange and unusually gruesome. On each victim's mutilated body is inscribed a letter of the alphabet, beginning with "M." The oligarchy of Atlanta's most prominent white businessmen—the same men who ran Canby out of town, known more openly before Reconstruction as "the Ring"—is anxious to solve the murders before they lose the money they've invested in both the exposition and the city's industrialization, even if resolution comes at the expense of justice.After Canby's arrival the murders become increasingly disturbing and unpredictable, and his interference threatens to send the investigation spinning off in the wrong direction. As the toll of innocent victims rises, Canby must face down enduring racism, and his own prejudices, to see clearly the source of these bloody crimes. Meanwhile, if he can restore his reputation, he might win back the woman he loves.
I like to read fiction and non-fiction that has to do with other parts of the world. I like to read mysteries and historical novels and history non-fiction.