Book Buys [Book Fair 2018, Part II]

It’s not really fair to cheat on this one and do it next to next month, so here are the other 8 books I bought. First post here.


1. The Probable Future (Alice Hoffman)
I have a sort of curiosity about Hoffman’s novels (though I’m not really sure how I feel about some of them). I haven’t read too many of her older novels, and this falls somewhere in between I suppose, published 2004. It’s about three generations of women who can see the past, present and future, which is fairly interesting as premises go. It also involves a murder somehow.

2. The Sentimentalists (Johanna Skibsrud) 
I may have overcompensated on novels with a war theme or set post-war. I’m not sure why.  A daughter attempts to discover some secrets about her father, a Vietnam war veteran. Apparently Skibsrud’s writing is beautiful but not for everyone (as I gather from the reviews).

3. Enduring Love (Ian McEwan)
To date, I’ve not read anything by McEwan. I picked this up more to amend this than out of any specific interest in the novel. I can’t quite figure out what this is about, it apparently involves two men, obsessions, and a hot air balloon freak accident, which does sound intriguing. However shortly after I bought this a friend told me she really disliked it. Regardless, I’ll probably end up reading more by McEwan even if I don’t like this; I particularly plan to read The Children Act and Atonement.

4. Dreams of Leaving (Rupert Thomson)
I picked this up primarily because the pitch was intriguing, but also because I suspected it might be too strange for me, which I took as some kind of challenge I guess. It’s apparently about a village which no one gets to leave, except a baby who grows up to be a man living in a nightclub. I haven’t seen very positive reviews for this, so I think it will be too strange for me. I have an awful feeling this might be one of those books I put off for another five years, but I hope it won’t be.


5. Snow Falling on Cedars (David Guterson)
This is a pretty well known one I think, hence it sounded familiar to me. It won the 1995 PEN/Faulker Award and deals with anti-Japanese sentiments on the fictional San Piedro Island, going back WWII. This may be another case where I was sold by the title again. Hey, it’s a good title…

6. Quarantine (Jim Crace)
By some coincidental miracle this is actually on my TBR. This was a Booker nominee in 1997 and attempts to retell a landmark event in the Gospels: the temptation of Christ during his forty day fast in the Judean desert. I’m actually really looking forward to reading this and was thrilled that I found it second-hand, it sounds interesting and I haven’t read too many fictional works which deal with religious history.

7. The Way Things Were (Aatish Taseer)
Going back and forth between several important years in Indian history, ths book ostensibly deals with a man living in Manhattan, Skanda, who is forced to return to Delhi to complete his father’s last rites. In the process, he learns more about his parents’ estrangement and his family histowry. I hope this isn’t a book that’s diasporically inclined – it’s not my cup of tea, personally. I don’t think it is, but we’ll see.

8. William and the Moon Rocket (Richmal Crompton)
Everyone in my family is a fan of the Just William books and I grabbed it when I saw it at the bottom of a teetering dusty book stack. In case you’re unfamiliar, this is a series of books dealing with William and his friends (the ‘Outlaws’) who are always getting into trouble. An age old premise, and easy, fun reads.

If you’ve read any of these, or are planning to, let me know!

All images (c) and never arriving.
(I should’ve ironed my sheets. I know, I know.)

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