Hello! Happy Saturday! And Happy May 1st!! How did that happen??!!! Scary times!! Now I’m a year older, time definitely is speeding up!
On to the books of the past week! It’s been a slower reading week as I’m starting to attack the ‘chunky’ books on the reading pile so they’re taking me longer to read! But I still managed to finish 3 books! And then I may have been tempted by Netgalley and had some bookpost this week too!
here’s my look back…
THE QUEEN’S RIVAL by ANNE O’BRIEN – 5 STARS
THE SCREAMING SKY by CHARLES FOSTER – 5 STARS
EMPIRE OF ANTS by SUSANNE FOITZIK – 5 STARS
Starting with 3 from Netgalley……
THE IMAGE OF HER by SONIA VELTON
publication date – July 2021
From the author of Blackberry & Wild Rose comes an extraordinary story of two women who never meet and yet share the closest possible bond.
STELLA and CONNIE are strangers, brought together by two traumatic events – cruel twists of fate that happen thousands of miles apart.
Stella lives with her mother, a smothering narcissist. When she succumbs to dementia, the pressures on Stella’s world intensify, culminating in tragedy. As Stella recovers from a near fatal accident, she feels compelled to share her trauma but she finds talking difficult. In her head she confides in Connie because there’s no human being in the world that she feels closer to.
Connie is an expat living in Dubai with her partner, Mark, and their two children. On the face of it she wants for nothing and yet … something about life in this glittering city does not sit well with her. Used to working full time in a career she loves back in England, she struggles to find meaning in the expat life of play-dates and pedicures.
Two women set on a collision course. When they finally link up, it will not be in a way that you, or I, or anyone would ever have expected.
THE WOLF DEN by ELODIE HARPER
publication date – May 2021
Sold by her mother. Enslaved in Pompeii’s brothel. Determined to survive. Her name is Amara. Welcome to the Wolf Den…
Amara was once a beloved daughter, until her father’s death plunged her family into penury. Now she is a slave in Pompeii’s infamous brothel, owned by a man she despises. Sharp, clever and resourceful, Amara is forced to hide her talents. For as a she-wolf, her only value lies in the desire she can stir in others.
But Amara’s spirit is far from broken.
By day, she walks the streets with her fellow she-wolves, finding comfort in the laughter and dreams they share. For the streets of Pompeii are alive with opportunity. Out here, even the lowest slave can secure a reversal in fortune. Amara has learnt that everything in this city has its price. But how much is her freedom going to cost her?
Set in Pompeii’s lupanar, The Wolf Den reimagines the lives of women who have long been overlooked.
FINDING THE MOTHER TREE by SUZANNE SIMARD
publication date – May 2021
From the world’s leading forest ecologist who forever changed how people view trees and their connections to one another and to other living things in the forest–a moving, deeply personal journey of discovery.
Suzanne Simard is a pioneer on the frontier of plant communication and intelligence; she’s been compared to Rachel Carson, hailed as a scientist who conveys complex, technical ideas in a way that is dazzling and profound. Her work has influenced filmmakers (the Tree of Souls of James Cameron’s Avatar) and her TED talks have been viewed by more than 10 million people worldwide.
Now, in her first book, Simard brings us into her world, the intimate world of the trees, in which she brilliantly illuminates the fascinating and vital truths–that trees are not simply the source of timber or pulp, but are a complex, interdependent circle of life; that forests are social, cooperative creatures connected through underground networks by which trees communicate their vitality and vulnerabilities with communal lives not that different from our own.
Simard writes–in inspiring, illuminating, and accessible ways–how trees, living side by side for hundreds of years, have evolved, how they perceive one another, learn and adapt their behaviors, recognize neighbors, and remember the past; how they have agency about the future; elicit warnings and mount defenses, compete and cooperate with one another with sophistication, characteristics ascribed to human intelligence, traits that are the essence of civil societies–and at the center of it all, the Mother Trees: the mysterious, powerful forces that connect and sustain the others that surround them.
Simard writes of her own life, born and raised into a logging world in the rainforests of British Columbia, of her days as a child spent cataloging the trees from the forest and how she came to love and respect them–embarking on a journey of discovery, and struggle. And as she writes of her scientific quest, she writes of her own journey–of love and loss, of observation and change, of risk and reward, making us understand how deeply human scientific inquiry exists beyond data and technology, that it is about understanding who we are and our place in the world, and, in writing of her own life, we come to see the true connectedness of the Mother Tree that nurtures the forest in the profound ways that families and human societies do, and how these inseparable bonds enable all our survival.
And in the post…….
FRIDGE by EMMA ZADOW
Alice hasn’t been home for a while – for seven years, in fact. But when her little sister Lo tries to take her own life, she has to return to the life she left behind. The change of scenery from London to Norfolk proves quite the culture shock, however, and Alice has to confront what she left behind all those years ago. The sisters’ relationship hasn’t evolved in Alice’s absence, and when she steps through the door she’s plunged back into the same world she escaped from. Set against Norfolk’s bleak landscapes, but masquerading as childhood nostalgia, Fridge is an all-too-familiar exploration of the broken promises of youth, and a bitter exposition of a generation left behind.
BOOK WARS by JOHN B.THOMPSON
copy via Amazon Vine for review
This book tells the story of the turbulent decade when the book publishing industry collided with the great technological revolution of our time. From the surge of ebooks to the self-publishing explosion and the growing popularity of audiobooks, this book provides a comprehensive and fine-grained account of technological disruption in one of our most important and successful creative industries.
Like other sectors, publishing has been thrown into disarray by the digital revolution. The foundation on which this industry had been based for 500 years – the control, packaging and sale of words and images in the form of printed books – was called into question by a technological revolution that enabled symbolic content to be stored, manipulated and transmitted quickly and cheaply. Publishers and retailers found themselves facing a proliferation of new players who were offering new products and services and challenging some of their most deeply-held principles. The old industry was suddenly thrust into the limelight as bitter conflicts erupted between publishers and new entrants, including powerful new tech giants who saw the world in very different ways. The book wars had begun.
While ebooks were at the heart of many of these conflicts, Thompson argues that the most fundamental consequences lie elsewhere. The print-on-paper book has proven to be a remarkably resilient cultural form but the digital revolution has transformed the industry in other ways, spawning new players which now wield unprecedented power and giving rise to an array of new publishing forms. Most important of all, it has transformed the broader information and communication environment, creating new challenges and new opportunities for publishers as they seek to redefine their role in the digital age.
This unrivalled account of the book publishing industry as it faces its greatest challenge since Gutenberg will be essential reading for anyone interested in books and their future.