From an idea by Lia @ Lost in a Story and as my tbr over on Goodreads is now toppling over and is definitely in need of some serious de-cluttering!
Anyway, it works like this:
- Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
- Order on ascending date added.
- Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
- Read the synopses of the books
- Decide: keep it or should it go?
The Divine Comedy, translated by Allen Mandelbaum, begins in a shadowed forest on Good Friday in the year 1300. It proceeds on a journey that, in its intense recreation of the depths and the heights of human experience, has become the key with which Western civilization has sought to unlock the mystery of its own identity.
Mandelbaum’s astonishingly Dantean translation, which captures so much of the life of the original, renders whole for us the masterpiece of that genius whom our greatest poets have recognized as a central model for all poets.
This Everyman’s edition–containing in one volume all three cantos, Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso–includes an introduction by Nobel Prize—winning poet Eugenio Montale, a chronology, notes, and a bibliography. Also included are forty-two drawings selected from Botticelli’s marvellous late-fifteenth-century series of illustrations
I think I added this to my tbr when I was going through a phase of reading books set in Italy and there was some mention of this book. It’s been on this Goodreads shelf for 6 years so I can’t imagine I’m ever going to pick it up.
In order to spend more time with her four-year-old son Ned, Clara Costello trades in her secure, well-paid job and sports car for a camper van called Winnie, and the three of them set off on a mystery tour of England. Of course, her friends and family think she’s gone mad. But when they arrive in Deaconsbridge, a small market town on the edge of the Peak District, Clara and Ned become drawn into the lives of the locals. Two in particular seem destined to get under Clara’s skin—Gabriel Liberty, a cranky widower who terrifies his family, and Archie Merryman, a local dealer in second-hand furniture, who possesses a heart of gold. Then Clara finds herself having to confront a problem much closer to home, and one she had hoped she would never have to face.
I still like the look of this one, plus it has good reviews on Goodreads.
It is autumn in the Somerset town of Glastonbury. Lance Bradley is idling away his life there as usual when he receives a call for help from the eccentric sister of his old friend Rupert Alder. Inexplicably, Rupe has stopped sending the money that his dysfunctional siblings depend on. Reluctantly, Lance goes to London to learn what he can, only to find that his friend has vanished. His employers, a shipping company, believe he is guilty of a major fraud. A Japanese businessman called Hashimoto claims he has stolen a document of life and death importance. And a private detective who has been trying to trace on Rupert’s behalf an American called Townley has been warned off by unnamed but immensely powerful interests. Townley, it seems, was involved in a mysterious death at Wilderness Farm, near Glastonbury, back in 1963, that year of so many shattering events which just happens also to be the year of Lance’s birth.
No sooner has Lance decided that whatever Rupert was up to is too risky
for him to get involved in than he finds that he already is involved, and the only way out is to get in deeper still. Where is Rupert? What is the document he has stolen? Who is Townley? And what happened in the summer of 1963 that holds the key to a secret more devastating than Lance Bradley could ever have imagined?
Dying to Tell is a classic Robert Goddard mystery, intricate, compelling, and this time with a dénouement that is, quite literally, sensational.
Ha! I thought I’d removed all the books by this author! Still not interested in trying anymore at the moment.
I Am David by Anne Holm
David’s entire twelve-year life has been spent in a grisly prison camp in Eastern Europe. He knows nothing of the outside world. But when he is given the chance to escape, he seizes it. With his vengeful enemies hot on his heels, David struggles to cope in this strange new world, where his only resources are a compass, a few crusts of bread, his two aching feet, and some vague advice to seek refuge in Denmark. Is that enough to survive?
David’s extraordinary odyssey is dramatically chronicled in Anne Holm’s classic about the meaning of freedom and the power of hope.
I definitely want to read this even though I think I may have read it a long time ago. Verdict: Keep
Much of what we know and feel about the First World War we owe to Vera Brittain’s elegiac yet unsparing book, which set a standard for memoirists from Martha Gellhorn to Lillian Hellman. Abandoning her studies at Oxford in 1915 to enlist as a nurse in the armed services, Brittain served in London, in Malta, and on the Western Front. By war’s end she had lost virtually everyone she loved. Testament of Youth is both a record of what she lived through and an elegy for a vanished generation. Hailed by the Times Literary Supplement as a book that helped “both form and define the mood of its time,” it speaks to any generation that has been irrevocably changed by war.
I still want to read this and have a physical copy, but I wonder if I might enjoy this more on audio? Verdict: Keep
A dazzling novel in the most untraditional fashion, this is the remarkable story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare’s passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap, and it is Audrey Niffenegger’s cinematic storytelling that makes the novel’s unconventional chronology so vibrantly triumphant.
An enchanting debut and a spellbinding tale of fate and belief in the bonds of love, The Time Traveler’s Wife is destined to captivate readers for years to come.
I’m not sure if I’m bothered about reading this even though I have a physical copy of on the shelf.
Dark secrets haunt the manor house at Selden in Buckinghamshire, where Emilie Selden, motherless, fiercely intelligent and beautiful, has been raised in near isolation by her father. John Selden, student of Isaac Newton, is conducting a secret experiment. He aims to turn Emilie into a brilliant natural philosopher and alchemist and fills her with knowledge while recording every step she takes. In the spring of 1725, when Emilie is eighteen, father and daughter begin their most daring adventure – an attempt to breathe life into dead matter. But they are interrupted by the arrival of two strangers. During the course of a sultry August, Emilie is caught up in the passion of first love and, listening for the first time to her heart rather than her head, she makes her choice with consequences that are far-reaching and tumultuous.
This is so intriguing that I definitely want to read it.
Bernardino Luini, favourite apprentice of Leonardo da Vinci, is commissioned to paint a religious fresco in the hills of Lombardy. His eye is caught by the beautiful Simonetta di Saronno, a young noblewoman who has lost her husband to battle. This title tells a story of love and art set against the backdrop of the Italian Wars.
A lovely cover and an interesting premise but not interesting enough to keep on my shelves.
In this captivating debut, Christi Phillips blends fact and fiction, suspense and sensuality into a vibrant, richly imagined novel in which a modern historian uncovers a courtesan’s secret role in a shocking conspiracy of seventeenth-century Venice.
Claire Donovan always dreamed of visiting Venice, though not as a chaperone for a surly teenager. But she can’t pass up this chance to complete her Ph.D. thesis on Alessandra Rossetti, a mysterious courtesan who wrote a secret letter to the Venetian Council warning of a Spanish plot to overthrow the Venetian Republic in 1618. Claire views Alessandra as a heroine and harbours a secret hope that her findings will elevate Alessandra to a more prominent place in history. But an arrogant Cambridge professor is set to present a paper at a prestigious Venetian university denouncing Alessandra as a co-conspirator — a move that could destroy Claire’s paper and career.
As Claire races to locate the documents that will reveal the courtesan’s true motives, Alessandra’s story comes to life with all the sensuality, political treachery, and violence of seventeenth-century Venice. Claire also falls under the city’s spell. She is courted by a handsome Italian, matches wits with her academic adversary, bonds with her troubled young charge, and, amid the boundless beauty of Venice, recaptures the joy of living every moment….
The reviews for this are very mixed and have put me off giving it a try.
Best-selling romance author and ardent knitter Debbie Macomber combines both her skills in this novel about a newly opened Seattle yarn shop and the knitting class that brings four women together to make baby blankets. The owner of the shop and her three students produce more than blankets, knitting together bonds of solidarity, friendship, love, hope, and renewal. The book even includes the pattern for the blanket, which was created by premier knitting designer Ann Norling.
When Lydia Hoffman, a cancer survivor and owner of A Good Yarn, starts a knitting class for her patrons, she forms a special friendship and bond with three extraordinary women–Jacqueline, Carol, and Alix–and together they share laughter, heartbreak, and dreams.
I loved the Friday Night Knitting Club and this sounds similar so I’m going to try it. Verdict: Keep