I don't do these posts very often, I know. Truth is, I don't buy many books anymore. However, I've gotten three new ones in the last week so I thought I'd share.
First, I got my dear friend Terrie's book, A Robe of Feathers: And Other Stories.
In Japan, the line that divides myth from reality is not merely blurred, it is nonexistent. Superstitions, legends, and folk myths are passed down through generations and pervade daily living.
When a child playing near a river fails to return home, it is whispered that she was swept away by an adzuki arai, or Bean Washer. When a man boarding a ship hears the ringing of an unseen insect, it is announced that a funadama (Boat Spirit) is present and so the auspicious harbinger of smooth seas and abundant catch is celebrated. Even something as innocuous as waking up to find your pillow at the foot of your bed is thought to be the trick of a makura gaeshi, otherwise known as a Pillow Turner. Nothing is as simple as it seems. Your neighbor isn’t merely an eccentric old woman—she might very well be a shape-shifting, grudge-harboring Water Sprite.
The Japanese examine life and living with the keenest eyes and the most vivid of imaginations. Thersa Matsuura has captured that essence in this darkly insightful collection illuminating the place where reality falters and slips into the strange and fantastical.
I also got Lark Rise to Candleford: A Trilogy by Flora Thompson. (I bought season 4 on DVD too, but this blog's about the books, lol.)
Flora Thompson (1876-1947) wrote what may be the quintessential distillation of English country life at the turn of the twentieth century. In 1945, the three books - Lark Rise (1939), Over to Candleford (1941), and Candleford Green (1943), were published together in one elegant volume, and this new omnibus Nonpareil edition, complete with charming wood engravings, should be a cause for real rejoicing.
This is the story of three closely-related Oxfordshire communities -- a hamlet, a village, and a town -- and the memorable cast of characters who people them. Based on Thompson's own experiences as a child and young woman, it is keenly observed and beautifully narrated, quiet and evocative.
The books have inspired two plays that ran in London, and the trilogy has been adapted into a multi-part, long-running television drama series by the BBC. The first series of ten episodes is scheduled to be syndicated on various PBS stations throughout the Unites States.
And last but not least, I got Kate Quinn's new book, Daughters of Rome. I ADORED her first book, Mistress of Rome so I'm sure I'll love the prequel just as much.
A.D. 69. The Roman Empire is up for the taking. The Year of Four Emperors will change everything-especially the lives of two sisters with a very personal stake in the outcome. Elegant and ambitious, Cornelia embodies the essence of the perfect Roman wife. She lives to one day see her loyal husband as Emperor. Her sister Marcella is more aloof, content to witness history rather than make it. But when a bloody coup turns their world upside-down, both women must maneuver carefully just to stay alive. As Cornelia tries to pick up the pieces of her shattered dreams, Marcella discovers a hidden talent for influencing the most powerful men in Rome. In the end, though, there can only be one Emperor...and one Empress.
So that's what's new in my book world. What's new in yours?