Here again for that monthly dose of book shopping. My vice is indeed costly. But I like it this way I guess. Haha. Without more ado, here is my shopping list for July. Happy reading!
Title: The Map of Salt and Stars
Author: Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar
Publishing Date: 2018
No. of Pages: 352
Synopsis: “In the summer of 2011, just after Nour loses her father to cancer, her mother moves Nour and her sisters from New York City back to Syria to be closer to their family. In order to keep her father’s spirit alive, Nour tells herself their favorite story – the tale of Rawiya, a twelfth-century girl who disguised herself as a boy in order to apprentice herself to a famous mapmaker.
But the Syria’ Nour’s parents knew is changing, and it isn’t long before the war reaches their quiet Homs neighborhood. When a stray shell destroys Nour’s house and almost takes her life, she and her family are forced to flee across seven countries of the Middle East and North Africa in search of safety – along the very route Rawiya and her mapmaker took eight hundred years before in their quest to chart the world. As their journey becomes more and more dangerous, they face a choice that could mean the family will be separated forever.
Following alternating timelines and a pair of unforgettable heroines coming of age in perilous times, The Map of Salt and Stars is the epic story of one girl telling herself the legend of another and learning that, if you listen to your own voice, some things can never be lost. ”
Title: Death Comes to Pemberley
Author: P.D. James
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Publishing Date: 2011
No. of Pages: 310
Synopsis: “The year is 1803, and Darcy and Elizabeth have been married for six years. There are two handsome and healthy sons in the Pemberley nursery, Elizabeth’s beloved sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live within seventeen miles, the ordered and secure life of Pemberley seems unassailable, and Elizabeth’s happiness in her marriage is complete. But their peace is threatened and old sins and misunderstandings are rekindled on the eve of the annual autumn ball. The Darcys and their guests are preparing to retire for the night when a chaise appears, rocking down the path from Pemberley’s wild woodland, and as it pulls up, Lydia Wickham, an uninvited guest, tumbles out, screaming that her husband has been murdered.”
Title: Death of A Salesman
Author: Arthur Miller
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publishing Date: 1976
No. of Pages: 139
Synopsis: “Ever since it was first performed in 1949, Death of a Salesman has been recognized as a milestone of the American theater. In the person of Willy Loman, the aging, failing salesman who makes his living riding on a smile and a shoeshine, Arthur Miller redefined the tragic hero as a man whose dreams are at once insupportably vast and dangerously insubstantial. He has given us a figure whose name has become a symbol for a kind of majestic grandiosity – and a play that compresses epic extremes of humor and anguish, promise and loss, between the four walls of an American living room.”
Title: The Mists of Avalon
Author: Marion Zimmer Bradley
Publisher: DelRey Books
Publishing Date: November 2000
No. of Pages: 876
Synopsis: “In Marion Zimmer Bradley’s brilliant reworking of the powerful Arthurian epic, we see the tumult and adventures of Camelot’s court through the eyes of the women who bolstered the king’s rise and schemed for his fall. There is Morgaine, an intense woman gifted with the Sight, who has sworn to keep the old religion alive against the growing tide of Christianity that threatens her way of life – even if it means fighting a deadly battle against her beloved brother. And the devout Gwenhwyfar, married to Arthur out of a sense of duty, determined to bring Britain into the light of her God.
From their childhoods through the ultimate fulfillment of their destinies, we follow these women and the diverse cast of characters that surrounds them as the great Arthurian epic unfolds stunningly before us. As Morgaine and Gwenhwyfar struggle for control over the fate of Arthur’s kingdom, as the Knights of the Round Table take on their infamous quest, as Merlin and Viviane wield their magics for the future of Old Britain, the Isle of Avalon sips further into the impenetrable mists of memory, until the fissure between old and new worlds – and old and new religions – claims its most famous victim.”
Title: The Day of the Owl
Author: Leonardo Sciascia
Translator: Archibald Colquhoun and Arthur Olvier
Publisher: The New York Review of Books
Publishing Date: 2003
No. of Pages: 120
Synopsis: “A man is shot dead as he runs to catch the bus in the piazza of a small Sicilian town. Captain Bellodi, the detective on the case, is new to his job and determined to prove himself. Bellodi suspects the Mafia, and his suspicions grow when he finds himself against an apparently unbreachable wall of silence. A surprise turn puts him on the track of a series of nasty crimes. But all the while Bellodi’s investigation is being carefully monitored by a host of observers, near and far. They share a single concern: to keep the truth from coming out.
This short, beautifully paced novel is a mesmerizing description of the Mafia at work.”
Title: After the Banquet
Author: Yukio Mishima
Translator: Donald Keene
Publisher: Vintage International
Publishing Date: March 1999
No. of Pages: 271
Synopsis: “With vast psychological acuity and an unblinking insight into the nature of political and domestic warfare, Yukio Mishima creates a portrait of a marriage in which lofty principles clash fatally with appetite and ambition. For years Kazu has run her fashionable restaurant with a combination of charm and shrewdness. But when the middle-aged entrepreneur falls in love with one of her clients, an aristocratic retired politician, she renounces her business in order to become his wife.
In time, however, the restless Kazu decides to resurrect her husband’s political career. In doing so, she embarks on a series of compromises and evasions that will force her to choose between her marriage and the demands of her irrepressible vitality. With its subtle ambiguities and its complex, vibrant heroine, After the Banquet is a magnificent novel.”
Author: Haruki Murakami
Translator: Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Publishing Date: 2011
No. of Pages: 925
Synopsis: “The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.
A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 – “Q” is for ‘question mark’. A world that bears a question.” Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled.
As Aomame’s and Tengo’s narratives converge over the course of this single year, we learn of the profound and tangled connections that bind them ever closer: a beautiful, dyslexic teenage girl with a unique vison; a mysterious religious cult that instigated a shoot-out with the metropolitan police; a reclusive, wealthy dowager who runs a shelter for abused women; a hideously ugly private investigator; a mild-mannered yet ruthlessly efficient bodyguard; and a peculiarly insistent television-fee collector.
A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwell’s – 1Q84 is Haruki Murakami’s most ambitious undertaking yet: an instant bestseller in his native Japan, and a tremendous feat of imagination from one of the most revered contemporary writers.”
Title: Normal People
Author: Sally Rooney
Publishing Date: 2018
No. of Pages: 273
Synopsis: “At school, Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other. He’s popular and well-adjusted, a star of the high school football team, while she is lonely, proud, and intensely private. But when Connell comes to pick his mother up from her job at Marianne’s house, a strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers – one they are determined to conceal.
A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle each other, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. And as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save each other.”
That’s it for July. How about you dear reader, what books have you purchased? Share it in the comment box.