This month, I have picked the books that I didn’t read last month, and two new ones for this month’s TBR!
El Libro de Arena – Jorge Luis Borges
“He told me that his book was called The Book of Sand, because neither the book nor the sand has a start or finish.”
The first of the reunited tales here takes up the double theme: the protagonists of “The Other” are different enough to be two and are similar enough to be one. “Ulrica” is the story of an ephermal love. “The Congress” describes a business so big that it’s confused with the cosmos and with the sum of the days “Undr” and “The Mirror and the Mask” are stories about secular literature that consist of a single word, whilst other parts imagine inconcievable objects like a book with infinite pages; an unpredictable volume, and at the same time monstrous: The Book of Sand.
Average rating on Goodreads: 4.13⭐
Harry Potter y la Cámara Secreta – JK Rowling
“There is a plot, Harry Potter. A plot to make most terrible things happen at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry this year.”
HARRY POTTER’S summer has included the WORST birthday ever, DOOMY warnings from a HOUSE-ELF called Dobby, and RESCUE from the Dursleys by his friend Ron Weasley in a magical FLYING car! Back at HOGWARTS SCHOOL OF WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY for his second year, Harry hears strange WHISPERS echo through emty corridors – and then the ATTACKS start. Students are found as though turned to stone . . . Dobb’s SINISTER predictions seem to be coming TRUE.
Average rating on Goodreads: 4.43⭐
The New Spaniards – John Hooper
Modern-day Spain has changed at bewildering speed. John Hooper’s masterly portrayal of the country and its people, revised and updated, explores the causes behind these changes, focusing on everything from crime to immigration and from gambling to sexual mores. It is the essential guide to twenty-first-century Spain.
Average Goodreads rating: 3.86⭐
Blood and Roses – Helen Castor
The Wars of the Roses turned England upside down. Between 1455 and 1485 four kings lost their thrones, more than forty noblemen lost their lives on the battlefield or their heads on the block, and thousands of the men who followed them met violent deaths. The letters of the Pastons, an ambitious noveau rich Norfolk family striving to establish themselves among the landed gentry, offer us a unique and fascinating insight into the tuult of that age. Helen Castor explores the Pastons’ experiences of birth, marriage, love, death, and the realities of daily life, and unravels the turbulent politics of the family’s affairs against the backdrop of civil war between York and Lancaster.
The Lighthouse: The Mystery of the Eilean Mor Lighthouse Keepers – Keith McCloskey
On 26 December 1900, the vessel Hesperus arrived at Eilean Mor in the remote Outer Hebrides with a relief lighthouseman and fresh provisions. The lighthouse had been in operation for a year, but it had been noted that no light had been seen from Eilean Mor for several days. The relief keeper, Joseph Moore, found the lighthouse to be completely deserted, and a subsequent search of the island failed to reveal any sign of what had happened to the three keepers.
The last entry in the lighthouse logbook had been made on 15 December and contained a number of strange and distressing clues as to the mental states of the men. One was reported to have been crying while another had become ‘very quiet’. When it was revealed that the men’s oilskin coats were missing and the clock in the lighthouse had stopped, theories surrounding the keepers’ fates inevitably proliferated. These included a giant wave washing them away, murder or suicide. Others favoured more esoteric explanations – Eilean Mor was believed to have mystical properties.
In The Lighthouse, Keith McCloskey explores this mysterious and chilling story in depth for the first time and reveals a shocking conclusion.
Have you decided what books you’re reading this month? Do you plan your reading in advance? Or do you just choose your next book as you go along? Do you have any ideas of what I might be preparing for? Let me know in the comments!
Thank you for reading this post.