Bookshops may be closed (and are likely to remain so for some considerable time in Wales). But that doesn’t stop me buying books. Other people may have stockpiled toilet roll, pasta and bread flour. But in our house, Covid-19 lockdown has been the catalyst for purchasing, books, books and more books.
Don’t ask me why. With 260 unread books on my shelves (virtual and real) it’s not like I’m going to run out.
I could argue that I am doing my bit for the economy. I could also argue that my purchases are helping prop up independent booksellers. Both are true: the British economy is clearly suffering and the independent book shops and publishers need our support now more than ever.
The reality is that publishers and authors have done far too good a marketing job lately; with more than the normal stream of emails, newsletters and Twitter posts. When you have the resistance level of a gnat, it makes it so hard (no strike that, impossible) to resist. And so I just click to order. Click and order. Click and order. You getting the picture?
Which brings me to the weekly burst of fun that is Top Ten Tuesday.
This week’s topic is Books I’ve Added to my TBR and Forgotten Why. That’s far too easy so I’m bending the rules on this to tell you all about the ten books most recently added to my TBR.
4 books with a Welsh connection
Nia by Robert Minhinnik: published by Seren, an independent publisher in Wales. This is the latest novel from a past winner of Wales Book of The Year, featuring the lives of the Vine family and those around them in a fictitious Welsh coastal town.
Not Thomas by Sara Gethin: I meant to get this when it featured on the list of contenders for the Not The Booker Prize “award” in 2017. But it disappeared into the land of good intentions. It’s published by Honno, a Welsh Women’s Press.
Crushed by Kate Hamer: I enjoyed Kate’s debut novel, Girl In The Red Coat and was keen to read this new one when I heard her speak at an event in Cardiff last year.
A Smattering of Crime and Thriller
The Devil You Know by Emma Kavanagh, published by Orion. I have to buy this one since Emma lives only 5 miles from my home! This sounds like a taut thriller just as her earlier novel To Catch a Killer.
I Am Dust by Louise Beech: it was the theatrical setting that sold me on this novel published by Orenda.
2 In Translation
The Pledge by Friedrich Dürrenmatt: this is one of the titles published by the Pushkin Vertigo imprint. The story of a detective’s obsessive pursuit of a child murderer is one of four novels written by this Swiss-born author
A Man by Keiichiro Hirano: Hirano is a huge name in Japan but this psychological story about the search for identity, is his first novel to be translated into English.
The Australian Corner
So few Australian novels make it to the UK that grab them whenever they became available. When you find two in succession, it’s a strong signal that they need to be bought!
Turbulent Wake by Paul E Hardisty is an issue-based novel with a broad geographic scope, moving from the Caribbean to Yemen and Africa. Scrublands by Paul E. Hardisty is a debut novel which was named as a Sunday Times Crime Book Of The Month.
Medical Front Line
War Doctor: Surgery on the Front Line by David Nott: We’ve seen a number of powerful medical memoirs in recent years. I have high hopes for this book from a vascular surgeon who has volunteered his services in war zones for 25 years.
Have you been on a buying spree lately or have you been able to exercise more restraint than I have?