Thursday, 23 April 2015

May's holiday reading list

photo of bookshelf and books
As this post is published the plan is that I am lazing by a pool drinking fresh fruit juice and wondering whether to bother doing anything for the day. A relaxing mini-break is much overdue so hubby and I are disappearing for a few days to, hopefully, some sunshine and little else.

Our plan very much revolves around R&R so we have packed a few books to engross ourselves in.  Whilst he has gone down the sci-fi path, my choices are much more based in history and romance.

Someone once told me that men like made up stories about the future and women like true stories about the past. Obviously that's a sweeping generalisation and not true for everyone, but I think it is for us! Here are my choices, some of which are on my kindle and some of which I've bought in paperback...

 
The Bletchley Girls by Tessa Dunlop

"The woman of Bletchley Park have a unique story to tell. Although critical to the success of the project to break the German and Japanese codes in the Second World War, their contribution has been consistently overlooked and undervalued. Through unprecedented access to surviving veterans, this boo reveals how life at 'The Park' and its outstations was far removed from the glamorous existence usually portrayed. The women speak vividly of their lives in the 1930s, why they were selected to work in Britain's most secret organisation, and the challenges of re-entry into civilian life. Forbidden to talk about their vital war work, they often found it hard to adjust to the expectations of both their immediate families and society as whole.
By spending time with these fascinating female secret-keepers who are still alive today, Tessa Dunlop captures their extraordinary journeys into an adult world of war, secrecy, love and loss. Through the voices of the women themselves, this is a portrait of life at Bletchley Park beyond the celebrated code-breakers. The Bletchley Girls is the story of the women behind Britain's ability to consistently outsmart the enemy."


I can't stay away from anything to do with Bletchley at the moment. After reading 'The Secret Life of Bletchley Park' last year and dragging my husband to Bletchley to ogle the huts and machines, I'm intrigued to read further into the lives of those who worked there and what happened to them post-war.



The Visitors by Sally Beauman
 
photo of The Visitors by Sally Beauman
"Under the tablecloth, Frances's hand reached for mine and clasped it. I knew what it meant, that clasp and the mischievous grateful glance that accompanied it: it meant I was thanked, that there were secrets here. I could accept that. I too had secrets - who doesn't?

Sent abroad to Egypt in 1922 to recover from the typhoid that killed her mother, eleven-year-old Lucy is caught up in the intrigue and excitement that surrounds the obsessive hunt for Tutankhamun's tomb. As she struggles to comprehend an adult world in which those closest to her are often cold and unpredictable, Lucy longs for a friend she can love. When she meets Frances, the daughter of an American archaeologist, her life is transformed. As the two girls spy on the grown-ups and try to understand the truth behind their evasions, a lifelong bond is formed.

Haunted by the ghosts of her past, the mistakes she made and the secrets she kept, Lucy disinters her past, trying to make sense of what happened all those years ago in Cairo and the Valley of the Kings. And for the first time in her life, she comes to terms with what happened after Egypt, when Frances needed Lucy most."


I have been fascinated by Tutankhamun since a school project when I was 11.  This sounds like a fantastic twist on a well known slice of history.

 
 
 
 
Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colman
 
"Summer has arrived in the Cornish town of Mount Polbearne and Polly Waterford couldn't be happier. Because Polly is in love: she's in love with the beautiful seaside town she calls home, she's in love with running the bakery on Beach Street, and she's in love with her boyfriend, Huckle.

And yet there's something unsettling about the gentle summer breeze that's floating through town. Selina, recently widowed, hopes that moving to Mount Polbearne will ease her grief, but Polly has a secret that could destroy her friend's fragile recovery. Responsibilities that Huckle thought he'd left behind are back and Polly finds it hard to cope with his increasingly long periods of absence.

Polly sifts flour, kneads dough and bakes bread, but nothing can calm the storm she knows is coming: is Polly about to lose everything she loves?"


I loved "Little Beach Street Bakery" and am hoping this sequel is just as good. A nice light and easy read!


The Hourglass Factory by Lucy Ribchester
 
photo of The Hourglass Factory by Lucy Ribchester
"The suffragette movement is reaching fever pitch but for broke Fleet Street tomboy Frankie George, just getting by in the cut-throat world of newspapers is hard enough. Sent to interview trapeze artist Ebony Diamond, Frankie finds herself fascinated by the tightly laced acrobat and follows her across London to a Mayfair corset shop that hides more than one dark secret.

Then Ebony Diamond mysteriously disappears in the middle of a performance, and Frankie is drawn into a world of tricks, society columnists, corset fetishists, suffragettes and circus freaks. How did Ebony vanish, who was she afraid of, and what goes on behind the doors of the mysterious Hourglass Factory?

From the newsrooms of Fleet Street to the drawing rooms of high society, the missing Ebony Diamond leads Frankie to the trail of a murderous villain with a plot more deadly than anyone could have imagined..."
 
Corsets, suffragettes, a murderous villain? What's not to love!
 
 
 

 

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