This Week in Books is a feature hosted by Lipsy at Lipsyy Lost and Found that allows bloggers to share:
- What they’ve recently finished reading
- What they are currently reading
- What they are planning to read next
The last book I finished reading was Snare by Lilja Sigurdardóttir, which I absolutely loved! Review to come!
After a messy divorce, attractive young mother Sonia is struggling to provide for herself and keep custody of her son. With her back to the wall, she resorts to smuggling cocaine into Iceland, and finds herself caught up in a ruthless criminal world. As she desperately looks for a way out of trouble, she must pit her wits against her nemesis, Bragi, a customs officer, whose years of experience frustrate her new and evermore daring strategies. Things become even more complicated when Sonia embarks on a relationship with a woman, Agla. Once a high-level bank executive, Agla is currently being prosecuted in the aftermath of the Icelandic financial crash.
Set in a Reykjavík still covered in the dust of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption, and with a dark, fast-paced and chilling plot and intriguing characters, Snare is an outstandingly original and sexy Nordic crime thriller, from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.
My current read is The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips.
Part modern fairytale, part existentialist thriller, this is a breathtaking joyride of a novel for the summer
If the job market hadn’t been so bleak during that long, humid summer, Josephine might have been discouraged from taking the administrative position in a windowless building in a remote part of town.
As the days inch by and the files stack up, Josephine feels increasingly anxious in her surroundings – the drone of keyboards echoes eerily down the long halls, her boss has terrible breath, and there are cockroaches in the bath of her sub-let. When one evening her husband Joseph disappears and then returns, offering no explanation as to his whereabouts, her creeping unease shifts decidedly to dread.
Both chilling and poignant, this novel asks the biggest questions about marriage and fidelity, birth and death. Helen Phillips twists the world we know and shows it back to us full of meaning and wonder – luminous and new.
I’m not sure what my next read will be at the moment. It might be The Shoemaker and His Daughter by Conor O’Clery. It might be something else entirely! We’ll see!
The Soviet Union, 1962. Shoemaker Stanislav Suvorov is imprisoned for five years. His crime? Selling his car for a profit, contravening the Kremlin’s strict laws of speculation. Laws which, thirty years later, his daughter Zhanna helps to unravel. In the new Russia, yesterday’s crime is today’s opportunity.
On his release from prison, social shame drives Stanislav to voluntary exile in Siberia, moving his family from a relatively comfortable, continental life in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, to frigid, farthest-flung Krasnoyarsk. For some, it is the capital of the gulag. For others, it is the chance to start over again.
These are the last days of a Soviet Union in which the Communist Party and KGB desperately cling to power, in which foreigners are unwelcome and travel abroad is restricted, where the queues for bread are daily and debilitating and where expressing views in favour of democracy and human rights can get you imprisoned or sent into exile.
The Shoemaker and His Daughter takes in more than eighty years of Soviet and Russian history through the prism of one family – a family author Conor O’Clery knows well: he is married to Zhanna. It paints a vivid picture of a complex part of the world at a seismic moment in its history: of erratic war and uneasy peace; of blind power and its frequent abuse; of misguided ideologies and stifling bureaucracy; of the slow demise of Communism and the chaotic embrace of capitalism. The Suvorovs witness it all. Both intimate and sweeping in scale, this is a story of ordinary lives battered and shaped by extraordinary times.
And that’s my week in books! What are you reading this week? Let me know in the comments! 😎