Well, Well, Well, Look What We Have Here, Another Pile Of Books…

Young adult, a mystery, a post-apocalyptic thriller, and historical biography… yep, it’s another one of my eclectic book purchases! I’ve decided in this post to include descriptions of the books from amazon.co.uk (although I didn’t actually purchase any of them from there, whoops), as well as my thoughts on each.

The second novel by the phenomenally talented author of Solitaire, Alice Oseman – the most talked-about YA writer right now.

What if everything you set yourself up to be was wrong?

Frances has always been a study machine with one goal, elite university. Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret – not even the person she is on the inside.

But when Frances meets Aled, the shy genius behind her favourite podcast, she discovers a new freedom. He unlocks the door to Real Frances and for the first time she experiences true friendship, unafraid to be herself. Then the podcast goes viral and the fragile trust between them is broken.

Caught between who she was and who she longs to be, Frances’ dreams come crashing down. Suffocating with guilt, she knows that she has to confront her past…
She has to confess why Carys disappeared…

Meanwhile at uni, Aled is alone, fighting even darker secrets.

It’s only by facing up to your fears that you can overcome them. And it’s only by being your true self that you can find happiness.

Frances is going to need every bit of courage she has.

A YA coming of age read that tackles issues of identity, the pressure to succeed, diversity and freedom to choose, Radio Silence is a tour de force by the most exciting writer of her generation.

I picked up this book because I was looking for fiction with asexual characters, as I’m also currently reading a book about asexuality, and wanted to see if I could find one I preferred to Let’s Talk About Love. Here’s hoping!

Tsukuru Tazaki had four best friends at school. By chance all of their names contained a colour. The two boys were called Akamatsu, meaning ‘red pine’, and Oumi, ‘blue sea’, while the girls’ names were Shirane, ‘white root’, and Kurono, ‘black field’. Tazaki was the only last name with no colour in it.

One day Tsukuru Tazaki’s friends announced that they didn’t want to see him, or talk to him, ever again.

Since that day Tsukuru has been floating through life, unable to form intimate connections with anyone. But then he meets Sara, who tells him that the time has come to find out what happened all those years ago.

I have read a couple of books by Murakami lately, a short story collection and a non-fiction book. I have wanted to try reading his fiction for ages now, and this was one that looked especially interesting to me because of the unusual plot (and, admittedly, the lovely cover design)!

One snowy night in Toronto famous actor Arthur Leander dies on stage whilst performing the role of a lifetime. That same evening a deadly virus touches down in North America. 
The world will never be the same again. 

Twenty years later Kirsten, an actress in the Travelling Symphony, performs Shakespeare in the settlements that have grown up since the collapse. 
But then her newly hopeful world is threatened. 

If civilization was lost, what would you preserve? And how far would you go to protect it?

An actor dying onstage. A travelling theatre company. Shakespeare. The end of the world. As soon as I unexpectedly came across this book somewhere online, I knew I had to buy it!

Like their modern counterparts, the ‘first ladies’ of Rome were moulded to meet the political requirements of their emperors, be they fathers, husbands, brothers or lovers. But the women proved to be liabilities as well as assets – Augustus’ daughter Julia was accused of affairs with at least five men, Claudius’ wife Messalina was a murderous tease who cuckolded and humiliated her elderly husband, while Fausta tried to seduce her own stepson and engineered his execution before boiled to death as a punishment. 

In The First Ladies of Rome Annelise Freisenbruch unveils the characters whose identities were to reverberate through the ages, from the virtuous consort, the sexually voracious schemer and the savvy political operator, to the flighty bluestocking, the religious icon and the romantic heroine. 

Using a rich spectrum of literary, artistic, archaeological and epigraphic evidence, this book uncovers for the first time the kaleidoscopic story of some of the most intriguing women in history, and the vivid and complex role of the empresses as political players on Rome’s great stage.

History? Check. History about women? Check. My current historical interest, Ancient Rome? Also, check. Looking forward to reading this, especially as the next book on my to-read list is Claudius The God and Messalina does not come out of it well… Also, Robert Harris recommends it, and I’ve loved all except one of his books that I’ve read, so there’s that. 

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