Since last week, when I decided to skip thrillers and mysteries for a month or more, I've read the following books in other genres, realizing that I might not have picked them up or even finished them so soon before that decision!The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali, June 2019, Gallery Books
Genre: historical novel, romance
Setting: Tehran and USA
I cried a lot reading this one, especially towards the ending, and loved how the main characters expressed their sentiments, in sometimes poetic fashion. Set in Iran during the country's 1953 revolution, this romance breaks hearts, more than just the lovers', who are constrained by family as well as by the country's politics. Roya and Brahman meet and fall in love in the stationery shop owned by Mr. Fakhri, who has a hand in the ultimate fate of these two lovers.
I gave this an enthusiastic five but won't reveal more of the plot so as not to be a spoiler!
We Two Alone by Jack Wang, September 1, 2020
Genre; short stories, Chinese diaspora
I read this book at different times - the wonder of reading short stories I've found is being able to read them as you wish, over time or all at once. The collection is described as covering the Chinese diaspora across the globe over the past hundred years, and yet there are only seven stories, a few heartbreaking. Cultural and racial prejudice, the demands of society and family, and the intrusion of real life impact the relationship between people in each of these stories. This explains the title of the short story collection, We Two Alone.
Another five stars.
A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell, April 2019, Purnell
Genre: biography, history
Setting: London, France, Spain, Italy, USA
A great book for WWII history buffs who want to follow the resistance in France that was aided by England and the Allies. It details numerous underground and subversive activities in Europe, many led by a young American woman, who was recruited by the British into Churchill's spy organization. One of the greatest spies in American history, she is called, although this book is the first to detail all Virginia Hall did to help win the war.
I had to read this book slowly, as it's so packed with information and people and events during the resistance, told chronologically, that it's hard to digest all at once. Kudos to the author for putting these events all together and to show us the woman, the spy, and the heroine. war.
I'm currently reading Leonora in the Morning Light by Michaela Carter, April 6, 2021, a novel based on the life of Surrealist artist, Leonora Carrington, and set in France, England.
Next on my list will be The Anglophile's Notebook by Sunday Taylor, a book about Charlotte Bronte.
Also Days of Distraction by Alexandra Chang, March 2020, HarperCollins
What are you reading this week?