These days I find myself getting rid of more stuff rather than acquiring things, the same is true for books. I use the library and if I read a book on my shelf, once read, I give the book away. Last month, I did treat myself to (4) new physical books, Europa Editions, an imprint I'm always drawn to.
Here's a little overview of each. Do any seem like something you might enjoy as well?
- The Lightning Tree; Emily Woof - United Kingdom circa the 1980s—Ursula and Jerry find themselves surrounded by hip hairdos and dominating parents. The future looks bleak if they do not change their lives dramatically. Both are itching to escape their current lives and engage with the wider world.
Ursula’s work as a teacher takes her far away to India to instruct disabled children, while Jerry accepts a scholarship to Magdalen College—but only to “highlight the absurdity of privilege.”
Their written exchanges are deep, political, and full of irony. All the while, Jerry stays committed to Ursula in mind but not in body, questioning their relationship and the nature of their love.
- Checkpoint; Jean Christopher Rufin - A work of suspense and psychological tension set in the world of international humanitarian aid, Checkpoint is the latest bestselling novel by the founder of Doctors Without Borders, Jean-Christophe Rufin.
The four men accompanying Maud on the aid convoy are very different from the clichéd image of the humanitarian volunteer. One by one, they reveal the secret wounds that have brought them to this conflict zone and, mile by mile, the true nature of their cargo.
Prize-winning author, Jean-Christophe Rufin offers up a powerful psychological literary thriller that asks vital questions about the role of humanitarian action in today's world, bringing to light the most fundamental dilemmas of our age. As a new kind of violence insinuates its way into the heart of Europe, this novel asks whether it is more effective to take up arms against the enemy or attempt to counter violence with benevolent acts and enlightenment ideals.
- The Penalty Area; Alain Gillot - The Penalty Area is a heartwarming novel about overcoming adversity, making human connections, and playing the glorious game of soccer.
Vincent once had a shot at becoming a professional soccer player, but a career-ending injury put an end to his dreams. A tough kid from a poor family, he has become an emotionally cut-off man with frustrated hopes and limited options. He finds himself coaching an under-16 soccer club in an attempt to keep alive his only passion in life.
The team he coaches is little more than a roster of hotheaded boys, none of whom understands the on-field chemistry needed to win. Simply put, they aren't of a championship caliber. When his unemployed sister Madeleine, a single mother, dumps her thirteen-year-old son on him, Vincent panics. With no clue how to take care of a teenager, he brings his nephew to practice and eventually throws him into the scrimmage. It's then that Vincent notices there's something strange about Léonard. He has a preternatural ability for anticipating each striker's intentions, making him a remarkably talented goalkeeper, but he seems detached, absent, lost. It becomes clear that Léonard has undiagnosed Asperger's syndrome, and also that, with Léonard's abilities as a goalkeeper, Vincent's ragtag team has a chance to reach the finals. For that to happen, for the team to find a reason to rally behind this strange kid from Paris, Vincent will have to let down his guard and open his heart for the first time ever.
A warm and engaging read, The Penalty Area is about building a sense of family on your own terms.
- The Young Bride; Alessandro Baricco - From international bestselling author, Alessandro Baricco, comes a scintillating and sensual novel about a young woman’s ingress into a fantastically strange family.
The hand of the young woman in question has been promised to the scion of a noble family. She is to make her preparations for marriage at the family’s villa, where the inhabitants never seem to sleep. The atmosphere turns surreal as the days pass and her presence on the family estate begins to make itself felt on her future in-laws.
In this erotically charged and magical novel, Alessandro Baricco portrays a cast of mysterious characters who exist outside of the rules of causation as he tells a story, an adult fable, about fate and the difficult job of confronting the Other and creating an Us.