Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World by Laura Spinney
With a death toll of between 50 and 100 million people and a global reach, the Spanish flu of 1918–1920 was the greatest human disaster, not only of the twentieth century, but possibly in all of recorded history. And yet, in our popular conception it exists largely as a footnote to World War I.
In Pale Rider, Laura Spinney recounts the story of an overlooked pandemic, tracing it from Alaska to Brazil, from Persia to Spain, and from South Africa to Odessa. She shows how the pandemic was shaped by the interaction of a virus and the humans it encountered; and how this devastating natural experiment put both the ingenuity and the vulnerability of humans to the test.
Laura Spinney demonstrates that the Spanish flu was as significant – if not more so – as two world wars in shaping the modern world; in disrupting, and often permanently altering, global politics, race relations, family structures, and thinking across medicine, religion and the arts.
I’d literally just been reading reviews of this book when I spotted that it was on a Kindle daily deal this week so I snapped it up. I go through phases of wanting to pretend this pandemic isn’t happening and then other phases of wanting to read about pandemics from the past and how people survived. I’m really keen to get to this one.
Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier
All it takes to unravel a life… is one home truth.
Marin used to have it all. Married to the love of her life, she owns a chain of upscale hair salons, and Derek runs his own company. They’re admired in their community and are a loving family – until their world falls apart the day their son Sebastian is taken.
A year later, Marin is a shadow of herself. The FBI search has gone cold. The publicity has faded. She and her husband rarely speak. With her sanity ebbing, Marin hires a private investigator to pick up where the police left off.
But instead of finding Sebastian, she learns that Derek is having an affair with a much younger woman. This discovery sparks Marin back to life. She’s lost her son; she’s not about to lose her husband. Derek’s mistress is an enemy with a face, which means this is a problem Marin can fix. Permanently.
I read and enjoyed this author’s previous novel Jar of Hearts so have been wanting to get my hands on this new one. After reading some brilliant reviews of it I decided to treat myself and plan on reading this one very soon.
A Theatre for Dreamers by Polly Samson
1960. The world is dancing on the edge of revolution, and nowhere more so than on the Greek island of Hydra, where a circle of poets, painters and musicians live tangled lives, ruled by the writers Charmian Clift and George Johnston, troubled king and queen of bohemia. Forming within this circle is a triangle: its points the magnetic, destructive writer Axel Jensen, his dazzling wife Marianne Ihlen, and a young Canadian poet named Leonard Cohen.
Into their midst arrives teenage Erica, with little more than a bundle of blank notebooks and her grief for her mother. Settling on the periphery of this circle, she watches, entranced and disquieted, as a paradise unravels.
Burning with the heat and light of Greece, A Theatre for Dreamers is a spellbinding novel about utopian dreams and innocence lost – and the wars waged between men and women on the battlegrounds of genius.
I first heard about this when I was invited to take part in the blog tour but I had to skip that as I was right in the midst of the dreaded reading slump. I knew this was a book that I wanted to read though so I also treated myself to this one. It sounds like such an intense and stunning summer read!
Saturday Requiem by Nicci French
Thirteen years ago eighteen year old Hannah Docherty was arrested for the brutal murder of her family. It was an open and shut case and Hannah’s been incarcerated in a secure hospital ever since.
When psychotherapist Frieda Klein is asked to meet Hannah and give her assessment of her she reluctantly agrees. What she finds horrifies her. Hannah has become a tragic figure, old before her time. And Frieda is haunted by the thought that Hannah might be as much of a victim as her family; that something wasn’t right all those years ago.
And as Hannah’s case takes hold of her, Frieda soon begins to realise that she’s up against someone who’ll go to any lengths to protect themselves . . .
I haven’t actually started reading this series yet but it’s one of those series that I’ve already decided that I’m going to love! I have the first three books so when I spotted this one in the Audible sale yesterday I grabbed it. I think I’m going to start this series soon, I’ve heard so many people saying how good it is.
The Last Wife by Karen Hamilton
Two women. A dying wish. And a web of lies that will bring their world crashing down. Nina and Marie were best friends—until Nina was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Before she died, Nina asked Marie to fulfill her final wishes. But her mistake was in thinking Marie was someone she could trust. What Nina didn’t know was that Marie always wanted her beautiful life, and that Marie has an agenda of her own. She’ll do anything to get what she wants. Marie thinks she can keep her promise to her friend’s family on her own terms. But what she doesn’t know is that Nina was hiding explosive secrets of her own…
I’m a little behind on reading this one on Pigeonhole as all the staves are now available but I’m still very much enjoying it. I’m completely gripped by these characters, none of whom are particularly likeable, but I can’t yet work out what is going on. I can’t wait to read more!
Have you acquired any new books this week? I’d love to know what you got. Or have you read any of my new books and recommend I get to any of them sooner rather than later? If you’ve shared a book haul post this week then please feel free to share you link below and I’ll make sure to visit your post! 🙂
17 thoughts on “Stacking the Shelves with my latest Book Haul (27 Jun 20)!”
Lovely selection Hayley! Here’s my post for this week: https://thesecretlibrarysite.wordpress.com/2020/06/27/stacking-the-shelves-27-06-20-%f0%9f%93%9a%f0%9f%93%9a%f0%9f%93%9a-stackingtheshelves-bookhaul/
Thank you 🙂
I hope you’ll like the Nicci French, Hayley. I think that series is excellent, and the French team are skilled writers. The Spinney really catches my eye, too. It sounds fascinating, and I’ll be keen to know your thoughts on it.
I think I will, I’ve enjoyed some of their other novels and this series sounds brilliant. I can’t wait to start it.
I hope to read the Spinney soon, although I seem to have a lot of non-fiction that I want to read imminently so have a bit of a queue! It’s nice to have a good selection to look forward to though.
I loved Little Secrets, and The Last Wife is on my list. I also loved the Nicci French series featuring Frieda Klein.
Enjoy your weekend.
That’s good to know, I’m really looking forward to starting the Frieda Klein series. 🙂
I’ve seen that Spanish Flu book everywhere lately. I guess that makes sense. I want to read it too. I hope you enjoy these books!
It does seem to be one that a lot of people are reading or wanting to read. I think there is something about reading of a similar situation and knowing that people survived and came through it. Thank you 🙂
Such a nice blend of genres. I spy a couple I’d like to try.
Nice haul! I have a post on my Foyles order coming out on Tuesday (and don’t you just know the last one from the order will magically appear on Wednesday!).
Thank you! I just read your post about your book haul, you got some really interesting-sounding books. I hope you enjoy them all, I’ll look out for your reviews in time.
It looks like you have some great reading ahead of you!
Thank you, I’m looking forward to reading them all. 🙂
These look good!!
Thank you, I can’t wait to read them 🙂
Great haul! I hope you will enjoy all of these. xx
Thank you, I can’t wait to start reading them all! 🙂 xx