Saturday, December 31, 2016

5 Books that Might Appear on my blog in 2017 (Don't own any as of writing)

The title above is self-explanatory. These are the books I'm hoping I'll get one way or another, especially the first one, The Enemies of Versailles by Sally Christie. Wish me luck!

The Enemies of Versailles: A Novel-Sally Christie

Summary:

In the final installment of Sally Christie’s “tantalizing” (New York Daily News) Mistresses of Versailles trilogy, Jeanne Becu, a woman of astounding beauty but humble birth, works her way from the grimy back streets of Paris to the palace of Versailles, where the aging King Louis XV has become a jaded and bitter old philanderer. Jeanne bursts into his life and, as the Comtesse du Barry, quickly becomes his official mistress.

“That beastly bourgeois Pompadour was one thing; a common prostitute quite another kettle of fish.”

After decades suffering the King's endless stream of Royal Favorites, the princesses of the Court have reached a breaking point. Horrified that he would bring the lowborn Comtesse du Barry into the hallowed halls of Versailles, Louis XV’s daughters, led by the indomitable Madame Adelaide, vow eternal enmity and enlist the young dauphiness Marie Antoinette in their fight against the new mistress. But as tensions rise and the French Revolution draws closer, a prostitute in the palace soon becomes the least of the nobility’s concerns.

Told in Christie’s witty and engaging style, the final book in The Mistresses of Versailles trilogy will delight and entrance fans as it once again brings to life the sumptuous and cruel world of eighteenth century Versailles, and France as it approaches inevitable revolution. 

I just realized that the author's Mistresses of Versailles Trilogy has played a big role in my life: the first one, The Sisters of Versailles, I read when I was about two or so months pregnant: the second one I read a month or so after the birth of my little boy, and I hope I can get the last one which will symbolize when my little boy turned a year old.

Human Acts-Han Kang

Summary:

Gwangju, South Korea, 1980. In the wake of a viciously suppressed student uprising, a boy searches for his friend's corpse, a consciousness searches for its abandoned body, and a brutalised country searches for a voice. In a sequence of interconnected chapters the victims and the bereaved encounter censorship, denial, forgiveness and the echoing agony of the original trauma.

Human Acts is a universal book, utterly modern and profoundly timeless. Already a controversial bestseller and award-winning book in Korea, it confirms Han Kang as a writer of immense importance.

I loved The Vegetarian, and I'm hoping that Human Acts will make an appearance on my blog. Simply put, I want to learn more about the uprising, and it's interesting that some of the reviewers on goodreads linked this book to The Vegetarian.


Before the Rains- Dinah Jefferies

Summary:

A gripping, heart-wrenching tale of love against the odds from the Number One Sunday Times bestselling author Dinah Jefferies

1930, Rajputana, India. Since her husband's death, 28-year-old photojournalist Eliza's only companion has been her camera. When the British Government send her to an Indian princely state to photograph the royal family, she's determined to make a name for herself.

But when Eliza arrives at the palace she meets Jay, the Prince's handsome, brooding younger brother. Brought together by their desire to improve conditions for local people, Jay and Eliza find they have more in common than they think. But their families - and society - think otherwise. Eventually they will have to make a choice between doing what's expected, and following their heart. . .

I've read her The Tea Planter's Wife and got intrigued by this one because of the couple of Indian Male and British female. I also am looking forward to learning more about India of 1930s and seeing more of her writing style.

The Confessions of Young Nero-Margaret George

Summary:

The New York Times bestselling and legendary author of Helen of Troy andElizabeth Inow turns her gaze on Emperor Nero, one of the most notorious and misunderstood figures in history. 
Built on the backs of those who fell before it, Julius Caesar s imperial dynasty is only as strong as the next person who seeks to control it. In the Roman Empire no one is safe from the sting of betrayal: man, woman or child. 
As a boy, Nero s royal heritage becomes a threat to his very life, first when the mad emperor Caligula tries to drown him, then when his great aunt attempts to secure her own son s inheritance. Faced with shocking acts of treachery, young Nero is dealt a harsh lesson: it is better to be cruel than dead. 
While Nero idealizes the artistic and athletic principles of Greece, his very survival rests on his ability to navigate the sea of vipers that is Rome. The most lethal of all is his own mother, a cold-blooded woman whose singular goal is to control the empire. With cunning and poison, the obstacles fall one by one. But as Agrippina s machinations earn her son a title he is both tempted and terrified to assume, Nero s determination to escape her thrall will shape him into the man he was fated to become an Emperor who became legendary. 
With impeccable research and captivating prose, The Confessions of Young Nero is the story of a boy s ruthless ascension to the throne. Detailing his journey from innocent youth to infamous ruler, it is an epic tale of the lengths to which man will go in the ultimate quest for power and survival."

I've read her The Autobiography of Henry VIII, and have to say that immediately she became one of my favorite authors. (Will soon be going through her Mary Queen of Scots and Memoirs of Cleopatra...) but I really don't want to pass up the chance of getting into Nero's head as well as numerous scandals, assassinations and murders. (Let me find and brush up on Suetonius's Lives of Twelve Caesars...)

The Patriots-Sana Krasikov

Summary:

A sweeping multigenerational debut novel about idealism, betrayal, and family secrets that takes us from Brooklyn in the 1930s to Soviet Russia to post-Cold War America

When the Great Depression hits, Florence Fein leaves Brooklyn College for what appears to be a plum job in Moscow—and the promise of love and independence. But once in Russia, she quickly becomes entangled in a country she can’t escape. Many years later, Florence’s son, Julian, will make the opposite journey, immigrating back to the United States. His work in the oil industry takes him on frequent visits to Moscow, and when he learns that Florence’s KGB file has been opened, he arranges a business trip to uncover the truth about his mother, and to convince his son, Lenny, who is trying to make his fortune in the new Russia, to return home. What he discovers is both chilling and heartbreaking: an untold story of what happened to a generation of Americans abandoned by their country.

The Patriots is a riveting evocation of the Cold War years, told with brilliant insight and extraordinary skill. Alternating between Florence’s and Julian’s perspectives, it is at once a mother-son story and a tale of two countries bound in a dialectic dance; a love story and a spy story; both a grand, old-fashioned epic and a contemporary novel of ideas. Through the history of one family moving back and forth between continents over three generations, The Patriots is a poignant tale of the power of love, the rewards and risks of friendship, and the secrets parents and children keep from one another.

I admit that I do have this book, and what I'm looking forward to with this one is seeing Russia that's not often well known or portrayed in America. (Face it, how many people know of Russia at the time of 1930s when Stalin came to power?) I also am thinking that perhaps this book might help me understand more of my homeland and more of Children of Arbat Trilogy by Anatoli Rybakov whenever I'll be ready to read it. 

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