Stacking the Shelves #37

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Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga @ Tynga’s Reviews.

For Stacking the Shelves, I take the opportunity to share what books I’ve bought, won or received for review. Click on the book cover to go to Goodreads and find out more information.

The week gone… How the weeks are flying by! Only 6 weeks until my wedding and the planning is keeping me super busy.

Over the past week I’ve had a chat with Australian author Dawn Barker about her debut novel Fractured. Reviews for The Forbidden Queen by Anne O’Brien and Requiem by Lauren Oliver have also gone up on the blog. I also put up a post about books set in Italy that I hope to read soon.

Bought: Two books on my France TBR list arrived in the mail today and I can’t wait to read them!

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Who hasn’t dreamed, on a mundane Monday or frowzy Friday, of chucking it all in and packing off to the south of France? Provençal cookbooks and guidebooks entice with provocatively fresh salads and azure skies, but is it really all Côtes-du-Rhône and fleur-de-lis?  Author Peter Mayle answers that question with wit, warmth, and wicked candor in A Year in Provence, the chronicle of his own foray into Provençal domesticity.

Beginning, appropriately enough, on New Year’s Day with a divine luncheon in a quaint restaurant, Mayle sets the scene and pits his British sensibilities against it. “We had talked about it during the long gray winters and the damp green summers,” he writes, “looked with an addict’s longing at photographs of village markets and vineyards, dreamed of being woken up by the sun slanting through the bedroom window.” He describes in loving detail the charming, 200-year-old farmhouse at the base of the Lubéron Mountains, its thick stone walls and well-tended vines, its wine cave and wells, its shade trees and swimming pool–its lack of central heating. Indeed, not 10 pages into the book, reality comes crashing into conflict with the idyll when the Mistral, that frigid wind that ravages the Rhône valley in winter, cracks the pipes, rips tiles from the roof, and tears a window from its hinges. And that’s just January.

sportp

Touring Paris and provincial France in a handsome borrowed car, Philip Dean, Yale dropout, has an affair with a young French woman named Anne-Marie. Their liaison is imagined with candour and sensitivity by an unnamed narrator, whose fantasies become compellingly and hauntingly real. “A Sport and A Pastime” has been hailed as a watershed in American fiction of the 1960s: remarkable for its eroticism, its luminous prose and its ability to blur the boundaries of reality and dreamlife, daytime and nightime, soul and flesh.

So, that’s it for me. What books have you added to your shelves this week?

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