Thursday, 15 October 2015

Book festival in Brussels

From today and until Sunday, the annual book festival takes place in the exhibition area, north of Brussels. I went there today to have a look at what they are offering this year. I spent two and a half hours there, and managed to buy 14 books and a lot of scrapbooking material. I really tried to control myself as regards the number of books. In reality I bough nine books to read. The other five goes under the category "junk journals". Yes, this is my latest obsession. By chance I came into some videos on Youtube and once having looked at some of them, and the tutorials, I am stuck. So, five of the books will be made into journaling books. Here is a list of the books I bought (for reading) with a summary.  Quite wonderful book and I am excited to have found them.

The Content Reader

Four of them are non-fiction:
The Disinherited - The Exiles Who Created Spanish Culture by Henry Kamen:
Henry Kamen's The Disinherited is the most significant and enjoyable book on Spain to appear for many years. He creates a picture of a dysfunctional, violent country that, since the destruction of the last Moslem territories in Granada in 1492, has expelled wave after wave of its citizens in a brutal attempt to create religious and social conformity. Moslems, Jews, Protestants, Liberals, Socialists and Communists were all driven abroad at different times, and consequently what we think of as Spanish culture was substantially their invention - a creative response both to having no home and to the shock of encountering new worlds.
Mad Women by Jane Maas. I am a fan of the TV-series Mad Men, and this is a biography of one of the women who were part of the Mad Men crowd.
What was i like to be an advertising woman on New York's Madison Avenue in the heady days of the 1960s and 1970s? Fans of the hit series Mad Men are dying to know how accurate it is: Was there really that much sex in the office? Were there really three-martini lunches? Were women really second-class citizens?
Well after I have read this book, which I am looking forward too, I will know more!

The House of Fiction - Leonard, Susan, and Elizabeth Jolley (a memoire) by  Susan Swingler
Susan Swingler is the step-daughter of one of Australia's most revered writers - the English-born Elizabeth Jolley. But behind that simple statement is a lifetime of family lies and deceptions that started when Susan's father, Leonard Jolley, left his marriage and four-year-old Susan to make a new life with Elizabeth in Australia. Susan had no inkling of of what had happened until she came across perplexing revelations at the age of 21
Sounds interesting and intriguing enough. Could not resist this one.

Mrs Robinson's Disgrace - The Private Diary of a Victorian Lady by Kate Summerscale
When the married Isabella Robinson was introduced to the dashing Edward Lane at a party in 1850, she was utterly enchanted. He was 'fascinating', she told her diary, before chastising herself for being so susceptible to a man's charms. But a wish had taken hold of her, and she was to find it hard to shake...
In one of the most notorious divorce cases of the nineteenth century, Isabella Robinson's scandalous secrets were exposed to the world. Kate Summerscale brings vividly to life a frustrated Victorian wife's longing for passion and learning, companionship and love, in a society clinging to rigid ideas about marriage and female sexuality.
Intriguing when you have the story from the lady herself!

Then some interesting fiction that was too difficult to resist. I really made an effort to take it down to a minimum...!

The Masque of The Black Tulip by Lauren Willig. I love the story of the Scarlet Pimpernel, so there was no way I could back away from this one.
But if modern manhood had let me down, at least the past boasted brighter speciemsn. To wit, the Scarlet Pimpernel, the Purple Gentian and the Pink Carnation, that dashing trio of spies who kept Napoleon in a froths of rage and the feminine population of England in another sort of froth entirely. 
Broken Harbour by Tana French. Ever since I read In the Woods I wanted to read another one by French, and here it was, just lying in front of me!
Sometimes there is no safe place. Nothing about the way this family lived shows why they deserved to die. But here's the thing about murder: ninety-nine times out of a hundred, it doesn't break into people's lives. It gets there because they open the door and invite it in.
Tears of Gold by Laurie McBain. This is a romantic novel, which I like to read sometimes in-between more 'serious' books. I am a very romantic person!
She has sworn never to love. To many, she has a perfect life - freedom to travel the world, expensive gifts from wealthy men. Consummate actress though she is, Mara O'Flynn can never make herself believe the passion is real. One more job. That's all she needs to ensure her family's financial future. And California is just teeming with gold. There, her daring impersonation will fool everyone...except one man.
He has sworn never to forgive. Mara didn't plan for Nicholas Chantale. He has hunted her from the streamy streets of New Orleans all the way to the blinding brilliance of California gold country, only to have his dreams of vengeance crushed when he meets her in the flesh. For though he was sworn to kill her, she was the love he would die for.  
Well, I don't have to say more, this is romance, I am sure!

She rises by Kate Worsley. Never heard about the author, but it sounds like a good read!
Louise Fletcher, a young dairymaid on an eighteenth-century Essex farm, has long been warned of the lure of the sea - after all, it stole away her father and brother. But when she is offered work as a maid in the naval port of Harwich, she leaps at the chance to see more of the world.
Fifteen-year-old Luke has been press-ganged into His Majesty's Navy and sent to sea. Aching for the girl he has left behind, he must learn fast if he is to survive. Louise's and Luke's new worlds are dangerous and exciting, but when they collide the consequences are astonishing. 
The President's Hat by Antoine Laurain. I was very happy when I found this one (for 1.99€!) since so many people read it for the Paris in July 2015. There were so many positive reviews, so I just had to buy it. So many people can not be wrong? Right?
Could a felt hat have the power to change lives?
 I am looking forward to read all them, not too far off in the future...I hope. Well, as you know my TBR shelves are filling up from an already high level. Although I am happy to see that I have actually, so far this year, read 27 books from these shelves! And, there is still time to go!

Have you read any of these books? Any recommendations where to start?

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