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Can't wait to read: library reservations edition

This month's can't wait to read post is a bit different. As you may know my reading habits have changed extensively this year since I joined the library and most of my reading this year has been books I have taken out from my local service. Therefore this month's can't wait to read post is going to feature some titles I've been eyeing up on Norfolk's library catalogue ready to request for my summer holiday break.

I actually picked these books at random and have seen realised everything I've picked out is historical. It wasn't deliberate but I'm going to fully embrace it anyway.

The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson


The Ghost Map is a riveting page-turner about a real-life historical hero, Dr. John Snow. It's the summer of 1854, and London is just emerging as one of the first modern cities in the world. But lacking the infrastructure -- garbage removal, clean water, sewers -- necessary to support its rapidly expanding population, the city has become the perfect breeding ground for a terrifying disease no one knows how to cure. As the cholera outbreak takes hold, a physician and a local curate are spurred to action-and ultimately solve the most pressing medical riddle of their time.

I'm a bit of a medical history geek. Particularly Victorian medical history. John Snow is one of my favourite historical figures and I've always been fascinated about his work around the Broad Street Pump so much so I made my friend hike out to it during one London visit. I really ought to read more historical fiction so this is where I'm going to start this summer.

The Amber Shadows by Lucy Ribchester

 

Bletchley Park typist Honey Deschamps spends her days at a type-x machine in Hut 6, transcribing the decrypted signals from the German Army, doing her bit to help the British war effort.

Halfway across the world Hitler's armies are marching into Leningrad, leaving a trail of destruction and pillaging the country's most treasured artworks, including the famous Amber Room - the eighth wonder of the world.

As reports begin filtering through about the stolen amber loot, Honey receives a package, addressed to her, carried by a man she has never seen before. He claims his name is Felix Plaidstow and that he works in Hut 3. The package is postmarked from Russia, branded with two censors' stamps. Inside is a small flat piece of amber, and it is just the first of several parcels.

Caught between fearing the packages are a trap set by the authorities to test her loyalty or a desperate cry for help, Honey turns to the handsome enigmatic Felix Plaidstow. But then her brother is found beaten to death in nearby woods and suddenly danger is all around…


More historical geekiness from me here. I'm also fascinated by Bletchley park and the work done by the code breakers and this therefore looks like something I might enjoy. 

Georgian London Into the Streets by Lucy Inglis

 
All aboard for a tour of London's most formative age-the age of love, sex, intellect, art, great ambition and fantastic ruin. Travel back to the Georgian years, a time that changed life expectancy and the expectation of what life could be. Peek into the gilded drawing rooms of the aristocracy, walk down the quiet avenues of the new middle class, and crouch in the damp doorways of the poor. But watch your wallet - tourists make perfect prey for the thriving community of hawkers, prostitutes and scavengers.

Visit, if you dare, the madhouses of Hackney, the workshops of Soho and the mean streets of Cheapside. Have a coffee in the city, check the stock exchange, and pop into St Paul's to see progress on the new dome.

This book is about the Georgians who called London their home, from dukes and artists to rent boys and hot air balloonists meeting dog-nappers and life-models along the way. It investigates the legacies they left us in architecture and art, science and society, and shows the making of the capital millions know and love today.


I recently caught Lucy Worsley's Georgian Kings series on the BBC and I was hooked. I've never really been all that interested in the time period as such having always dismissed it as being too old for my tastes (I'm a modern historian at heart) and the series convinced me that I was totally wrong in that mindset. I was fascinated by it and Lucy's Inglis book was mentioned so I thought it would be a good place to start.

The New Mes Clifton by Elizabeth Buchan



As the Second World War draws to a close, Intelligence Officer Gus Clifton surprises his sisters at their London home. But an even greater shock is the woman he brings with him, Krista - the German wife whom he has married secretly in Berlin.

Krista is clearly devastated by her experiences at the hands of the British and their allies - all but broken by horrors she cannot share. But Gus's sisters can only see the enemy their brother has brought under their roof. And their friend Nella, Gus's beautiful, loyal fianc├ęe, cannot understand what made Gus change his mind about their marriage. What hold does Krista have over their honourable and upright Gus? And how can the three women get her out of their home, their future, their England?

Haunted by passion, betrayal, and misunderstanding these damaged souls are propelled towards a spectacular resolution. Krista has lost her country, her people, her identity, and the ties that bind her to Gus hold more tightly than the sisters can ever understand...


I first saw this in paperback on Anna James's instagram stories and assumed it was not out for a while and because I don't often get adult books for review I added it to my wishlist to look out for in the autumn. What I didn't realise was that it has been out for a while in hardback and Norfolk library service has it. Another one for my inner historical geek.

Brighton Belle by Sara Sheridan


In post-World War II England, former Secret Service operative Mirabelle Bevan becomes embroiled in a new kind of intrigue…

1951: In the popular seaside town of Brighton, it's time for Mirabelle Bevan to move beyond her tumultuous wartime years and start anew. Accepting a job at a debt collection agency seems a step toward a more tranquil life.

But as she follows up on a routine loan to Romana Laszlo, a pregnant Hungarian refugee who's recently come off the train from London, Mirabelle's instincts for spotting deception are stirred when the woman is reported dead, along with her unborn child.

After encountering a social-climbing doctor with a sudden influx of wealth and Romana's sister, who seems far from bereaved and doesn't sound Hungarian, Mirabelle decides to dig deeper into the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death. Aided by her feisty sidekick--a fellow office worker named Vesta Churchill ("no relation to Winston," as she explains)--Mirabelle unravels a web of evil that stretches from the Brighton beachfront to the darkest corners of Europe. Putting her own life at risk, she must navigate a lethal labyrinth of lies and danger to expose the truth.


I'm so ruddy excited for this book. I'm absolutely hoping that it becomes a firm favourite as apparently there's six in the series for me to get through.

So there's my list. Anyone read any of them already? Anyone got any other recommendations of other titles I can hunt down for my summer holidays?

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