I am happy to report that Netgalley have allowed me two review copies – The Burning Wave by Jennifer Hayashi Danns – a young adult fantasy which deals with issues of gender neutrality and rather a lot of violence although I don’t know whether it is intended that there should be any connection between the two. The book uses no recognisable pronouns which is causing me a certain amount of difficulty but I’m hoping to be able to review this one shortly.
Also (Thank you @netgalley) for a copy of Atlas of Vanishing Places: The Lost Worlds as they Were and As they are Today by Travis Elborough. This includes Xanadu the site of the great city of Kublai Khan, north of the Great Wall of China, which was the destination of Marco Polo, 13th century Venetian traveller, explorer and writer on his expedition from Jerusalem. This complex and somewhat problematic journey was emulated in the 20th century by our own intrepid explorer, William Dalrymple who wrote his eponymous book on the subject to great and award winning acclaim at the tender age of 22.
Btw the above picture is not a picture of Xanadu. I’m pretending. It’s actually the remains of a Minoan settlement on Crete called Gournia.
I am excited to read The Last Attachment by Iris Origo (1902-1988), the story of the great love between Byron and Teresa Guiccoli. I love Origo’s prose and her intellect and courage. She was born in the UK but married an Italian nobleman and lived most of her life on ane state in Tuscany from where she wrote War in Val d’Orcia, an account of trying to survive the twin horrors of Hitler and Mussolini. Her books are published by Pushkin Press and I shall be looking to read her memoirs Images and Shadows as well as a book of the famous poet who was 20 before he managed to get more than a hundred yards from his front door; A Study in Solitude: The Life of Leopardi.
Lots to read, so little time.
Happy to report that I have finally arrived at a place where I have done as much as I feel I can with my own manuscript so will hope to be sending that out into the world at some point.
I hope everyone had a wonderful and not too drought-ridden summer. I can’t believe in a few weeks it will be Autumn, although the poor trees are already ahead of the game.