Sunday, July 15, 2012

Book Shelf 7/15

My plans for today were to lug my big pink tub around the flowerbeds and give them their weekly working over but it has been raining since the middle of the night, and it is just plain crappy outside.  Miss MoneyPenny is a fair weather gardener so I've been curled up with a good book that I just finished and I'm just positive that you want to hear about this author.

If you've been following along you know that reading historical novels is a new thing for me.  I started out with Doc by Mary Doria Russell and haven't looked back.  The genre of historical fiction is wide, starting with bodice rippers who use the backdrop of history for sexual romps, not that I have a problem with that, mind you, but I'm looking for strong characters (that I like) who go about an interesting plot during a real historical time.

What you end up doing, if it is a well written novel, is heading for maps and history books, and the Internet (and the guy from Seattle, who knows everything) for more information about that time in history.  Then the next thing that you know, you are reading other books set in the same time, and after that, you are reading other books written by one of these authors.  It's endless!!

The author who I want to tell you about is British and has written many books, several of which I have read and enjoyed.  His name is William Boyd and he writes wonderful, literary type fiction.  His latest, Waiting for Sunrise is set during the time of WWI in Great Britain and Vienna.  The main character is Lysander Rief, a young actor from the upper classes.  He gets into a kerfuffle in Vienna and is rescued by a couple of guys from The Home Office, if you know what I mean.  Lysander goes back to his privileged life in London like nothing happened.  Then WWI breaks out and the spooks return, reminding him of his debt and it goes from there. 

Even though I was really interested in how Lysander was going to handle paying off his debt, the descriptions of the war and how it was waged, and the way the upper classes lived during that time was fascinating.  Give it a go, you'll be hooked.

The other books by William Boyd that I have read include Restless, Ordinary Thunderstorms and Any Human Heart, but there are several others that I plan to read, such as A Good Man in Africa and Brazzaville Beach for starters.

Here is a link to his website for more information.  When I looked at his picture, I thought he was an old guy.  I'm four years older!!  When did that happen?


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