I have been very good recently at not acquiring any books at all and just reading from my shelves, but last week the siren song of the library was just too strong. Giles went asleep in the pushchair on the way, so I had plenty of time to have a good browse and make my selections. I've gone for four non-fiction and four fiction. I can't promise that I will end up reading them all, as this stack is rather over-ambitious, but I had fun choosing them.
- Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua - Memoir. I remember the controversy around this parenting book when it came out, and now I have a little one of my own, I'm keen to read it. Being a 'tiger mother' is all about pushing your children to their limits. Hopefully this will be thought provoking.
- There was a Country by Chinua Achebe - History. I first read about the Biafran War, in which part of Nigeria tried to become independent, in Adichie's Half of a Yellow Sun. This promises to be a personal history of the period by a writer I admire. I can't wait to get to this one.
- The Viral Storm by Nathan Wolfe - Science. Wolfe is a biologist specialising in viruses than can cause pandemics, and this book is all about his work tracking and trying to defeat them.
- The Devil Came on Horseback by Brian Steidle - Memoir. Steidle was hired by the African Union to document the genocide in Darfur, and this book is about his experiences. I'm sure this will be a powerful but difficult read.
- The Gospel of Loki by Joanne M. Harris - Fantasy. I know next to nothing about Norse mythology, so this retelling by a respected writer seems like a good place to start.
- The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan - I've read two books by Tan and have had a somewhat mixed experience with her. I like the sound of the plot of this one, about the daughter of an American forced to become a courtesan. We shall see.
- River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay - Fantasy. I haven't got much idea of the plot of this one, I've just seen it featured on a few lists of more diverse fantasy.
- Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie - A book I've been meaning to read for the longest time. Set in the aftermath of 9/11 and the Nagasaki bombings, it promises to be an epic read.
Have you read any of these books? I'd love to hear your opinions if you have, to help me prioritise which ones to get to first.