Wednesday, April 12, 2017
On My Radar: Camilleri & Millard
Just to prove that my reading diet does not consist of crime fiction and nothing but crime fiction, I thought I'd share two books that are on my radar. One will be released this month, and the second will be released in May. I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on both, and you just might be interested, too! Let's start with the April release....
Andrea Camilleri's The Revolution of the Moon will be released on April 18, and those of us familiar with his Inspector Montalbano mysteries will be thrilled to know that the excellent Stephen Sartarelli has translated this book, too. Here is the synopsis from Amazon:
"From the author of the Inspector Montalbano series comes the remarkable account of an exceptional woman who rises to power in 17th century Sicily and brings about sweeping changes that threaten the iron-fisted patriarchy, before being cast out in a coup after only 27 days.
Sicily, April 16, 1677. From his deathbed, Charles III's viceroy, Anielo de Guzmán y Carafa, marquis of Castle Rodrigo, names his wife, Doña Eleonora, as his successor. Eleonora de Moura is a highly intelligent and capable woman who immediately applies her political acumen to heal the scarred soul of Palermo, a city afflicted by poverty, misery, and the frequent uprisings they entail.
The Marquise implements measures that include lowering the price of bread, reducing taxes for large families, re-opening women's care facilities, and establishing stipends for young couples wishing to marry—all measures that were considered seditious by the conservative city fathers and by the Church. The machinations of powerful men soon result in Doña Eleonora, whom the Church sees as a dangerous revolutionary, being recalled to Spain. Her rule lasted 27 days—one cycle of the moon.
Based on a true story, Camilleri's gripping and richly imagined novel tells the story of a woman whose courage and political vision is tested at every step by misogyny and reactionary conservatism."
I love biographies of women like Eleonora de Moura, don't you?
Candice Millard has written three books, and I'd highly recommend the two I've read. Destiny of the Republic is the fascinating account of one of our little-known presidents, James Garfield, while The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey is one of the best books I've ever read. Period. Now you can undoubtedly see why I'm looking forward to the May 30 paperback release of Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill! Here's the book's synopsis:
"At the age of twenty-four, Winston Churchill was utterly convinced it was his destiny to become prime minister of England. He arrived in South Africa in 1899, valet and crates of vintage wine in tow, to cover the brutal colonial war the British were fighting with Boer rebels and jumpstart his political career. But just two weeks later, Churchill was taken prisoner. Remarkably, he pulled off a daring escape—traversing hundreds of miles of enemy territory, alone, with nothing but a crumpled wad of cash, four slabs of chocolate, and his wits to guide him.
Bestselling author Candice Millard spins an epic story of bravery, savagery, and chance encounters with a cast of historical characters—including Rudyard Kipling, Lord Kitchener, and Mohandas Gandhi—with whom Churchill would later share the world stage. But Hero of the Empire is more than an extraordinary adventure story, for the lessons Churchill took from the Boer War would profoundly affect twentieth century history."
Candice Millard is positively brilliant at writing riveting, little-known history as though it were the absolute best in fiction. She's a must-read author for me.
I wonder which books will appear on my radar next? Only time will tell!