I am just days away from setting out on a Pilgrimage to Ireland! A bardic tour of the Emerald Isle, complete with visits to Loughcrew Cairn, Kildare, Carrowkeel, Slieve League, Heapstown Cairn, Sligo, Rathcroagan, and the Hill of Tara as well as music nights at local pubs, at concerts, the National Library Dublin, National Museum Dublin, Writer’s Museum Dublin, and Hugh Lane Gallery.
Naturally, when I decided to join the fun my first thought was “That’s a long flight. I am going to need something to read.” Naturally, I purchased a “few” titles for my Kobo and naturally, I already read some. So I purchased a few more.
So, without further adeu, here is my Kobo Book Haul for Ireland!
Definitely relevant to my interests, this was only $1.25 - so pretty much a no-brainer.
“Burial Rites” by Hanna Kent
I am a sucker for a good cover and this one caught my eye. Then I read the synopsis.
“A brilliant literary debut, inspired by a true story: the final days of a young woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829.
Set against Iceland's stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.
Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes's death looms, the farmer's wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they've heard.
Riveting and rich with lyricism, BURIAL RITES evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place, and asks the question, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?”
“The Darkest Part of the Forest” by Holly Black
Another gorgeous cover! I heard about this book from various BookTubers and decided to add it to my “Previews” list.
In the woods is a glass coffin. It rests on the ground, and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives....
"Hazel and her brother, Ben, live in Fairfold, where humans and the Folk exist side by side. Tourists drive in to see the lush wonders of Faerie and, most wonderful of all, the horned boy. But visitors fail to see the danger.
Since they were children, Hazel and Ben have been telling each other stories about the boy in the glass coffin, that he is a prince and they are valiant knights, pretending their prince would be different from the other faeries, the ones who made cruel bargains, lurked in the shadows of trees, and doomed tourists. But as Hazel grows up, she puts aside those stories. Hazel knows the horned boy will never wake.
Until one day, he does....
As the world turns upside down, Hazel has to become the knight she once pretended to be. But as she's swept up in new love, with shifting loyalties and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?”
Now in spite of my love of all things Fae, I am not one to add a book to my library simply because it’s Faerie-related. This one piqued my interest and the reviews on Goodreads are quite strong, so I thought I’d give it a go.
“Green Heart” by Alice Hoffman
Once again, I was captivated by a beautiful cover. “Green Heart” combines “Green Angel” and “Green Witch” into one volume. I am not one to embark on series, mostly because I have zero patience. I want it all and I want it now. I proved that point by reading “Green Heart” in two sittings last weekend.
From the depths of despair to the reclaiming of herself, Green allows us to see the world through her eyes and discover its secrets as she does. This story is beautifully written and I recommend it highly.
“The Lightkeepers Wife” by Sarah Anne Johnson
For those who don’t already know, my Great Great Grandfather built Miscou Lighthouse and took on the role of Lightkeeper. So needless to say, this title leapt out at me.
“On 19th century Cape Cod, Hannah Snow shouldn't even be in the water. Her husband, John, would be furious--it's his job to tend to Dangerfield Light. It's certainly not women's work, and his quick trips out of town don't give her permission to rush toward the tattered ships. But she does, and though she can't save everyone, William "Billy" Pike, is someone she can. He's recuperating in her care when John's horse is found abandoned. Hannah invites Billy to stay as a hired hand--but soon discovers that he is not at all whom she thought he was. When everything holding her together falls apart, can Hannah learn how to save herself?”
Last summer, I read “The Light Between Oceans” by ML Stedman in one weekend. So it’s been torture saving this story for the trip, but I am sure that it will be worth the wait.
“The Owl Service” by Alan Garner
Loosely based on Blodeuwedd’s story from “The Mabiogion”, this book came highly recommended.
“Something is scratching around in the attic above Alison's room. Yet the only thing up there is a stack of grimy old plates. Alison and her stepbrother, Roger, discover that the flowery patterns on the plates, when traced onto paper, can be fitted together to create owls-owls that disappear when no one is watching. With each vanished owl, strange events begin to happen around Alison, Roger, and the caretaker's son, Gwyn. As the kids uncover the mystery of the owl service, they become trapped within a local legend, playing out roles in a tragic love story that has repeated itself for generations... a love story that has always ended in disaster.”
“Parnassus on Wheels and The Haunted Bookshop” by Christopher Morley
These two books were featured on three BookTuber channels, so I decided to make note of them. I found both on Kobo for $1.03! SCORE!
Parnassus on Wheels
Parnassus on Wheels is Morley's first novel, about a fictional traveling book-selling business. The original owner of the business, Roger Mifflin, sells it to 39-year-old Helen McGill, who is tired of taking care of her older brother, Andrew. Andrew is a former businessman turned farmer, turned author. As an author, he begins using the farm as his Muse rather than a livelihood. When Mifflin shows up with his traveling bookstore, Helen buys it—partly to prevent Andrew from buying it—and partly to treat herself to a long-overdue adventure of her own.
The Haunted Bookshop
It begins with a young advertising man, Aubrey Gilbert, stopping by a bookstore named "The Haunted Bookshop" in the hopes of finding a new client. Gilbert meets the proprietor, Roger Mifflin. Gilbert does not succeed in selling advertising copy, but is intrigued by Mifflin and his conviction concerning the value books and booksellers have to the world.
To be honest, I’m not completely sure about these. The cover is horrid, but the price was right and they’re books about books, so it’s definitely worth giving them a chance.
“Practical Magic” by Alice Hoffman
No sense in beating ‘round the bush. I read this one already.
I adore the film, so the book was on my TBR list. I found that, because the story isn’t linear, it was a bit jarring to jump back and forth. I wish I had read the book before seeing the film, to be honest. But overall, I enjoyed it and recommend it.
“Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells – an anthology of Gaslamp Fantasy”
According to the synopsis, “Gaslamp Fantasy” is historical fantasy set in a magical version of the 19th century. The cover caught my eye and I found it rather intriguing, so I decided to try it.
I have to admit that I already started reading it and have read four stories thus far. I don’t dislike it but at the same time, am not sure it’s my thing. But I am interested to find out if I discover an author that I connect with who has more work that I can discover.
"The Winter Witch” by Paula Brackston
Last fall, I saw a preview for “The Silver Witch” and the cover was beyond beautiful! I loved the book. So much so that I intend to do a blog post about it later.
When I discovered Paula Brackston had 4 more witchy titles (with a 5th on the way), I added them to my TBR list. I decided that “The Winter Witch” would be next and that I would “save it for the trip, no matter what”. Then I sat and laughed for about 5 minutes, turned on my Kobo and started reading. Did I mention I am not a very patient woman?
“In her small early nineteenth century Welsh town, there is no one quite like Morgana, who has not spoken since she was a young girl. Her silence is a mystery, as well as her magic. Concerned for her safety, her mother is anxious to see her married, and Cai Jenkins, a widower from the far hills, seems the best choice.
After her wedding, Morgana is heartbroken at leaving her mother, and wary of this man, whom she does not know, and who will take her away to begin a new life. But she soon falls in love with Cai’s farm and the wild mountains that surround it. Cai works to understand the beautiful, half-tamed creature he has chosen for a bride, and slowly, he begins to win Morgana’s affections. It’s not long, however, before her strangeness begins to be remarked upon in her new village. A dark force is at work there—a person who will stop at nothing to turn the townspeople against Morgana. Forced to defend her home, her man, and herself, Morgana must learn to harness her power, or she will lose everything.”
I am already almost halfway through and expect to finish it long before I arrive at the airport.
Do you read while on holiday? What’s on your TBR list? Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned (no spoilers, please)?
Join the fun on Goodreads!