Friday, 10 June 2016

Too advanced?

One advantage of working in the book world, libraries or retail, is the chance to read books in advance of publication. Through the generosity of publishers and also Net Galley I've discovered some great books and generally around the time of publication so that there is buzz and discussion about the titles at the same time I'm reading them, which is great - I love talking about books.

Some of the other projects I read advance copies for are less timely and that has come home to me twice in recent weeks.

I had the chance to read Phillipe Sands' East West Street many months ago and it blew me away then.

A book of coincidences, history, family history, law and so much more.  It draws various strands of life together and it is wonderfully personal and technical at the same time.  I've read a lot of books about the division of Europe pre- and post- World War Two and the Holocaust and this is up there among the best. There is even a Norwich link!

I can't say that I'd forgotten this book because it did have such an impact on me but as I read/heard nothing about it I thought I was in the minority in loving it.  However it was just that I read it so early no one was talking about it! Now it is published it is getting great reviews and I am so pleased - this is a readable book that manages to bring home the personal way the Holocaust touched people while never losing sight of the whole.

If you are in Norwich in July Philippe Sands will be talking at Waterstones Norwich - details here

The second book I read months ago and is just now being talked about is Elena Lappin's What Language Do I Dream In?
When I was studying languages we were always told that you'd 'cracked it' when you dreamt in the language you were studying and so I was drawn to this book just by the title alone but again it turned out to be a memoir/family history book that took post war Europe as a backdrop.

Another book that I raced through and then assumed that no one else liked, but again it was just I read it months and months before publication!

I think that the lesson I've learned from this is that when I read a proof copy of a book I need to also note in my reading journal what the actual publication date of a book is!

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