Several of the books are for a review project and again even if they were amazing I can't talk about them or review them yet, but that notwithstanding it was a pretty good reading month.
The Bear and the Nightingale and Greatest Hits which I read and reviewed at the start of the month were definite hits this month but a few of the other highlights of the month include the following.
Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave. This is an interesting book about London in World War Two, following four main characters during the early years of the conflict. I liked this book a lot because it managed to tell a new story of this era to me, I've read a lot of books set in this time frame and this felt new and exciting - despite none of the characters being particularly likable.
The Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse. Again a World War Two book but this one set in Amsterdam. It starts interestingly with the protagonist being a black marketeer but then evolves into a more complicated resistance story. A few bits of language jarred slightly but on the whole I was kept guessing all the way through, in the right way.
In Praise of Shadows by Junichiro Tanizaki. This book was recommended to me by a friend as I asked for recommendations of books translated in 1977 as part of my personal challenge. It was a slim volume about one man's musings on how traditional Japanese life is being changed by modern ways - and this book was written pre-WW2 so is a real snapshot of a lifestyle now totally vanished. It is hard to explain fully but as this is such a slim volume I urge you all to hunt it down, read it and then go out for great Japanese food!
My final picks for the month are the Birchbark House books by Louise Erdrich. I've read a few of her adult books but this is a children's series is all about an Ojibwa family at the time when the Native American population was under greatest threat from white settlers. I've been a long time fan of the Little House on the Prairie series but I know that they aren't very historically accurate and it is great to find another series from the same time frame but telling the other side of the story.