Waiting on Wednesday – Ragnarok by A S Byatt

“Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re really excited about.

Ragnarok – A. S. Byatt
To be released March 12, 2013

Amazon says: The gods meet their cataclysmic end in this acclaimed work of fiction from the inimitable author of Possession and The Children’s Book, now in paperback.

As the bombs of the Blitz rain down on Britain, one young girl is evacuated to the countryside. She is struggling to make sense of her new life, whose dark, war-ravaged days feel very removed from the peace and love being preached in church and at school. Then she is given a copy of Asgard and the Gods—a book of ancient Norse myths—and her inner and outer worlds are transformed. She feels an instant kinship with these vivid, beautiful, terrifying tales of the end of the gods: they seem far more real, far more familiar during these precarious days.

RagnarokHow could this child know that fifty years on, many of the birds and flowers she took for granted on her walks to school would become extinct? War, natural disaster, reckless gods, and the recognition of the world’s impermanence are just some of the threads that Byatt weaves into this most timely of books. Linguistically stunning and imaginatively abundant, Ragnarok is a landmark piece of storytelling from “one of the most brilliant minds and speakers of our generation” (The Independent).


What are you waiting for?


Waiting on Wednesday – Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

“Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re really excited about.

Flight Behavior – Barbara Kingsolver
To be released November 6, 2012

Amazon says:

Flight Behavior transfixes from its opening scene, when a young woman’s narrow experience of life is thrown wide with the force of a raging fire. In the lyrical language of her native Appalachia, Barbara Kingsolver bares the rich, tarnished humanity of her novel’s inhabitants and unearths the modern complexities of rural existence. Characters and reader alike are quickly carried beyond familiar territory here, into the unsettled ground of science, faith, and everyday truces between reason and conviction.

Flight Behavior: A NovelDellarobia Turnbow is a restless farm wife who gave up her own plans when she accidentally became pregnant at seventeen. Now, after a decade of domestic disharmony on a failing farm, she has settled for permanent disappointment but seeks momentary escape through an obsessive flirtation with a younger man. As she hikes up a mountain road behind her house to a secret tryst, she encounters a shocking sight: a silent, forested valley filled with what looks like a lake of fire. She can only understand it as a cautionary miracle, but it sparks a raft of other explanations from scientists, religious leaders, and the media. The bewildering emergency draws rural farmers into unexpected acquaintance with urbane journalists, opportunists, sightseers, and a striking biologist with his own stake in the outcome. As the community lines up to judge the woman and her miracle, Dellarobia confronts her family, her church, her town, and a larger world, in a flight toward truth that could undo all she has ever believed.

Flight Behavior takes on one of the most contentious subjects of our time: climate change. With a deft and versatile empathy Kingsolver dissects the motives that drive denial and belief in a precarious world.


What are you waiting for?

Waiting on Wednesday – The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

“Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re really excited about.

The Secret Keeper – Kate Morton
To be released October 16, 2012

Amazon says: From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Distant Hours, The Forgotten Garden, and The House at Riverton, a spellbinding new novel filled with mystery, thievery, murder, and enduring love.

During a summer party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is happily dreaming of the future. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and watches as her mother speaks to him. Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime. A crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy—her vivacious, loving, nearly perfect mother.

The Secret Keeper: A NovelNow, fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress living in London. The family is gathering at Greenacres farm for Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday. Realizing that this may be her last chance, Laurel searches for answers to the questions that still haunt her from that long-ago day, answers that can only be found in Dorothy’s past.

Dorothy’s story takes the reader from pre–WWII England through the blitz, to the ’60s and beyond. It is the secret history of three strangers from vastly different worlds—Dorothy, Vivien, and Jimmy—who meet by chance in wartime London and whose lives are forever entwined. The Secret Keeper explores longings and dreams and the unexpected consequences they sometimes bring. It is an unforgettable story of lovers and friends, deception and passion that is told—in Morton’s signature style—against a backdrop of events that changed the world.

What are you waiting for?

Waiting on Wednesday – The Girl on the Cliff by Lucinda Riley

“Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re really excited about.

The Girl on the Cliff – Lucinda Riley
To be released October 30, 2012

Amazon says: From the author of the #1 international bestseller The Orchid House, the mesmerizing story of two Irish families entangled by a tragic past that seems destined to repeat itself

To escape a recent heartbreak in New York, Grania Ryan returns to her family home on the rugged, wind-swept coast of Ireland. Here, on the cliff edge in the middle of a storm, she meets a young girl, Aurora Lisle, who will profoundly change her life.

Despite the warnings Grania receives from her mother to be wary of the Lisle family, Aurora and Grania forge a close friendship. Through a trove of old family letters dating from 1914, Grania begins to learn just how deeply their families’ histories are entwined. The horrors of World War I, the fate of a beautiful foundling child, and the irresistible lure of the ballet give rise to a legacy of heartache that leaves its imprint on each new generation. Ultimately, it will be Aurora whose intuition and spirit may be able to unlock the chains of the past.

Sweeping from Edwardian England to present-day New York, from the majestic Irish coast to the crumbling splendor of a legendary London town house, The Girl on the Cliff introduces two remarkable women whose quest to understand their past sends them toward a future where love can triumph over loss.

What are you waiting for?

The Genealogist’s Internet – Peter Christian

The Genealogist’s Internet: The Essential Guide to Researching Your Family History Online
– Peter Christian
$25.45 for paperback via Amazon, $15.39 for Kindle. For things that I need to reference I prefer print.
Planned release date is September 15, 2012.

I received the e-galley through NetGalley.

The Genealogist's Internet: The Essential Guide to Researching Your Family History OnlineI got a bit over excited when I requested this and didn’t realize that it was aimed at UK genealogists. Whoops. That’s alright though.

Why did I request this book?
Here’s where you get a bit of background on me. My first love is history and one of my degrees is in history. My grandpa got me interested in family history when I was very young by telling me stories about his great-grandfather who had 20 kids (he wasn’t exaggerating) and some of them fought for the North and some fought for the South and one of them stayed out of the whole mess and farmed on an island in the middle of a river in Tennessee. I’ve been doing genealogy for over 10 years and it was one of the things I did at one of my jobs. I loved that job. I still occassionally take on clients (this is not a plug, I’m a bit too busy to take on anyone right now.) and I really enjoy getting to know them and seeing them get excited over random things that I find. I am hoping to become a CG (certified genealogist) in the next 10 years or so. The preparation for that looked like it would take longer than a master’s degree, so I got the master’s first.

I digress. Let’s get back to the book. Just looking at the index I can see that this book as been arranged with sense and care. When I taught Intro to Genealogy classes I advised people to start looking in two places- the census and vital (birth, marriage, death) records. This is exactly what they start with. They do have a small section on how to get started but this is not a book for the newest newbie.

We are an instant gratification society, and some people expect that they can just type in a name and some magical program returns every little bit of information about that person down the their favorite color. Not so, friends. “The fact is that if you are only beginning your family tree, you will have plenty to do ofline before you cantake full advantage of what is online.” ARC p2. True that!! So many things are *not* digitized or transcribed. Just recently I was looking for a relative in a cemetery and he wasn’t appearing on any indexes but that cemetery was the one listed on his death certificate. I contacted the diocese in charge of that cemetery and they mailed me the information on everyone with that last name in any of their cemeteries in that city. It was lovely of them and just goes to show you that just because you can’t find something online doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

This is a large book about about 430 pages, so I’m just going to highlight some cool things that I discovered while reading this.

  • There is a link for those of us unfamiliar with the administrative subdivision of Britain. <www.jimella.me.uk/counties.cfm>
  • The British Archives has podcasts going back to 2006! This will be something for me to listen to on long drives.
  • There is a Family Search Wiki that has lists of genealogical words in 20 European languages. I do a lot of German research and even though I know a little, I still run into words that I can’t decipher.
  • I already knew about this one, but the Griffith’s Valuation is a vital resource for those searching in Ireland because of the destruction of the census records.
  • I like that there are a lot of screenshots, showing the site in action. Some genealogical sites are uh, not very user-friendly. A vast number of family historians are older and are less comfortable with technology. Screenshots can really go a long way to help them.
  • If someone is interested in a particular subject, say sailors or ethnic Welsh, this book provides the location of many listservs to join.
  • Although things living on the internet can have a very short life span I was pleased to see that all of the links I checked still work!
  • I found the chapter on photographs to be very informative and I’m pleased that it included information on preservation. People, don’t store your photos in the basement/attic! Use sleeves!!!

I think this is a great resource for researchers in the UK/Ireland. Some of the information is more generalized and can be used by anyone but the specific resources that Christian talks about make this a handy desk reference for intermediate to advanced genealogists.