Wednesday the 7th of August, and time once again for Shelf Control. Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and is about celebrating the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, simply pick a book from your TBR pile and write a post about it. Link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks.
This month, I haven’t really picked a reading theme so it’s just going to be random picks from my shelves that I plan to read during the month. Likewise, Shelf Control too will have random picks that are waiting to be read on my TBR pile. This week’s pick is one such, a work of historical fiction, Pompeii by Robert Harris.
Set in the days before the eruption of Veruvius in AD 79, Pompeii takes us to the Mediterranean coast where rich Roman citizens are relaxing and enjoying themselves in their luxurious villas while the navy lies anchored peacefully. Marcus Attilius Primus, a young engineer, has taken charge of the Aqua Augusta, one of the most complex aqueduct systems in the Roman world, and one that supplies nine towns and a quarter of a million people. But he finds he has much to contend with as springs are failing for the first time in generations and his predecessor has disappeared. To repair the aqueduct, Attilius must travel to Pompeii, on the slopes of Vesuvius, where he suspects the fault to lie. But there he finds both natural and man-made dangers awaiting him.
I’ve read one other book by the author, Enigma set during World War II, and more specifically code breaking at Bletchley Park, which I enjoyed very much as it was an interesting combination of historical detail and suspense–there was a mystery and murder angle to it. Having enjoyed that one, I was looking forward to exploring other books by the author and when I spotted this one (online, second-hand), I picked it up. Life in ancient Rome is something that interests me quite a bit and I enjoy books in this setting (Rosemary Sutcliff’s books for instance, though those were in Roman England; in fact I also took a course on FutureLearn about Hadrian’s wall which explored life in Roman England). Going by my experience reading Enigma, I expect this too to combine historical events and an exciting tale, with perhaps some element of suspense.
Have you read this book or any others by Harris? Which ones and how did you find them? Any other books or series in Ancient Rome that you recommend? Looking forward to your thoughts!