Wednesday, the 13th of October, and time once again for Shelf Control! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates 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–what its about, why you want to read it, when you got it, and such. If you participate, don’t forget to 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 as well!
My pick today is a piece of historical fiction, Golden Hill (2016) by Francis Spufford. Francis Spufford is an English writer of fiction and non-fiction. He started his career writing non-fiction and only in 2010 began to veer towards fiction, writing works which cross both categories; Golden Hill was his first completely fictional work. The book won the Costa Book Award for first novels and three other prizes and was also shortlisted for several others. His most recent work is Light Perpetual, set in World-War-II England, published earlier this year, and longlisted for the Booker.
Golden Hill is set in 1746 New York where young and handsome Mr Smith arrives with a an order for £1,000 in his pocket, and no explanation for why, where he comes from or what he wants to do with the money. What are the merchants to do with him–trust him or arrest him, befriend him or kill him? With rich language, historical perception, and a plot with as many twists as chapters, this is a fast paced read which gives one a peak into New York a generation before the revolution!
I’d been hearing about this book for a while having come across it in Goodreads friends’ reviews and also YouTube/Booktube; So when I spotted a copy second hand online, I ordered it. The plot of course sounds like a very interesting one (the large number of twists the description mentions are particularly promising) but what drew me more to the book was the setting. I don’t think I’ve read any historical fiction set in 18th century America, so to see what New York was like that far back will be interesting indeed.
Have you read this one or any others by Spufford? Which ones and how did you find them? Looking forward to your thoughts and recommendations!
Lisa’s pick this week is Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown, the history of the destruction of American Indians in the second half of the nineteenth century