If I could read five books a day, think how quickly the piles would dwindle, but failing that I can at least introduce some of those I have waiting.
From the top, the new novel from Peirene Press (whose Beside the Sea I read recently): Maria Barbal's Stone in a Landslide features a distinctive narrative voice and tells a life story in just over a hundred pages.
A wee bit longer at a mere 914 pages (excluding introduction and notes) and a change from all the new books is Dickens' Bleak House which I won from Oxford World's Classics via Twitter. The London fog, the endless case of Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce ... but truth is stranger than fiction, and I'll digress for a moment to tell you that I saw in the press last week that a case in which I was the instructing solicitor in the very early stages, has finally settled - only some twenty years after advice was first sought (and our client won!).
Next comes The Water Theatre by Lindsay Clarke (have you read his Whitbread-winning novel The Chymical Wedding? I haven't, but it sounds intriguing). The new book is set in Umbria, where war reporter Martin Crowther returns to the small village of Fontanalba to track down two friends from his past, and where events will "shake the ground of Martin's life".
The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli is "a tremendously evocative debut novel" about a photojournalist covering the Vietnam war; it's a love story, too, and a book with relevance to contemporary wars. "Quietly mesmerising" was how the New York Times described it.
Lastly today is The Obscure Logic of the Heart by Priya Basil, a novel whose characters must choose between following their religion and the dictates of their heart, family ties and romantic leanings: "a devoted Muslim daughter, a secret relationship, an impossible dilemma...".
I look forward to reading all of them.