One hundred sixteen days. Almost four months. Two thousand seven hundred eighty four hours… since the beginning of the stay at home orders and no end in sight.
What have you done during this extended period of time? Do you work from home? Have children to teach virtually? Exercised and walked a lot? Baked bread? Attended Zoom meetings? Watched endless television? Read umpteenth books? Played games on the internet? Pursued a hobby? Gardened? Painted your house? Built something? Sewed?
Here at the Eugene Hotel Residence we are having a Pandemic Project Show. It will be interesting to see what the other residents have done.
My display will be books and more books, because I am a voracious reader. Here is my reading list of novels.
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness..Book 1 of the All Souls Trilogy…At Oxford’s Bodleian Library–Diana Bishop– a scholar and descendent of witches–unearths an enchanted alchemical manuscript. Wanting nothing to do with sorcery, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery has set a fantastical underworld stirring, and soon a horde of daemons, witches, and other creatures descends upon the library. Among them is the enigmatic Matthew Clairmont, a vampire with a keen interest in the book. Equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense, A Discovery of Witches is a mesmerizing tale of passion and obsession.
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness…Book 2 of the All Souls Trilogy…Book 2 plunges Diana and Matthew into Elizabethan London, a world of spies and subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends. The pair’s mission is to find traces of Ashmole 782, but as the net of Matthew’s past tightens around them they embark on a very different and more dangerous journey.
The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness…Book 3 of the All Souls Trilogy…Diana and Matthew time-travel back from Elizabethan London to make a dramatic return to the present–facing new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s Ancestral home, Sept-Tours, they reunite with the characters from A Discovery of Witches. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency.
Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness. What does it take to become a vampire? A fascinating exploration of the power of tradition and the possibilities not just for change but for revolution, Time’s Convert channels the supernatural world-building and slow-burning romance that made the All Souls Trilogy instant bestsellers to illuminate a vital moment in history, and a love affair that bridges centuries.
Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks. When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated mountain village, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges an an unlikely heroine and healer. Through Anna’s eyes we follow the the story of the Plague year, 1666, as her fellow villagers make an extraordinary choice: convinced by a visionary young minister they elect to quarantine themselves within the village boundaries to arrest the spread of the disease. But, as death reaches into every household, faith frays. When villagers turn from prayers to murderous witch-hunting, Anna must confront the deaths of family, the disintegration of her community, and the lure of illicit love. As she struggles to survive, a year of plague becomes a year of wonder.
Plague by C.C. Humphreys…London, May 1665. On a dark road outside London, a robbery goes horribly wrong, when the gentlemanly highway man, William Coke, discovers that his intended victims have been brutally slaughtered. Suspected of murder, Coke is forced into an uneasy alliance with the man who pursues him, the relentless thief-taker, Pitman. Together they seek the killer, and uncover a conspiracy that reaches from the court of King Charles to the worst slum in the city, St Giles in the Fields. but there’s another murderer moving through the slums, the taverns and palaces, a mass murderer…the plague
A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende…This epic novel spanning decades and crossing continents follows two young people as they flee the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War to a place to call home.
Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard…Enigmatic and sexy, Professor Gabriel Emerson is a well-respected Dante specialist by day and by night he devotes himself to an uninhibited life of pleasure. He uses his notorious good looks and sophisticated charm to gratify his every whim, but secretly tortured by his dark past and consumed by the profound belief that his is beyond all hope of redemption. When the sweet and innocent Julia Mitchell enrolls as his graduate student, his attraction and mysterious connection to her not only jeopardizes his career, but sends him on a journey in which his past and present collide. An intriguing and sinful exploration of seduction, forbidden love, and redemption, Gabriel’s Inferno is a captivating and wildly passionate tale of one man’s escape from his own personal hell as he tries to earn the impossible–forgiveness and love.
Gabriel’s Rapture by Sylvain Reynard…Professor Gabriel Emerson has embarked on a passionate, yet clandestine affair with his former student Julia Mitchell. Sequestered on a romantic holiday and Italy, he tutors her in the sensual delights of the body and the raptures of sex. But when they return, their happiness is threatened by conspiring students, academic politics, and a jealous ex-lover. When Gabriel is confronted by the university administration, will he succumb to Dante’s fate? Or will he fight to keep Julia, his Beatrice, forever? In Gabriel’s Rapture, Sylvain Reynard weaves an exquisite love story that will touch the reader’s mind, body and soul forever.
Gabriel’s Redemption by Sylvain Reynard…Professor Gabriel Emerson has left his position at the University of Toronto to embark on a new life with his beloved Julianne. Together, he’s confident that they can face any challenge. And he’s eager to become a father. But Julianne’s graduate program threatens Gabriel’s plans, as the pressures of being a student become all consuming. When she is given the honor of presenting an academic lecture at Oxford, Gabriel is forced to confront Julienne about the subject of her presentation, research that conflicts with his own. And in Oxford, several individuals from their past appear, including and old nemesis intent on humiliating Julia and exposing one of Gabriel’s darkest secrets. In an effort to confront his remaining demons, Gabriel begins a quest to discover more about his biological parents, beginning a chain of evens that has startling repercussions for himself, Julianne, and his hope of having a family.
Gabriel’s Promise by Sylvain Reynard…When Gabriel and Julia Emerson first lay eyes on their newborn daughter, Clare, they realize life as they know it will never be the same. Gabriel has just vowed to be a good father when he received a sudden invitation to give a series of lectures in Edinburgh, Scotland, an opportunity of high prestige that would mean leaving his wife and child in Boston. Hesitant to bring this up, Gabriel keeps the opportunity from Julia as long as he can, not knowing she has a secret of her own. When a frightening situation arises that threatens their new family, both parents must make sacrifices. With the family in danger, the looming question remains: Will Gabriel pursue his lectureship in Edinburgh, leaving Julia and Clare vulnerable in Boston, or will he abandon the chance of a lifetime in order to ensure his family’s safety?