Saturday, January 4, 2014

My Reading Radar 1/4/2014

Because I never get tired of reading about women pilots, especially the WASP program, this one made the wishlist:

A Place in the SkyA Place in the Sky by Tobin Atkinson.

At the height of World War II, the US Army is frantic to find trained pilots to test refurbished planes, tow anti-aircraft targets, ferry planes from factories, and train other pilots. Congress begrudgingly allows the creation of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) where 1,074 women are trained at Avenger Field, Texas and go on to fill roles normally reserved for male pilots. 

“Now, you, Laura, you’re like a firework. You climb in those planes, rocket right up there, and BOOM! Brilliance. Hell, you’re even happy when you get your butt shot off.”

A PLACE IN THE SKY tells the story of the little-known WASP program. During its short-lived existence, WASP flew 60 million miles in every known U.S. military aircraft. Thirty-eight pilots died while serving as WASP. And even though WASP weren’t granted full military status for their service until 1977 (thirty-four years after the last WASP class graduated), their courage and contribution to America’s greatness remain an inspiration.


There is no cover yet, but Belinda Alexndra's Sapphire Skies is pre-ordered on my Kindle. How can I pass this up?

2000: The wreckage of a downed WWII fighter plane is discovered in the forests near Russia's Ukrainian border. The aircraft belonged to Natalya Azarova, ace pilot and pin-up girl for Soviet propaganda, but the question of her fate remains unanswered. Was she a German spy who faked her own death, as the Kremlin claims? Her lover, Valentin Orlov, now a highly-decorated general, refuses to believe it. Lily, a young Australian woman, has moved to Moscow to escape from tragedy. She becomes fascinated by the story of Natalya, and when she meets an elderly woman who claims to know the truth behind the rumours, Lily is drawn deeper into the mystery. From the pomp and purges of Stalin's Russia through the horrors of war and beyond - secrets and lies, enduring love and terrible betrayal, sacrifice and redemption all combine in this sweeping saga from Belinda Alexandra.


The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street: A NovelThis one hit the wishlist. I spotted it on Amazon's freebie. It's a first three chapters thing. No, I didn't download them. I loathe being teased and the book doesn't release until June so it's on my wishlist. I notice the author, judging by her previous releases, appears to be a feminist with a sense of humor, so I'm quite looking forward to trying this title: The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street by Susan Jane Gilman.

In 1913, little Malka Treynovsky flees Russia with her family. Bedazzled by tales of gold and movie stardom, she tricks them into buying tickets for America. Yet no sooner do they land on the squalid Lower East Side of Manhattan, than Malka is crippled and abandoned in the street.

Taken in by a tough-loving Italian ices peddler, she manages to survive through cunning and inventiveness. As she learns the secrets of his trade, she begins to shape her own destiny. She falls in love with a gorgeous, illiterate radical named Albert, and they set off across America in an ice cream truck. Slowly, she transforms herself into Lillian Dunkle, "The Ice Cream Queen" -- doyenne of an empire of ice cream franchises and a celebrated television personality.

Lillian's rise to fame and fortune spans seventy years and is inextricably linked to the course of American history itself, from Prohibition to the disco days of Studio 54. Yet Lillian Dunkle is nothing like the whimsical motherly persona she crafts for herself in the media. Conniving, profane, and irreverent, she is a supremely complex woman who prefers a good stiff drink to an ice cream cone. And when her past begins to catch up with her, everything she has spent her life building is at stake.


The Ringmaster's DaughterSpotted on LibraryThing and cannot find a release date, this one is on the wishlist too: By Grace Elliot, The Ringmaster's Daughter.

The ringmaster’s daughter, Henrietta Hart, was born and raised around the stables of Foxhall Gardens, but now her father is gravely ill and their livelihood in danger. The Harts only hope is to convince Foxhall’s manager, Mr Wolfson, to let Hetty wield the ringmaster’s whip. Hetty finds herself drawn to the arrogant Wolfson but, despite their mutual attraction, he gives her an ultimatum: entertain as never before – or leave Foxhall.

When the winsome Miss Hart defies society and performs in breeches Wolfson’s stony heart is in danger. Loathed as he is to admit it, Miss Hart has a way with horses…and men. Her audacity and determination wake emotions long since suppressed. But Miss Hart’s success could threaten his career when the ringmaster attracts the eye of the lascivious Lord Fordyce. The duke is determined, by fair means or foul, to make Miss Hart his mistress – and as Wolfson’s feelings for Henrietta grow, disaster looms.

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