This week we have a local boy in Paris, a whole load o’ Zombie, a Stump, more France, a murder, Freud, a bit of gossip, starving models, and an olive grove.

Let us begin!

Barbara M. is back to normal. And frankly I am quite relieved.  “I’m reading Paris, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Downby Rosecrans Baldwin. This is a delightful memoir of an expat adjusting to life in Paris. His writing style is colloquial and very funny. What makes this book especially interesting for me (besides being about Paris) is that I knew Crans when he was in school in Darien.”

The Citizen is also acting true to form.  “I just finished Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry. A lovely tale of sibling hate (and maybe love?), teen angst and Zombies! What more could a girl ask for? Benny is convinced that his older brother Tom is a coward because he did not save their mother from a Zombie attack, and he is not impressed with him being a bounty hunter. However, this is all about to change. A few life lessons are learnt, relationships strengthened, epic fight scenes and of course, Zombies. I just got the sequel Death & Decay. I'll keep you posted.”

Ann reports that she is reading A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash.  “This is an engrossing story of fathers and sons, religious beliefs and family strife.  Stump, real name Christopher, is born mute.  His family loves him but his mother wants him to speak and will let her religious beliefs change the family's life forever.”

Candace says, “When I saw Simon Mawer's new book, Trapeze, I grabbed it!  I loved his historical fiction novel, The Glass House, and couldn't wait to read him again.  At the three quarter mark, I'm totally engrossed in his rich buildup of underground action to stop Hitler in France and England in WWII.  It's sure to have a very exciting ending which I'm in no hurry to discover since I'm really enjoying his style and story.”

The Lovely Priscilla is reading Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann.  “Coming in July this is a captivating first novel. Told from the perspective of 5 people it set on Martha's Vineyard after WWll. In this unsettling story you will find marriage, secrecy, murder and the unexpected. Close cousins Nick and Helena are beginning the next stage of their lives as newlyweds with great expectations. The family estate on Martha’s Vineyard holds many memories for these women and is the setting for most of this book. Get your name on the hold list.  Lisa is the great, great, great granddaughter of Herman Melville.”  I read this one this week also and I am here to tell you it is terrific!

Pat S. has not one but two books going!  ” Hello Goodbye Hello by Craig Brown and Gossip by Joseph Epstein! Hello Goodbye Hello by Craig Brown is a truly witty and informative recounting of 101 meetings between two various stars of art, literature, politics and entertainment in the last 100 plus years. Brown has constructed the format in an equally clever manner by making each of the 101 meetings described exactly 1001 words long. The subjects span a field as broad as Sigmund Freud and Gustav Mahler to Cecil Beaton and Mick Jagger. The marvel of the undertaking is that all of the stories are fresh-with none of the hackneyed variants of tales that have passed into urban myth. This is a genuinely informative and fun read. It comes out in August.  In Gossip by Joseph Epstein we have an exploration of the age old issue-Gossip. What motivates it? Is it good? Is it bad? Why do we castigate it yet pursue it so relentlessly? What effect has the internet and globalization of communication had upon it? I am only half way through but enjoying every moment. It is an interesting historical investigation including some brief biographies of world renowned gossips. As well, a thoughtful discussion of the effect of modern technology upon gossip and how it may have taken what was once benign and turned it into potentially destructive phenomena. This is very provocative.

Jeannie is reading So Pretty it Hurts by Kate White, the Editor of Cosmopolitan. “This is the newest in her Bailey Weggins Mysteries. Others I have liked are A Body To Die For, If Looks Could Kill...there is a theme here. Bailey is a crime writer for the celebrity rag Buzz.  She investigates murders, but there is a lot more glamour, affairs and backstabbing than forensics and lawyers in her detective work.  In a very contemporary New York setting of starving models, ruthless journalists and misguided liaisons, Bailey is determined to find the truth. From the runway to the bar scene; from the office to the bedroom,  White keeps the reader turning the pages with her tales of deceit as Bailey tries to discover whodunit.”

I just began The Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santos.  There are five generations of Keller women living on their olive farm in Northern California.  Matriarch Anna is 112 years old and a geneticist is coming to examine her to see if he can discover the secret of their longevity.    What sort of secrets will he uncover?  This one is due out in August.


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