You Are What You Read

You Are What You Read!!!

This week we have some trench warfare, a fire, more mid-life, a myth or two and a love story.

Let us begin!

Barbara M. is, very uncharacteristically, reading rather slowly.  She reports that,” I'm up to the last chapter in Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks and am reading it slowly because I don't want it to end. Faulks' description of trench warfare is so vivid it's hard to believe that he didn't experience it himself and equally hard to believe that you're not on the battlefield. The characters are so well drawn that I don't want to say goodbye to them.

Pat T.  is enjoying Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton. “A mother saves her daughter from a fire that ravaged her children's exclusive private school, leaving the mother and daughter in a coma and the son accused of setting the fire. This is a fast paced thriller!”  This one is out next month.


Jeanne says, “Wife 22 is turning out to be way more fun than I originally thought. Some of the dialogue is overdone, but mostly it's full of life, love and laughs. This is a debut novel for Melanie Gideon about a middle-aged woman (keep reading it IS different!) who is feeling out of sorts in her marriage a little and coming apart a lot. She spends copious minutes of her day with her smartphone on Facebook, Twitter and IMing. It is no surprise when her involvement in an online questionnaire about marital happiness as Wife 22 gets out of hand."  This one comes out in May.

Abby is revisiting some old friends.  “The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller is a beautifully written interpretation of the Trojan War.  At the center is ‘The love that dare not speak its name’experienced by the greatest warrior of his time.  You'll be reintroduced to many figures from classic mythology, and be reminded how important mythology is to modern literature and indeed, all culture.  Miller really finds the right tone and pace to making this one fit in with the canon of written mythology.  It was tough to put down. “


I am really enjoying Love Fiercely:  a Gilded Age Romance by Jean Zimmerman.  Zimmerman tells the story of Newton and Edith Stokes.  While both came from wealthy and privileged backgrounds they refused to sit back let that be their only identity.  Together they worked tirelessly on behalf of the poor of New York as reformers and as preservationists of the city they loved.  This is a wonderful love story in more ways than one.  

 

You Are What You Read!!!

This week’s offerings include France (no surprise there), a mid-life crisis, some more Paris, murder in Dublin,   Russian royalty, and a maiden voyage that ended really badly.


Let us begin!


In anticipation of the BBC series Barbara M. reports that, “I've just started reading Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks and am finding the characters intriguing. It helps that the book starts out in Northern France in 1910. I'm just at the beginning but this promises to be a good read.”


Jeanne in her typical Jeanne Fashion weighs in with this: “I just started Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon. I can always use another mid-life crisis book and hope someone else's hot flashes are worse than mine! “This is due out in May. 

Pat T. says “I am enjoying Tatiana de Rosnay's newest book The House I Loved. Rose Bazelet's family home is about to be destroyed, along with all the other homes in the area, to make way for the modernization of Paris in the 1860's. All her cherished belongings are packed up and sent to her daughters' home, but Rose is determined to stay to the end by hiding out in the basement of her beloved home. To pass the time in the basement Rose writes a love letter to her husband and recalls all the lovely memories of their life together, as well as secrets she has harbored all these years.”


Abby, no surprise here,  is back to one of her beloved mystery series and says, “I am currently enjoying the 4th book in Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series, Broken Harbor.  Her first book, In the Woods was wonderful, with the second strongest entry being Faithful Place.  French is one of those rare authors whose work you can see developing and improving. Set in an up and coming suburb of Dublin, the murder squad is called in following the discovery of a family that had been brutally attacked.  When the pieces of the puzzle fail to come together, the family itself comes under scrutiny.  This one comes out July 8.”

Marianne chimes in with this,”I love Kathryn Harrison’s Enchantments.  The book has everything I am looking for in a good read. This is the story of the last fateful days of the Romanovs as told by Rasputin’s daughter. Intertwined are lyrical Russian stories and beautiful word pictures of the beauty and harshness of the natural world.  Even though I know how it all ends I can’t put it down.”

I spent the past weekend with Shadow of the Titanic; The Extraordinary Stories of Those Who Survived by Andrew Wilson.   This is a fascinating study of those who survived the great tragedy that is the Titanic.  Wilson not only looks at the life of the famous survivors such as Madeleine Astor who really should have gotten herself a decent pre-nup, and Lady Duff Gordon who had to be one of the most hateful people on the face of the planet, but also the Navratil brothers who were abducted by their father and being spirited away to a new life in America away from their mother.  This is a fascinating look at PTSD in the days before medication and therapy.
 

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