Greetings and welcome to the Happy to be Home Edition of You Are What You Read. Here is this week’s housekeeping. First up; thanks to Steph for filling in for me last week. She did a fabulous job in spite of the fact there were no cheese offerings from you all. We are pleased to report that the winner of Guinea Pig Pride and Prejudice goes to Sooo-Z of Westport, CT who wrote us this:
I would love a copy of this book (if I'm not too late) as I am a guinea pig lover and pig mother to 4. It will go in my collection of other fabulous guinea pig literature and will be a welcome distraction from Edith Wharton's House of Mirth which I am laboring over right now.
I’ve been thinking (dangerous I know) and I have no doubt that Mrs. Wharton would not want to see Lily Bart portrayed by a guinea pig. I am pretty sure that putting a corset on a guinea pig would prove problematic. Anyway, we are so happy that this tome is going to a worthy bookshelf! Congratulations to Sooo-Z! The SoNo Loft is indeed having roof repairs done and has had to use some creative thinking about how to best hang their message of good cheer. Currently they are putting the sign on the corner of the building which makes it hard to see. But this week’s message is You Are Worthy. So use that as you will and let’s hope that the railing comes back soon. There was no taffy or fudge, so we don’t need to discuss that.
This week I have been fascinated by a mystery that has taken to the web. A small town photographer in Virginia found four sets of photographic negatives in a thrift store. Intrigued she took them home and scanned them and was stunned by what she saw. They show young women in the surf just slightly turned away from the camera. The Finder, Meagan Abell is now on the hunt to find the identity of the young women in the pictures and the photographer that took them. She estimates may have been taken in the 40’s or 50’s and she thinks that she has pinpointed the location to being the Del Ray Peninsula in California. Here is the link to the story. If you can help Meagan out, tweet using #FindTheGirlsOnTheNegatives and let us know too! Even though I won’t read a mystery, I do love a Mystery.
This week we have some Hungarians, St. Thomas, blackouts, and Scout.
Let us begin!
Barbara M has just finished The Color of Smoke: An Epic Novel of the Roma by Menyhert Lakatos. “Written in the 1970s and just recently translated into English this is a gritty coming of age story of a Hungarian Roma loosely based on the author’s life between World War I and World War II. In the 1930s and 40s the Roma were segregated and persecuted as they have been for centuries. This book gives an insightful perspective on another way of life whose customs and mores are unfamiliar to most of us. While at times the book is repetitive and perhaps a bit too long, all in all it is fascinating and well worth the read.”
The Always Fabulous Babs B has delved into The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman. “From the author of The Dovekeepers comes this forbidden love story set on the tropical island of St. Thomas. It centers on the extraordinary woman who gave birth to painter Camille Pissarro; the Father of Impressionism. While growing up on idyllic St. Thomas in the early 1800's, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris. Rachel's mother, a pillar of their small refugee community of Jews who escaped the inquisition, is a tough cookie who refuses to live by the rules. Rachel ends up in an arranged marriage to a widower 20 years her senior. When her husband dies, Rachel falls in love with his much younger nephew Frederick, who arrives from France to settle his Uncle's estate. So begins a defiant, passionate love affair that starts a scandal that affects all of Rachel's family, including her favorite son, who will become one of the greatest artists of France. Once forgotten to history, the marriage of Rachel and Frederick is a story that is unforgettable. I could not stop thinking of it long after the book ended.”
The Amazing Amanda is really enjoying Mary Jo Putney’s books and this week it’s The Rake. “I enjoy romance novels where there is real conflict and drama going on in the characters’ lives. In the previous book in this series, Reggie was the villain. In his own work, you discover that he is full of self-hatred, desperation, and grief over a wasted life. He’s no youthful boy; he’s nearly 40-years-old and he has spent most of his time in drunken blackouts. He has given up on himself when he learns of his stolen inheritance which is his childhood home. Then he discovers his estate’s superb manager is a woman. Of course, things sizzle between them. Looking back, I can see some Beauty & the Beast allusions here with an anti-hero who is truly struggling to overcome his problem. He fails repeatedly but works so hard at saving his own life. Yes, this book has romance, but it was Reggie’s story that kept me reading.”
Pat T in her car listening. As ever. “I have just finished listening to one of the most talked about books of the summer, Go Set A Watchman, by Harper Lee and to my surprise I have to say I really enjoyed it! Reese Witherspoon narrates the book and being a southern gal she creates a very credible performance, placing the reader right in Maycomb, Alabama with the cast of iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird. The book centers on Scout, who comes home from New York to visit her dad, Atticus and her boyfriend, Hank at her childhood home. Her visit is anything but peaceful, when she discovers some secrets that make her question her beliefs about Atticus and the Maycomb community. Calmly and lovingly, Atticus and her uncle help her reconcile the past with the present and help her understand that, as an adult, she has to discover her own moral footing.”
DJ Jazzy Patty McC is here from That State Up North with The Playlist and some final musings. What’s good Pats? “We’ve returned from Up North and I’m half-heartedly trying to get a routine in place to ready the kids for back to school. Fun fact: The state of Michigan has a law that schools may NOT begin until AFTER Labor Day. I’ve been told it was enacted to support Michigan Tourism. At first I thought that it was a silly law, but now I am a huge supporter. We still have two weddings to attend before summer’s end and frankly I’m not ready to say goodbye to bare feet, shorts and white jeans. Already my freckles that have banded together creating a pseudo-tan are fading, leaving me with what looks like sun damage. It’s almost time for a chemical facial peel. Almost. I’m not saying goodbye to summer yet and neither should you. So make sure you get outside and suck the marrow out of these final weeks of summer. You know you need a playlist for that. No worries, I’ve got you covered.”