Thursday, June 21, 2018
A Brilliance of Books, Late June 2018 Edition
The year marches on, and here we are, almost halfway through. I'm behind in my reading goals for the year--the first few months, being the chaotic, delightful adventure that they were, didn't leave me much spare time for literary ...
I can't say that life has settled down much--that's not really what life does, after all--but I have been going about one of my favorite pasttimes with a bit more purpose. Some of the goals I tackled in May and June were:
The Cafe By the Sea-Chicklit isn't really chicklit anymore. The Great Recession put the finals nails in the coffin of that sub-genre, at least in its early form. Or perhaps chicklit has just been sucked back into the "mothership" of women's fiction. Or perhaps it's just matured into something that's a little more substantive and sensible. Either way, Cafe by the Sea is a combination of chicklit and women's fiction, with just a tiny dash of cozy. Jenny Colgan's books (fortunately) lack the glitz and glamour of New York City, and are real in their exploration of messy, realistic family dynamics...and they include lovely rural UK villages and delicious-sounding foods.
Perception-As I'm a rather nerdy, pompous bookworm who has known from a very early age that my face would not be my fortune, I've always had a wee bit of a soft spot for Mary Bennet, the plain middle sister of Pride and Prejudice who hid her shortcomings behind a bookish disdain for society and pretensions to intellectualism. And with that bias in my heart, I always gravitate towards Pride and Prejudice spin-offs in the hope of reading more about this intriguing changeling and seeing her come into her own. Perception is the one of the latest offerings, and while it was a little on the fluffy./historical romance side, I still enjoyed it. There's another possibility though, Mary B, due out later this summer, and I have rather high hopes for that one. It looks like it might less..floofy.
(I tend to consume a lot of floof. I need to counter that consumption whenever I can.)
The Silence of Ghosts--I don't often say this about a book, but I regret reading this one--at least, I regret reading it when I did. This delicious ghost story deserves to be read in darkest October, close to midnight, as the shadows of the year are closing in, and the icy fingers of seasonal death tighten their grip on the world. It's certainly a book I will happily read again.
Mrs. Osmond-Ever read Portrait of a Lady? I haven't. Saw the movie once, but I recall very little about it other than John Malcovich's overweening smarm. But I'm familiar enough with Isabel Archer, her wonderful prospects, and her very, very poor choice of husband, to enjoy this literary offering from John Banville, who explores the "what next?" after the end of Portrait. While it's technically a historical novel, it isn't primarily a historical novel--it's literary through and through. It's also a book that I will need to re-read...I devoured it for its plot, but unfortunately, this is not a book to devour. This is a book to savor.
The Monsters of Templeton-Eldest Sister told me about this book as she was reading it...a freakin' decade ago. (It's a little disturbing that I can now break my life down into decades.) I still remember how excited her voice was as she described this book, filled with ghosts and family secrets and lake monsters and quirky characters who make all sorts of questionable life choices. Why did it take me ten years to read this?
Welp. The year marches on, and here we are--day by day, the sand in the hourglass trickles down, and there is ever-less time to read all the books that I want to. All I can do is go about it with a purpose and a plan.