Friday, July 3, 2015

Bookish Link #5:

Got love for Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird?
Then The Mockingbird Next Door: Life With Harper Lee by Marja Mills
is the perfect read for you.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Bookish Link #4:

Fascinated by the mysterious Edgar Allan Poe and his macabre tales?
Then check out these equally fascinating mysteries that feature Poe
as one of the main characters: The Pale Blue Eye by Louis Bayard
and The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Bookish Link #3:

Ever get nostalgic for the  days of Nancy Drew?
Then check out Girl Sleuth by Melanie Rehak, the true story
of Nancy, her creator, and the women who authored the series.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Bookish Link #2:

Drawn to the drama of An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser?
Then check out A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly, who drew from the
same true-life incident as Dreiser when she wrote her novel.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Bookish Links...

Sometimes I want to read a book that's similar to other books I've read, whether similar in mood or feel, time period, subject matter, or narrative style. But books that link together aren't always easy to find. At least, not for me. That's why, this week, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite similar each day. (Drumroll, please!) So, here's my first bookish link:

Like the time period and charm of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott?
Then check out Kelly O'Connor McNees' The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott,
which gives you a delicious taste of what life was like for the real Alcott sisters.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Back to the Classics...

Do you know what I liked best about Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford?

"In the first place, Cranford is in possession of the Amazons; all the holders of houses above a certain rent are women ... the ladies of Cranford are quite sufficient ... (And) although the ladies of Cranford know all each other's proceedings, they are exceedingly indifferent to each other's opinions. Indeed, as each has her own individuality, not to say eccentricity, pretty strongly developed, nothing is so easy as verbal retaliation; but, somehow good-will reigns among them."
 I read that Mrs. Gaskell preferred Cranford to all her other books, and I can see why. It's a subtle comedy of manners set in a quaint English village with a delightful cast of characters. There's Captain Brown, who proclaims his poverty in a too-loud voice, and his two spinster daughters: Mary, who's ailing, and Jessie, who has a dimpled smile.  Then there's the sedate and proper Miss Deborah Jenkyns, the former rector's eldest daughter, and her gentle and kind-hearted sister, Matty. They live alone with one household serving maid who isn't allowed "followers". Miss Jenkyns helps set the tone for the town.

Cranford is a town of card games and caps, with rules for visiting and plenty of praise for "elegant economy" over vulgar displays of money. Along with the humdrum and ordinary, it has its share of tragedy and thwarted love affairs. There is also the return of a long lost brother, truer than true friends, and more than one happy ending. Cranford is a charming place to while away the afternoon (and an even more charming book). And since it was published in 1853, it counts as my 19th century classic for Karen's Back to the Classics Challenge. (It's also the tenth book from my TBR shelf.)

Happy Reading!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Bookish First Impressions...

Here are a few first lines from some books that I recently read and enjoyed, but didn't review; see if any of them make you want to read more.

First line: Billions died in less than twenty-four hours.
Title: Autumn by David Moody
(One of the best zombie apocalypse books I've ever read!)

First line:  In life you never get what you deserve: you get what you negotiate. That was the first lesson he taught me. 
Title: The Accidental Apprentice by Vikas Swarup
(A brilliant novel by the author of Slumdog Millionaire.)

First line: The strangeness of a minotaur working at a burger joint wasn't lost on Helen, but she'd needed a summer job.
Title: Helen & Troy's Epic Road Quest by A. Lee Martinez
(This fantasy has a minotaur girl, an All-American boy, and a three-legged dog on a mythic quest across an enchanted America. It's awesome!)

First line: Moonlight filled our bedroom with windblown tree shadows and uncertain light that gathered in pools on the carpet.
Title: A Barricade in Hell by Jaime Lee Moyer
(This is the sequel to Delia's Shadow, which was one of my favorite reads of 2014.)

First line: In the summer of 2005, I was having coffee at Burger King with Harper Lee.
Title: The Mockingbird Next Door by Marja Mills
(This is the story of Mill's friendship with the reclusive author and her sister, and a must-read for any and all lovers of To Kill a Mockingbird.)