Books

Book 520: The Bookshop – Penelope Fitzgerald

I did not realize this one was a Man Booker Award Short List nominee when I started it. I expected fluff and lightness but realized within a few chapters that this was a lot better written than I was mentally prepared for when I selected to read it because it was one of the shortest books left on my list.

I would say this book reminds me of Joanne Harris’ Chocolat, but I honestly think Chocolat (because it was published so much later) got a lot from this type of book. The idea of someone coming into a town (no matter how long you’ve been in the town you’re still not from there) and basically stirring up the locals is a tried-and-true trope. The difference between this and Chocolat is that Fitzgerald’s The Bookshop is written so subtly that the magic you see in this book isn’t actual magic. IT is emotions and growth and community.

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Books

Book 516: Jane Austen: A Brief Life – Fiona Stafford

After being disappointed by the much hyped (by me internally at least) Jane Austen, the Secret Radical by Helena Kelly I looked elsewhere to nurse my mental wounds and found this lovely brief biography by Fiona Stafford. I reached out to the publisher for a copy as the book was recently re-released as part of Austen’s 200th death anniversary.*

I’ve surprisingly steered clear of nonfiction works concerning Austen (not really though because I like that she’s a bit of a mystery even with what we know about her. That being said I do have a few on my shelf that I plan to make my way through eventually. I’m not sure many, if any, will top this delightful read.

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Books

Book 510: Jane Austen Ruined My Life (Adventures with Jane Austen and Her Legacy #1) – Beth Pattillo

What another fun quick read for the summer!

I didn’t realize that Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart was part of a trilogy, but you know as soon as I found out I bought this, the first novel, and I bought The Dashwood Sisters Tell All, book three. They’re not really a trilogy, but loosely connected in theme and subject matter.

I do wish I would’ve read this one first, because I feel like Pattillo did a better job of explaining The Formidibles in this book than she did in the second, but obviously there’s a reason for that. [It’s the second book, DUH! – I’m still grumpy about reading them out of order.]

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Bookish Things

Bookish Things July 2017

As part of reengaging with blogging I took a look at the last few monthly recap posts I did and realized just how full they were! From the general recap to the books and bookish things and culture corner to whatever happened to be on my mind, they were becoming unwieldy.

I haven’t decided the fate of Culture Corner (which I haven’t really done in a while other than in the general recap), but I did decide I would break out my cool Bookish Things I came across on the internet into it’s own post. I feel like a lot of people already do this, but we each have our own perspective. I dare you to find another list that includes vintage gay porn novels and a Jane Austen family quiz! I’m still not 100% how this is going to work out, but for now check out these fascinating tid-bits I’ve stumbled across on the interwebs. I’ve put a little outtake immediately after each piece. Continue reading “Bookish Things July 2017”

Books

Book 504: Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart (Adventures with Jane Austen and Her Legacy #2) – Beth Pattillo

I really don’t know why I have such a backlog of Jane Austen fan-fiction on my shelves.I truly enjoy reading them and they’re so quick that it’s like why do I delay the gratification?

But then again, on days like yesterday, I realize that stocking them up isn’t necessarily a bad thing because they are WONDERFUL beach reads. Hopefully, this means I’ll be going to the beach more this summer (it’s like maybe a 10 minute walk) and reading quite a few more of these 😀

Seriously, though, this one has been sitting on my shelf since 2013 when Alie sent it to me, which is just a shame because I blazed through it in less than 12 hours. I started it on the beach yesterday, see very end of the post, and finished it on my way to work this morning.

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Books, Professional Development

Book 503: Win at Losing – Sam Weinman

I’m still making headway on my pile of galleys/ARCs from the end of 2016 and early 2017.* Now this one is read I think I’m down to under five!

This is another one of those Tarcher Perigee books that I wouldn’t necessarily go out of my way to read, but the publisher reached out to me and it sounded interesting enough that I figured why not through it into the mix and thankfully, it covered a lot more than just sports (which I was really worried about at first).

The entire premise of this book is Weinman’s son throws a fit after a tennis match he “clearly” should’ve won, but didn’t and Weinman pondered the idea of losing and not just losing, but losing in such a way that it became iconic in certain aspects of our culture.

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ARC, Books

Book 457: One of These Things First – Steven Gaines

Gaines, Steven - One of These Things FirstI had no idea who Steven Gaines was and after reading this, I don’t have that much more of an idea. I’d love to say I’ve done more research but I haven’t, but I may try to read Philistines at the Hedgerow later this fall as we’re going to a wedding in the Hamptons and it’s about property there.

All of this being said, my thoughts are not a bad thing, especially as I enjoyed his writing, but an observation of my usual lack of background knowledge going in to a book.

The lovely people at Open Road Media reached out to me with a copy of One of These Things First* as I had previously read In Youth Is Pleasure and I can see the similarities in story, style and experience even though they’re set in different countries and quite a bit apart temporally.

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