Monday, December 3, 2012

November Reading List

Hello! 

I'm back! 

OK, truth of the matter is that I'm doing a lot better than I expected to following my gallbladder removal last Friday.  Yeah, I don't feel so great...but I'm not prostrate on the couch.  (I'm also not being stupid and doing things like - oh, I don't know - trying to work out less than a week after surgery as I did last time.) 

So I thought I would go ahead and get back to my blog - at the very least with my monthly book roundup.

The theme for November is: I went crazy and put a whole bunch of books on hold at the library and now I have to read them all before they expire and I must return them because I'd really rather not go through the whole process a second time!

Ahem. 

1.  The Brontes: Wild Genius On the Moors, The Story of a Literary Family, Juliet Barker - Truth be told, I didn't make it very far into this book.  I LOVE it, and am really impressed with the scholarly work Barker did to back up what is now THE biography of the Bronte family.  But it's a very dense book, and I had a rough month, and so I will be purchasing a copy so that I can read it at my leisure.

2.  To Marry An English Lord, Gail MacColl and Carol McD. Wallace - Downton Abby fans rejoice!  This is the book that inspired the show, and it is a fascinating look at a very interesting phenomenon...wealthy American women save the British aristocracy from financial ruin.  My one complaint is not with the content, but with the book's layout.  There were soooo many notes, anecdotes and asides on each page that it was a bit distracting.  Fun, though...even if the tales of excess (especially in clothing) left me a bit ill.

3.  Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, Amanda Foreman - I will admit, I became interested in Georgiana because I stumbled across the Kiera Knightly historic biopic, the Duchess.  This is another exhaustive biography - but it is also an easy and fun read.  I was amazed by just how much political power Georgiana had during an age when we typically think of women as meek things waiting at home.  And LORDY!  Talk about scandal!!!!!  Horrible gambling debts, illegitimate children, a 20 some year manage a trois...wow!

And here's an aside of my own about those last two books....Infidelity amongst the upper class is so common it might as well be called Great Britain's national pastime - at least during the time periods of these books.  Kind of squidgy, if you ask me.  Makes one totally rethink where ideas of 'traditional' marriage come from.

4.  Life of Pi, Yann Martel - Normally, as you know, I avoid 'popular books.'  I found myself curious because of the movie and because my new book podcast - Literary Disco (which is AMAZING!).  And you know what?  I really, really enjoyed it!  Lots of food for thought, and I imagine I will be chewing over this one for quite a while.  (Bit of pun, there, totally owning it.)

5.  How To Be A Woman, Caitlin Moran - What to say....First, I totally agree with many of Moran's points about the female experience.  I especially appreciate her exhortation for all women to own the title feminist, which is something that's always troubled me.  (From my world view, that title has been used as fuel for the so-called Mommy Wars, which drive me nuts.)  However.  She's a bit over the top for me, and I really had trouble relating to her as our life experiences have been so very different.  Glad I read it, glad when it was over.  (If that makes any sense at all.)

I am also going to fess up to having returned another three nonfiction books and several graphic novels that I ultimately decided not to read.  That's the beauty of the library...the freedom to make such decisions! 

2 comments:

Brian Q. said...

So glad to hear your surgery went well! :) I'm about halfway through Life of Pi myself, and I also had the same reservations about it's popularity. But so far, it's great.

Lecia said...

I always enjoy your book lists. I also loved Life of Pi.