What I’m Reading this Week (May 24th)

Read:
Changeless by Gail Carriger (my review is here.)

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson — I don’t have much to say about this one. I was drawn to it by the cover, and it meandered pleasantly along. Don’t go into it expecting it to “pick-up,” because it isn’t that kind of book really. There are a few action packed pages at the very end. It was story of family and pride and manners and mores. Of old ways versus new times and breaking traditions. Some where in the midst of thinking it is boring, you realize you care about these characters and want to know how it ends.  It is all narrated by the Major who is 68 and has at the opening of the story received news that his brother has died. It is about his tenuous and growing relationship with Mrs. Ali, a widow who runs the local show and is from a different cultural background then the country gentry of the small and stayed English Villagers, and the social pressure they experience from family and friends alike.

Reading:

Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs
– just started. I’ve loved all the other books in the Mercy Thompson series.

(Still reading Alison’s Wonderland edited by Alison Tyler and Climbing Your Family Tree by Ira Wolfman)

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett ; I’m listening to this on audio. Sometimes I’ve trouble focusing on audio non-fiction at the beginning, but this one is holding my interest from the get go.

Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the Eighteenth Century (Metropolitan Museum of Art) by Harold Koda, Andrew Bolton, and Mimi Hellman

* Dangerous Liaisons is one of my favorite stories. I’ve read the original book by Choderlos de Laclos, seen half dozen film adaptations, and a theatricality retelling setting the whole thing in Germany before WWII. One of the things I love about the Close and Malkovich movie is the clothes. There is something about the sumptuous clothes and furnishing that help set the mood for the characters despicable sport.  In Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the Eighteenth Century (of which I’m only in the introduction) is attempting to lay out a coloration between those aspects. The book is basically a museum’s catalog that laid out it art (clothes, furniture, painting, etc) in dioramas that loaned an air of theater to the exhibit while also humanizing the living space. At least that’s what I’ve gleaned so far. I can’t wait to finish this one.

The Secret Lives of Princesses – Illustrated by Rebecca Dautremer and Words by Philippe Lechermeier
* You’ll fall in love with Dautremer’s illustrations the moment you see them. Their bright colors and whimsy drew me in from the start and I knew I had to have the book no matter what the words were. I’m currently several princesses into the book and Lechermerier’s creative mythology has had me laughing out loud in places. While all of us reader would probably identify with Princess Paige, there is a quiz on the website to uncover your true Princess Personality. It turns out that I’m whimsical, who’d have guessed?

That is probably more then I can chew this week, but we will see how it goes.I still have to pick something for the Southern Women book salon on July 11th.

The Secret Lives of PrincessesWish List:

I discovered The Blind Contessa’s New Machine by Carey Wallace over at The Crowed Leaf.

I also discovered Not Quite Paradise: An American Sojourn in Sri Lanka by Adele Barker at Reading Extensively.

Arrived in the Mail:

The Map of True Places by Brunonia Barry — an advance copy, with a lovely cover. I do believe the book is actually out on shelves already.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is organized by Sheila over at Book Journey. Be sure to stop by her site and read the great blogs of the other participates.

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Changeless by Gail Carriger

Changeless (The Parasol Protectorate, #2) Changeless by Gail Carriger

I liked Changeless. Like its predecessor, Soulless, this book made me laugh out loud while sitting in occupied rooms forcing me to explain and therefore spread the hilarity to others. I have only to mention the words “squash blossom” to certain people to hear much merriment. I enjoyed the adventure that Ms. Carriger lead us on and the new characters she introduced such as the daring inventor and curmudgeonly lady alpha where among the highlights. I also enjoyed the way the steam punk elements were used to advance the plot instead of being relegated to window dressing. That wonderful parasol! It is enough to make you want one of your own. The only fault I could find with this delightful novel was that the last chapter, setting us up for the sequel, was so infuriating that I was tempted to throw the book clear across the room. If I hadn’t been at work, I might have done just that. September seems like an awfully long way off.

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What I’m Reading This Week

A weekly what are you reading recap is going around the web and I thought this would be a good chance to remind myself of what books I’m reading and maybe prioritize?

Seven-Tenths: Love, Piracy, and Science at Sea by David Fisichella
— the back cover copy sold me on this the moment I read it. If it lives up to the hype this will be a great memoir. Published by Leapfrog Press, whose website I also just discovered. I’m only a few pages in, but it’s allure is pulling me away from the other titles on my list.

A Little Harmless Sex by Alison Eastwood Melissa Schroeder (no idea where I picked up the wrong name)– I’ve downloaded this title from Fictionwise.com and have loaded it onto my nook. It is incredibly short and not bad, but I can’t seem to finish it. I believe this is mostly do to with the fact that I feel as though I know where it is going and have therefore completed it in my head. (Does that make sense?)

Changeless by Gail Carriger — this is the book I’m dying to get back to if I can stop getting distracted. Carriger is a very funny author and I thoroughly enjoyed the first title in this series. Changeless is shaping up to be a winner as well.

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson — I’m listening to this one on audio. This book has the best cover art I’ve seen! I absolutely love the use of the hatstand. Brilliant. I’m only in chapter three and I’m not sure if my problem with the book is the way it is written or the way it is being read, the prose seem a tad purple at the moment.

Alison’s Wonderland by Alison Tyler (advance) — I just discovered NetGalley.com, now have an e-reader before there was no interest. Now, I’m reading my first ever e-ARC and I must say I’m barely out of the introduction and enjoying it immensely.

Reading everyone’s Monday Reading posts have added a few books to my wish list. Tell Me a Story is currently reading a biography that looks great called Ngaio Marsh:Her Life in Crime by Joanne Drayton.

Alita.Reads makes me wonder if I should pick-up Anna Karenina by Tolstoy before Android Karenina arrives in stores. I just don’t know if I have the stamina to add imposing Russian novel to the list of what I’m already reading.

edited to fix author’s name.