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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What I’m Reading This Week (May 17th)

This blog post is part of Shelia at Book Journey’s weekly round-up.

Read:

Not All Princesses Dress in Pink by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple — this was a cute picture book I found on the library shelf. I really like how it showed girls doing all manner of activity from sports to construction. The text broke down for me a little as I was reading out loud when I got to the bits about the crown, but that was probably because I was trying not to be too loud in the library. I recommended this for story time at work when it becomes widely available on June 15th.

Well I finished reading A Little Harmless Sex by Melissa Schroeder from last weeks list, but not much else.

Still Reading:

Alison’s Wonderland edited Alison Tyler (ARC) – I am still enjoying this. What I like best is that the fairy tale retellings aren’t retelling of the same stories I’ve heard 1000 times. There maybe some later in the book, but the first few have been new to me at least.

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson — This is still meandering. I get the idea that it is probably supposed to move at this labored pace. I’ve made up my mind that I will finish, but I lose patience at times.

Changeless by Gail Carriger — almost makes me want to carry a parasol even at night. I hope to finish this one soon.

Added to this week:

Climbing Your Family Tree by Ira Wolfman — I am designing a summer program for 8 to 11 year-olds for the St. Tammany Parish Library on recording your family history. I am hoping this book will give me lots of good ideas.

And in other news the Nebula’s where announced:

I was pleased to see that I’ve already read this year’s winning novel, The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. The winner of the novella is already in on my TBR pile, The Women of Nell Gwynne’s, Kage Baker, in a lovely edition by Subterranean Press. I must say I didn’t finish the novelette winner “Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast”, Eugie Foster. I downloaded from EscapePod, but never could get through it.

From the Blogs:

Chew & Digest has a Lawrence Goldstone novel on tap for this week. I’ve read several of Goldstone’s and his wife Nancy’s  non-fiction books about books, but I’ve never tried one of his novels. I’m going to have to add Anatomy of Deception to my wish list.

Reading Extensively points out a Sharon Shinn title that slipped past me called Gateway. It has a divine cover ( I know we shouldn’t judge, but some of the art is just beautiful in it’s own right). I’ll probably have to force myself to catch up on my other Shinn novels before I can justify buying a new one.

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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.