It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? (Aug. 23rd)

It is my Birthday!

That said it is on to the Books, which really are my favorite subject anyway.

*Last week I published two reviews — The Blind Contessa’s New Machine by Carey Wallace and Here  by Wislawa Szymborska

*I have been named a board member of the Northshore Literary Society. I am very excited about this. The Northshore Literary Society is a non-profit organization that strives to be a focal point for our vibrant literary community through social and educational events, supporting each others work and promoting literacy through the parish (that’s county to those of you outside Louisiana).

* I received a review copy of J. K. Beck’s When Blood Calls in the mail, so I’m going to try to finish that this week.

* Checked out and to be Read Johannes Cabal the Necromancer by Jonathan Howard.

* Coming Soon: My very first Author Interview…. 5 Minutes With ( you’ll have to wait and see).

* I just found out that one of my favorite books has been optioned for a movie. While I know films regularly slaughter our most beloved titles, I believe the author diversion whatever financial boost such a boon affords and all the attention that it will draw to an amazing book: Waiting for Columbus by Thomas Trofimuk.

That’s my week!

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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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The Blind Contessa’s New Machine (Review)

The Blind Contessa's New Machine: A NovelThe Blind Contessa’s New Machine: A Novel by Carey Wallace

I loved this book and hated it all at the same time. It is a beautiful confession written in such a way that you feel as if you are watching the whole story through a snow globe. That distance combined with Wallace’s wonderful way with words give this slim volume the enchantment of a fairy tale. There is a surreal feel to the characters that could only exist in such story, at once beloved but unattainable. The Blind Contessa’s New Machine is the story of a young woman who is going blind. The novel pays meticulous attention to what she can and can not see painting for the reader lavish and sometime fanciful watercolors of words as the Contessa moves about both in the waking world and that of her dreams.

There is only one soul who seems to understand her – his is a long time friend and fellow dreamer a few years her senior. They both seem to have an easy acceptance of the others eccentricities, and would seem a match except that he is married and she is about to be. I finished this novel with a notebook full of quotes that had to added to my collection and a general dissatisfy feeling as I wanted this to be the fairy tale I’d felt it was in my mind and instead I got the mundane world ending that I suppose was enviable. I am far too much a romantic dreamer myself to be able to easily reconcile this things in my mind. I believe the author herself provided a quote that captures a bit of the feeling I had when I turned the last page.

“She found herself wishing for the Pietro her heart had constructed over the previous years: sure-footed, understanding, and fearless, to come rescue her from Pietro himself as he rambled on at her side. The wish made her dizzy.” P 47

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading (Aug 9th)

Read:

NOTHING, too many things going on (read more doctors apps.). I did attend a virtual conference called Book Bloggers and Authors Online Conference that was very interesting.  As a result I spent time setting up my first author interview.

DNF:

The Ghost of Manhattan by George Mann. It wasn’t terrible, just seemed too familiar. And that reason sound weak and lame, given how much I enjoy reading rewritten fairy tales and myths.  After all, aren’t The Shadow, Batman, The Phantom, etc. just modern myths, those stories that seem to seep into everyone consciousness sometimes without every encountering the original source.  Maybe I’ll try it again later when my brain isn’t so easily distracted.

Reading:

The Blind Contessa’s New Machine by Carey Wallace — there are so many lovely quotes I spend as much time writing as reading. (on loan)

Blood Smoke and Mirrors by Robyn Bachar — I am not very far into this one, but I like the voice so far.(purchased for NOOK) Doesn’t it have a cool cover? To be honest I think that is what drew me in.

The Shallows by Nicholas Carr — Did you know that Gutenberg couldn’t pay back his loans so, he lost his press and left printing forever? (purchased from Audible.com)

And in Other News:

Jacket Whys links to an interesting article about “the lost art of  cover design” and I have to admit a cover does draw me into a book. I may not buy it because wholly based on the cover, but I certainly pick many a book up because of it.

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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 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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