Thursday, August 18, 2016

What I've Been Reading Lately

I missed sharing about books last month! I'm sure everyone noticed. So I'm digging up books that it's been a while since I've read because I've got to talk about them for the record...which is this blog...

The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap: A Memoir of Friendship, Community, and the Uncommon Pleasure of a Good Book by Wendy Welch

Oh my goodness, if you've ever wanted to own a bookshop you probably shouldn't read this one because it'll make you want to open one next week. At least that's how I felt about this book. I honestly want to open a used book store after reading this book, even though it doesn't at all sugarcoat the really tough bits that go into operating such an enterprise. I loved how the author tells the hilarious origins of what made her and her husband buy an old house and turn it into a local bookshop, I loved the tales of the "love shack" - or the romance book shed in the back, I loved all the tidbits of building shelves in every room and combing garage sales for stock. The book petters out near the end, but the charming story of how the Little Bookstore came to be is worth the read.

Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather

I'm trying to catch up on my Willa Cather this year, and this was a title that kept being recommended to me by Amazon so I succumbed. It's the story of a young girl living seventeenth century Quebec City and the burgeoning community there. It's a different type of pioneer story in many ways that really evokes a beautiful sense of place. Cather is so good at subtle explorations into her character's souls that I always appreciate. This novel is a beautiful short tale that makes these early European settlers so real to modern readers.

My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life by Ruth Reichl

I love Ruth Reichl. Always and forever. I would read her description of Campbell's Tomato Soup and be enthralled. This is a really thoughtful memoir slash cookbook that I enjoyed from beginning to end. The recipes I have tried have been great and just reading them feels like a sensory experience. Probably the best cookbook I've ever read.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

I'm going to use this book to check off that box of "classics I refused to read when I was younger but should read". I really enjoyed the story and writing more than I expected. There are a lot more layers throughout the story that I thought there would be and I found myself thinking about it again and again. Much better than any movie adaptation you've seen, trust me.

Morningside Heights by Cheryl Mendelson

I enjoyed this almost Trollope-esque novel of a circle of friends living in New York City. It involves adult friends who are raising families, navigating expensive city life, figuring out careers, and finding love in unexpected places, all while money plays an intriguing background role. A modern take on many of the domestic novels of the Victorian period, it feels like it pulls you in to that time and place so well while inviting you into the daily lives of the characters.

Let me know what you've been reading lately! And head over to Modern Mrs Darcy's for this month's Quick Lit link up!

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  1. I really like these posts! I used another one of yours for some ideas when my book club went on a break this summer. I just finished one of the Flavia de Luce mysteries (As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust) and LOVED it, although it took a few chapters for me to get used to her as a narrator. Today I picked up The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling at the library and am excited to get started!

    Also, Shadows on the Rock is AMAZING. My book club read it last year and it's become one of my all-time favorite books. Now if only I could convince my husband that our next big vacation should be to Quebec... ;o)

  2. I love these posts as well. I've just finished The Awakening of Miss Prim and I'm rereading Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair. Your description of Shadows on the Rock intrigues me, so I'll have to order that next.

  3. Just expanded my to read list! Thanks for all the suggestions and reviews. I'm currently reading an historical fiction called Patriot Hearts and an autobiography about Shirley Temple.

  4. I don't know if this is odd, but Frankenstein is one of my favorite books. It's not AT ALL like the green monster portrayals you find in the movies. So much more going on with the story.

    I love Cather and Shadows on the Rock is definitely up there on my list of favorites by her.

    I've checked out Reichl's book on two separate occasions from the library but have yet to actually read it or try any recipes. Terrible, I know. Maybe third time's the charm? ;)

  5. ha! I wandered over to find some books to put on hold at the library! And look what you posted just today! It made me laugh and think: "I came into Devonshire with no other view!"

  6. Yay books! I love Frankenstein, and I'm so glad that you finally read it!!!! Another classic that I recommend along those lines is Dracula, by Bram Stoker. While not everything in it gets the Catholicism 100% right, the author wasn't Catholic, and the book does say some really good things about the power of the sacraments and the Catholic faith :)

  7. I was just about to make the same comment as AnneMarie. Frankenstein - so good and I also recommend Dracula. Great reads!

  8. Christy, are you doing the Well Read Mom's program? Frankenstein and Shadows on the Rock were both part of last year's set of books! I loved Shadows on the Rock; such a beautiful read.

  9. Stop! For every book I finish I probably add 3 or 4 to my list! I just finished The Boys in the Boat on audible and I can't stop telling everyone how much I loved it! I'm reading the Theodore Roosevelt trilogy by Edmund Morris now. So interesting on a number of levels. But I am stuck in a room with a sleeping toddler and I lost my book light! Waaaaaa. So I'm catching up on blogs instead!

  10. I loved Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap and felt the same way! Have you read The Little Paris Bookshop? It's a novel rather than a memoir, but it was a fun story about a bookseller.

    Here are my July reads:

  11. There are so many here I'd like to add to my list! I recently heard about both The Little Bookstore and Morningside Heights and want to read them both. Also, as someone who loves food I'm ashamed to say I've never read any of Reichl's books--I need to change that soon!
    Shea |


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