Susanna here, with this month’s assortment of Wenchly reads.
With a book (over)due and the clock audibly ticking, my own reading has been limited to documents specific to my research (Montcalm’s correspondence, anyone?). Thankfully, the other Wenches have been picking up the slack:
...is in crazed deadline mode, which means she's reading only old favorites, and research books. Anyone with a taste for learning more about the 1814 burning of Washington and the Battle of Baltimore might want to start with Walter Lord's classic The Dawn's Early Light, or the more recent Through the Perilous Fight by Steve Vogel. If you really want nitty-gritty details, go for The Rockets' Red Glare by Fort McHenry park ranger Scott S. Sheads. Yes, for this subject matter, no one can resist choosing titles from "The Star-Spangled Banner!"
I’ve been deep into research reading for my next book, so while I am puffing away with some fascinating books (at least they are to me) on the history of steam engines and patent law in Great Britain, I can’t say that I’d recommend them as “fun” reads to any of you. I do, however, have a newly published book on my TBR pile that I’m really looking forward to—The Art of Rivalry, by Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic Sebastian Smee paints a portrait of four pairs of famous modern artists and how the complexities of rivalry (admiration, envy, etc) inspired them to find their own voice and unique creativity. It sounds absolutely fascinating, and I can’t wait open the covers. I will report back in a future WWR!
I've been busy with a couple of conferences, an imminent deadline and a nasty dose of the flu, so I haven't read as much as I usually do.
I started with Maythorne's Wish, by Emily Larkin, the first in her Regency-era "Fey Quartet" -- a series with a touch of magic. She has a good instinct for and knowledge of the era, and I enjoyed the book so much that since the rest in the series weren't available yet, I ended up buying her fantasy series, which she writes under the name of Emily Gee.
The Cursed Kingdoms trilogy comprises: The Sentinel Mage, The Fire Prince and The Blood Curse. I enjoyed them very much also.
I've been reading and enjoying some reissues of Jo Goodman's Thorne Brothers Trilogy - My Steadfast Heart, and My Reckless Heart and I'll be lining up for the next in the series.
Finally I reread an old favorite — Barbara Samuel's No Place Like Home -- a contemporary, and, as always, it made me cry -- in a good way.
This month I've been re-reading some Daphne Du Maurier. Usually when I pick up one of her books it's Frenchman's Creek or Jamaica Inn, old favourites that I devour time and again for their wonderful atmospheric style. This time I was prompted to read Rule Britannia by an article I read on the BBC News website. In it the journalist suggested that Du Maurier had anticipated Britain's exit from the European Union by 40 years, since the book was written in 1972. Spooky!
Rule Britannia is an extraordinary book. It takes place in the future, when Britain's membership of the EU has failed, when prices have risen by 50% and the country is bankrupt. The UK and the US then form a union - USUK. Try saying that aloud... Yes, this book is a satire. Some people see is as bitter, others as very funny. Either way there are a lot of themes that are very familiar in 2016, such as the way that London and the political elite are totally alienated from the rest of the country. As with all of the books by Daphne Du Maurier that I have read, it is the sheer beauty of the writing that struck me from the very beginning and the way that she is able to create a character in only a few telling lines. Each time I read her it reminds me of her skill as a storyteller and I marvel at her versatility, from historical to futuristic and a lot of things in between.
I Don’t Want to Talk About It, Jane Lovering.
I know I’ve recommended Lovering’s books before. How could I not? Her humor is in her voice. Just read the Thank You page on the back of this one if you don’t believe me. This book is romantic but not a romance. I can’t explain why without giving away a lot. Let’s call it women’s fiction with romantic elements. Told in first person, it’s about a writer suffering from depression for good reason, holed up in a small town in Yorkshire, living in the tiniest house in existence—probably a good metaphor for a womb. And despite all that, the book is cheerful and uplifting and a joy to read. It also has stick horses and guinea pigs. <G>
And there you have it--a round-up of what we've been reading. So what are YOU reading this month? Have you come across any new treasures (or old ones) to recommend?