Thursday, August 9, 2012

ON THE SHELF: August's Reads

With August upon us and half of the summer gone, my leisurely 'alone' time is also slowly dwindling. Camp is coming to an end this week, meaning the kiddies will take over the house until they head back to school and although most days will be full of occupying my little monsters, this old bird is just crafty enough to feign a few 'work emergencies' and 'appointments'.
(Just in case anyone is looking for me during these 'work emergencies' and 'appointments', you can locate me at my preferred park bench with one of these literary lovelies keeping me company!)
As always, reviews of our favs from August's list are on the blog agenda for later this month!
What is on your reading list for August??



Internet star Jenny Lawson (aka The Blogess) realized that the most mortifying moments of our lives—the ones we’d like to pretend never happened—are in fact the ones that define us. In Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor. Chapters include: “Stanley the Magical, Talking Squirrel”; “A Series of Angry Post-It Notes to My Husband”; “My Vagina Is Fine. Thanks for Asking”; “And Then I Snuck a Dead Cuban Alligator on an Airplane.” (from Putnam)


"The Chaperone is a captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922 and the summer that would change them both."
"Drawing on the rich history of the 1920s,’30s, and beyond—from the orphan trains to Prohibition, flappers,  and the onset of the Great Depression to the burgeoning movement for equal rights and new opportunities for women—Laura Moriarty’s The Chaperone illustrates how rapidly everything, from fashion and hemlines to values and attitudes, was changing at this time and what a vast difference it all made for Louise Brooks, Cora Carlisle, and others like them." (from Riverhead)


Headstrong, high-spirited, and already widowed, Isabella Walker became Mrs. Henry Robinson at age 31 in 1844. Her first husband had died suddenly, leaving his estate to a son from a previous marriage, so she inherited nothing. A successful civil engineer, Henry moved them, by then with two sons, to Edinburgh’s elegant society in 1850. But Henry traveled often and was cold and remote when home, leaving Isabella to her fantasies.
No doubt thousands of Victorian women faced the same circumstances, but Isabella chose to record her innermost thoughts—and especially her infatuation with a married Dr. Edward Lane—in her diary. Over five years the entries mounted—passionate, sensual, suggestive. One fateful day in 1858 Henry chanced on the diary and, broaching its privacy, read Isabella's intimate entries. Aghast at his wife’s perceived infidelity, Henry petitioned for divorce on the grounds of adultery. Until that year, divorce had been illegal in England, the marital bond being a cornerstone of English life. Their trial would be a cause celebre, threatening the foundations of Victorian society with the specter of "a new and disturbing figure: a middle class wife who was restless, unhappy, avid for arousal." (from Bloomsbury USA)





The sequel to Hilary Mantel's 2009 Man Booker Prize winner and New York Times bestseller, Wolf Hall delves into the heart of Tudor history with the downfall of Anne Boleyn. Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. She has failed to give him a son and her sharp intelligence and audacious will alienate his old friends and the noble families of England. When the discarded Katherine dies in exile from the court, Anne stands starkly exposed, the focus of gossip and malice. At a word from Henry, Thomas Cromwell is ready to bring her down. Over three terrifying weeks, Anne is ensnared in a web of conspiracy, while the demure Jane Seymour stands waiting her turn for the poisoned wedding ring. But Anne and her powerful family will not yield without a ferocious struggle. Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies follows the dramatic trial of the queen and her suitors for adultery and treason. To defeat the Boleyns, Cromwell must ally with his natural enemies, the papist aristocracy. What price will he pay for Anne's head? (from Henry Holt & Company Inc)


When American journalist Pamela Druckerman has a baby in Paris, she doesn't aspire to become a "French parent." French parenting isn't a known thing, like French fashion or French cheese. Even French parents themselves insist they aren't doing anything special.
Yet, the French children Druckerman knows sleep through the night at two or three months old while those of her American friends take a year or more. French kids eat well-rounded meals that are more likely to include braised leeks than chicken nuggets. And while her American friends spend their visits resolving spats between their kids, her French friends sip coffee while the kids play.... Of course, French parenting wouldn't be worth talking about if it produced robotic, joyless children. In fact, French kids are just as boisterous, curious, and creative as Americans. They're just far better behaved and more in command of themselves... With a notebook stashed in her diaper bag, Druckerman-a former reporter for The Wall Street Journal-sets out to learn the secrets to raising a society of good little sleepers, gourmet eaters, and reasonably relaxed parents. She discovers that French parents are extremely strict about some things and strikingly permissive about others. And she realizes that to be a different kind of parent, you don't just need a different parenting philosophy. You need a very different view of what a child actually is. (from Random House)


Two years after losing her husband, overworked librarian Panna Kennedy battles to distract herself from crushing Grief, even as she battles to deal with yet another library budget cut. During a routine search within the library’s lower levels, Panna opens an obscure, pad-locked door and finds herself transported to the magnificent, book-filled quarters of a handsome, eighteenth-century Englishman. She soon recognizes the man as Colonel John Bridgewater, the historic English war hero whose larger-than-life statue loomed over her desk.However, the life of the dashing Bridgewater is not at all what she imagined. He’s under house arrest for betraying England, and now looks upon her a beautiful and unexpected half-dressed visitor as a possible spy.
Despite bad first impressions (on both sides), Bridgewater nonetheless warms to Panna, and pulls her into his escape while both their hearts pull the other headlong into their soul-stirring secrets.Very quickly Panna is thrown into a whirlwind of high-stakes intrigue that sweeps her from Hadrian’s Wall to a forbidding stone castle in Scotland. And somewhere in the outland, Panna must decide if her loyalties lie with her dead husband, or with the man whose life now depends on her. (from Pocket Books)




6 comments:

BaronessVonVintage said...

Ooh, great recommendations! Noting a few down (esp. the one about Lulu!).

High Heeled Life said...

These are brilliant suggestions... I have read Bringing up Bebe (even though we do not have children) but enjoyed it endlessly and have tried a couple of the suggestions on our Godchildren ... and it works!! I'm currently reading Surfing in Stilettos by Carol E. Wyer and it's a fun easy read ... filled with hilarious adventure in France. Happy reading ... xo HHL

sepatuholic said...

Would love to read "bringing up bebe", am currently finishing Griffin & Sabine and in the middle of Blink... i know i know... I am a little bit slack in reading. Great book reviews and suggestions!
http://sepatuholig.blogspot.com/

Second Hand Rose said...

Thanks for this I'm always on the look out for new books to rad. I definitely want to read The Chaperone, I've added that to my Amazon cart already! XxxX http://thesecondhandrose.blogspot.co.uk

Lena at A Crimson Kiss said...

What a fabulous reading list! Currently on my Wish List are Beautiful Ruins, The Last Nude, The Innocents and The Receptionist!

Storibook Designs said...

Fabulous selections!! Your blog is w,onderful; I'm ashan
Med I'm only just finding it!! I'll be back! :-)

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