Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Some prominent paperbacks of summer

The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly offered up several "must have" lists for summer time fun. Books were naturally included,and I noticed a nice
selection of softcover titles for folks to catch up on those highly touted hardbacks that just didn't fit into their reading budget when first released.

One novel that caught my eye was The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach,a baseball themed story which usually makes a non fan of the game like me run the other way down the New Fiction aisle.

However,I have read a number of great reviews about this tale of a college athlete whose doubts about his talent affect more than one life around him and since it was on so many Best of the Year lists,it is at least worth a try in paperback(which I'll be borrowing from Booksfree).

A good writer can make just about any subject intriguing,so why deprive myself of what could be a fabulous read?:

A book that I was happy to see on the EW list was one that I was fortunate enough to enjoy when it was in hardcover and hope that readers gobble up like Pac-Man pellets in paperback.

Ready Player One is Ernest Cline's fictional tribute to pop culture and video games as a futuristic society in dire straits finds it's only solace in a worldwide online game called Oasis,where a set of three keys hidden within can grant the lucky finder complete ownership and vast riches.

The hero of our story is Wade Watts,a teenager with little social status in the outside world but his internet persona becomes an instant superstar when he stumbles upon the first key. He also turns into a target by a rival corporation and a possible romance with a mysterious new ally is on the horizon. I won't say anything more but even if you're not a video gamer,this book will send you on a true wild ride:

You might think that interest in Julia Child is over and done with,after the film release of Julie and Julia,yet more and more books about that grand
dame of cooking keep on rolling out. One of the non-fiction titles on the EW list was the reissue of Noel Riley Fitch's biography of Child,Appetite for Life.

Fitch includes diary and letter extracts from Ms. Child,that add a rich flavor to his descriptions of her life and times. While I haven't read this biography,I did read Fitch's take on Sylvia Beach a few years ago and was thoroughly enlightened,so this portrait of a culinary genius should be just as stunning:

Last but far from least,Alice Hoffman's stroll into historical fiction earned a spot on the EW paperbacks of summer shelf. The Dovekeepers relates the siege at Masada from the point of view of several women,some of whom were assigned to tend the dovecotes yet a few had plans of their own for the coming battle.

This blend of historical retelling with feminist insights may sound like ultra serious reading,but if you're in the mood for something more to chew on mentally after devouring a few amusing beach books,Hoffman's lyrical style and sense of story may be the bridge between brain candy and food for thought:

There are plenty of other titles on that list,too and which ever one you choose,enjoy it to the fullest. Reading is fashionable at any time of the year,even during the months where outdoor activity is all the rage. Books are more enduring that say,designer perfumes that just about anyone can have named after them these days. Perhaps,they should make a special scent for readers,that would certainly be worth mentioning in EW,if you ask me:

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