Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
especially welcome to extensive readers

Monday, February 23, 2015

Warming up to some March and April 2015 reads

The cold winds of winter are still howling but one sign of spring that is sure to come are the first bloom of new books upon the shelves.

 I know that most people are anxious to find something that's more likely to take them out of doors rather than keep them in but going out to shop for books should count, shouldn't it?

At any rate, here are a batch of upcoming titles for March and April that ought to put a spring in your step as you head off to embrace the approaching warmth of the new season:


 The leading lady of Cynthia Swanson's debut novel, The Bookseller, has a taste for fantasy fiction but never thought she would be caught up in a story stranger than any she's ever read.

In 1962, Kitty Miller seems to have the perfect life of a single woman; free and independent as well as co-owner of a bookstore with her best friend Frida in Denver. Yet lately, she's been having very all-too-real dreams in which she's Katherine, living in 1963 as the wife of a Danish architect with three kids.

The weird thing is, Kitty did once have a blind date set up with this man many years ago, only he never showed up for their meeting. Is this "other" life the one she was supposed to have or is it the life she's really living right now? This thoughtful take on what might have been is intriguing and should add onto the genre of "ladies viewing opposite lives" quite nicely(March):


While George Eliot's Middlemarch gets plenty of attention for it's leading lady Dorothea, there is another heroine in that writer's cannon worthy of a deeper look as Diana Souhami shows us in Gwendolen.

The title refers to Gwendolen Harleth, who is featured prominently in Eliot's novel Daniel Deronda, a young woman drawn to Deronda's kindness but forced by circumstance to marry a wealthy man that she doesn't love and is cruel to her in so many ways.

Since the original novel parallels both Daniel and Gwendolen's separate plights, this book allows Gwen to have her own full say without having to share her story with anyone else. Even if you haven't read Deronda, this different approach to the story offers it's own unique delights(March):

The series of modernized Jane Austen novels that started over a year ago continues this spring with Emma: A Modern Retelling.

The well known heroine of Highbury is handled with care by Alexander McCall Smith(best known for The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series) who has her setting up shop as an interior designer.

 In addition to tending to her father's needs for health supplements and discouraging her new best friend Harriet from getting too involved with a local inn keeper, Emma also has to prove to Mr. Knightley just how right she is about everything.

While some may grumble about not needing a new version of Emma, McCall Smith's writing style is perfectly suited to this story and at the very least, provides the best excuse for taking up this timeless tale of a clueless yet clever young lady yet again(April):


As a copy writer for New Yorker magazine, Mary Norris has seen more than her fair share of grammar errors and pitiful punctuation. In her upcoming book, Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen, she tries to impart some of the hard earned wisdom regarding proper usage of language in a charmingly humorous way.

From stories about the grammatical mistakes of all sorts that she's encountered over the years to refresher courses on the right way to set up a sentence and an inside look at the editorial life of a major publication, Norris covers the waterfront of literary language with wit and warmth(April):


  I've signed up for another blog tour this spring and just in time as Downton Abbey is about to end. Judith Kinghorn's The Snow Globe is set within that time period as Daisy, the youngest daughter of a well established family with a country estate called Eden Hall, learns that her life is not a true paradise

Crushed by the revelation of her father's infidelity with a family friend, Daisy plunges into a trio of unexpected romances, all of which could easily lead to
social ruin. Daisy is not the only one in the household courting disaster but with the Great War coming to an end, her emotional exploits could be just as damaging than any fights seen on the battlefields

This novel sounds like a true historical fiction treat and I'll be happy to share my thoughts about it this March. Particularly as it sounds a bit like the early seasons of Downton, The Snow Globe should be a welcome sight for English drama fans and romance lovers alike(March):

 Author Jennifer Chiverini continues with her Civil War series as her latest novel pairs two long time friends needing to find separate paths in life. Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule shares the story of a future First Lady and her girlhood companion, who was also her slave.

Julia Dent grew up with Jule being her best friend and maid servant since childhood, relying on Jule's better eyesight and encouragement over the years. However, upon falling in love with Ulysses Grant, Julia is determined to keep Jule with her despite his opposition to slavery.

Eventually, Jule has the chance to break out on her own with no help from her life long "friend" and the choices that both women must make will change not only their lives but perhaps the lives of others all around them. Chiaverini's fictional focus on real life heroines like this certainly makes for  educational as well as entertaining reading(March):

Hopefully, a couple of these books can provide your mind with some much needed warmth as the pages turn and the temperature goes up. Finding new reads is essential, as being at a loss for words can be as tough to deal with as the winter blues:


Thaddeus said...

You've reaaaally got me jonesing to read more now. Sadly, in addition to everything else that I'm up to, I'm still only halfway through Middlesex.

God, my reading backlog is atrocious.

lady t said...

My reading backlog is at scary levels,so don't feel bad(mountains of books,old and new).

Middlesex is the kind of novel that you should take your time with and I should read more Eugendides but haven't so far. Way too many good books out there!