Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
especially welcome to extensive readers

Friday, August 21, 2015

Filling up your fall backpack with some September/October new reads

With back to school season nearly upon us, the time to shop for new pencils and notebooks is now and what better to hold all of that scholarly loot in than a new backpack?

For those of us who simply need an excuse to buy seasonal items, picking up some of the new literary releases due out this September and October is more than enough of a good reason.

Those hardcovers do get heavy, after all, not to mention having a book on hand during the the cold days to come will be a great way to keep your mind warm with thought:


Many of us became fans of Gregory Maguire from his series of novels about the Land of Oz, starting with Wicked. However, in his upcoming new work, After Alice, Maguire takes on Lewis Carroll's beloved heroine by seeing the effects of her strange trip upon two other characters.

When Alice's older sister realizes that she's disappeared, the search for her lost sibling turns more than one world upside down. Meanwhile, a friend of Alice's named Ada winds up following her down that rabbit hole and having her own set of odd adventures while trying to keep up with her.

Maguire's knack for turning well known tales into amazingly original stories makes the promise of this new look at Wonderland sound like a true treat for readers and fantasy fans alike(October):

 Ellen Herrick's debut novel introduces us to The Sparrow Sisters, residents of a small seaside town in New England where the witchy ways of Sorrel, Nettie and Patience are mostly tolerated by the locals.

Patience's skills as a healer seemed to be affected by the arrival of a new doctor, whose mysterious past draws her to him. When a mix of her special herbs is blamed for a local tragedy,along with a bout of blight spread around the area, hints of an old school witch hunt threatens the fate of all three of the Sparrow women.

Perhaps with the help of some of the town women, Patience can brew up a solution to all of their troubles but will that help her chance for romance with the doctor? An enchanting mix of heart felt drama and mystical energy should make this dose of practical magic taste seasonally sweet(September):


 Comedian and actor Bill Murray has become the stuff of pop culture legend these days, with legions of new admirers devoted to just about every aspect of his life and times.

To that end, writer Robert Schnakenberg has put together The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray, a biographical encyclopedia of the man's contributions to the real world and unreal realms of Hollywood.

Filled with stories about his numerous pranks(such as a special phone call he's compelled to make whenever he watches Road House), detailed analysis of his films and insights from friends and foes alike, this handy tome is the perfect ticket to ride for anyone willing to know more about the cultural impact of what some call "the Murricane"(September):


 In Alexandra Curry's debut novel, The Courtesan, a legendary figure from Chinese history is brought back to fictional life once again. Jinhua becomes an orphan at the age of seven when her father is executed for supposed treason and is sold to a brothel to prepare for a much lower position in life than she was going to have.

As soon as she is old enough, Jinhua is made a concubine to a government official whose travels to Europe expose her to a wider world of possibilities. That new perspective helps her to gain some independence but the  looming threat of the Boxer Rebellion may be both a blessing and a curse.

Sui Jinhua has been the subject of plays,ballets and opera in China and having her story told for a brand new audience should be a true show stopper:(September)

 Sara Donati takes us to a bygone age in New York with The Gilded Hour, as a pair of cousins attempt to use their medical talents to improve the lives of the downtrodden in their midst.

Dr. Anna Savard is determined to protect a quartet of orphaned siblings from being pulled away from each other while her cousin Sophie's practice is hindered by prejudice from her biracial background and the political ambitions of Anthony Comstock, whose morality campaign also threatens to put Anna's work at risk as well.

Donati(aka Rosina Lippi) is best known for her Into The Wilderness series and while this new book has a slight connection to that saga, it can be enjoyed as a stand alone work. Invoking that "age of innocence" with a fresh narrative, The Gilded Hour promises to make many hours of reading this book a glorious experience indeed(September):

 A backstage look at old school Hollywood is the spine of the story told in All The Stars in the Heavens, as Alda Ducci leaves the convent life behind and lands a job as secretary to actress Loretta Young.

Young's career is on an upswing when she is cast along side Clark Gable in the 1935 adaptation of Call of the Wild, sparking a illicit affair(due to his being married already) that lasts for years. While Alda is happy to help Loretta in any way she can, doubts concerning this secret romance make her job that much harder for her.

Adriana Trigiani does have a gift for weaving the elegant atmosphere of the past into a vibrant new narrative and this take on silver screen legends and those who follow in their wake is right up her literary alley(October):


 There is one concern that all women, regardless of age,race or social status, have in common and that is hair. From worrying about the length to the need to dye or not to dye or the appropriateness of one style over the other, hair is a defining issue for females whether they like it or not.

Author Elizabeth Benedict has gathered together twenty seven stories that make up her new collection Me, My Hair and I, from a wide variety of fellow feminine authors such as Adriana Trigiani, Marita Golden, Jane Smiley and Bharati Mukherjee. Each story offers a very different take on hair that shares the joy, sorrows and sometimes laughs about dealing with hair.

Hair might seem trivial to some, but struggling with the social norms that mark certain types of hair "good" or "bad" has a lot more impact on people that you might think. This book certainly ought to make both beauty parlor and barber shop talk a bit more insightful there(September):

These should be enough to get you started on your backpack book packing but don't forget to make room for more along the way. There's no point in making your reading bundle fit together oh so right if you leave out something important there. Just be mindful and remember, any excuse to read is a good one!:

No comments: