Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Focusing on some fall reading

With the end of summer heading our way, many of us are planning to switch mind sets as autumn tends to bring about interest in somewhat more serious genre fare.

That doesn't mean you can't enjoy a little lightheartedness,especially with the news these days, yet fall reading does paint a mental picture of good long books to be savored while curled up under a warm blanket with a cup of hot tea by your side.

I'm still working on my fall reading list(while trying to finish up a few remnants of my summertime TBR), however I do have a few titles that are definite must reads for the season. Here's a sample of what I plan to tackle while waiting for the leaves to change color:

ARMADA:  Ernest Cline's follow-up to his sleeper hit Ready Player One(which is being turned into a Steven Spielberg film as we speak) has gotten a mixed reception yet I'm willing to judge it on it's own merits.

The story line has high schooler Zack Lightman finding himself more than prepared to handle a space alien invasion of Earth, due to his impressive skills at a certain video game. While he and his friends are excited about having a chance to showcase their gamer talents in a way that will earn them true respect, Zack wonders what the real endgame is going to be both sides of this battlefield.

I did enjoy RPO and know full well that this novel is strongly influenced by the movie The Last Starfighter(a flick that I also have fond feelings for), so despite the nay-saying, Armada looks like ideal back to school reading for the win there:

FROG MUSIC: Historical fiction really calls to me in the fall and I've had this book on my shelf ready and waiting for a while now,so the time to take it up is nigh.

Emma Donoghue's novel is set in San Francisco during a summer heat wave that brought about a smallpox epidemic in 1876. Smallpox is not the cause of Jenny Bonnet's death in a railroad saloon,however. A mysterious gunshot through a saloon window ends her life and only her good friend Blanche is interested in finding the killer.

Donoghue has done historical fiction before, with her best known being Slammerkin, and I highly recommend Life Mask, which highlights the secret struggles of a female sculptor in Victorian England. I'm hoping that Frog Music will have just as lively a literary tune as those books did and then some:

LITTLE WOMEN: Changing my summer selection for my Road of Rereading to East of Eden is proving to be the right decision as I've made much more headway in that than in my first choice,Daniel Deronda.

Even watched the James Dean film version already and yes, it was great but more on that soon. Meanwhile, my final selection still stands as Louisa May Alcott's classic tale of sisters is one of my favorite go-tos,especially in the fall.

As to the film adaptations I'll be watching for that round, I'm sticking with a look at the 1994 version with Winona Ryder as Jo(just saw her in Show Me a Hero the other day and she was awesome!), plus the Pemberley Digital series The March Family Letters, which is what inspired my whole rereading project to begin with.

 I sincerely hope that there is more of that web series to come, as they did leave off in a sad place with many questions left to be answered. We shall soon see, I suppose:

INTO THE WILDERNESS: I'm way behind on a few book series, due to real world stuff, but that's not stopping me from taking on a new(to me) one.

Sara Donati's saga begins in New York of 1792 as newcomer Elizabeth Middleton discovers an unusual ally in her quest to provide schooling for all of the children in their remote mountain village.

While Nathanael Bonner, a white man raised by a Native American tribe, knows all about being an outsider, he and Elizabeth share a personal passion for each other that sets the whole community against them, perhaps even more than her educational goals.

There are six books in this series and I happen to have the first two in ARC editions from my bookseller days. I've already bought the following three(used copies) in hopes that seeing them there on my shelf will spur me on to complete the series. A vain hope but, hey, any excuse to buy books is a good one, right?

Why the sudden interest in Donati, you may ask? Well, I did just receive a review copy of the author's upcoming novel for September entitled The Gilded Hour(a stand alone story with a tiny tie into the ITW series), which I will be reviewing and it's always nice to discover a fresh new passion, much like Nathanael and Elizabeth did, and be able to go all the way with it:

 My fall reading list is still a work in progress but I think it's shaping up nicely. Picking a good book for any time of year isn't as easy as it seems but taking the time to make a few smart choices does tend to pay off  in the long run. Best of luck to my fellow fall readers in their literary quests!:

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