Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, May 02, 2016

My Bookish Birthday Bash, Part Two

As I mentioned late last week, I recently celebrated my birthday with a number of book and book themed gifts,some of which I have already highlighted here.

Well, this past weekend, I also went to a local rummage sale at a neighborhood church(they hold these events twice a year) and picked up a few extra goodies, like a First Lines of Literature mug that I have pictured to the left of this paragraph.

I usually write about my rummage sale reads and so, I blended them into the second half of this literary birthday wrap-up. As they say, the more, the merrier!:

Station Eleven: I have heard nothing but praise about Emily St. John Mandel's lyrical novel and finally had to see for myself just how good it is. The story is set in a future twenty years after a virus has stripped humanity of most of it's resources and civilization.

Providing relief from the harshness of everyday life is a band of traveling entertainers who perform Shakespeare's plays for the locals they met. Upon one such stop, a rabble rousing prophet threatens to end not only their latest performance but the entire group itself.

This should be rather timely, considering some of the health crisis issues on the news these days, yet also charmingly melancholy, that's the vibe I keep getting whenever I hear someone talk about this book:

All Fall Down: While some might think that Jennifer Weiner's female friendly books are lighthearted affairs, she does tackle plenty of serious subjects as in this story of a suburban mother and wife who seems to have the perfect life yet part of the reason for her cheerful energy is an addiction to prescription pain killers.

Allison Weiss is an successful online contributor to a popular website and becoming more and more of the family provider as her husband Dave is taking a major pay cut at work.

 Combined with concerns over her father's increasing down spiral into Alzheimer's disease and her five year old daughter Ellie acting out a lot more lately, Allison sees taking a pill or two as a harmless release valve for her daily stress. However, that little release turns into the hugest problem in her life.

Weiner's take on modern day womanhood in her work, brimming with heart,humor and a dash of sass at times, is what makes her a wonderfully readable author and adding this book to my birthday basket of reading delights was that top dollop of frosting on my celebratory cupcake:

The White Queen: Before Starz hit the made for cable jackpot with Outlander, they did an excellent adaptation of three novels in Philippa Gregory's historical fiction series about the War of the Roses.

The White Queen stars Rebecca Ferguson as Elizabeth Woodville, whose marriage to the new conqueror of England ,Edward IV, quickly pulls the country back into war as power broker Richard Neville and hopeful queen mother Margaret Beaufort battle to shift control of the nation from the House of York to the House of Lancaster.

This ten part miniseries was one of my favorite summer shows back in 2014 and now I have it on DVD, ripe for a rewatch. There are plans underway for a follow-up series called The White Princess(also based on Gregory's novels), so making TWQ part of my video library right now feels like perfect timing indeed:

 At the rummage sale, I did find a couple of literary gems and both of them were movie related. Having seen Out Of Africa a couple of years ago, I was briefly interested in checking Isak Dinesen's writings but never quite got around to it.

Coming across a copy of OOA with the official movie tie-in cover did feel like the book gods were tapping me on the shoulder and saying "okay,lady, here's your second chance at this!" So, it's now a part of my classic reads TBR and perhaps by the fall(this year or the next), I'll start exploring Karen Blixson's life and times in what is now known as Kenya.

 I know the movie took a few creative twists and turns there but half the fun of reading something like this is seeing what's really behind that glossy cinematic curtain:

  It was an ironic surprise to find Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Half of a Yellow Sun at the book table since I just received a copy of it on loan from Booksfree a few days prior.

However, having a second book by this amazing author to keep is another boon from the book gods, plus having a UK paperback edition as nice looking as this is such a plus. Another pleasant surprise was my later discovery that HOAYS was made into a movie that I can easily rent from Netflix.

The central story is set during the mid-1960s as the Nigerian civil war is beginning and that national struggle is seen through the eyes of twin sisters Olanna and Kainene,whose choices in life could determine the future happiness of their family. The movie stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Anika Noni Rose and John Boyega(yes, that guy from the new Star Wars) and I will definitely watch that sometime soon:

Okay, now that the birthday hoopla is over with, it's time to settle down and do some reading. Fortunately I did manage to make plenty of much needed space for my new books to call home on my shelves. Making room for the new while keeping the best of what you already have is tricky but it can be done, all part of being a book nerd and I wouldn't change that status for anything:


JaneGS said...

The book is wonderful--what a great find! I absolutely loved The White Queen and plan to rewatch it. Good to hear that STARZ is doing The White Princess, which I've never read--I heard it was one of the weaker Gregory novels.

Michelle Stockard Miller said...

Don't you just love book finds at rummage sales, used books sales, library sales, etc?! I always find such great books. You definitely did. Awesome birthday!

That mug! I'm coming to your house and stealing it. lol

lady t said...

Thanks, ladies-Jane, I only got part way into The White Princess before I hit the pause button(which I think I do too often there!) but with the new miniseries on the horizon, that should motivate me to press play and finish it up. Works for those Outlander books!

Michelle, yeah used book sales are the best. The mug seems to be getting a lot of love, maybe I need to set up some armed guards:)

Thaddeus said...

I'm running through a lot of scifi now, but I will pick one of these and add it tot my reading list, I swear.