Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Celebrating a new year of reading with a Library/After Christmas Book Haul

For something fun to do on New Year's Eve, I went to the library(which had early closing hours) not only to return a couple of books but to get some to start 2017 off right.

Granted, that may not sound too exciting,particularly as this trip took place during daylight hours. However, it was nice to have a good quiet moment or two for myself on that particular day, enjoying the silence while being surrounded by books.

I did find a pair of promising titles to borrow, one of which I've heard much good word about and the other from an author that I'm pretty familiar with.

Lyndsay Faye's Jane Steele is more of an alternate universe take on Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre than a retelling as the title character has read that book and found a few similarities to her own life.

Yet, one major difference between these two fictional heroines is that Miss Steele is not shy about using lethal methods to dispose of those in her way. When her former childhood home,Highgate House, is in the hands of a new owner, Jane takes a position as governess in order to find out if she can claim inheritance rights.

However, her fearless nature appears to be matched by Mr. Thornfield, who is in command over the household and has quite a violent history from his time in the Sikh Wars, along with his devoted butler Mr. Sardar Singh. Can Jane find true love with him or must they find themselves in a winner-takes-all death match?  The reviews both on and offline of this novel have been wonderful, so it was quite a find indeed:

I've read Leila Meacham before, starting with her debut novel Roses and then later, Tumbleweeds. She  tends to write good old fashioned melodramas set in Texas,which makes it no surprise that her new book Titans takes place there.

The story is set a little further back in time that she usually goes, during the 1900s when many of the big industries that made the state so much of a powerhouse were just getting started. The plot centers around two separated at birth twins, Nathan Holloway and Samantha Gordon, whose paths are about to cross in a most unexpected manner.

While Samantha has known about her status as an adopted child for years, Nathan learns of his background via a visit from his birth father, who has more than just good intentions in now claiming his long lost son. Yet, neither sibling knows the worst secrets about their shared past and that could ultimately affect their future. So far, the book has been an absorbing read told well with soap opera flair and it should be fun to see this story to the end without any commercial interruptions:

Upon returning home, I was pleasantly surprised to find a package from Better World Books on my doorstep. I did indulge in a bit of after Christmas shopping online but thought that my trio of new purchases would arrive well December 31st.

Well, fate likes to be kind very so often and I was happy to have them all to see the old year out. One of my buys was The Passion of the Purple Plumeria by Lauren Willig, who I plan to be reading more of her Pink Carnation books in 2017.

This particular title is not on my Serie-ous Reading list but I might get to it before the year is out, especially since this story comes right before The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla, which is set for my October reading. We shall see.

I am truly serious about reading the next title in my Better World Books bag, as it's been around for a good while long and is about to be a major made for HBO movie this year.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot chronicles the true story of an African American woman taken advantage of by medical science, starting in 1951.  A sample of Ms. Lacks' fatal tumor was used without her knowledge by doctors at John Hopkins who then replicated that tissue many times over and it was the basis of such breakthoughs as the polio vaccine,gene mapping and cloning.

The cells, known as "HeLa", were passed around the medical community with none of Henrietta's family being told of such work, not to mention being financially compensated for the numerous benefits derived from her genes. This book has won tons of praise and several honors since it was first published in 2010 and before the movie airs, I would like to read about this sadly profound real life tale in it's original form:

Last yet far from least, I added a copy of Dennis Lehane's Live By Night to my order. With the movie being out right now and my having read The Given Day, which is connected to this book, the time felt right to have it.

A minor character from TGD is the leading man here,Joe Coughlin, the son of a Boston Irish cop who heads down to Tampa,FL, in order to become a big dealer in the illegal rum trade during the 1920s. While he does achieve the success that he desires, Joe finds himself longing for something to quiet his inner discomfort with life.

You don't have to have read The Given Day(and it's been awhile since I did so) from what I have heard to get into this book or the movie, for that matter. I've only read a few of Lehane's books but each time, I've always been satisfied, which you can't say about many authors,that's for sure:

I do believe that my reading year is off to quite a good start and I look forward to buying my first new book for 2017 very soon. After all, this is prime shopping season,folks-what else are gift cards for?:

1 comment:

Rachel Despins said...

I've got the Jane Steele book on to read list. It definitely looks like something I'd enjoy!