Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Springing into some new books for March & April of 2017

Despite those mixed weather reports from our official groundhogs, it looks as if spring will be arriving very soon. The warmer days will be good for many activities, including reading out of doors, something that I've never been drawn to myself , which requires buying a new book or two.

Granted, March and April are not always seen as the major pop culture release months yet I do see that changing. From event movies to major TV miniseries and brand new books, this season is more than just a warm-up for the summer delights to come:

 In Elizabeth Kostova's upcoming novel,The Shadow Land, our leading lady is traveling to Bulgaria in order to recover from the loss of a loved one and finds something completely unexpected in her luggage.

Alexandra quickly realizes that the funeral urn in her possession must belong to the elderly couple she helped get into a cab and is determined to return it as soon as can be. However, that good deed does not go unpunished as her search brings about unwanted attention from those dedicated to protecting a family secret that she had no idea of stumbling across.

Aided by a rather helpful taxi driver named Bobby, Alexandra soon finds herself on an adventure that takes her into the dark currents of European history. Kostova has a flair for blending mystery and old world mood like a fine tea that should satisfy anyone with a taste for such literary brew(April).

 For a story that's set further back in history, we have The Witchfinder's Sister by Beth Underdown, the witch hunter in question being Matthew Hopkins who was well known for his brutal body count in England during the 1600s.

In this debut novel, his widowed sister Alice comes to live with him, having nowhere else to go and especially with her expecting a child soon. Her impression of their hometown of Essex is one of fear as her brother's grim occupation terrifies everyone, herself included.

Wanting to know why Matthew has taken up this cause, Alice learns more of their family history and finds a truth that must be revealed in order to spare more innocent lives. However, confronting that dark secret could also threaten her own life in the bargain. This sounds like an intriguing imaginative look into why some prefer their enemies to be magical rather than merely mortal(April):


 Food writer David McAninch finds more than he bargained for when he takes an assignment to the remote countryside of Gascony in France to write about the fine art of cooking duck.

Being a fan of French life to begin with, he discovers that Gascony has much to offer and even winds up moving his whole family over there to experience it better. Duck Season chronicles that period of eight months for him where McAninch learned to cook many of the local dishes with his neighbors as well as tend sheep, hunt pigeons and work in a vineyard.

Even if you're not as big of a Francophile as the author, this gregarious look at such a homespun life and cuisine certainly could whet your appetite for French food, including the infamous duck comfit(March): 


 Looking for love is never easy, even when it seems to be so near and yet so far. That's the conundrum for the couple in Kate Eberlen's Miss You as Tess and Gus meet by chance during a trip to Florence and keep running into each other over the course of sixteen years.

As time goes on, each of them face similar challenges and choices in life as loved ones grow ill and depart, new responsibilities must be taken and chances for romance grow slim. Yet, somehow, Tess and Gus are meant to be together despite the tricks that fate plays upon them both.

This British debut novel is set to arrive in America this spring and should be a lovely read to relish as  love is in the literary air(April):

In Kate Alcott's The Hollywood Daughter, a young woman learns the difference between reel love and real life as her cinematic icon makes a startling declaration of love.

Jessica Malloy has always been thrilled to have her Hollywood studio father work to make Ingrid Bergman one of the biggest movie stars in the world. She worships Bergman to the point of wishing that the actress was her mother instead of the cold parent that she feels she has.

When in 1950 Ingrid Bergman does not hide her illicit love affair with director Roberto Rossellini nor the baby she has with him out of wedlock, Jessica's idol shatters before her along with her own notions about her family. If you enjoy old school Hollywood lore, this story seems like the matinee read to devour a bowl of popcorn with(March):


 Rare book expert Rebecca Romney has made her mark with fans of the hit reality series Pawn Stars and for this collection of tales from literary history entitled Printer's Error, she teams up with researcher J. P. Romney to share their knowledge of the printed word with readers and viewers alike.

From debates over if Gutenberg actually printed the Bible to Charles Dickens fighting for royalty rights for writers everywhere, this set of essays shares a wealth of book facts as well as celebrates the bookish folks who did their part to making literature come alive.

While I haven't watched Pawn Stars, I have no doubt that Rebecca Romney is one of the highlights of that show and that her take on books old and new here will be a page turning entertainment indeed(March):

I'm sure that many more wonderful books will blossom this spring, filling many a holiday basket or growing like a garden on bedside stands. Just be sure not to get too carried away with your reading or you'll be wasting those lovely days of sunshine by making those last pages linger too long:

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