Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Setting up for summer reading with these May and June new reads

I know that we're still in the early stages of spring but summer is not that far off,folks, and it never hurts to plan things a little early,especially when it comes to entertainment.

While we appear to have a seemingly endless amount of blockbuster films and riveting TV ready for our pop culture consumption, there are also a wave of fresh new books ready to join our leisure time TBR piles that could get easily lost in the shuffle for shelf space.

So, here are a few of the upcoming titles for May and June that should make for fun summer reading(and maybe a Mother's Day gift or two):

A DAZZLING DEBUT: In Diksha Basu's first novel, The Windfall, we meet the Jha family of East Delphi, who are used to their modest lifestyle among their housing complex neighbors and friends. When Mr. Jha sells his website for more money than they ever dreamed of, everything feels as if it has to change overnight.

As the elder Jhas plan to move to the wealthy side of town, their son Rupak in America is holding off on letting his parents know about his failing grades at college as well as his very American girlfriend. His father Anil, on the other hand, is overly eager to fit in with his new rich neighbors by buying all sorts of luxury items such as a crystal studded couch, while his wife Bindu is hesitant to adapt to such an elaborate house that requires a guard at the gate and a swimming pool.

 Meanwhile, A family friend, a young widow named Mrs. Ray, is finding a new chance at love due to the Jha's move but can all of these changes really be for the better? I was lucky enough to win a reader's copy of this book from Library Thing and must say that it was a true joy to read.

 The characters are heartfelt and engaging, with plenty of good humor mixed in with a dash of pathos to round things off just right. The book is due out by June 27 and for anyone who enjoys a good rags-to-riches tale with a touch of Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House should be all set for the season(June):

ADVENTURES WITH AUSTEN & BRONTE:  We've got some time traveling to do in The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn, as a pair of modern day scholars journey to London of 1815, hoping to claim the full manuscript of Austen's final work, The Watsons.

While posing as a wealthy brother and sister, Rachel and Liam are able to slip into Jane's social circle due to an introduction to Henry Austen, a connection that proves to be more than a simple means to an end with Rachel.

 Things get more complicated as Rachel's bond with the Austen family gives her a bit of guilt regarding Jane's future, not to mention the romantic tension that develops between Rachel, Henry and Liam. This time traveling tale sounds like the kind of lively and imaginative diversion that many of us present day Austen fans love to indulge in(May):


Author Sarah Shoemaker shows us a different side to Charlotte Bronte's classic Jane Eyre by introducing us to Mr. Rochester, who we meet at age eight when he is sent away from his beloved Thornfeld Hall to school.

His father makes it clear early on that the estate is intended for older brother Rowland and that Edward must find his fortunes in Jamaica. While there, he finds more heartbreak and betrayal, not to mention a doomed romance with Bertha Mason, a relationship that becomes nearly impossible to break free from.

This background development of such an iconic figure in literature is no easy task and while those who already adore Jane Eyre may be more drawn to this book, it should offer some interesting insights for the uninitiated that might find this new take on the classic novel a welcoming sight indeed(May):

 MAIDENS OF MIGHT: For a new look at comic book lore, Hope Nicholson showcases The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen, where leading ladies of comic art are given their just due.

Yes, Wonder Woman,Bat Girl and Super Girl are highlighted but many other not as well known female characters get their time in the spotlight such as Torchy Brown, one of the first African American comic strip stars who was created by an African America artist, Miss Fury, whose costume may remind you of a certain feline heroine, and Gwen Dylan, a zombie heroine who now has a hit TV show.

With a timeline that reaches back to the 1930s, genre focus that includes graphic novels and online comics and beautiful illustrations, this tribute to comic book women of all ages is an excellent addition to any comic book fan as well as a good guide to learn more about fierce females such as Amanda Waller before the next big movie adaptation(May):

 DOMESTIC DRAMAS: In All The Best People by Sonja Yoerg, a legacy of emotional problems is passed down to more than one generation, starting with Carole LaPorte, who feels that she has a good regular life with her family in Vermont of 1972.

Everyone sees her as a perfectly content wife and mother but when Carole starts to show signs that the mental illness which lead to her mother being institutionalized is upon her, she does her best to hide what is happening.

However, her eleven year old daughter Alison is aware that something is wrong and seeks answers via Tarot cards and a glass box that once belonged to her grandmother. Can this cycle of denial and inadequate coping be broken and hopefully, for the better? An emotional journey for the women of one family that perhaps offers comfort to many readers as well(May).

Edan Lepucki follows up her amazing futuristic novel California with another intriguing dark tale in Woman No. 17, The title refers to an artistic photo taken of Lady Daniels, who is working on a memoir about raising her unusually gifted son Devin and needs a nanny to look after her new toddler while doing so.

The nanny in question, known as "S", has a hidden agenda of her own and while the two women develop a friendship, that bond is not enough to get beyond the upsets that occur as each of them attempts to take the reins of family power. Sounds like a smart slow burn that promises to make this story a riveting must-read(May):

 WEDDING BELL BLUES: The heroine of Sarah Dessen's upcoming novel is Louna, a girl whose regular summer job is helping out in her family's wedding business. Trouble is, she is getting sick of dealing with lovelorn clients and wants to focus on more serious matters as she prepares for college in the fall.

Yet fate keeps throwing a certain someone her way, Ambrose, a charmer with the ladies who finds himself considering sticking with just one person, namely Louna. Yet, despite his sincere attempts to win her over, she has plenty of reasons to hold off on having a summer romance, including the sorrowful memory of a past love.

If you're in the mood for a rom-com type of story that has those bridal trimmings, this may be the sweetheart read to make your heart skip a beat there(June):

There will be many more books to choose from this summer season, no doubt. The trick is to stay focused on what you want and not be distracted by all of the other options for amusement out there. Not easy to do, especially these days but turning that last page of the really amazing book in your hand will make it all worth it:

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