Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Sharing my Summer Reading list

With the first official holiday weekend of the summer season coming up, now is the time to talk about my reading goals for this time of year.

In the past, I've tried to be very structured about what I be able to finish by Labor Day and my success rate has been in the fifty-fifty range. So, this time out, my list is small in scale but large in ambition as I hope to complete most of it before autumn strikes back.

Mind you, the books that I'm mentioning in this post are not part of the readathons that I plan to partake in(with Sci-Fi Summer starting June 1 and my TBR for that will be in a future post) or my yearlong Series-ous Reading challenge. These are just a handful of inviting titles that ought to make my summer reading party a fun place to be:

PACHINKO by Min Jin Lee: This is one of my birthday gift books and I really want to dive into this novel over the summer. Every summer reading list has at least one serious book on it and Pachinko is definitely serious as well as smartly written.

 The reviews and word of mouth have been wonderful, not to mention that I was lucky enough to meet the author many years ago at BEA upon the publication of her first book, Free Food for Millionaires, and her charming kindness towards me was one of the highlights of that occasion.

The story takes place in Japan, as a Korean family's fortunes rise through the generations, making the best out of a life they never expected to have. Secrets, lies and prejudices abound, making this a classically themed tale that resonates with modern day life:

LOVECRAFT COUNTRY by Matt Ruff: I've had this book around for quite some time on my TBR and recently was thrilled to find it as there are plans to turn this novel into an HBO series with Jordan Peele as the executive producer.

The plot is set in 1954, as twenty-two year old war vet Atticus Turner and his uncle George leave Chicago and go searching for his father Montrose,who has been missing for some time and believed to be somewhere in New England.

 During their travels, in which George uses this time to update his latest edition of the safety guidebook he writes for African Americans, Atticus starts to wonder why many of the encounters he's had lately are way too similar to the fantasy fiction that he likes to read. Things get even stranger when Atticus discovers that his father is the prisoner of a cabal run by a sinister father and son who plan to gain even further control of their twisted group by using Atticus in an ancient ritual.

This blend of socio-political horror and old school Lovecraftian lit certainly sounds like one hell of a ride and if Jordan Peele plans to add in his own take on this story, Lovecraft Country could do for the small screen what Get Out did to the silver screen earlier this year. With that in mind, I am so reading this book well before the show is ready to air:

YOUNG JANE YOUNG by Gabrielle Zevin: I managed to get an ARC of this upcoming August release, which sounds rather timely in more ways than one.

 Our leading lady is Aviva Grossman, who had to change her name and move to a small town in Maine after she blogged about her affair with a prominent Congressman during her internship days. Said affair turned her into a national joke and that seemed to be the only way out.

Many years later, she's raising her daughter Ruby without any knowledge of that past and doing well otherwise in life. However, the prospect of running for public office threatens to expose that secret not only to Ruby but the rest of the world once again. From what I've heard so far, this story promises to be both humorous and heartfelt, a winning combination indeed:

AUSTEN THEMED REREADS:  With all of the new books out there and yet to be read classics, you can feel a little guilty about rereading something, especially if it's strictly for fun.

Well, I'm giving myself permission to do a little rereading this summer and most of that will be Jane Austen related, such as Jane Austen in Boca(Golden Girls meet Pride and Prejudice), All Roads Lead to Austen(a traveling Jane Austen book club) and The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet, based on the popular web series.

I may re-watch some of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries episodes,too. That series was a blast and while they did make a version of Emma and Sandition, I do hope that another Jane Austen web adaptation is in the works. We could certainly use some of Austen's lively wit these days as a most delightful distraction:

I may add on a few more titles as time goes by,we shall see. For now, I feel rather well set up for summer time reading and hope all of you are,too. Please let me know what's on your summer TBR and any goals you may have, reading wise, this season. Reading may be a solo activity but sharing your literary joy with others is truly the perfect topping on your page turning sundae:

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