Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Acquiring some autumn friendly reads

With Labor Day weekend about to begin, it only feels right to start stacking up those books for heavy duty fall reading time.

 Granted, you don't necessarily have to read "serious" books but with the cooler temperatures coming, along with those beautiful color changing leaves, sweaters and hot chocolate, it does inspire one to have something a little more thoughtful on hand, rather than the lighter fare that summer seems to invite.

 That's one of the reasons that I decided to hold off on reading Annie Proulx's Barkskins until autumn. For another, it's a good long book that tells the tale of two families setting themselves up in 17th century Canada(known as New France back then).

As Rene and Charles take up their load as indentured tree cutters to a feudal lord(in hopes of being given land of their own on day), the two friends find themselves going down very different roads to making their own fate.

While Charles flees his obligations and creates a fortune for himself within the lumber industry, Rene is bound by marriage to a native woman which makes them both outsiders on both sides of the working class community they're in.

The novel follows several generations of each man's descendants as the environmental impact of the lumber business affects slow yet steady social changes upon them all. Other than Brokeback Mountain, I haven't read any of Proulx's work and maybe a long book like this can be a daunting place to start. However, I do enjoy a good meaty saga story and this certainly sounds like that to me:

For more historical fiction flair, I feel like diving into some Tudor themed fare and Three Sisters,Three Queens by Philippa Gregory should be more than suitable for this season.

Two of the sisters here are actually sisters-in-law, with Catherine of Aragon becoming Queen of England and having to deal with the resentments of Henry's sister Margaret who is made to marry the King of Scotland in order to secure an alliance between the two countries.

In addition, Margaret's little sister Mary manages to marry the man her big sister truly loves, only to find herself in need of family support when she becomes a widow and secretly remarries without royal consent. This is fine melodrama worthy of any prime time series and I hope it gets adapted for the small screen at some point:

Having recently read Alison Weir's most recent Anne Boleyn novel, I thought it would be interesting to tackle another one of her books that indirectly deals with the Tudor drama.

Innocent Traitor tells the story of Lady Jane Grey, who was manipulated into taking the crown, due to her brief engagement to Henry the VIII's son Edward, in order to prevent "Bloody" Mary Tudor and her Catholic leanings to take over the country. Jane's reign was sad and short yet many still admire her quiet nobility as she staid true to her Protestant faith and met her end with dignity.

I really don't know much about Lady Jane and since Weir is a historian as well as a novelist, this book ought to be a good introduction to this supporting player whose time on the world stage was brief but memorable:

For something a little closer to modern times, I'm going with Kiss Carlo by Adriana Trigiani. Yes, this did come out during the summer but something about this has more of a fall flavor to me.

In 1949, Nicky Castone is fresh out of the army and wants more out of life than driving a cab for his uncle's car service and planning to someday marry his sweetheart Peachy DePino.

 By secretly taking part in a local Shakespeare production, he starts to feel complete yet complicated as his passion for the theater also includes a growing passion for Calla Borelli, the theater owner's daughter.

 When a prime opportunity arrives for Nicky to showcase his acting skills via an impersonation of an expected guest at a festival, things get even more complicated and becomes way too much like a Shakespearean comedy of errors for all involved. Trigiani's storytelling skills excel when she mixes romance, drama and family love into a special stew of a story that should be a heartwarming read for the chilly autumn days to come:

These aren't the only books I plan to read this fall(I do have a month long readathon for October, after all!) but a solid selection that ought to set me up just fine. My summer reading was good yet  part of my Labor Day plans this weekend involve finishing up a few of those intended reads that I haven't quite completed so far.

 While I do feel a twinge of regret in not getting into every book that I intended to this summer, at least I did some good reading and really need to make that glass of seasonal iced tea half full instead of half empty. I hope all of you turning those last of summer reading pages out there try and feel that way as well. Happy reading, no matter what the season!:

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