Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, October 09, 2017

A library haul and being patient for Sleeping Beauties to awake in my mail box

The start of a new month for me these days means another trip to the library, to stock up on some fresh reads as well as return my previous loans.

Out of the three books that I brought back, two of them had been completed(nothing against that third one but it was sort of an impulse choice that quickly fizzled out for me there),which is not bad at all.

This time, I kept my selections to two with the first one being a novel that I've heard nothing but the highest praise for. Colson Whitehead won the Pulitzer along with the National Book Award for The Underground Railroad, with the added bonus of being an Oprah 2.0 Book Club pick.

However, it's more than the critical praise that has gained my interest in this story. Whitehead re-imagines the legendary network of slaves escaping to freedom in the North as an actual railroad, complete with station stops that are not as safe as they may seem.

Cora hopes to follow her mother's footsteps in fleeing from the plantation in Georgia that she was left behind at as a child. Accompanying a fellow slave known as Caesar, the two of them trek across state lines,making brief stays yet all the while heading forth due to the pursuit of Ridgeway, a notorious slave hunter who insists that his cause is just.

In a strange way, one of the books that I'm currently reading for the FrightFall readathon is putting me in the right mood for The Underground Railroad.

Matt Ruff's Lovecraft Country takes place in a different time period(America in the mid 1950s) yet both books share similar themes of racism mixed with speculative fiction, showcasing the true horrors of the past that still reflect strongly upon the present day.

It also helps that The Underground Railroad is part of the regular fiction section in the library, giving me plenty of time to absorb the wonders of Whitehead's creative world without feeling rushed. A good book ought to be given the proper amount of time to appreciate all it has to offer:

Speaking of FrightFall, my second library loan certainly qualifies as a late entry on the dance card for this bookish midnight ball.

Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield takes place in 19th century England, where William Bellman has achieved a good portion of the good life, running a successful mill and having a loving family by his side.

However, due to an incident in his childhood that lead to the killing of a rook, William's good fortune begins to melt away, taking many of his loved ones to an early grave. In order to save his daughter Dora, the one child he has left, William makes a strange deal with a mysterious man in black who wants him as a business partner for a department store that specializes in funeral fare.

This is Setterfield's second novel and a long time coming as her debut, The Thirteenth Tale, came out in 2006. I thoroughly enjoyed that book with it's Gothic layers and hope that this new tale will be as engagingly eerie:

Meanwhile, I did actually splurge on a new hardcover that is also fit for FrightFall(which a couple of my fellow #FF readers have on their lists as well). Sure, I could've tried the library but a big release like this is already heavily reserved,not to mention only being available for a one week loan at best.

That limit is hard with a book like Sleeping Beauties, with a page count over 700 and some change. Stephen King does tend to get wordy at times, for better and for worse, but I have the feeling that this will be worth it.

For one. this is his first team-up with son Owen, which should be interesting in and of itself. Also, the plot is certainly creative as women all over the world are trapped in cocoons as they sleep, with their minds being taken to an alternate reality. Meanwhile, the men are trying to figure out what's happening and discovering that any attempts to break the women free from their strange sleep are deadly indeed.

The remaining awake female population does their best to cope and resist the lure of the mysterious slumber with their only hope being Eve Black, who may be the cause or the cure. You have to admit, this does sound like a hell of a ride and yes, the TV adaptation rights have already been sold. Reading the book will make that wait easier,although I'm still waiting for it to arrive in my mail box there:

Patience is a virtue and as this post shows, I do have plenty on hand to read. Yet, it's difficult to resist being all nervous-giddy-excited about the book that's on the way. I do get the same way when a book I reserve at the library comes in,making me calculate how soon I can pick it up and should I borrow another book along with that particular chosen one(I always do).

It goes along with the territory,I guess, this eager for more literary anxiety. The whole trick is to able to make it part of the regular balance of your life rather than letting it overwhelm your day. Not an easy struggle by any means yet don't be too harsh on yourself if you stumble now and then. We've all been there and ultimately, your book will arrive,making all that fuss worth your while and forgettable until next time:

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