Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, February 26, 2018

Springing forth with new March and April reads for 2018

It still has the feel of winter outside yet mark my words, spring is well on her way with plenty of sunshine,holiday outfits and wonderful new books to read.

Sure, this season does seem to grow shorter and shorter each year but that's all the more reason to cherish it when it does unfurl it's pastel petals. Granted, I'm a spring baby,so I am far from impartial, however, there is so much magical energy in the air that it's really hard for anyone to truly resist.

To that end, here is a six pack of upcoming titles for March and April ready to blossom at a bookseller or library near you:

AN UNSUNG WOMAN OF HISTORY: Writing duo Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie have teamed up once again to highlight a lady of historical yet nearly hidden importance in their latest novel, My Dear Hamilton.

Yes, this is the story of Eliza Hamilton, one of the famed Schyuler sisters who happened to fall in love with a rising star of the American Revolution. While he wasn't the only potential politician in her life(Eliza also caught the eye of future president James Monroe), Alexander Hamilton was the man to whom she gave her heart to in marriage.

The struggles of their life didn't end with the war, as Eliza did her best to counsel her husband during his numerous feuds and remain loyal to his interests, even when they conflicted grievously with her own personal dignity and happiness.

Dray and Kamoie gave us a solid engaging read with America's First Daughter(about Thomas Jefferson's eldest girl Patsy) and no doubt that this book will be a charming encore(April):

YOUNG MEN OF INDECISION: In Jonathan Evison's Lawn Boy, we meet Mike Munoz, who knows that he wants more out of life but doesn't know what exactly.

His job as a lawn mower is truly dead end and getting other work is made difficult by having to help look after his disabled brother Nate.  Mike's mom has troubles of her own, including a live-in boyfriend that's a drain on the family finances.

Getting fired forces Mike to seek a new job as well as figure out what to do with the unfocused ambitions that he does have that are blocked by the social class and circumstances that he's stuck in. Evison blends a good amount of humor with the hard times that his leading man has to deal with, reminding me of another literary fella who had more than his fair share of troubles but did find his way towards the good life that he wanted.

I don't know if Lawn Boy will ever be made into a movie but a What's Eating Gilbert Grape for this generation certainly would be welcome right about now(April):

Author Uzodinma Iweala follows ups his acclaimed novel Beasts of No Nation with a look at personal truth and consequences in America. Speak No Evil introduces us to Niru, a high school senior and track star in Washington DC, on the fast lane heading for Harvard in the fall.

When his strict,traditionalist parents discover that Tinder and Grindr messages from men are on Niru's phone( due to apps put there by his friend Meredith), their horror at his sexual identity turns to violent retribution and a summer trip to their home country of Nigeria  that leaves severe emotional scars.

Years later, Niru and Meredith meet again, with unfinished business between them to say the least. Dealing with such harsh realities and complex truths would be daunting for any writer but Iweala has shown that he's more than up to the challenge here(March).

FLAVORFUL MEMORIES: In Viola Shipman's The Recipe Box, a burnt out sous chef rediscovers her culinary passion.

Samantha"Sam" Mullins thought that getting away from the family orchard and pie making business in Michigan would let her become a cooking legend in her own right. However, working for a cruel, demanding boss who knows nothing about the pastries that Sam labors hard to make yet passes them off as his own dashes many of her hopes.

Quitting that job, she heads home to spend the summer working with her mother and grandmother who share their own stories of personal struggles along with the recipes that have lasted for several generations. Slowly but surely, Sam revives her kitchen spirits and possibly even finds a new love ready to appreciate all that she has to give.

Shipman has had good word of mouth from her previous novels such as The Charm Bracelet and I sense a very positive page turning vibe as this new book arrives freshly baked from her imagination oven(March).

JUST A BIT OF TURBULENCE : Chris Bohjalain flies into some uncharted fictional territory with The Flight Attendant as his leading lady wakes up to find a dead man she somewhat remembers from the night before next to her in bed.

Cassie Bowden has never considered her drinking to the point of blacking out to be much of a problem before but now with the police,the FBI and a Russian assassin who regrets leaving a witness behind all after her, the time has come to take serious and sober control of her life.

Bohjalian has jumped around before in genre,ranging from dramatic mysteries to historical fiction, but this seems to be the closet he has come to thriller country. This should be interesting to see, as his talent for thoughtful characters and flair for emotional high points ought to add something extra to the typical thrill ride there(March):

TO DEGRASSI AND BEYOND: Fans of the Canadian teen drama Degrassi High(which has carried on to more than one generation) will be delighted to learn that we now have an insider's look into that series.

Producer Stephen Stohn chronicles his journey into music and then television in Whatever It Takes, offering lessons on just how hard the world of entertainment can be yet giving engaging behind the scenes info about what goes into the show in every incarnation of Degrassi.

Canadian pop culture is often taken for granted yet Stohn has worked with many breakout artists such as K.D. Lang and Drake, proving that our neighbors to the North have plenty of talent on tap indeed. Degrassi watchers will recognize where the title of this book is from and perhaps even sing along to the show's theme as they turn the pages in delight(March):

I hope that a couple of these books will be a good literary companion to you as Spring makes her glorious arrival. Reading is one of those activities that go well with any season and has no problem taking place outdoors(although Mother Nature might want to grab some of your attention with her floral presence and it would be wise to do so when she shows up):

1 comment:

Reads and Eats said...

I have made a note of two of these books as I really like the sound of them.
Thanks for telling us about them in your blog.