Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Saturday, April 27, 2019

Having a book buying birthday blast

Welcome to this Special Saturday post, due to the fact that my birthday was a late in the week arrival! I had a very nice time, going to the movies and doing a little shopping,with some of the latter being books that I wish to share with all of you.

Truth be told, my book buying was a week long affair, between online,local finds and setting foot in an actual store. Hey, after a certain age, you should be permitted to make your birthday fun last as long as possible there.

Let's start with a pair of lovely hardcovers that I snapped up while making a donation at my nearby thrift store. Sophie Kinsella's Twenties Girl has a pair of heroines connected by bloodline and a necklace.

 After attending the funeral of her great aunt Sadie, London gal Lara finds herself receiving visits from Sadie's ghost(in the form of her younger self) who insists that she find a dragonfly necklace  that was her crown jewel back in Sadie's party days of the 1920s. Lara does her best but in addition to the necklace hunt, Sadie also offers her less than lively great niece some romantic advice, even setting her up on a date with a handsome American.

As a fan of the Shopaholic series,plus some of her stand alone work, this novel is a welcome breath of fresh and fun air. Also, it puts me in mind of a Glenn Close film from the eighties where her leading lady was possessed by the spirit of a sassy flapper(yes, I am that old!) and a good bit of heartfelt comedy like this is a real treat for this spring season indeed:

I wound up pairing that with Sweetbitter, the 2016 debut novel by Stephanie Danler that later became the basis for a TV series on Starz.

Our leading lady here is Tess, who is twenty one and newly arrived to New York from Ohio. She lands a job at an upscale restaurant, being allowed to do little more than clear tables or refill drinks yet seeing how well the full fledged servers are regarded, is eager to join their ranks.

With a few tips from new friends Jake and Simone, Tess gains real knowledge about food,wine and the late night party scene that many foodie folk partake in. While that doesn't helps her move up on the status ladder at work, Tess is thrilled to be a part of this seemingly sophisticated lifestyle.

However, that way of living has it's ups and downs, which she may not be able to bounce back from so easily. I haven't watched the Starz series(which was recently granted a second season) but restaurant related stories do interest me and perhaps the book will whet my appetite for the small screen main course:

As for my online purchases, I decided to go with Meg Wolitzer. After finishing her latest novel The Female Persuasion,making it the first book I've read by her, my desire to read more lead me to ordering The Interestings and The Wife, which earned Glenn Close a Best Actress Oscar nom but sadly not a win(what is it with me and Glenn Close references lately?).

The title character is Joan Castleman, married to a celebrated author who has just won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Upon their trip to Helsinki to attend the award ceremony, Joan thinks over her life and the choices she's made along the way, one of which gave her husband the career success he has now.

With a biographer threatening to reveal all of their secrets and her husband committing another act of betrayal, Joan struggles with the choice of openly dealing with the truth of her reality or taking it on her own terms privately. I'm glad to have Wolitzer's work to discover in my own way and will enjoy the movie once I have turned the last page on it's smartly written source material:

On my actual birthday, I treated myself to a huge slice of Comoran Strike with Lethal White, the fourth book in this mystery series from author Robert Galbraith(aka J.K. Rowling).

As we begin, Strike winds up reuniting with former partner Robin Ellacott as a stranger than usual case bursts into his office. A distraught man named Billy claims to have witnessed the murder of a child in his youth yet flees the scene when Strike wants to know more details.

While Strike does his best to locate Billy, another odd turn brings him to Billy's brother Jimmy, accused of exhorting a government official. Are these two crimes directly connected or a bizarre coincidence? Perhaps Robin's renewed presence can help in both matters but the issues between her and Strike are going to be much more complicated to solve.

This is a great series and I do wish Rowling would focus a bit more on it rather than doing those unnecessary back story edits to her Harry Potter world. However, talent is talent and following Robin and Strike on a fresh new adventure should be a rewarding read:

All in all, this was a good birthday and having such a fine TBR to engage in is the icing on the cake for me. The other highlight was getting to see Captain Marvel in theaters just before the cinematic arrival of Avengers:Endgame(which my sister and I will seeing next week).

No matter how old I get, a good superhero movie is something that I intend to never be too "mature" to appreciate and this one was damn fine entertainment. As I look forward to Endgame, I'm glad that I got to make Carol Danvers' acquaintance first and keeping my fingers crossed that this won't be the last time that she gets to shine on the big screen solo:

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