May 13, 2021
I’ve had a few “wait a minute!” moments of confusion at the bookshelves in recent times. On more than one occasion I’ve encountered an unfamiliar title or a new release and thought, “I’ve read about this one already” but alas, no. (And no, not middle age brain to blame for a change!) It seems that sometimes great minds of writers simply think alike. Here are a few newish books that look great to me and happen to have been inspired by a shared theme.
The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake
Vera by Carol Edgarian
“Set in San Francisco during the great quake and fire of 1906, this wonderfully compelling novel takes us deeply into the heart and mind of an unforgettable fifteen year old girl, one who must find her way alone through a mother’s neglect, through bordellos and corrupt politicians, through the debris and ashes of what was once “The Paris of the West.” Vera is that rare novel that you’ll want to buy for loved ones just as soon as you reach its shimmeringly beautiful ending. And its street-wise, resilient protagonist will stay with you for a very long time indeed.”
— Andre Dubus III
The Nature of Fragile Things by Susan Meissner
“In 1906, Irish immigrant Sophie marries a stranger and moves to San Francisco. There, she discovers a hidden connection to two other women — and when a devastating earthquake strikes, they must fight to survive. “Exceptional… Ingeniously plotted and perfectly structured, this captivates from beginning to end” (Publishers Weekly).”
Kentucky Packhorse Library Service
Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes
“Based on the true story of the Pack Horse Library initiative — a Works Progress Administration project that ran from 1935 to 1943 and turned women and their steeds into bookmobiles — Moyes’s characters travel into the remote Eastern Kentucky mountains to deliver learning to the most isolated residents….’Giver of Stars’ is a celebration of love, but also of reading, of knowledge, of female friendship, of the beauty of our most rural corners and our enduring American grit: the kind of true grit that can be found in the hills of Kentucky and on the pages of this inspiring book.
– Washington Post
Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
“Kim Michele Richardson has written a fascinating novel about people almost forgotten by history: Kentucky’s pack-horse librarians and “blue people.” The factual information alone would make this book a treasure, but with her impressive storytelling and empathy, Richardson gives us so much more.”
– Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author of One Foot in Eden and Serena
The Barbizon Hotel for Women
The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis
“Multigenerational and steeped in history, The Dollhouse is a story about women—from the clicking anxiety of Katie Gibbs’s secretaries to the willowy cool of Eileen Ford’s models, to honey-voiced hatcheck girls and glamorous eccentrics with lapdogs named Bird. Davis celebrates the women of New York’s present and past—the ones who live boldly, independently, carving out lives on their own terms.”
—Elizabeth Winder, author of Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953
Barbizon: the Hotel that Set Women Free by Paulina Bren
February 19, 2013
TBRs, WTRs, YTRs … To be Reads, Waiting to Reads, Yet to Reads … Whatever quirky little name you use to describe the list or pile of books you’re keen to read (KTRs?) … This is a version of my current list; each of these books has caught my eye in some way, perhaps well reviewed or just plain intriguing.
I’ve read and enjoyed Ann Leary’s previous books and delight in her humour. She’s married to Denis Leary and I can only imagine how funny that household is on a regular basis.
The Dinner has been a raging success in Europe and has only recently arrived here. The entire story unfolds at the table during a tense conversation.
I adore the wit of Dorothy Parker (mental note: she’s worth an entire post to herself!) and Farewell Dorothy Parker sounds like a light and fun tribute to her.
And so forth. Have you already read some of these? What did you think? What TBRs have captured your attention lately?
As usual, click on the book cover to be taken to a descriptive link.