Being stuck inside with all this snow has at least been good for my reading. I'm even a few books ahead on my goal for the year on Goodreads! It might also have something to do with the fact that all my library holds came in at once. I think I need to spend March playing catchup on the stacks of books in my house and on my kindle that I've been ignoring because of looming due dates. Tell me I'm not the only one who does that!
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
A group of my dear friends from our last assignment are doing a long-distance book club and this was our first selection. It was perfect for discussion, for both plot and literary devices. The book follows multiple stories from the 1960s Italian set of Cleopatra to a present day Hollywood production office, and eventually winds them all together. I loved seeing the way everything interconnected in the end.
As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes
The Princess Bride is one of my all-time favorite movies and this charming book was a love letter to the movie and all those who made it. Elwes tells the tale of how the film came to be, filming and it's eventual cult status. He interviews other cast and crew members, shares fun tidbits of filming that you can see when you watch the movie and more. I guarantee you will immediately want to go re-watch the movie as soon as you finish! (We did, and now I send me boys off to school every morning with "Have fun storming the castle!")
Cut to the Quick by Kate Ross
I've been hearing about the Julian Kestrel mysteries from several of my favorite writers for years now, and I'm so glad I picked this up. The first novel finds Julian a guest at a very awkward engagement party at a country house, where pride and arrogance war with the truth when a murder takes place. He has to unravel the family secrets before he can find the murderer. Kestrel is a regency dandy on the surface, but so much more below and he makes for a unique take on a regency sleuth. The writing felt like a smart, updated version of Georgette Heyer. Great start to a series (though sadly the author passed away a few years ago, and there are only 4 Kestrel novels).
Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen
I was craving Allen's sweet southern magic when the weather turned really cold this month, and picked this up from the library. Gentle as always with a happy ending of course, but not as engaging as the other Allen books I have read. Kate needs a place to recover after the death of her husband, and a chance postcard leads her and her daughter to Lost Lake, a resort run by her great aunt Eby. Here Eby helps them heal, and they help remind Eby of just what she (and Lost Lake) mean to the community.
Murder at the Brightwell by Ashley Weaver
Possibly my favorite book this year (so far) and it was a chance find at the library- I picked it up solely because of the cover! Set between the wars in England, Amory Ames is tired of her marriage to playboy Milo and when her former fiancé Gil shows up asking for help, she says yes. A trip to the seaside turns deadly and she must work with Milo to clear Gil's name. In doing so, they must also figure out what's happened to their marriage. The writing is sparkling, the mystery was just right and I'm so glad that a second in the series is coming out this fall. And it turns out that Ashely Weaver is a librarian-what more could I ask for?
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
This book is everywhere lately. I first read about it a few months ago, and patiently worked my way up the very long library waiting list. While interesting, I won't say this was life changing for me. Some aspects were really practical and I can easily see myself putting into practice (new ways to fold clothes and storing all like items together rather than spread around the house) but others I'll never agree with-her take on books for example! The idea is that you only keep what brings you joy and that you need to go through everything once and get rid of everything that doesn't. Some of it is a little loopy to be honest though I suspect part of that is the translation and the cultural differences between Japan and the US. On the other hand…it does make me want to clean out my kitchen cabinets. Who else has read this? I'm dying to discuss it!
What have you been reading lately?
Some of these links are affiliate links. Thanks for supporting Hearth and Homefront!