Wednesday, February 17, 2010
“What books have you been wishing for/wanting to get lately?” my Bluestocking Guide memely asked.
Let's see what the top of my Amazon cart looks like," I answered, averting my eyes from the stacks of unread books that decorate my office. "That's the wish list I go to for fresh ideas on what to read next."
1. The Reading Group: A Novel, by Elizabeth Noble: "this U.K. bestseller is a frothy page-turner that dissects the relationships, desires and discoveries of five English women, all members of a book club. Over the course of a year, the women read 12 novels (including Atonement, Rebecca and The Alchemist) and, through their playful but intimate discussions (few of which revolve around the books), they bond closely while coping with such matters as a philandering husband, a mother with dementia, a pregnant but unmarried daughter, an infertility crisis, a wedding and a funeral."
2. The Art of Eating, by M.F.K. Fisher: "A collection of essays by one of America's best known food writers, that are often more autobiographical or historical than anecdotal musings on food preparation and consumption. The book includes culinary advice to World War II housewives plagued by food shortages, portraits of family members and friends (with all their idiosyncrasies) and notes on her studies at the University of Dijon, in France."
3. Canone Inverso: A Novel, by Paolo Maurensig: "In present day London, a rare, 17th-century violin is offered at auction. Two bidders in particular covet it, one of whom claims to know its "terrible story." So begins Canone Inverso, Paolo Maurensig's elliptical tale of two young men whose passion for music, and this fiddle in particular, converges in a crescendo of obsession, envy, and betrayal."
4. The Fossil Hunter: Dinosaurs, Evolution, and the Woman Whose Discoveries Changed the World, by Shelley Emling: "Mary Anning was only twelve years old when, in 1811, she discovered the first dinosaur skeleton--of an ichthyosaur--while fossil hunting on the cliffs of Lyme Regis, England. Until Mary's incredible discovery, it was widely believed that animals did not become extinct. The child of a poor family, Mary became a fossil hunter, inspiring the tongue-twister, “She Sells Sea Shells by the Seashore.” She attracted the attention of fossil collectors and eventually the scientific world. Once news of the fossils reached the halls of academia, it became impossible to ignore the truth. Mary’s peculiar finds helped lay the groundwork for Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, laid out in his On the Origin of Species. Darwin drew on Mary’s fossilized creatures as irrefutable evidence that life in the past was nothing like life in the present."
I'm happy to point out that I learned about each of these on a fellow blogger's site.