Saturday, July 2, 2011

5 Books I Want to Read this Summer - Cynthia's Picks

Before I let you in on my summer picks for this year, I thought I’d let you know how I made out with last year’s picks. I managed to read four out of the five, Starclimber being the one I didn’t get to. I’m still planning on reading it, as I really enjoyed the first two books in the Airborn series. The rest of my picks from the Summer of 2010 were really enjoyable, and I hope I have the same luck this year.

So, did you ever hear about a book that sounds really interesting to you and then when you see it you are just intimidated by its sheer size? This is my problem with my first pick, Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel. I’ve always been fascinated by the Tudor dynasty, and am intrigued by the take on this story, which is focused on the complex life of Thomas Cromwell, the Machiavellian schemer who was chief advisor to Henry VIII and was very influential in the formation of the Church of England. This book won the Man Booker Prize in 2009, and has been widely praised. If only it wasn’t over 600 pages long! But hey, what’s summer for? I have two weeks off in August, and I plan to bury my nose into political intrigue, religious fanaticism and romantic passion until I reach the end. There - I’ve proclaimed it to the world - no more excuses!!

I love animals, and was very excited to hear about the recent publication of the local book, Hope for Wildlife: true stories of animal rescue by Ray MacLeod. I’ve had the good fortune to meet Hope Swinimer, Founding Director of the Hope for Wildlife Society in Seaforth, NS, and some of the critters she and her band of volunteers have rescued and rehabilitated. This book showcases some of the stories of these animals, including the adorable fox pictured on the cover. Irresistible!

A Matter of Class by Mary Balogh is my latest attempt to find a romance book that doesn’t make me gag! I love romantic movies, so why can’t I find romantic books that I enjoy? Well, this Regency romance, rated 4 stars on our Discover catalogue, promises to be “breezy’ and entertaining (and not too soppy, I hope) . When Lady Annabelle Ashton disgraces her family and reputation by trying to run off with a coachman, her impoverished father schemes to marry her off to Reginald Mason, a drunken spendthrift and neighbor who was formerly considered far beneath them socially. Reginald’s father, a wealthy coal merchant, likes the idea of his son marrying into nobility and taking his snotty neighbors down a peg or two. Not surprisingly, neither fiancee is thrilled by the scheme, and sparks fly. I’ll let you know how I make out with this one.

I’m very much looking forward to reading American Wife : a novel by Curtis Sittenfeld, a thinly veiled fictionalized biography of former First Lady Laura Bush. Alice Lindgren, a serious school librarian and registered Democrat, never expected to fall in love with hard - partying and charming Charlie Blackwell. And after they marry, she struggles to cope with his wealthy, clannish family and their influential Republican ties. After becoming a born-again Christian, Charlie eventually becomes President, and Alice again must carefully find a role for herself in a life she never wanted, especially when her husbands presidency becomes increasingly unpopular.

And, because she’s my hero, I can’t wait to read Bossypants, by comedian (and so much more) Tina Fey! “From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon ...Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we've all suspected: you're no one until someone calls you bossy. Includes Special, Never-Before-Solicited Opinions on Breastfeeding, Princesses, Photoshop, the Electoral Process, and Italian Rum Cake!” - from the publisher. Sounds like my kind of book - perfect summer reading!

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