Hello, I have been remiss. I just realized I haven’t blogged since June. But, I have been reading a lot in the meantime. I can heartily recommend Jennifer Chiaverini’s Fates and traitors : a novel of John Wilkes Booth. You may think you know everything there is to know about this infamous assassin, but I guarantee you don’t. For example, did you know he was secretly engaged to a young lady from an abolitionist family, Lucy Lambert Hale? While it is a novel, this fictionalized account closely follows the historical record.
If you like mysteries, I also read Donna Leon’s Earthly Remains. If you haven’t read the Commissario Guido Brunetti series, this would be a great place to start. Set in Venice, the Commissario uses his prodigious knowledge of Venice and Venetian customs to solve crimes. And, last but not least, I’m right in the middle of reading Elizabeth Kostova’s The Shadow Land. Kostova wrote the critically acclaimed title The Historian. Set in Bulgaria, a twenty-something young lady with a tragedy in her past arrives in Bulgaria to teach English. But, before she can even check-in at her hostel, she is thrust into a complicated family problem. This title reminds me a bit of those Dan Brown quest novels. You know, a man and a woman in an exotic locale running around trying to solve a complicated historical puzzle. Except in this novel, the protagonists are trying to return something to a family. They soon become deeply enmeshed in the family’s history and problems. And, I don’t know for sure, but I bet the young lady’s tragedy will reappear somewhere in the story…
On the nonfiction side, I also read First women : the grace and power of America's modern First Ladies by Kate Andersen Brower. Focusing on the first ladies from Jackie O through Michelle Obama, Brower uses anecdotes to paint a picture of each first lady and to draw connections between them. You may be surprised which first ladies have personal friendships. I was so happy and reassured by the first ladies behavior. Transcending ideology and political party, they all treat each other with kindness and grace.
I hope you have been able to find time this summer to read and, remember, you can find reading recommendations on your library's website. Click here!