Good morning, dears. Anyone else feeling that the universe has gone into overdrive after being at standstill for COVID? I try to keep this all about books, but the past two weeks have pressed me hard. Normally, I’d have a review for you, but instead I’m going to get personal. Feel free to skip down to the book covers if you’re not in the mood and just want something bookish.
My mother-in-law died so we traveled for the first time since 2019 which felt very strange and was compounded by a lot of uncomfortable family dynamics.
I found out I have cataracts and need surgery. This is actually GREAT news because hopefully it means I won’t have to wear glasses for the first time since I was 9 years old. Still, it’s scary—a three-hour consultation, having a stupid amount of information thrown at you. And then being told the first surgery available is a month from now and the second a month after that, which blows apart my summer plans. Namely, driving to Colorado in July to see my mother who I haven’t seen since Christmas 2019.
This is all to say I’m feeling wobbly and the one thing I count on for relief is failing me—my reading. I DNFed the last two books I tried. I don’t know if it’s me or the books, but not being able to escape into a book makes me feel worse.
Whew…that’s a lot. Sorry. It’s a new week, I’ve organized a to-do list, and I’ve chosen the books I hope will get me back on track. Here we go!
Palace of the Drowned has a catchy, and somewhat familiar sounding, premise: Frankie Croy’s heavily promoted second novel flops so she retreats to Venice to recover her mojo (The Plot). She meets a young admirer who inserts herself into Frankie’s life, with ulterior motives (All About Eve). Things do not go well. Down-on-their-luck author, a sycophant, and 1960s Italy sound like a recipe for great reading.
I’m really hoping The Maidens breaks my reading slump. It’s modern psychological suspense, but with ties to Greek mythology—always something I love. Plus, it’s set on a college campus and involves a male professor so compelling he’s got a fan group known as the Maidens. When one of them is murdered a local therapist is sure it was the professor, but how to prove it?
It’s a slender niche, but I’ve had great success with audiobooks about popular television shows. Most recently, I loved The Office for its behind-the-scenes look at a show I enjoyed. I’m listening to I’ll Be There For You about Friends, the iconic 1990s show about scrappy new adults living in nice apartments in NYC with marginal incomes. I’ve gotten as far as the casting process and it’s fun hearing how decisions were made and other actors who could have ended up being Chandler, Monica, or Joey.
How’s your summer going?
If you’re looking for reading options Sarah and I are back with another episode on her podcast, Sarah’s Bookshelves Live. We discuss the 12 books we most want to read in June and July. So many choices! Click on link or graphic below to get episode. You can also subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. Plus, for just $5 a month you get bonus episodes with even more books and bookish chatter.