Mom x 2 asked me to share some thoughts about a few of my recent reads. (I try to keep an updated link to what I'm reading over there on the right.) I read a lot, and pretty quickly, so some don't ever make it to the site. I have a good 45 minutes each way on the train, so I do almost all my reading on the CTA. Unless I'm reading something I just can't put down, then I read after TCP Toddler goes to bed, when I should be doing things like cleaning my wreck of a house!
I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley:
Hilarious, quick read. Sort of in the style of a David Sedaris memoir. Liked it a lot. Reading it was almost like catching up with a friend, the funny girl who always has crazy things happen to her and tells the story in such a way that you can't stop laughing. We all know someone like that, right?
The Last Mrs. Astor: A New York Story by Frances Kiernan:
I have to be honest, I really didn't love this one. I was excited to read it, as it had gotten many good reviews from other bloggers. But I just found myself (a) bored by the name-dropping and lists of accomplishments--not that Brooke Astor's accomplishments weren't impressive and noteworthy, they certainly were--but there wasn't enough action or narrative, I guess, and (b) confused by the author's adoring tone when she would occasionally describe less than appealing behavior displayed by Mrs. Astor. Let's just say I wasn't sad to return this one to the library. I finished it, but there was a lot of skimming near the end.
Jane Austen's Guide to Good Manners: Compliments, Charades & Horrible Blunders by Josephine Ross:
This was a cute little book, written a few years ago, but directed at an audience of Jane Austen's contemporaries. It's not a modern etiquette guide by any means--you won't find instructions for how to handle email politely, but will learn more about the byzantine social rules of paying and returning calls. I liked it, but think it's more of interest to an Austen fan. It contains tons of references to her characters and books and if you haven't read them, it might not be as entertaining.
And now for the TCP Summer Guilty Pleasure : The entire oeuvre of Dorthea Benton Frank. I know, I am losing my street cred as former English major and total book nerd. But it's summer and I like a little fluff every now and then. I stumbled across one of her books, really liked it, and proceeded to read all of the others in rapid succession. They pretty much follow a standard formula, but it's totally entertaining: South Carolina girl, moves up North, leaves bad marriage, moves back home, meets charming Southern gentleman, connects with her heritage, loosens up, romance and mending of family ties ensue. It helps that I am more than a little obsessed with all things Southern at the moment (more on this later). And that she has the most amazing recipes in some of these books! Total beach read, but I give DBF two thumbs up. And am anxiously awaiting her next novel. :)