I've been able to actually do a decent amount of reading (for me) considering the kids are now off school for the year!
I borrowed a couple of books from the library recently - both were fantastic!
One was Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige. This is the debut from the author, and I'm happy to discover that there are more in the series! It was a surprisingly fun read, and I quite enjoyed the author's version of what happened after Dorothy left Oz. The novel follows high-schooler Amy Gumm as she finds herself in Oz and given the challenge of accomplishing several gruesome tasks, the final being to kill Oz's brutal dictator: Dorothy. It was a fun one, sort of Buffy - meets - Fairuza Balk's Return to Oz - meets - The Outsiders. The second one has been put on hold at the library:)
I also borrowed Reluctantly Charmed by Ellie O'Neill, as I'm a sucker for pretty much any celtic/fae story. This one was a lovely read, ripe with Irish slang and a dreadfully mischevous version of the Fae. Kate McDaid is a twenty-something city girl looking to improve her love life and career, when she inherits a mysterious set of instructions from a witch of a Great Aunt who died over a century earlier. To inherit, she must fulfill instructions to reconnect the modern people with the forgotten Fae, putting herself through paparazzi hell - and possibly ending humanity. O'Neill's writing allows for a quick read, and this one was charming.
I devoured Longbourn by Jo Baker. I had picked it up at a recent library booksale, as I'd had my eye on the title since its release awhile back. I love me some Austen, so naturally, I was curious about this one. Baker is an excellent writer, and I loved her "version" of Pride and Prejudice from the POV of the servants. Her story runs parallel to Austen's P&P as it follows the Bennet's young servant Sarah, and her life during Austen's famous story. It is obvious Baker researched extensively, as the reader is given in-depth glimpses into the gritty world of a servant in the early nineteenth-century, with blistered hands and pre-dawn work for all! For fans of P&P, or Austenian work in general, Longbourn will be a welcome addition to your bookshelf.
I also snapped up Jodi Picoult's Leaving Time at Costco, as it
was one of her newer ones that I hadn't read yet. If you've been reading this blog for awhile, then you know I am a huge Picoult fan. This one however, was on a whole new level. I always seem to immediately get sucked into her novels, and Leaving Time was no exception. It really surprised me how much I enjoyed all the detailed information about elephants! So before I knew it, I was so involved in the characters and the elephants, Picoult did her usual rug-pulling-left-hook-U-turn and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I ended up sitting up in bed, bleary-eyed and wired, until FOUR IN THE MORNING. FOUR! And it all ended with me crying over fictional characters, then reluctantly looking at the clock, then almost crying over the time. I haven't read through the night since The Great Time-Traveller's Wife All-Nighter of 2005. Seriously, I never do it - it takes me days to recover, so it is a real testament to Picoult and this book especially. Her books always involve controversial topics, and this one actually had a couple. It tackled the topic of elephants in captivity, as well as the topic of psychic phenomenon. I think another big draw for me was the fact that there was no courtroom scene(s). Picoult's novels usually contain the involvement of a lawyer, but this one didn't! (Admittedly, those are my least favorite scenes in her novels, well-done as they are.) The absence of it was a pleasant surprise, and added to my overall enjoyment of this one. All in all, I can't say anymore. Just go get it and read it. But clear your schedule, first!
After THAT, I needed to change gears, so I am currently reading The Faery Reel, a short story collection edited by the formidable Datlow and Windling. I'm only a short way through it, but quite enjoying the diversity of stories so far.
Having this little bit of extra time has been great for my sanity too, as it's given me more time to write. I'm slowly making headway on the Norse faerytale I've been working on for awhile. When I don't write enough, I find I get a bit "twitchy," so really it's been good for me and anyone who is around me, lol.
Hope this summer is bringing you plenty of time to devour some good books, or do whatever it is that makes you...you.