Wow! This year is just speeding past…while covered in snow here in Wisconsin. Oh, well, at least all this cold snowy weather means I can stay inside and read, right?
I read some really interesting books this month, at your suggestions…so please keep the ideas coming!
The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott
This book provided a fascinating look at the social strata aboard the Titanic. I know what you’re thinking…Titanic stories have been done to death. I thought this was a fresh approach, telling a tale of what happened after the sinking.
Without giving anything away, it’s the story of a young maid who accompanies a famous clothing designer and becomes swept into the woman’s spheres. becoming a dressmaker herself. This glimpse of society both on the ship and in the New York of 1913 provided a can’t-put-down kind of read.
The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe
One of my friends suggested this book last month, and it was a winner, so thanks, Judy! I had read several reviews of it and couldn’t convince myself that a book about a man and his mom sharing book discussions as she was dying of cancer would be uplifting in any way.
I’m still not sure “uplifting” would be the word to describe this book, but I was fascinated by the discussions between the mother and son, and the relevance the books they chose seemed to have in their lives. Additionally, the entire family seemed so interesting and far from the family life most of us know. They lived down the street from Julia Child when he was a boy, for crying out loud.
One last aspect that I really enjoyed: All the book recommendations, as well as having read many of the books referenced in the story. Try it, you’ll like it (if you’re an avid reader).
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
This book, recommended by my friend Karla, hooked me right from the beginning. I think this proved to be my favorite this month. In addition to a wonderful story, the writing was so lyrical, reading it was a true pleasure.
Here’s the synopsis from Goodreads(they say it better than I):
On the last night of 1937, twenty-five-year-old Katey Kontent is in a second-rate Greenwich Village jazz bar with her boardinghouse roommate stretching three dollars as far as it will go when Tinker Grey, a handsome banker with royal blue eyes and a tempered smile, happens to sit at the neighboring table. This chance encounter and its startling consequences propel Katey on a yearlong journey from a Wall Street secretarial pool toward the upper echelons of New York society and the executive suites of Condé Nast–rarefied environs where she will have little to rely upon other than a bracing wit and her own brand of cool nerve.
Wooed in turn by a shy, principled multi-millionaire and an irrepressible Upper East Side ne’er-do-well, befriended by a single-minded widow who is a ahead of her time,and challenged by an imperious mentor, Katey experiences firsthand the poise secured by wealth and station and the failed aspirations that reside just below the surface. Even as she waits for circumstances to bring Tinker back into her life, she begins to realize how our most promising choices inevitably lay the groundwork for our regrets.
There you have it…all of these books provided hours of reading enjoyment this month, as I waited (and waited and waited) for spring to arrive. So I can move my reading outside to the deck, of course!