The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Beautiful & The Damned

The Beautiful & The Damned

 

 

I have been wanting to read The Beautiful and Damned ever since Blair Waldorf raved about it on Gossip Girl. I have always been a fan of F. Scott and know many a quote from The Beautiful and Damned but I have yet to read the actual book. It is a new year and I have set the bar at 25 books this year that I must read.  I am very excited to read this and I hope more of us read it as well.  If you liked actually reading The Great Gatsby you will enjoy this as well.  This period of time in history is so interesting to me and aren’t we all interested in how the stupidly rich live and overcome their ever pressing trials and tribulations.  It is almost like a reality show before they had reality show’s right?

 

 

Description: “The Beautiful and Damned”, first published in 1922, was F. Scott Fitzgerald’s second novel. It tells the story of Anthony Patch (a 1920s socialite and presumptive heir to a tycoon’s fortune), his relationship with his wife Gloria, his service in the army, and alcoholism. The novel provides an excellent portrait of the Eastern elite as the Jazz Age begins its ascent, engulfing all classes into what will soon be known as Café Society. As with all of his other novels, it is a brilliant character study and is also an early account of the complexities of marriage and intimacy that were further explored in “Tender Is the Night.” The book is believed to be largely based on Fitzgerald’s relationship and marriage with Zelda Fitzgerald.

My Year With Eleanor

I love me some Eleanor Roosevelt! She said and done some things and I feel like most women don’t really know or appreciate how cool of a woman Eleanor was. When I saw the book My Year with Eleanor: A Memoir I got super excited! I cannot wait to read this book because I personally love scaring the crap out of myself. It is a finely honed art I have mastered. I think this is a challenge we should all take to make sure we live life to the fullest and make the most of what we have!  I think after reading this it is going to be time to read her biography which has been on my list for quite some time.
My Year with Eleanor: A Memoir is available now on Kindle for $1.99! There really is no reason not to buy it immediately.
From the Back Cover
After losing her high-octane job as an entertainment blogger, Noelle Hancock was lost. About to turn twenty-nine, she’d spent her career writing about celebrities’ lives and had forgotten how to live her own. Unemployed and full of self-doubt, she had no idea what she wanted out of life. She feared change—in fact, she feared almost everything. Once confident and ambitious, she had become crippled by anxiety, lacking the courage required even to attend a dinner party—until inspiration struck one day in the form of a quote on a chalkboard in a coffee shop:
“Do one thing every day that scares you.” —Eleanor Roosevelt
Painfully timid as a child, Eleanor Roosevelt dedicated herself to facing her fears, a commitment that shaped the rest of her life. With Eleanor as her guide, Noelle spends the months leading up to her thirtieth birthday pursuing a “Year of Fear.” From shark diving to fighter pilot lessons, from tap dancing and stand-up comedy to confronting old boyfriends, her hilarious and harrowing adventures teach her about who she is and what she can become—lessons she makes vital for all of us.

Sugarland by Joni Rodgers

Sugarland by Joni Rodgers

Sugarland by Joni Rodgers

 

Sugarland I do love when myths or fairy tales are retold in a modern way. I have always loved myths and fairy tales growing up so for some reason I seem to be drawn to books with the same themes even to this day. That is probably why Sugarland was so appealing to me.  Sugarland is about two sisters whose lives fall apart around the same time but is a modern retelling of the myth of Eros and Psyche which happens to be a favorite of mine. Joni Rodgers is an exceptional writer because you can actually visualize the events as you are reading them. I absolutely love when a book does that. I get bored with a book very quickly or confused even if I cannot see in my head what I think is going on. Sugarland is basically just tragically interesting and you can’t help but feel for Kit and Kiki even if you don’t agree with their choices or cannot relate to their lives. It is a really great read for a number of reasons not to mention the kindle version is only $2.99! You can’t pass that up!
Book Description: As children, Kit and Kiki Smithers performed as the Sugar Babes of Sugarland, Texas, singing at county fairs, talent shows, and any shady gig their talent agent mother, Vivica, was able to book. Now those glory days are long gone, and the sisters cope with all the usual challenges and frustrations of young mommies.
Kit is comfortably married to Mel, a gentle, salt-of-the-earth mechanic, and has begun to explore her knack for trompe l’oeil and tole painting. Kiki longs to return to the stage, daydreaming of escape from her abusive husband Wayne. She finds the strength to leave Wayne at least once a year, but has yet to stay left. Now she’s pregnant for a third time and determined to start over before the baby is born.
As Kiki’s life collapses and Kit’s life is suddenly shattered, the sisters recall an old story Vivica told them when they were little girls: a story about sisters and monsters, mothers, goddesses, and a series of seemingly impossible tasks whereby a girl, betrayed and broken, finds her way out of the underworld into the light.

 

The Midwife’s Confession

The Midwife’s Confession is really good so far! This was a last minute pick because the ladies in book club are soo busy this summer we hardly have time to even meet. A few of the nerds have even managed to finish the book already which astounds me! I love me a good mystery of sorts which seems to be a theme of our club lately and I do not hate it. I wanted to be close to finishing it before we chose a new book but that doesn’t look like that will even be possible.
The story is about 3 women who are so close they are almost like sisters but one they find out is hiding a huge secret! The Midwife’s Confession goes between the different characters pasts and presents which as I have mentioned before I am not always a fan of because it often gets confusing but this author seems be pulling it off quite nicely so far. The Midwife’s Confession got some amazing reviews to boot which makes reading it even more interesting because almost everyone said they couldn’t put it down!

Book Description:
Dear Anna,
What I have to tell you is difficult to write, but I know it will be far more difficult for you to hear, and I’m so sorry…
The unfinished letter is the only clue Tara and Emerson have to the reason behind their close friend Noelle’s suicide. Everything they knew about Noelle—her calling as a midwife, her passion for causes, her love for her friends and family—described a woman who embraced life.
Yet there was so much they didn’t know.
With the discovery of the letter and its heartbreaking secret, Noelle’s friends begin to uncover the truth about this complex woman who touched each of their lives—and the life of a desperate stranger—with love and betrayal, compassion and deceit.

The Witches Daughter

 

I finished The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston a few weeks ago and I loved every second of it! The book goes between the main character Elizabeth’s past and present lives, all which happened to be quite eventful. I find that often when authors try to do that I get confused as to what exactly is going on as well as how to keep track and or identify all of the characters but Paula Brackston makes very fluid transitions between the past and present. Her characters are easily distinguishable from each other and all have their specific place and time. I really enjoyed this book and once I got into it and understood the real story of what was going on I could not put it down! I suggest you get The Witch’s Daughter for yourself and you certainly won’t regret it!

 

Book Description:
My name is Elizabeth Anne Hawksmith, and my age is three hundred and eighty-four years. If you will listen, I will tell you a tale of witches. A tale of magic and love and loss. A story of how simple ignorance breeds fear, and how deadly that fear can be. Let me tell you what it means to be a witch.
In the spring of 1628, the Witchfinder of Wessex finds himself a true Witch. As Bess Hawksmith watches her mother swing from the Hanging Tree she knows that only one man can save her from the same fate: the Warlock Gideon Masters. Secluded at his cottage, Gideon instructs Bess, awakening formidable powers she didn’t know she had. She couldn’t have foreseen that even now, centuries later, he would be hunting her across time, determined to claim payment for saving her life.
In present-day England, Elizabeth has built a quiet life. She has spent the centuries in solitude, moving from place to place, surviving plagues, wars, and the heartbreak that comes with immortality. Her loneliness comes to an abrupt end when she is befriended by a teenage girl called Tegan. Against her better judgment, Elizabeth opens her heart to Tegan and begins teaching her the ways of the Hedge Witch. But will she be able to stand against Gideon—who will stop at nothing to reclaim her soul—in order to protect the girl who has become the daughter she never had?

The Woodcutter by Kate Danley

The Woodcutter

The Woodcutter

 

 

I am extremely excited about reading The Woodcutter by Kate Danley this month for book club! I am not sure if you are a fan of Grimm or Once Upon a Time or have been  noticing all of the re-imaginings of fairy tales lately but they seem to be everywhere.  I have always been such a big fan of  fairy tales. This is despite the fact that I think many fairy tales have been “re-imagined” to hinder women’s expectations of real life and love.  I think tales were intended to teach a lesson but some were quite dark and scary so over the years they have been re-vamped to be more child friendly.

I have been seeing this trend roll over into re-imaginings of the ideas of fairy tales in books.  In some tales have been blended together or re-invented all together. I feel that Wicked (if you haven’t read it you must and his others as well) may have started it all. Gregory Maguires’ retelling of fairy tales from the villains point of view was a great idea, to me anyway, to get a better understanding of the bad guy (they were always my favorite growing up). Now I see books like this popping up all over.  Just the other day I think I spent $50 alone in Kindle book recommendations after purchasing The Woodcutter.  I am excited to see where this book goes as the description says it is quite suspenseful and on the darker side of tales.

About The Woodcutter:

Deep within the Wood, a young woman lies dead. Not a mark on her body. No trace of her murderer. Only her chipped glass slippers hint at her identity The Woodcutter, keeper of the peace between the Twelve Kingdoms of Man and the Realm of the Faerie, must find the maiden’s killer before others share her fate. Guided by the wind and aided by three charmed axes won from the River God, the Woodcutter begins his hunt, searching for clues in the whispering dominions of the enchanted unknown.
But quickly he finds that one murdered maiden is not the only nefarious mystery afoot: one of Odin’s hellhounds has escaped, a sinister mansion appears where it shouldn’t, a pixie dust drug trade runs rampant, and more young girls go missing. Looming in the shadows is the malevolent, power-hungry queen, and she will stop at nothing to destroy the Twelve Kingdoms and annihilate the Royal Fae…unless the Woodcutter can outmaneuver her and save the gentle souls of the Wood.
Blending magic, heart-pounding suspense, and a dash of folklore, The Woodcutter is an extraordinary retelling of the realm of fairy tales.

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

The Round House

The Round House

I know it has been a while for new books for book club so I apologize! Everyones schedules have been crazy with Hurricane Sandy, the holidays and life in general. This months book is The Round House. I am excited to read
The Round House because it seems almost Girl Gone-esque. If it is anything like that I am super excited. Here is a little description of this book: “One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe’s life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared.
While his father, who is a tribal judge, endeavors to wrest justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe becomes frustrated with the official investigation and sets out with his trusted friends, Cappy, Zack, and Angus, to get some answers of his own. Their quest takes them first to the Round House, a sacred space and place of worship for the Ojibwe. And this is only the beginning.”
I am excited for this one! Our last book I couldnt get into butThe Round House definitely seems like something I can really get into!
Have you read The Round House? If so let me know if you liked it! I would love some input.

Sweet Tooth

Sweet Tooth

Sweet Tooth

Sweet Tooth: A Novel looks like it is right up my alley! The setting the time period the characters! I love it. I think this will be a great to read during the chilly fall nights that are upon us.  This month Sutton was the suggested book but I completely could not get into it.  It was boring and slow.  I decided to choose another book and Sweet Tooth seems to be my pick! I am crossing my fingers it is as good as it seems because I am excited to read it.

Description: Cambridge student Serena Frome’s beauty and intelligence make her the ideal recruit for MI5. The year is 1972. The Cold War is far from over. England’s legendary intelligence agency is determined to manipulate the cultural conversation by funding writers whose politics align with those of the government. The operation is code named “Sweet Tooth.”  Serena, a compulsive reader of novels, is the perfect candidate to infiltrate the literary circle of a promising young writer named Tom Haley. At first, she loves his stories. Then she begins to love the man. How long can she conceal her undercover life? To answer that question, Serena must abandon the first rule of espionage: trust no one.
Once again, Ian McEwan’s mastery dazzles us in this superbly deft and witty story of betrayal and intrigue, love and the invented self.

The Relationship Shoppe

The Relationship Shoppe

The Relationship Shoppe

The Relationship Shoppe: A Novel I found by searching free Kindle books. They don’t always stay free but this one is worth it. I am only half way through but so far so good. This may be touching for me because I am recently single but either way it is good fun and kind of eye opening fiction or not.

Description: Marian Sheffield longs to climb out of the pits, but before she can transform her career and romantic life, she must contend with the indiscretions of Belle, her business partner and best friend. Along the way, Marian learns the difference between a crush on her guy friend and the very real advances of her company’s investor—and how to apply the relationship advice she promotes in her own bookstore.
HAVE YOU EVER:
- Felt as if your life has fallen apart?
- Questioned why it had?
- Resolved to turn things around?
- Refused to give up when everyone around discouraged you?
- Been betrayed by a friend?
- Fallen in love with someone who doesn’t love you back?
- Ignored the person who is right for you?
Then you may want to browse inThe Relationship Shoppe!

Girl Gone: A Novel by Gillian Flynn

Girl Gone: A Novel

Girl Gone: A Novel

 

 

Gone Girl: A Novel is the August book club choice. This is unlike the other books that get chosen. The book club ladies have surprised me with this choice and I like it. I wasn’t at the last meeting due to birthday festivities but I am 100% pleased with their choice. Dark and sinister mysteries are a fabulous fave of mine.

 

Description:
Marriage can be a real killer. One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?
With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.