• Syd Young

At least this year is bringing us fantastic books

At least, that's what my lists show me, my lists of books I've already read and want to read. So despite this being the 3rd January I've been watching the continuation of the modern pestilence, there's some great things in store for us.


I just finished THE PARIS BOOKSELLER, about Sylvia Beach, who not only opened and operated SHAKESPEARE & Co. in Paris, France, but also rescued James Joyce's Ulysses and published it, after courts banned it from the US on charges of containing pornographic material. I've read several books about what happened here in that regard, so it was fun to see the other side of it, as well as to

see Sylvia basically rescuing the infamous Lost Generation and giving them a place to live and breathe their art, within the city and country they embraced. I'd read Maher's THE KENNEDY DEBUTANTE and really enjoyed it, and she also wrote THE GIRL IN WHITE GLOVES, which is on my TBR. But this book is a triumph, one of that every book lover must read/listen!


OLGA DIES DREAMING, by Xochitl Gonzalez, opens with a first chapter that's as a startling as the cover, but I'm glad I stuck with it. It's a come of age book for both Olga and her politician brother, and happens during the time hurricane Maria hits Puerto Rico, where they have family. The audio is fantastic, but be prepared to get to a certain point that you can't put it down, must listen to the end!


LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY, by Bonnie Gamus, was given to me as an arc to read, all because I loved the cover. And, oh boy, did the book deliver! Do yourself a favor and put it on your TBR as it doesn't debut for a few more months. If you liked WHERE'D YOU GO BERNADETTE, you'll love this. Just think what would happen if Madame Curie had lived in pre-women's lib 1960s America, and boom, do you have one exciting book.


I've met Diana on Twitter and LOVED the cover, as well as the blurb, so was very excited to listen to the audio of ANTOINETTE'S SISTER. Oh my goodness, what a great book about a woman who was much more sassy--and savvy--than Marie Antoinette, who manages to keep her head, . . . but let's not spoil anything by going too far ahead. If you've read or watched any Marie Antoinette books or movies, you'll love this fast-paced and fun historical biographical novel.


Finally, Libbie Grant's THE PROPHET's WIFE -- about the wife of Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet. Well, let's just say I NEED ALL OF YOU to read this because I must talk to someone about it. As with Maher in THE PARIS BOOKSELLER above, Grant does a great job making this book so relevant to now. And don't worry, you don't need a background on Smith to understand (my only background is The Book of Mormon, the musical--admit that I sometimes saw the actors dancing around as headspace background while reading). Grant does a great job of going into all the necessary details--from Emma Smith's perspective. If you have any bit of curiosity in your bones, I urge you to read this book then have a discussion or therapy session with me. We might just scream at the top of our lungs, but hey, it will be great way to clear out some of the screaming we all need to do right now anyway.


And these are just a few of the exciting books I've read lately! I had to dissappear in November and December due to work load, revisions load, and because of just health reasons, so I'm glad to be back at at now. As always, I'd love to hear what you've read and loved recently, or what you are looking forward to.

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