The Corsets gang is reading some cool stuff this month!
I’m reading STAY WHERE YOU ARE & THEN LEAVE, by John Boyne. First World War, London. Alfie Summerfield’s milkman dad has gone — away on a secret mission, says Alfie’s mother, but Alfie knows he must be dead. But when Alfie learns that his father is in a hospital treating soldiers with shell shock, he resolves to rescue him. Excellent historical fiction from the author of THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS.
From Sharon Biggs Waller:
I just this morning finished reading Empress Dowager Cixi by Jung Chang. It’s a fascinating book about the former concubine who ruled China through two weak emperors. My novel is set in 1860s China, after the Opium Wars, so I wanted to find out what China was like then, how it was ruled, what the mindset was toward the West after those horrible wars. Because I (sadly) can’t time travel, I seek out books like Chang’s to help me. I certainly wasn’t disappointed in this one. Jung Chang’s beautiful writing and truthful rendition of this controversial woman’s life was riveting.
I just started reading E. Lockhart’s WE WERE LIARS, after hearing quite a bit of hype about the novel’s stellar plot. The book involves a wealthy family that gathers every summer on a private Massachusetts island, and there seems to be some KING LEAR overtones. Because I just dipped my toes into the first chapters last night, all I know is that the main character suffers a mysterious accident, outsiders enter the family, and the group of teens at the center of the novel call themselves the Liars, so it will likely be hard to figure out which characters can be trusted. I’ve heard the ending is stunning, so I think I might be racing through this one to see if the novel continues to live up to all the buzz—which, so far, it’s doing.
From J. Anderson Coats:
My fiction read is CHERRY MONEY BABY by John M. Cusick, about a girl named Cherry who’s swept into the confidence of a celebrity filming a movie in her dumpy little town. I almost didn’t pick this one up because the premise felt too ordinary, but the story quickly zags when you expect it to zig, and I absolutely loved Cherry and her zero-BS, unstarstruck, authentic teen voice. My other read is a memoir, TWO YEARS BEFORE THE MAST by Richard Henry Dana. It’s an account of an ordinary sailor’s first voyage on a merchant ship in the mid-nineteenth century, and it’s usually considered one of the first “crew’s eye view” descriptions of working life aboard ship in all of its physically taxing, violent, arbitrary glory.
I’m reading THE HIT by Melvin Burgess. I read his first novel, JUNK (titled SMACK in the US) when it was published in 1996 and was left breathless by the powerful voice and dark realism. THE HIT takes on a more futuristic dystopian setting in which the drug of choice gives the taker one amazing, week-long high, but leaves him dead at the end. I haven’t read far–it’s the kind of book I need to take in small doses, so to speak–but Burgess’s writing is amazing and the situation is bleakly compelling.
From Elizabeth May:
The book I’m reading now is A WEEK TO BE WICKED by Tessa Dare. I devoured my first Tessa Dare book, A NIGHT TO SURRENDER, in mere hours yesterday and immediately bought this one. Readers who love intellectual, proudly geeky heroines will adore the heroine, Minerva, a geologist determined to present her findings at a symposium for the Geological Society (who all believe her to be a man). To get there, she enlists the help of Colin, who is a shameless rake. Sparks fly, and the writing is witty, fun, and absolutely refreshing. Adore!
I’m reading Dan Brown’s THE LOST SYMBOL for inspiration on how to weave mysticism into a typical thriller backdrop. It’s a great reminder of how everyday symbols and rituals exist all around us, and fabulous inspiration as I jump into editing my third Maids of Honor book, which is chock-full of Elizabethan mysticism. 🙂 I’m enjoying it very much!
From Jessica Spotswood:
I just finished THE WINNER’S CURSE by Marie Rutkowski, which might be my favorite read of the year so far. It’s a gripping, high-stakes fantasy with an impossible love story and an incredibly complex heroine.
What are you guys reading? Tell us about it!