Today we’re checking in with the Corsets, Cutlasses & Candlesticks crew to find out what we’re reading.
I’ve just started reading LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green. This is my first time reading a book by Green (please don’t pelt me with spoiled fruit!), and so far, though I’m just under 100 pages in, I love it. Miles is a rather witty narrator, and the fictional Culver Creek School portrayed in the novel is based on Indian Springs School which is about 30 miles southwest of my home. It’s like an inside peek into boarding school life there.
I’m also re-reading THE MIRACLE AT ST. BRUNO’S by Philippa Carr. It’s a dark, moody novel set in England during Henry VIII’s rule. It’s the first in Carr’s “Daughters of England” series of which I’ve read nine of the nineteen books. The series is a multi-generational family saga, each novel following the daughter of the previous book’s heroine. Incidentally, Philippa Carr is just one of eight or nine nom-de-plumes of Eleanor Hibbert. She was so prolific it makes my head spin! Oh, what wouldn’t I do for just a fraction of that prolificness?
I just finished reading SINNER by Maggie Stiefvater. Charismatic, self-destructive Cole and prickly, clever Isabel were always, my favorite characters from the Wolves of Mercy Falls series, so I was thrilled that she wrote a companion novel from their points of view.
I’m also reading THE STRANGE HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN QUADROON by Emily Clark, which delves into the lives of free women of color in antebellum New Orleans. That’s research for my PETTICOATS & PISTOLS short story.
J. Anderson Coats:
I’m reading THE INTELLECTUAL LIFE OF THE BRITISH WORKING CLASSES by
Jonathan Rose, a history of working-class reading culture and cultural
literacy focusing on the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Its
goal is to question a lot of received assumptions—namely, that the
working classes couldn’t (or didn’t) read or read only fluff, that
classics were foisted on the working classes to indoctrinate them, and
that education at this time was uniformly a negative experience. I’m also
reading the gripping, page-turny YA mystery LATITUDE ZERO by Diana Renn.
I’m currently reading Tessa Dare’s ROMANCING THE DUKE. I’ve been reading a great deal of Dare’s backlist lately and love how wry, witty and intelligent her characters are. Like all of her books, RTD is such a fun read! It’s a bit Beauty and the Beast Meets Gothic Romance, about a penniless heroine who inherits a crumbling castle currently occupied by a very prickly duke who contests her ownership. Sparks fly, hilarious dialogue ensues!
I’m taking a break from researching right now and trying to get through my TBR pile (which is appallingly large). I’m reading THE 39 DEATHS OF ADAM STRAND by Gregory Galloway. It’s an interesting take on suicide and so far elicits many more questions than answers. Compelling.
I’m reading: NOSTRADAMUS: A LIFE AND MYTH
This biography of the famous “prophet-seer” of France presents a fully articulated picture of the young life and development of Nostradamus, who played such an important role in the 1550s–his most famous predictions were first published in 1555, four years before the setting of my books. I am working on edits for my third Maids of Honor tale, Maid of Wonder, in which Nostradamus plays a key role!
Sharon Biggs Waller:
I’m busy on a new work in progress, which is coming out Winter 2016, so I’m doing lots of
research, as per usual when I’m writing a first draft. My latest find is called IN THE ARMS OF MORPHEUS: The Tragic History of Laudanum, Morphine, and Patent Medicines. Opium and its derivatives feature pretty heavily in my story so I was super excited to get this book. It’s incredible because we assume addiction is a modern thing, but addiction stretches back many centuries, and it all began with opium. I’m also reading CHILDREN PLAYING BEFORE A STATUE OF HERCULES by David Sedaris. This is a collection of short stories (chosen by Sedaris) from some of our greatest writers. The book is to benefit 826NYC, which helps children and teens develop writing skills.
I’m also reading for a novel-in-progress. For me, it’s a close study of Shakespeare’s HAMLET. Hopefully, I’ll get to announce why soon.
Wow! Laudanum and opium and prophets and romance and reading. Can’t wait to learn more about Cat’s new novel! What are you reading this summer?