August was a fairly busy month reading-wise (read ALL the books!), offline, and otherwise. Suffice to say my scheduled book reviews have now backed up into late October November (oh my) 😛 Anyway, here’s what has been going on at my blog for the month of August:
Books reviewed this month include: Arkady and Boris Strugatsky’s The Dear Mountaineer’s Inn (review), Julie Schumacher’s Dear Committee Members (review), and Sigal Samuel’s The Mystics of Mile End (review). You can check out all the books I’ve reviewed recently in the book review tag.
ARC reviews posted this month were for Aliette de Bodard’s The House of Shattered Wings (review) and Lucy Foley’s The Book of Lost and Found (review). You can check out all of the ARCs that I recently read in this tag.
On the movies end, I finally posted my review of In the Loop (review). You can check out other movie reviews I’m posted in this tag
I also finally got around to watching Netflix’s Daredevil some time ago! You can check out my thoughts on series 1 in this post and other television reviews/discussion posts I’ve made in this category.
Roofbeam Reader hosted Austen in August, so in conjunction with the event I chose to focus on Jane Austen for this month’s edition of So You Want to Read… 🙂 You can read the post of my recommended reading order of her books in this post. For all my previous recommendations under this feature, check out this tag.
And that’s about it from me this month! How was your August? Have a wonderful week 🙂
The Queen and Mrs Thatcher: An Inconvenient Relationship Edited By: Dean Palmer Format/Source: Hardback courtesy of the author via GoodReads First Reads Programme
This is the remarkable story of how the two most powerful women in Britain at the time met and disliked each other on sight.
For over a decade they quietly waged a war against each other on both a personal and political stage, disagreeing on key issues including sanctions against South Africa, the Miners’ Strike and allowing US planes to bomb Libya using UK military bases.
Elizabeth found the means to snub and undermine her prime minister through petty class put-downs and a series of press leaks.
Margaret attacked her monarch by sidelining her internationally, upstaging her at home and allowing the Murdoch press to crucify the royal family.
This book is a window into the 80s, an era when Britain was changed beyond recognition by a woman who made ‘Thatcherism’ the defining word of the decade.
I thought the premise of this book was really interseting: two of the most powerful women in Britain in the 1980s who disliked each other. How does that work out? From the book blurb above, I had no idea that they disliked each other so much that it would actually play out on the political stage, albeit discreetly (I must’ve missed that part when I read Robin Harris’ Not For Turning (review) some two years ago). I’ve read enough royal biographies and snippets I suppose–not to mention the Thatcher biography I just noted in the previous sentence–to know enough about both women, so I was curious to see how this book highlights the differences–and similarities?–between the two of them. I was surprised to learn that I won a copy of this book through GoodReads and thankful to the author for having sent it. This book became available on 01 June 2015.
I think I’ve mentioned this at some point but I am notoriously slow when it comes to television shows and movies that come out. I mean, I am too with new releases with books, but it takes forever before I finally get around to movies and show that I’ve been meaning to check out. So yeah, when Netflix dropped season 1 of Daredevil, I was curious (the whole subscription network like Netflix picking up a Marvel show like Daredevil, the fact that Daredevil was adapted to a television show instead of a movie, etc.) but I took a while before finally getting around to watching the series. Contains spoilers if you haven’t watched the show yet!
Beautiful Ruins By: Jess Walter Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying.
And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio’s back lot—searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.
What unfolds is a dazzling, yet deeply human, roller coaster of a novel, spanning fifty years and nearly as many lives. From the lavish set of Cleopatra to the shabby revelry of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Walter introduces us to the tangled lives of a dozen unforgettable characters: the starstruck Italian innkeeper and his long-lost love; the heroically preserved producer who once brought them together and his idealistic young assistant; the army veteran turned fledgling novelist and the rakish Richard Burton himself, whose appetites set the whole story in motion—along with the husbands and wives, lovers and dreamers, superstars and losers, who populate their world in the decades that follow.
Gloriously inventive, constantly surprising, Beautiful Ruins is a story of flawed yet fascinating people, navigating the rocky shores of their lives while clinging to their improbable dreams.
This book has been on my radar ever since it was released a few years ago. The premise of this nove sounds fantastic, not to mention it’s set in Italy; I’ve never been to Cinque Terre and the places facing the Ligurian Sea so that was an added appeal. For some reason though it took me a long while to get around to picking up this book :3 Seemed like the perfect summer read though, hence why I chose to read it recently 🙂
The Mystics of Mile End By: Sigal Samuel Format/Source: eBook; my purchase
The Meyer family lives in Mile End, home to a mashup of hipsters and Hasidic Jews, where down the street crazy Mr. Katz is building a tree out of plucked leaves, toilet paper rolls, and dental floss. When David, a skeptical professor of religion, is diagnosed with an unusual heart murmur, he becomes convinced that his heart is whispering divine secrets.
But when David’s frenzied attempts to ascend the Tree of Life lead to tragedy, his daughter Samara, who abruptly abandoned religion years earlier, believes it is up to her to finish what she started. As Samara’s brother documents her increasingly strange behaviour, it falls to next-door neighbour and Holocaust survivor Chaim Glassman to shatter the silence that divides the members of the Meyer family. But can he break through to them in time?
I first heard of this novel from Tanya @ 52 books or bust when she posted her review of the novel. She enjoyed the novel and the premise really intrigued me so I kept a lookout for it 🙂