Well, I didn’t take my own advice last week and I positively punished the last half of The Luminaries. As slow to start as the first half may be, the second part simply can’t be put down. It gets so juicy, and I was eager to discover each twist in the plot and revelation of sorts. In essence, it was crushed. And it was great! So good, really. If you’re looking for a wild, fantastical mystery, then I would highly recommend it.
Next up is a book for book club, Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler. It’s a welcome change from our last book, which ended up being an interesting, if dry, read. Have you read Z? If you were a fan of the elusive avant-garde writers and grandeur of the twenties (a prominent hand up over here), then I think you’ll like it. It’s an illuminating portrait of an oft-misunderstood woman and one of the first celebrity couples in American history. I’m only a few chapters in, but it’s a quick and easy read so far. Again, it’s welcome after my most recent novel.
Did you ever read The Paris Wife? It was a healthy sensation when it first came out and made the wives of some our greatest writers visible and important in a way they never were in their lifetime. For as daft as she is initially portrayed in the novel, Hadley has a lot of grit and composure to stay with a man like Hemingway, and I think Paula McLain offers a racy and controversial opinion of what their marriage was like.
In keeping with the Roaring Twenties theme, last summer I read Rules of Civility by Amor Towles and was actually stunned by how much I liked it. I honestly wasn’t expecting much (maybe it was the cover, which looked cheesy, or the main character’s name–it’s Katey Kontent!), but I was so impressed with the zippy prose and the scandalous plot development. It’s peppered with generous foreshadowing and full-on giveaways, but still, you keep hoping things will change. Rules of Civility, like The Paris Wife and Z, is booze-soaked and melodramatic, but it’s a very fine read and absolutely perfect for summer.
What are you reading right now? Do you find that your tastes and expectations change with the seasons? I always want something lighter and a little less taxing in the summer, knowing I’ll be reading outside and possibly falling asleep mid-sentence if we’re in a park or lounging by the river.