"She read all such works as heroines must read to supply their memories with those quotations which are so serviceable and so soothing in the vicissitudes of their eventful lives." Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey
Leave it to me to decide to really dive into serious reading right as the rest of my life explodes with activity. I picked up a few great classics this month and a few big-time biographies, too, leaving me heavy on the quality and low on the quantity this month. I did love it though...here's to the nerdiest fall ever.
Under the Banner of Heaven, Jon Krakauer: This well-known exposée and tell-all of the history of Mormonism and Mormon fundamentalism kept me riveted from start to finish. A totally engrossing tale of manipulation and political maneuvering, religious extremism, and the dark side of politics and religion that I couldn't put down.
House of Mirth, Edith Wharton: I love Wharton for her critical and acerbic takes on old money, new money, and no money in the Gilded Age, and House of Mirth did not disappoint. Fabulous, lush prose and subtle examinations on beauty, fortune, manipulation and double standards all over the place. (#4 of 25 in my 101 in 1001 item #70!)
The Gilded Age, Claire McMillan: A modern-day retelling of House of Mirth set in pre-crash Cleveland, of all places. Incisive social commentary on class stratification and moral hypocrisy...a fitting and appropriate take on the original.
n/a this month. Things were very polarizing.
The Lucky One, Nicholas Sparks: I picked this up at a car service appointment and it lived up to all my lack of Sparks-y expectations. I will say it was moderately less overblown than The Notebook but I still just can't get into the contrived, overly dramatic artificial romance-y crap he writes.
Juliet, Anne Fortier: A split-narrative romantic mystery set partly in the Middle Ages and partly in present-day Siena, attempting to trace the roots of the real Romeo and Juliet in time to stop a mass-murderer. Far-fetched, but so engrossing I couldn't put it down...even the second time.
Elizabeth The Queen, Sally Bedell Smith: In honor of QEII becoming the longest-reigning British monarch in history, I re-read this stunningly rich, detailed biography of her life and reign. It paints a fantastic picture of her as both a public figure and private persona--I loved it even more the second time around.
Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare: I'm a hopeless, helpless nerd and found that I enjoy treadmill interval workouts more with iambic pentameter alongside. What started off as streaming "Shakespeare in Love" and Baz Luhrmann's "Romeo + Juliet" on my iPad at the gym just turned into reading and reciting Shakespeare in my head, going slower during the romance scenes and faster during the battles. ON THAT NOTE, I'd like to claim my official "She's going to die alone with half a dozen cats" card any day now...