Monday, July 18, 2011

Gaskell & Ephron

Here are my summer book picks for all you avid readers. While I was a little late in beginning my summer reading I started off the tradition with two fantastic & extremely quick (which, when they're as good as this means way too quick) reads.

The first one I picked up was my lovely, green Penguin edition of Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford.

 I recommend this book to anyone who has enjoyed Jane Austen's novels. Written in a similar style that blends delightful irony with quaint but serious tragedy, I was quite literally laughing out loud and not moments later crying (& all out of a singular paragraph!). I delighted in this book, in its sheer "britishness" but also in the sweet heart that felt & told these stories so dearly. Elizabeth Gaskell wrote two other novels that go along with Cranford  and that are woven into the television mini-series starring Judy Dench and Michael Gambon. The series has been wonderful so far, even Bryce is anxious to start the new disc (whenever Netflix graces our mailbox). I've come to understand through Bryce that British Television is somewhat of an acquired taste, however, he seems to have jumped into this particular series more quickly than any other I have made him watch. In fact, as I write this we are fixing up our famous (amongst ourselves, anyway) homemade pizza in anticipation of a Cranford night (white wine was invited as well)! 

And next we have the hilarious Nora Ephron's book, I Feel Bad About my Neck

In a word, this book is scrumptious. I laughed so many times & had to read so many parts of it out loud to whoever was fortunate enough to be sitting near me. To say I am recommending this book is really not accurate. You must read it. For those of you unaware of Nora Ephron & her work, she is responsible for one of my dearest & most treasured movie treats, You've Got Mail. Not only did she write it, she directed it as well. The same wonderful sensations that tickle my brain when I watch the film are found in each page of this short (only 120 page) book. She writes the way she talks & about midway through the book Bryce caught me referring to her on a first name basis - "Nora just said yatta yatta yatta . . . " - that is always a great sign. Take my word on this one, you will not be able to, nor will you want to put this down, much less have it end. It is a perfect little book on life, on lovely writing, on aging, cooking, the Apthorp, & what being a real person is actually like. 

I invite you to come visit me at my "Fox Books" (to quote my father who relishes in reminding me that I work for a nasty book chain - but please note all of you Got Mail fans that I know who Noah Streatfeild is!) & pick up these two titles. If you have other recommendations for me I'd love to hear them. 
I'm picking my way through Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White right now & it is turning awfully & chillingly mysterious. Look for my review on that one sometime next month.

*Pictures of these books are included for those of you who go into book stores armed with only the information about what color the book is. Thankfully these two are very bright & I will at least know what you mean by "the yellow funny one". But please, do try to remember the titles!


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