Monday, February 20, 2012

On the Pretty Bookshelf, February '12 Ed.

I had an "outfit of the day" style post all lined up for today with my favorite Princess Shinylocks-inspired (copied) outfit, and then the pictures turned out horribly, possibly because the Anonymous Husband / photographer found it hilarious that I'd ask him to take a picture of my outfit. And I'm incapable of posing normally for staged photos. And then the dog ate my homework. Bottom line is, I'm far too vain to post the results, so we'll just have to Kate another day.


Anywhoo, February has been a terrific month on the literary front for the wee CEO & me. I've settled into my new book club, while Master P has finished off Dickens & has moved onto the Beat poets - or is it our local library's toddler story hour, I always get those two confused . . .

. . . in any event, he's inherited his mama's strong opinions on books, though only one of us has taken to chucking a disliked book across the room while gleefully shouting "NO!" As always, I have more detailed info up on my Goodreads profile, but here's the skinny on our favorites from this month, none of which have gone sailing in any untoward direction (all images via Barnes & Noble):

For the Grownups

"Rules of Civility" by Amor Towles

This came highly recommended to me and is that rare debut novel that manages to live up to the hype, succeeding as a pre-WWII era comedy of manners and romance as well as a deeper look at the mores of that pre-war "golden age" in New York and America now. Though this is set some 15 years after "The Great Gatsby", the comparisons are inevitable - for starters, both use the narrative structure of an outsider looking in, only to realize that the privileged American "in" isn't quite what it appears.

I fell head over heels for the prose and immediately wanted to befriend the narrator. The sparkling dialogue and characters veritably leap off the page, though it's occasionally more stylized than real.  I only wish that we all spouted off clever one liners like this. Some of those staged moments aside, this was a startling insightful read, moving me at many times to go grab my highlighter so I could mark my favorite bits.

Fans of Wharton and, yes, Fitzgerald, you'll really like this one. Pinky swear.

On Deck: "1Q84", "Let the Great World Spin", "Catch-22", "The 25th Hour" (Apparently I need a dystopian literature chaser to my "Hunger Games" binge).

For the Playground Set

Master P is sticking to the classics; we were delighted to find these two in board book, oversized editions:

"Olivia" by Ian Falconer

Going back to this post, my boy is going to learn about strong women, precocious pigs very much included. The literary little sister to my old favorite, "Eloise", this book's cheerful illustrations & clever prose keep us both entertained.

"The Very Busy Spider" by Eric Carle

Ever wonder if Mr. Carle is sitting in a multi-colored mansion somewhere counting his millions? I'm only to happy to add to his stash; Master P adores the colorful animal pictures, and they're beautiful enough that I enjoy looking at them again and again (and AGAIN) too.


What's new & exciting on your bookshelf this month?


The Preppy Princess said...

Ohhhh, Olivia! I *love* Olivia, she is one of my favorite porcine beings! BTW, you know I enjoyed Rules of Civility, now have TQM reading it.

Sending you and the wee CEO a smile,

AEOT said...

After you are done reading your "real" literature, definitely try Divergent by Veronica Roth if you liked the Hunger Games. Better, IMO, seriously, SOOOO good. I can't wait for book two.

Spencer is loving the Spot books by Eric Hill right now. He loves the lift the flap books and wants to do Spot multiple times before bed. He has all the animals memorized (sssssssss is snake since he can SO not say snake right now).

I just finished Game of Thrones and am waiting on book 2 from the library. I really liked it- it's super long (over 1000 pages) but the characters were great!!

Europafox said...

I would buy that book for the cover alone - sigh! I love your comment on the husband taking the picture - can relate, he he. But I bet you looked fab - are you going to post on this dress, did you say it was from Zara? (love Zara)

eas said...

I checked that out from the library and then got distracted with another book. You've inspired me to pick it up again! We love Olivia also.

Anonymous said...

Since you love Downton Abbey I suggest the Maisie Dobbs books. They're a series about a female investigator set in England between WWI and WWII and I'm obsessed!!

CBK @ Plan Acourtingly said...

SO glad you liked is one of my new favorite books!

Amy @ Forever 29 said...

I'd like to pretend that I've been reading, but these days I can't even seem to flip through Southern Living before I fall asleep! We're planning on getting the Hunger Games books on audio for our upcoming Spring break trip. That counts, right?

As for the littles it's Llama Llama books for BB and Usborne Touchy Feely books for LB.

Anonymous said...

That novel sounds intriguing. I'm shallow enough to want to read it based on the cover art alone.

Because of our upcoming trip to England, I'm in the midst of an 18th-Century-English-literature-is-the-only-thing-that-matters Anglophile bender. I'm reading some of Jane Austen's early sketches in preparation for making a pilgrimage to Hampshire.

Anonymous said...

Ugh, that anon comment was me, Tippy. Xo

Anonymous said...

Oh, and Mr. P is 18 months or there about, yes? Pretty soon you should introduce him to Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems. My 2yo can't get enough. They're charming books (it's a trilogy of Knuffle Bunny, Knuffle Bunny Too, and Knuffle Bunny Free) with cartoon illustrations mixed in with black and white photos. Both my boys and my girl love them.


Anonymous said...

We are big fans of Eric Carle as well - although my LO is more interested in eating the books than reading them. She does enjoy turning a single page back and forth while scratching at the shiny texture. I'm hopeful that the fun of the sing-song cadence will kick in in the next year.

And yay for new authors and books - this definitely looks like one to pick up.

Still trying to finish The Happiness Project. Getting lots of good ideas - now just a matter of putting them to work.

Meg said...

I've heard such great things about Rules of Civility -- and as I'm a huge fan of The Great Gatsby, this has been on my radar for a while. Think I'm going to have to break down and buy it already.

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