So I am so happy to announce that I have completed my second book of the summer (books #4 and #5 of the year...still trucking along to my goal of 12 non-school-books in 2012!) I will actually be THRILLED if I make it through 12 leisure books this year!
Book #4: The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
I first heard of this book from a friend who recommended it to me, then mentioned that Leonardo DiCaprio is supposed to star in a film adaptation of it at some point in the future. Uhhh if Leo is making a movie of it --- it has to be amazing, right??? When I went to buy the book, I had to purchase it in the US History section. WTF? I have never truly read a historical nonfiction book I don't think. I was skeptical, but the prospect of me reading a book that Leo will later star in won over the skepticism.
I'm pretty sure I started this book in February...and it took me 4 months to read! Not that it is a bad book, it just alternates between entrancing and dull...
The chapters that had me hooked followed H.H. Holmes in the late 1800s. He is a wealthy physician with gorgeous blue eyes that make the ladies melt. He also has a habit of wooing then killing these ladies. Oh and he further dissects his cadavers in the basement of his self-designed mansion, that has a built-in sound-proof vault and a kiln for disposing of the evidence. (Leo is rumored to be playing this character in the film adaptation)
Between the H.H. Holmes chapters is the story of the development of the Chicago World's Fair, which took place in 1893. The architects, the landscape architects, the mayor, the builders...there were hundreds of thousands of people involved in the development of this fair, which included hundreds of buildings that overall covered over a mile of land just outside of Chicago. They faced setback after setback, whether it be another architect dying from cholera, a frigid winter that delays building, or one of many workman's' strikes that occurred during that time period.
The story of H.H. Holmes and the Chicago World's Fair eventually collide, as Holmes uses the popularity of the fair to find his new victims.
I actually learned a lot from this book, about Shredded Wheat, Walt Disney, the invention of the Ferris Wheel, and Buffalo Bill. Not the most gripping book, but certainly different from my usual book choices, and I really hope to be able to see Leonardo DiCaprio's interpretation of Holmes on the big screen in the near future! In summary, I recommend it, but grade it a B- .
Book #5: Cocktails for Three by Madeleine Wickham (the author of the Confessions of a Shopaholic series --- aka Sophie Kinsella)
After reading a book as serious and dark as The Devil in the White City, I needed a girly pick-me-up book. I've mentioned to you all in the past how I like to alternate between serious and silly books, it keeps my reading life balanced somehow!
This book follows three lovely London ladies, in the prime of their lives. Best friends, the trio works for an upscale London magazine. Maggie is the magazine's editor, is due any minute to have her first baby, and has absolutely no idea what to expect from motherhood! Roxanne is a sun-kissed freelance writer, whose heart belongs to a married man. And Candice is a perpetual do-gooder, constantly trying to better the world to compensate for the many lives her father ruined when he was alive. The three women each encounter life-changing challenges, and try to manage these challenges without the support of each other.
A very quick read, it is a sweet story of friendship and loyalty. I recommend it if you need a bubbly pick-me-up and if you enjoy this type of writing style :) Overall grade of B+
Currently: working on The Wedding Girl by Madeleine Wickham, re-reading Wicked by Gregory Maguire, and a few bedside table books. I think I'm going to start Divergent (by Veronica Roth) tonight, too!
On my summer list of books sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read, I have:
- Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo
- Little Bee by Chris Cleave
- Shine by Lauren Myracle
- Francesca's Kitchen by Peter Pezzelli
- Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire
- Dog Years by Mark Doty
- Blink by Malcom Gladwell
That doesn't even include books I don't own that I want to read!
- Bossy Pants
- The Glass Castle
- The Tiger's Wife
- Fifty Shades of Grey
- The Book Thief
- Chelsea Handler books
and I'm sure there are many more in my head!!!
Is there anything you think I should add to the list???
I will be pretty busy with reading but I would LOVE to make it through this whole list!
What are you reading right now? Read anything amazing lately?