Tuesday, August 5, 2014

august reads

August already! I am thoroughly enjoying summer.  Open windows, sunshine, lots of walks to the grocery store and to parks, seeing people out and about with bikes and frisbees and kites - museums, walking along the Mall, fresh, sweet-smelling fruit and farmers' markets - summer is always good to me.  I don't miss dirty puddle splashes in my rain boots and getting whipped in the face by sleet, though winter and fall come with pluses as well (the quiet after a major snowfall comes to mind...)

But onto the books! This month I'm devouring another of the Vish Puri series - the first of bunch - which have been so fun and refreshing.  Since most of my other summer reads are either not at the library or on hold till, oh, October (!), I'm joining with Wensend and others to read Austen in August.  I'll be finishing Northanger Abbey, which I started a few months ago, and tagging along for their read-along of Pride and Prejudice.

Here are some blurbs, for those interested:

Northanger Abbey: A wonderfully entertaining coming-of-age story, Northanger Abbey is often referred to as Jane Austen’s “Gothic parody.” Decrepit castles, locked rooms, mysterious chests, cryptic notes, and tyrannical fathers give the story an uncanny air, but one with a decidedly satirical twist.  The story’s unlikely heroine is Catherine Morland, a remarkably innocent seventeen-year-old woman from a country parsonage. While spending a few weeks in Bath with a family friend, Catherine meets and falls in love with Henry Tilney, who invites her to visit his family estate, Northanger Abbey. Once there, Catherine, a great reader of Gothic thrillers, lets the shadowy atmosphere of the old mansion fill her mind with terrible suspicions. What is the mystery surrounding the death of Henry’s mother? Is the family concealing a terrible secret within the elegant rooms of the Abbey? Can she trust Henry, or is he part of an evil conspiracy? Catherine finds dreadful portents in the most prosaic events, until Henry persuades her to see the peril in confusing life with art. (from goodreads)

Pride & Prejudice: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen's witty comedy of manners--one of the most popular novels of all time--that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues. (from goodreads)

The Case of the Missing Servant: The portly Vish Puri is India’s most accomplished detective, at least in his own estimation, and is also the hero of an irresistible new mystery series set in hot, dusty Delhi. Puri’s detective skills are old-fashioned in a Sherlock Holmesian way and a little out of sync with the tempo of the modern city, but Puri is clever and his methods work.  The Case of the Missing Servant shows Puri (“Chubby” to his friends) and his wonderfully nicknamed employees (among them, Handbrake, Flush, and Handcream) hired for two investigations. The first is into the background of a man surprisingly willing to wed a woman her father considers unmarriageable, and the second is into the disappearance six months earlier of a servant to a prominent Punjabi lawyer, a young woman known only as Mary.  The Most Private Investigator novels offer a delicious combination of ingenious stories, brilliant writing, sharp wit, and a vivid, unsentimental picture of contemporary India. And from the first to the last page run an affectionate humour and intelligent insights into both the subtleties of Indian culture and the mysteries of human behavior. (from goodreads)

What are you reading this August? Are you an Austen fan? Join in!

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