This Week’s Blog Posts:
While it may have been an Oscar-worthy script, Lee Israel fails to do herself justice in her memoir Can You Ever Forgive Me? The book seemed to provide the bones for the film, but the screenwriter had to stitch together an interesting story. Click the title to read my review.
A delicious read that plays with your mind and loyalties, Daphne du Maurier’s My Cousin Rachel is sure to please fans of mystery, domestic thrillers, historical fiction, and classics. Part of a book club? I can’t recommend this book enough; Emily @ The Literary Elephant and I sure had plenty to discuss! Differing opinions make the experience even better. Click the title to check out my review, and keep your eyes open for a book-to-film review in the near future.
Next Week’s Blog Posts:
Two works of nonfiction are in the pipeline: Dani Shapiro’s book Still Writing: The Pleasures and Perils of a Creative Life is up on Tuesday. The book’s title gives you a clue that this is a work about the writing life in the vein of Stephen King and Anne Lamott, but it’s also a question every writer, even famous ones, get asked. “Still writing?”
I’m grateful that Laila @ Big Reading Life pointed me toward Anti-Diet: Reclaim Your Time, Money, Well-Being, and Happiness Through Intuitive Eating by Christy Harrison, MPH, MD. Laila is on her own journey reading books about intuitive eating, and I love reading her updates about it on Goodreads. Part history, all argument, Harrison’s book will be reviewed on Thursday.
Book I’m Reading Aloud to My Spouse:
The spouse and I are still working on Jamaica Inn, also by Daphne du Maurier. He says that he’s interested to learn more about the dynamic between Mary Yellen and Jem Merlyn. Yes, she’s the strong woman, but she’s branching out beyond simply protecting her Aunt Patience from Uncle Joss Merlyn. In fact, despite knowing that Jem is a horse thief, Mary’s going to town with him on Christmas Eve while he sells a stolen pony.
Although Uncle Joss is presented as the terrifying one, the spouse points out that Joss admits he respects Mary for her intelligence and admits his own weaknesses.
We’ve finally reached the part where we know Joss is a bad guy to being a Bad Guy. I called this “brutal”; the spouse called it “vicious.” Emily @ The Literary Elephant noted just how different Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel are — that they’re both wonderful but don’t sound like the same author. Upon re-reading Jamaica Inn, I’m noticing just how different all three novels are.
Books Added to the TBR Pile:
I basically added du Maurier’s entire oeuvre to my TBR in the hopes that there are gems yet undiscovered. I haven’t even read her short fiction yet, which would include “The Birds,” another du Maurier work that Hitchcock made into a film. Here’s a list of her works I have not read:
- The Loving Spirit
- I’ll Never Be Young Again
- Frenchman’s Creek
- Hungry Hill
- The King’s General
- The Parasites
- Mary Anne
- The Scapegoat
- Castle Dor (with Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch)
- The Glass-Blowers
- The Flight of the Falcon
- The House on the Strand
- Rule Britannia
- Happy Christmas
- Come Wind, Come Weather
- Early Stories (short story collection, stories written between 1927–1930)
- The Breaking Point
- The Birds and Other Stories
- Don’t Look Now
- The Rendezvous and Other Stories
- Classics of the Macabre
- The Doll: The Lost Short Stories
- Gerald: A Portrait
- The du Mauriers
- The Young George du Maurier: a selection of his letters 1860–67
- The Infernal World of Branwell Brontë
- Vanishing Cornwall (includes photographs by her son Christian)
- Golden Lads: Sir Francis Bacon, Anthony Bacon and their Friends
- The Winding Stair: Francis Bacon, His Rise and Fall
- Myself When Young
- The Rebecca Notebook and Other Memories
- Enchanted Cornwall
I’m not sure if I’ll read all of the nonfiction, especially the books about Bacon, but there’s certainly a lot to choose from!