The older I get the more I hate the gloomy days in the wintertime. But, on the upside, the kids’ extracurricular activities slow down and the cold weather gives me the perfect excuse to stay indoors and burrow into the couch with my favorite blanket and a hot cup of mocha cappuccino.
This winter, when I’m not crocheting or knitting, I’m hitting the books. You might have guessed from the picture that I read… a lot. I do. I read all the time, and I try to choose books from many genres spanning many topics. More often than not, you will find two or three books sitting around because I like to read more than one book at a time. Most recently, I’ve been reading A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay and Rejected Princesses: Tales of Histories Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics by Jason Porath. With these two books, I have been traveling the globe and it’s been a fun ride!
A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay is a delightful foray into all things Italian, from art to history to romance and family dynamics. The sweet meeting and budding romance between American Emily and Italian hottie Ben is a beautiful journey that I have very much enjoyed taking right along with the characters. The story is well-crafted and the lovely details included serve to give a birds’ eye peek into the world Ms. Reay has created for readers.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will be purchasing others written by Ms. Reay very soon! I am a hopeless Jane Austen fan, so I’m particularly interested in reading her novel, Dear Mr. Knightly. Featuring estranged sisters, Lizzy and Jane, is also on my short-list for reading. I am always delighted to discover a new author who’s work I enjoy and am very happy to add Katharine Reay to that collection.
Art restorer Emily Price has never encountered anything she can’t fix—until she meets Ben, an Italian chef, who seems just right. But when Emily follows Ben home to Italy, she learns that his family is another matter . . .
Emily Price—fix-it girl extraordinaire and would-be artist—dreams of having a gallery show of her own. There is no time for distractions, especially not the ultimate distraction of falling in love.
But Chef Benito Vassallo’s relentless pursuit proves hard to resist. Visiting from Italy, Ben works to breathe new life into his aunt and uncle’s faded restaurant, Piccollo. Soon after their first meeting, he works to win Emily as well—inviting her into his world and into his heart.
Emily astonishes everyone when she accepts Ben’s proposal and follows him home. But instead of allowing the land, culture, and people of Monterello to transform her, Emily interferes with everyone and everything around her, alienating Ben’s tightly knit family. Only Ben’s father, Lucio, gives Emily the understanding she needs to lay down her guard. Soon, Emily’s life and art begin to blossom, and Italy’s beauty and rhythm take hold of her spirit.
Yet when she unearths long-buried family secrets, Emily wonders if she really fits into Ben’s world. Will the joys of Italy become just a memory, or will Emily share in the freedom and grace that her life with Ben has shown her are possible?
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Rejected Princesses: Tales of Histories Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics by Jason Porath is about as different in presentation and subject matter as you can get from the lighter reading of the previous book I spoke of. It takes you to the far corners of the earth, to learn more about many different cultures and peoples.
I particularly enjoyed reading this one at bedtime as it’s a series of story shorts, which makes it easy to find a stopping point when you really need to get some sleep. Also, I very much appreciated getting to read about cultures that differ from my own and it gets me to wondering why some of the people included within the pages aren’t anyone we learned about in history class.
One of my favorite stories is about two journalists, Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland, from the United States who set out to travel around the world in 80 days (separately). Also, Laskarina Bouboulina: Heroine of the Greek War of Independence is a great read. There are too many to choose favorites from, just too many choices!!
Blending the iconoclastic feminism of The Notorious RBG and the confident irreverence of Go the F**ck to Sleep, a brazen and empowering illustrated collection that celebrates inspirational badass women throughout history, based on the popular Tumblr blog.
Well-behaved women seldom make history. Good thing these women are far from well behaved . . .
Illustrated in a contemporary animation style, Rejected Princesses turns the ubiquitous “pretty pink princess” stereotype portrayed in movies, and on endless toys, books, and tutus on its head, paying homage instead to an awesome collection of strong, fierce, and yes, sometimes weird, women: warrior queens, soldiers, villains, spies, revolutionaries, and more who refused to behave and meekly accept their place.
An entertaining mix of biography, imagery, and humor written in a fresh, young, and riotous voice, this thoroughly researched exploration salutes these awesome women drawn from both historical and fantastical realms, including real life, literature, mythology, and folklore. Each profile features an eye-catching image of both heroic and villainous women in command from across history and around the world, from a princess-cum-pirate in fifth century Denmark, to a rebel preacher in 1630s Boston, to a bloodthirsty Hungarian countess, and a former prostitute who commanded a fleet of more than 70,000 men on China’s seas.
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As I mentioned before, I like to read books from many different genres. These two are only a drop in the bucket of what’s available out there, if you look around long enough. And they are definitely worth your time and attention, in my opinion.
This winter has hit my family hard with the cold/flu and stomach flu making it’s way through my family more than once. These books have helped me pass the time when I felt less than stellar and couldn’t manage to get anything productive done.
What kind of books do you like to read?
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