School’s out for summer! But no summer slide in this house. This summer–WE READ! Plus our summer vacation to the beach provided plenty of time to sit down with a good book in hand. Enjoy my list of June favorites!
This is a dear little book by British author AJ Pearce. Taking place in WW2 London during the air raids, Emmy dreams of becoming a war correspondent but finds herself working at a women’s magazine, typing the replies from the advice columnist, Mrs. Henrietta Bird, who has no intention of helping anyone–at least not anyone who has real problems which she deems unpleasant. Emmy can’t help feeling she can do something more to help and starts a clandestine effort to respond to these letters. However well intended she learns that her advice has not always garnered the outcome she envisioned. She has to work to salvage her most cherished friendship and to save her job all while figuring out who she really is.
Living in Pittsburgh you can’t help but notice the influence of Andrew Carnegie. Between the namesake museums, music hall and not to mention Carnegie Mellon University, the city continues to enjoy the benefits of this great philanthropist. Marie Benedict’s fictional story tells the tale of a secret romance between Carnegie and his mother’s ladies maid, who happens to have a secret of her own. Through their relationship Clara Kelly not only steels (ha! get it…steel) Andrew’s heart but reminds him of the great responsibility that comes with power and wealth and implores him to use his talents to better the community around him. If you like a little bit of history and a little Downton Abbey type fiction you’ll enjoy this look into the private life of one of the nation’s most ruthless businessmen.
Be still my steampunk heart. I picked up the 14 page one-shot of Lady Mechanika on FCBD and haven’t looked back. This partially mechanized heroine is in search of her maker but is kicking ass and taking names in the process. Joe Benitez’s style is everything I could want and more, using his art and writing to draw you into the old-meets-new world that was the industrial revolution. I promise to have more on this book to come as a short blurb cannot begin to do it justice.
I certainly seemed to have been reaching back in time this month with my book selections but this last book brings us back to contemporary NYC. We join Molly Marx at her own funeral, curious how she ended up dead at 36. Through both her afterlife abilities to see and read peoples minds as well as a series of flash backs, she attempts to solve the mystery of her own death while also finding new appreciation for the life she lived. Sally Koslow, former McCall’s Magazine editor, does a fabulous job weaving this tale together, never giving away the secret to Molly’s demise. This was my official beach read of the summer and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Part mystery and part love story, solemn and witty, this book checked off a lot of boxes!
One of the definite plus-minuses of Netflix is the abundance of original programming. Sometimes there is just so much and you don’t know where to start. Another plus-minus being the lack of advertising it’s hard to know what shows are even there. Just happens I stumbled upon this sitcom gem. A pair of old men, played flawlessly by Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin, are each other’s constants in a life that has a tendency to swallow you whole and spit you out in pieces. Their friendship, while at times superficially contentious, is as true as friendship can be. This show had me in stitches as often as it had me in tears, playing on every human emotion possible while dealing with serious issues of cancer, death, addiction and dysfunctional relationships.