I didn’t do as much reading last month as I wanted, largely because Captain Pete and I were on a bit of a Star Trek movie binge, but I did squeeze in a few titles. Most of these books are advanced reads. I highly recommend you mark your calendars for their release dates, because I read some terrific books.
Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams – Chances are, if you’re a huge reader, that you’ve heard this title before as it’s getting a ton of buzz. The book is based on the compilation of the First Oxford Dictionary. It is interesting to note that the educated white men working on the first dictionary opted to leave out many working class and female-centric words. This book follows an imaginary heroine as she goes about collecting and saving those discarded words. Pip Williams has a wonderfully lyrical style. Her debut novel is going to make a huge impression. Release Date: April 2021.
Three Martini Afternoons at the Ritz by Gail Crowther – I confess, I knew very little about the poets Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton beyond their Pulitzer Prizes and suicides. Turns out both these talented women were from Massachusetts, attended the same advanced poetry workshop, and became lifelong friends and rivals. Throughout their lives the two of them struggled to balance their creative needs with societal norms. One (Plath) deals with the struggle by becoming a tightly-wound perfectionist, the other (Sexton) becomes an alcoholic mess. By the time I finished, I had developed deep respect, sympathy and understanding for both women. In my opinion, this is a must read for all female creators. Release Date: April 2021.
Makin’ Bacon (The Homegrown Café Book Club #1) by Melanie Szereto – Twelve months ago, Melanie Szereto and I sat in a Marriott lobby talking about pig farmers. Specifically, we talked about a pig farmer in Las Vegas who had made millions because he was smart enough to feed his pigs the left over scraps from the casinos. We joked that there was a romance hero in that story. Well, Melanie took that pig farmer and turned him into a sexy, swoon worthy hero. You’ll laugh out loud as her heroine and friends toss out wisecracks and sarcastic comebacks galore. The world needs more pig farmer heroes! Available for Pre-Order Now!
A Freewheeling Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties by Suze Rotolo – The late Suze Rotolo was Bob Dylan’s girlfriend from 1961-1964 and witnessed his rise from nobody to folk superstar. This book, which recounts her time living with him and the years immediately after their breakup, is an interesting look at the folk music scene when it was at its peak. I did have to laugh, however, when Rotolo opens the book by saying she wants to be defined as more than Bob Dylan’s girlfriend and then proceeds to talk about her relationship with Dylan for the next 200 pages. Still, it was a great research read for me. If you’re into the 60s or Dylan, it’s worth a gander. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.