I have a delight for you today. One of those books you stumble across that opens up new worlds, shows you the stories beneath the stories, and changes how you think and read. If you are interested in myths, folk tales, the oral storytelling tradition, or fairy tales, run to your nearest library or bookstore and find Little Red Riding Hood: Sex, Morality, and the Evolution of a Fairy Tale. That title alone, right?
For those of you hanging onto summer, here’s one last beachy read. It’s been in the eighties and humid here, very unusual for October in New England, so it still feels like summer despite the leaves falling, geese honking, and the twenty fully grown turkeys scratching around my lawn this morning. I’m ready for real fall, but if you’re still in the mood for summer, check out The Gypsy Moth Summer.
Jane Austen is, I feel, always enjoyable. Since my English degree consisted (by design on my part) of mostly writers underrepresented in the traditional canon, there are still many more traditional texts I have not had the pleasure of encountering. And oh, Northanger Abbey is a gem.
Fast (seriously, it’s so short!), extremely funny, and including a passionate defense of the art of novel, how could one not adore it? As we are told from the start, Catherine Morland is an unlikely heroine, but she is so much fun. It is easily my favorite “classic” novel I have read this year, and Catherine’s struggles, out-of-control imagination, misapprehensions and eventual happy ending were a bright spot in an otherwise bleak month. The perfect thing to read curled up with a cup of tea, if it ever starts to feel like a seasonable fall. It’s basically a chocolate chip cookie, in book form.
A large part of the appeal of independent bookstores is their ability to carry and promote books that you don’t see everywhere else. These two books have little in common other than that; I picked them up at my local indie bookstore because they looked wildly different. The Maids and The News lived up to that promise.