School’s ou… I mean in, so we share our surprisingly dark back to school picks. Crystal couldn’t join us but she gives as many picks as the rest of us combined via the Off the Shelf blog. We close with what’s tickling our fancy: historical sagas, neu-horror, awe-inspiring teachers and other bestseller alternatives.
On this month’s show, we talk about things we’ve broken up with… and things we’ve fallen back in love with – the bad habits we can’t put down. And of course, we tell you what tickles our fancy! Can the host obey his own “no jokes” rule?
Join the wickedly observant Tina Brown as she takes you through the years when Princess Diana was the queen of everyone’s heart! Brown’s writing snaps, crackles and pops as she discusses Diana’s courtship with Prince Charles, the tragedy of their marriage and her later death, and the effect she had both on the British monarchy and the world. Brown is an impartial observer who does not shrink from telling us that the Golden Princess of Wales was often a needy, lonely, and angry woman, but one who had great courage and compassion. This book is a page-turner!
In December of 1936, Edward VIII abdicated the throne of Great Britain to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson. His brother the Duke of York, was crowned King George the VI six months later. His wife was Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, daughter of the Earl of Strathmore and known to us today as the Queen Mum. She and Wallis, two women with more similarities than differences, were to have a lifelong relationship of mutual antagonism that only thawed when Edward died.
Michael Thornton paints a vivid picture of these two strong characters and their lives and struggles. Beneath her fluffy hats and constant smile, the Queen Mother is revealed a woman of extraordinary strength. And Wallis Warfield Simpson is much more than a mere gold-digger or femme fatale in this wonderfully written book.
I first heard about the concept of loser lit in a piece by Kate Christensen at salon.com. She subtitled her article: “In praise of the cranky, misanthropic, uncompromising nobodies of literature—may they screw up forever” and then proceeded to list a lot of my favorite books. They’re all about people (usually men) who sabotage themselves repeatedly and unrepentantly, resulting in a downward spiral that is sometimes hilarious but always disastrously entertaining. Here are a few of the best of the genre:
Have you ever felt that science is a little dull or just beyond your reach? Reading a Mary Roach book might just change your mind. Nashville Public Library’s Deanna Larson had the opportunity to chat with Mary Roach on August 23, 2010. Watch the interview below and check out one of her books for a whole new perspective on science.
Her newest book, Packing for Mars, is a New York Times Editor’s Choice and #1 San Francisco Chronicle bestseller. Stiff has been translated into 17 languages, and Bonk was chosen as a 2008 best book by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Boston Globe. Mary has written for National Geographic, Wired, New Scientist, The New York Times Book Review, the Journal of Clinical Anatomy, and Outside, among other publications. More at www.maryroach.net.
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