If you’re looking for mischief and romance with swashbuckling, open-shirted, adventuresome pirates, click here.
Check It Out
When you think of Southern plantations in popular culture, the first is bound to be Tara from Gone with the Wind. But there is so much more to historical Southern fiction than that!
Frankly, Scarlett, if you want books and movies with palatial Antebellum architecture, un-relenting hospitality, curious hauntings, Southern belles and a sight of the societal effects of the Civil War in the South, click here.
If you enjoy British period series, try Downton Abbey! See life from both sides; that of the aristocratic Crawley family, who seek to preserve their way of life, their mansion and its land, and the lives of the household staff who serve them. It’s better than Upstairs, Downstairs! Check it out!
Jean-Baptiste was born without any personal scent and has been shunned most of his life for it. Because of his unnatural nature, Jean-Baptiste becomes obsessed with finding the most perfect smells in the world to blend into a divine perfume. Unfortunately, this makes Jean-Baptiste a dangerous man to beautiful, virginal women – their scents being the penultimate in purity – and Jean-Baptiste must kill thirteen to create his ideal fragrance. The sense of smell becomes a character equal on the page to Jean-Baptiste in Perfume, by Patrick Süskind. Perfume is a disturbingly stunning novel that has been made into an equally eloquent movie starring Ben Wishaw, Dustin Hoffman and Alan Rickman.
When you glimpse a lampshade made of stained glass, you probably associate it with Louis Tiffany. However, what has only recently come to light is that credit for those beautiful creations actually belongs to Clara Driscoll. It was Clara’s inspiration to construct lamps with intricate patterns of colored glass, and her employer gave her the freedom to realize her ingenuity. In Clara and Mr. Tiffany, author Susan Vreeland invites us to cheer a freethinking pioneer of the turn of the century. Set in a time of great social change, this story of a master craftsman who challenged the expectations of women and of artistic production will enhance your appreciation of those iconic lamps.
Herman Kermit Warm has been marked for death. The Commodore hired Eli and Charlie Sisters to kill him. The Sisters Brothers, by Patrick deWitt, is Eli’s first person account of being a hired murderer on the job in 1851. Eli and Charlie don’t know Warm’s offense and it doesn’t matter. The Commodore pays well and on time. Traveling from Oregon City to Sacramento, Eli coddles the idea of finding a woman, settling down and owning a business. Charlie scoffs at his brother’s domestic pining and revels in encounters with an oversized bear, a witch, hard frontier women, an orphan, treacherous trappers, drunken harlots and a gold rush. If you like Charles Portis’ True Grit, you’ll probably enjoy The Sisters Brothers.
There is no denying that The Help is a cultural phenomenon. With the recent film release reinvigorating interest and debate, Kathryn Stockett’s debut novel is still ripe for discussion. If you need something to read while you wait your turn, or if you are interested in similar books, try one of these related titles.
Click here for a list of books like The Help.
It’s 1885 and Amelia Peabody is in Egypt. Amelia is an unconventional woman and if you think she’s helpless, you’ve never seen how hard she swings a parasol. While sightseeing along the Nile, Amelia stumbles across Walter and Radcliffe Emerson at the ruins of Amarna. Radcliffe has a near-fatal fever and Amelia splits her time nursing him back to health and taking over his archeological excavation. And then the mummy starts appearing at night… The Crocodile on the Sandbank is the first in Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody series. It is light on the mystery, but you’ll keep reading for the lush setting and the loathing (or is that loving?) relationship that builds between Amelia and Radcliffe Emerson.
Jamie Fraser is a sexy Scotsman who millions of people have fallen in love with via Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling, time-travel adventure, Outlander. Outlander is the story of Claire Randall, a WWII Army nurse who is propelled back in time to 18th century Scotland. While Claire attempts to find a way back home, she falls in love with the kilt-clad, gun-toting Fraser. The Exile is Gabaldon’s first attempt at a graphic novel, and it explores Outlander from Jamie’s point of view. Hoang Nguyen beautifully illustrates Jamie and Claire’s explicit exploits, but be warned - the graphic novel does cut short Gabaldon’s exposition, and readers who haven’t experienced the novel might get confused by the graphic novel’s shortened plot.