I was recently reminded that the best-seller lists doesn’t necessarily correlate to best books. Sometimes there are gems that don’t get press or hype and they are beautiful wonderful books worthy of praise. If I could put a handful of books I read this year in your virtual to-be-read list this would be those.
The Atomic Weight of Love
This is a debut novel from Elizabeth J. Church. This is a wonderful book that exudes the progress of feminism. It spans the time frame of 1940 to 1970, a time of pivotal progress. It’s a story about a woman with scientific ambitions but due to the norms of her era – she isn’t supposed to be ambitious, she isn’t supposed to have scientific inclinations, she’s supposed to be a housewife. The main character, Meridian Wallace portrays an unforgettable heroine whose metamorphosis shows how the women’s movement opened up for generations to come. I found this book via the kindle bargain bin on amazon.
Mrs. Queen Takes the Train
This debut novel by William Kuhn imagines a the Queen of England as a fictional character and she takes the train as an impromptu outing to escape the pressures and confines of the palace.. Unexpectedly, she gains a degree of anonymity as she escapes and interacts as a commoner. The funniest parts included Queen Elizabeth using twitter or trying to buy some cheese. This is a fun unexpected adventure that was a charming read. I found this book via goodreads suggestions based on another book I had read.
The Woman on the Orient Express
Before you jump in and read this one, I recommend that you read Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. This is a fictionalized narrative about Agatha Christie riding the train to Baghdad. It is interesting in that it is an imagine parallel to both Agatha Christie and Murder on the Orient Express. There is scandal and romantic intrigue. Fact is mixed with fiction. I found this book as a bargain on amazon and added the audible to listen on my commute after my husband’s book club had picked Murder on the Orient Express for a read. The two paired nicely to read back to back.
The Bette Davis Club
I found this to be a delightful read. It takes you on a road trip, it deals with the hassles of wedding planning and I read it right before my nuptials this summer. It’s a fun, fast read that would be a great break after reading a series or something serious and/or dense.
Girl in Translation
Disclaimer, I’m currently reading this – but I’m loving this book. It’s a story about a mother and daughter that have emigrated to the United States. The mother’s sister is established in New York and has a textile manufacturing plant. The mother is limited in her ability to speak English so she cannot work in her field as a music teacher but instead has to endure long hours at the textile plant. The labor laws do not apply and so the daughter is obligated to help her mother with work after school, The daughter is very bright and excels at school, especially in math and science as she is struggling with speaking English exclusively. The sister/aunt finds them an apartment that is in the projects, they have no heat, they have rodents and roaches and the two of them are navigating their new life in America.