End-of-Summer Reading 2021

Old books by Suzy Hazelwood

There are few things in life I love more than books. Reading them, writing them, having written them, looking upon them in neat rows, browsing among them, talking about them, reading about them, decorating with them. Old books, new books, ebooks. As I was loading up my Kobo ereader with a new batch for the end of summer from the Toronto Public Library (and I do love and appreciate their continued and unshakable commitment to intellectual freedom), I thought this would be a good time to share some of my recent favourites, particularly in the realm of historical women’s fiction.

The Black Swan of Paris by Karen Robards – I went into this book with zero expectations – perhaps even low ones as I think I might be saturated by WWII novels. And yet this novel blew me away. Original, fascinating, a new take on the history, a romance and a thriller and a historical novel all wrapped beautifully into one. Highly recommend.

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles – And yet more WWII. 🙂 A beautiful thoughtful book on a little-known part of WWII Parisian history. What does one do when there are no good choices?

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett – Such a simple book and yet so beautiful and compelling. A rare book about a brother and a sister bond. I absolutely loved Patchett’s Bel Canto as well.

Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters by Anne Boyd Rioux – Fascinating book about the history of Little Women and its author as it relates to this seminal book. Puts the book in historical context and shows its influence, even today. Makes you realize what a non-conforming badass Louisa May Alcott was and why she’s still one of the most important female writers – nay, writers – in all of American history.

The Clergyman’s Wife: A Pride and Prejudice Novel by Molly Greeley – An unexpectedly beautiful book about Charlotte Lucas after she marries Mr. Collins. Very realistic and plausible. I really enjoyed it. Must read for P&P fans – Elizabeth and Darcy even make a cameo!

The Lost Diary of Venice by Margaux Deroux – I found this book just by searching Venice on my Kobo. Wow – a great find! Fascinating historical story, good dual plots, and gorgeous language. Leans romantic though not a genre romance.

I will end with Venice because I always have Venice on the brain as I finish up the revisions on my novel about Venice! I will leave you with another beautiful book photo by photographer Suzy Hazelwood of Pexels.

Happy reading!

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