Wednesday, April 15, 2015

What Rachel has been Reading

Hi Team!

Extremely busy of late what with two looming deadlines on my own books .

However, I have done some reading!

Short and Sweet:

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride by Cary Elwes

This is a charming and warm and generous book by an actor who really cherishes his time on the set of one of the most quoted movies ever.  He remembers his experience as a young actor offered the chance to star in the adaptation of a book he loved with such reverence and its spirit is infectious.

Did you know Mandy Patinkin bruised a rib from laughing too hard while filming the Miracle Max scene?     Classic stuff in here with quotes and reminiscences from all involved.    "You've got to be careful with William Goldman scripts. He tricks you with good writing." --- and he does. Goldman, the novelist of the Princess Bride and the masterpen behind such classics as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid  makes it look easy. What's more, he loves his vocation and particularly this book.  Thus, he felt he was walking on broken shells when they took it to the screen. I don't blame him. "I think the film has endured because it was made with a lot of heart. And for that we really have to look at the creative and tender hearts of Goldman and Reiner. Both men are very different people who came from very different backgrounds, but they share one thing in common---they never lost touch in their hearts for storytelling.And in this film they were able to explore that love of storytelling a way they perhaps will never be able to again: the telling of the most extraordinary fairy tale/adventure story about storytelling that can now be counted as classic."

I think writers will find it interesting to learn how difficult the film was to market and its initial release was not met with the enthusiasm it now enjoys as a cult classic. For anyone who has ever had to write a book proposal for an not-easily-categorized novel, you will enjoy hearing how this multi-genre story was hard to pinpoint.

Purchased on Kindle


And somehow I JUST LEARNED ABOUT THIS?  what the.... people need to tell me these things.

This is frakkin' adorable. A perfect marriage of steampunk and mystery and even time travel.  The writing is snarky and light and bright with recognition of its famous inspiration in a cunning and compelling way.   It takes broad liberties: Mina is MYCROFT'S DAUGHTER while  Evaline is Bram's sister who is ALSO A VAMPIRE HUNTER and HOW CUTE IS IT THAT HER NEW HOLMESIAN PARTNER IS MINA JUST LIKE IN DRACULA? OMG!

and they are commissioned for secret assignments by IRENE FRIGGIN ADLER and it just a revisionist London of my dreams.  Very charming and very witty and very, very funny:
"Her eyes were dark and her face was pretty in an arresting way." Mina notes of Miss Stoker on first meeting, "The sort of girl young men would find attractive. The sort of girl who danced at parties and shopped and laughed with her friends and who knew just what to say when she met an interesting young man. The sort of girl who had friends."

I love the smart vulnerability of the book. And I LOVE Mina! She is all Holmes. Charming! Delightful! Her scenes with a particularly dashing Scotland Yarder are only rivalled by her new partner's scenes with a delicious young Cockney-accented street-smart kid named Pix.

I just cannot wait to read the next.

Purchased on Kindle

I wasn't a fan of the first installment in Shelly Shephard Gray's Chicago World's Fair mystery series. But the second offering peaked my interest due to a review I read.

Deception at Sable Hill is a lighter mystery with undercurrents of a much darker subject. While the "Slasher" of Chicago, during the time around the World's Fair, preys on society ladies, so recently abused heiress Eloisa fights with a life meted out for her--- of lavish parties and eligible gentlemen--even as she believes that she has been soiled for it by the sinister deed of Douglass Sloane. Her interactions with Sean Ryan of the police department and his investigations into the identity of the Slasher introduce her to a world heretofore barred from her. Their developing relationship--including Eloisa's visits to his sister's work for women fallen on hard times--- is the heart and soul of the story.

This is a mystery, yes, but a light one. Instead it is a carefully wrought music on class construction and the layers of society. We have all read enough cross-the-tracks love stories to keep us going for years; but this one particularly stood out because its development is so intricately woven and so beautifully realized.

"It's just me," Eloisa feels out of place when she visits the Home for Women, I don't have much experience with any of the things they are struggling with. All I do know is that I am hoping to do something. ...Whatever I can."  

I just love the honesty in which Eloisa is able to approach the judgment inferred on her social status. 

Review copy provided by Zondervan


Rissi said...

Glad you enjoyed The Clockwork Scarab. They do indeed sound like a fun series. :)

Kailana said...

I really need to read The Clockwork Scarab. It is on my TBR!