Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Wowbrary Wednesday

I knew the fall publishing season was definitely kicking off when I read the most recent Wowbrary emails.  Just when I thought I had my to-be-read list under control, I was forced (wink wink) to add a couple more titles.

The Sandcastle Girls

This is receiving quite a bit of buzz--Entertainment Weekly and People  both gave it excellent reviews, which are huge steps in bringing a book to general audiences.  The Armenian genocide figures heavily into the story--not something that's been featured in recent historical fiction.

Jack 1939

Jack 1939 is a fictionalization of John F. Kennedy's secret mission to Germany during World War II, when he was 22 years old.  Oooh....sounds intriguing.

Bruce Springsteen and the Promise of Rock 'n' Roll

Awesome! I love books about entertainers/entertainment industry/pop culture, so I'm really looking forward to this biography of Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuce.  The WTOP early morning broadcasters were talking last week about a lengthy piece on Springsteen in the current New Yorker, which I'm guessing is in conjunction with this book. 

Fooling Houdini

This sounds really, really cool.  It's a backstage look at magicians and the magic industry. 

A Ship Without Sail: The Life of Lorenz Hart

Rodgers and Hammerstein interest me much more than Rodgers and Hart; although Hart may be regarded as the superior lyricist, I'm more drawn to Hammerstein's heart than to Hart's sophistication.  Anything Broadway-related catches my interest, though, so this is on my list.

Marie Curie and Her Daughters: The Private Lives of Science's First Family

One of the finest children's biographies I've read is Something Out of Nothing: Marie Curie and Radium; when I read glowing reviews of this new (adult) biography on Madame Curie, I knew I had to read it.  Not only did Curie win two Nobel Prizes, but daughter Irene was also later awarded a Nobel Prize, and daughter Eve fought with the French Resistance during World War II.  Fascinating family.

Dream Team: How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, And the Greatest Team of All Time Conquered the World and Changed the Game of Basketball Forever

So, Lebron James and Kobe Bryant are going around saying that they could beat the Dream Team  (Lebron recently amended this to saying that this team is one of the best-assembled teams ever, which no one can argue with). Oh, hello.  Okay, okay, if you look at it purely score wise (like, Lebron against everybody else), maybe. But you don't talk about the Dream Team like that and don't expect backlash. C'mon, now!

I am so very glad that we are getting this book. First of all-OLYMPICS! Yay.  Now, I have to say that when the Dream Team was announced, there was a tremendous amount of backlash against THEM.  Because, frankly? Multi-millionaire professional players aren't really in the whole spirit of "amateur athletes" that the Olympic ideal is technically supposed to be about. Now, the pure amateur athlete in general was going the way of tug-of-war as an Olympic sport by the time the Dream Team was formed.  And watching the Dream Team cream countries in the midst of civil war or just emerging from Soviet rule was a bit cringe-inducing. But, exciting!  Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Charles Barkley (who put his foot in his mouth quite a bit during the Games) were on the same team.  Even non-basketball fans were caught up in the craziness.  Jack McCallum was the senior sports writer for Sports Illustrated, so he was up close and personal for all the action. Not only that, he recently interviewed the players for their perspectives on the Games and how the Olympics changed them, and how this team elevated basketball to its present international fame.

The Headmaster's Wager

Novels with a heavy war focus aren't usually my choice of reading, which is why I haven't read much historical fiction set in Vietnam.  The Headmaster's Wager is a bit different, for it takes place at an English school in Saigon and is centered around the Chinese headmaster, who is forced to send away his son when he gets into trouble with local authorities. Sounds like a unique story. 

The Mirrored World

All I know about this novel is that it's set in 18th century St. Petersburg, features the future St. Xenia (of the Russian Orthodox Church), and involves Catherine the Great. I'm ready to read it! 

The list just keeps growing! Now, I have titles from 2011 and 2010 that I still want to read one of these days, so I may not get to all of them this year. :-)  Oh, well.  Thanks to Wowbrary, I'll never run out of things to put on my list.

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