My July 2013 Reading List.

Galatea by Madeline Miller 
The story begins in media res; Galatea in her hospital bed contemplates how she should, today, handle the doctor who has been treating her – while we wonder what has brought her there. Though only about 15 pages long, Galatea covers a lot of ground, and as the story progresses we come to have some idea of how she came to be hospitalized, what her relationship is like with her husband (and creator), her thoughts about the future, and just how far she will go to secure it.

Miller deeply outlines a picture that is as vivid and troubling as it is startling, and she manages it in precious little space. Miller tells a much darker tale than that of a couple granted the miracle of life. It makes you wonder what type of man would become so enamored of a silent, though perfect, creation. What is he looking to achieve by requesting her as a companion? Mysterious and thought-provoking, Galatea is a worthy heroine and strategist under Miller’s illuminating and imaginative pen. Highly recommended.

Audrey In Rome by Luca Dotti
Audrey in Rome was my first time flipping through a book of Audrey Hepburn pictures. Her son, Luca Dotti, curated the photographs – with the purpose of presenting some that were little seen to the public – but most of the photos seemed to be publicity shots, and Audrey attending dinners and events. Very few were private family photos. I didn’t know a lot about Audrey Hepburn, so I enjoyed the anecdotes, and info surrounding her life and movies. While this is nice and easy to flip through, I doubt that die-hard Audrey fans will find much here that will be new for them.

Night Film by Marisha Pessl
Creepy and utterly compelling, Pessl returns at the top of her game, and with a vengeance.

The Purchase by Linda Spalding
Spalding’s vivid portrayal of eighteenth-century Virginia is a searing indictment of the institution of slavery, showing how personal interest and human frailty made complicit participants of the most “innocent” of bystanders. Powerful and disturbing, though with notes of hope throughout, readers won’t be able to help compare their own choices to those of the novel’s flawed but strongly principled characters.

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