Tuesday, May 26, 2009

a plethora of choices

I'm in the middle of a reading bounty and I'm loving every minute of it!

On Sunday, I finished The smile by Donna Jo Napoli, a novel about Mona Lisa. People have been speculating on the woman in da Vinci's painting, wondering who she is and why she smiles so mysteriously. In the book, Elisabetta is the daughter of a silk merchant, a girl of immense practicality and a head full of dreams at the same time. She is of the age to be married but the unexpected death of her mother and the remarriage of her father put a kink in those plans. Elisabetta falls in love with Giulano, the youngest son of the powerful de Medici family. He calls her "Monna Lisa" (the equivalent of Miss Lisa) and is enamored of her beautiful smile. The fall of the de Medici family, thanks to the mad priest Savonarola, drives the young lovers apart. Elisabetta ends up marrying another man and raising a family before she poses for da Vinci. Is her failed romance the reason for the Mona Lisa's enigmatic smile?

Thanks to MC, who was number one on a long waiting list and didn't cancel her request even though she had already bought and read the book, I ended up checking out Tamora Pierce's Bloodhound, the second volume in the Beka Cooper series. Wow! Beka is a second year Dog (aka police officer), working with an incompetent partner who soon asks to part ways with her. She is then reassigned to work with a veteran pair of Dogs until a new partner can be found. She is soon involved with an investigation into coin counterfeiting. I'm about 200 pages into the book and resent any time that is not spent reading!

MC also told me that Patricia C. Wrede has a new book out--The Thirteenth child--how did I ever miss a book from her? As it happened, the Wentworth copy was sitting on the Book Besotted Librarian's desk awaiting check in so, thanks to a quickly placed request, I got to take that one home, too! It is my bedside book (Bloodhound is my in-the-purse book). I just started it last night and it is off to a great start...and is very different from Bloodhound so confusion should not be a problem! Eff is the thirteenth child of a seventh son of a seventh son and the twin of the seventh son of a seventh son. Her position in the world is very unlucky since the thirteenth child often goes bad...something that Eff is reminded of at every opportunity by her relatives. I'm looking forward to learning more about her!

I love having so many wonderful choices, don't you?

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