Friday, March 23, 2012

March Book Round-Up

The Book of Lost Fragrances by M. J. Rose
What’s it about? A magical perfume that may unlock the secrets to reincarnation.

Why you should read it: Publisher’s Weekly gave it a starred review, saying, Rose’s deliciously sensual novel of paranormal suspense smoothly melds a perfume-scented quest to protect an ancient artifact with an ages-spanning romance. Also she’s a former girlfriend!

Interesting fact: M.J. wanted to commission a perfume to go along with the book but found it was too expensive. She gave a copy of the book to a perfumer who loved it so much he offered to create a fragrance for it, called Âmes Sœurs the sense of soul mates.

Sample prose: “Perfume can evoke feelings, Papa,” L’Etoile had argued. “Imagine what a fortune we’d make if we were selling dreams and not just formulations.”

“Nonsense,” his father admonished. “We are chemists, not poets. Our job is to mask the stench of the streets, to cover the scent of the flesh and relieve the senses from the onslaught of smells that are unpleasant,vile and infected.” 

Gossip by Beth Gutcheon

What’s It About? Follows a group of female classmates from Miss Pratt's boarding school into their adult lives, one who owns a high-end dress shop on the Upper East Side.  

Why You Should Read It? Beth Gutcheon is the critically acclaimed author of Good-bye and Amen, Leeway Cottage, and More Than You Know.

Sample prose: Could we talk about fur for just a minute? When whoever it was wrote of “nature, red in tooth and claw,” he could have been talking about the kind of mayhem an ermine can cause in a henhouse. They kill for pleasure. My father tried keeping chickens for a while. Believe me, the sight of those slack, defenseless feathered bodies lying on the floor of the coop with their throats ripped open while the rest of the flock screams in terror is enough to make a fur wearer out of anybody.

How to Eat a Cupcake by Meg Donohue

What’s It About?  An old friendship is renewed when two young women open a cupcake shop.

Why You Should Read It?  The title alone is compelling but this one’s also getting some good buzz.

Sample prose:I handed her one of the red velvet cupcakes that I’d made in the old-fashioned style, using beets instead of food coloring. I had to scrub my fingers raw for twenty minutes to get the crimson beet stain off of them but the result was worth it.