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Adrienne

My only books were women's looks

Trying to move from GoodReads. Hope this site is a good fit!

Currently reading

The Two Krishnas: A Novel
Ghalib Shiraz Dhalla
The Diviners
Libba Bray
My Blue Notebooks PA: The Intimate Journal of Paris's Most Beautiful and Notorious Courtesan
Liane de Pougy
Just One Day - Gayle Forman

 

I really loved this book. It was so well done. I loved the way that the author has of describing feelings, everything felt so true. I loved how it was actually a search for herself. I loved the idea of how there's always a part of us in the roles we put on, the people we pretend to be. I loved the way that everything from that one day become such a part of her, because I recognized that in myself, the way a place can become part of you. I loved how it was all about accidents and what you can find and how kind people can be when you leave yourself open to just letting life take you, how being open to experiences - surrendering to them - is a way of taking charge of your life.

Also, the chemistry between Alysson and Willem (both sexual and emotional) was so well portrayed!

Nijisseiki Hatenkō Serebu: Arienaihodo Tanoshii Onna No Jinsei Katarogu

Nijisseiki Hatenkō Serebu: Arienaihodo Tanoshii Onna No Jinsei Katarogu - Asako Hirayama Subtitled (in English) 'Outrageous Ladies of 20th Century' and (in Japanese) 'A catalogue of woman who lead ridiculously fun lives'), the book covers the lives a various women who lived how they pleased and dazzled everyone they met: Liane de Pougy, Natalie Clifford Barey, Louise Brooks, Zelda Fitzgerald, Nancy Cunard, Kayoko Sasaki, Fumiko Miyada, Masako Oya, and several others. As I'm a big fan of most of the people listed above, I was so excited for this book, but it turned out to be very disappointing. It's very nicely put together. It's split by 'Nymphs, Muses, and Charima', begins with a fun quiz to find your celeb type, includes an old fashioned style chart about becoming a muse, and a time line of everyone in the book in the back. There are also copious footnotes, and vintage photos and drawings. Many of the women covered in the book are relatively unknown by the Japanese public, so everyone is given a helpful subtitle: Liane de Pougy: The pearl who ruled the Belle Epoque', Natalie Clifford Barney: The insatiable seductress who seduced her own sex' Fumiko Miyada: The enchantress who lived on inspiration alone'. Each chapter includes a long and short summary of each woman's life, followed by a page listing 'nicknames, pets, and further outrageous episodes', and a page titled 'If you want to be like [Name]..., breaking down her fashion, and quotes on various subjects (which tied to are very specific episodes in the woman's life).Where the book fails in in the actual prose. The longer summary of each woman's life which makes up the meat of each chapter isn't any more illuminating than the paragraph long summary preceding it. You don't get any sense of each woman's personality or exactly why people were drawn to her. And considering the women in the book were all the type to dazzle by the force of their personalities, this is a huge failure.What a missed opportunity.

The Little Book of Chinese Recipes (Little Recipe Books)

The Little Book Of Chinese Recipes (Little Recipe Books) - Jacqueline Bellefontaine I didn't actually finish this, but I finished the section of Liane, and read a bit of the one on Emilienne.This was my first serious attempt at reading in French in about...8 years or so? It was very slow going, and I had to look up words a lot, but I was impressed about how much I did understand. From what I got out of this book, it was very good. I'm especially glad the author included Emilienne d'Alencon, because despite the fact that she is one of the 'Three Graces', most books just include a paragraph or so on her where they mention 1) she had a stage act with rabbits which were dyed pink and 2) The Duc d'Uzes ruined himself over her and got shipped off to the tropics, where he died at 23. Rarely they will mention the fact that she was Renee Vivien's lover for a while. She and Liane also had an affair, according to this book.More than Emilienne, I find it odd that no biography of Liane de Pougy has ever been written in English. Or at least translated. (Heck, the biography Jean Chalon wrote was even translated into Japanese!) Most English language books on French courtesans focus on the Second Empire (La Paiva) and the only Belle Epoque courtesan who is ever mentioned is La Belle Otero. Maybe because she had a thing with Vanderbilt? You'd think that Liane, who was actually called "Our national courtesan" would merit some English-language books of her own!

Caddie Woodlawn

Caddie Woodlawn - Carol Ryrie Brink, Trina Schart Hyman They made a TV movie of this when I was in third grade. I remember I did a book report on this and drew a picture of the cover and one of the girl's in class accused me of tracing it. I was so mad! LOL

Sex with the Queen: 900 Years of Vile Kings, Virile Lovers, and Passionate Politics (P.S.)

Sex with the Queen: 900 Years of Vile Kings, Virile Lovers, and Passionate Politics - Eleanor Herman My lil' sis gave me this one. It's basically about various queens love affairs. The chapter on Marie Antoinette and Fersen, which was sufficiently romantic for my sensibilities, having been raised on BeruBara.I have learned though, that while it may have been good to be the King (and even that's really debatable: The last King I read about was pretty much tortured into insanity by his tutors in their attempts to make him a 'real man') it was not good to be the Queen. Married off in your early teens to a man who was often cruel, insane or at best neglectful, without any friends, the slave to the whims of your husband and a pawn to political factions? And if you did find love with a handsome courtier, you and he could be exiled, tortured or executed? No thank you.

The Toll-Gate

The Toll-Gate - Georgette Heyer I really loved this one. My mother, who I introduced to Heyer a few years ago, read it before me and recommended it, commenting that it was interesting to see things through a man's pov. I agree with her. I've read several Heyers told through the hero's pov, but this one was very refreshing, because it doesn't deal with any of the matters of the ton, like usual. I think that John is now my favorite hero of Heyer's, with his matter of fact way of fixing things and his devil for mischief.

The Chronicles of Prydain Boxed Set

The Chronicles of Prydain Boxed Set - Lloyd Alexander God, I loved these books so much!

A Fatal Waltz

A Fatal Waltz - Tasha Alexander Once again I'm impressed with all the details of Edwardian culture that Tasha Alexander gets right. It makes her novels a pleasure to read.

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (Wolves Chronicles)

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase - Joan Aiken, Pat Marriott I had this book on tape as a kid, and I listened to it about a million times. I loved it so much.Also, it definitely was the book which began my love of any book with a cross-dressing heroine.

Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story

Wait Till Helen Comes - Mary Downing Hahn I'm on a nostalgia kick this morning, finding all these books I loved as a kid. I was really into ghosts when I was in elementary school, and this was one of my favorite books. I can still remember the entire plot!

The Demon's Surrender (Demon's Lexicon)

The Demon's Surrender - Sarah Rees Brennan In many ways this series took the place of Harry Potter for me: these were the books I devoured in a matter of days, trying desperately to ration myself to a few chapters a day just to make it last longer, to postpone the breathless wait, counting the days until the the next book (always preordered months in advance) arrived on my doorstep. I can't believe the series is over. But the last volume gave me everything I've come to expect from this series: I laughed, I cried, I exclaimed outloud, I clutched my heart in sweetness and pain for these characters who have all come so far. I couldn't have asked for a better ending.

The One-Armed Queen

The One-Armed Queen - Jane Yolen I have to admit I didn't finish this one. I LOVED the first two way back when, but I think that you have to be in a very specific mood to read this series.

Winter of Fire (Point)

Winter of Fire - Sherryl Jordan Another one for the nostalgia shelf. I had a sudden memory of the bare bones plot of this and was wracking my brains to remember the title. I headed to the 'What was that book' LJ community, and lo and behold, this was #4 or so on the 'frequent searches' list!I guess this was a plot that stays with you for a long time!I never realized that this was by Sherryl Jordan, author of 'The Juniper Game' which was one of my other favorite books at the time.

The Fairy Rebel

The Fairy Rebel - Lynne Reid Banks, William Geldart This is one of those books that I read as a kid which really stuck with me.

Samantha's Boxed Set (The American Girls Collection/Boxed Set)

Samantha's Boxed Set - Susan S. Adler, Valerie Tripp, Maxine Rose Schur Samantha was my first American girl doll, which I got way back in 1st grade, not long after the American Girls came out. I always loved her books the best esp 'Samantha Saves The Day' and 'Changes for Samantha', both of which I still remember the plots from.

Cherry Ames Student Nurse: Book 1

Cherry Ames Student Nurse: Book 1 - Helen Wells Honestly, this is more nostalgia for my mother than for me, although I have read this, after finding it at an antique store. This, along with the 'little golden book' about nurses she got when she was 5 or so, was what convinced my mother she wanted to be a nurse. LOL