20 July, 2010

The Duchess Reads, and Often Recommends . . .

The summer reading season has long been upon us, but for some reason or another the Duchess -- her nose buried in at least three terrific books at present, and sometimes one or two more to boot -- is making little progress on the road to actual completion. With one gravely disappointing exception, the Duchess remains suspended in the throes of her novels and memoirs, seemingly never to finish. Could it be that this time, real life is much more compelling?

Perhaps. Though Martin Amis and his "The Pregnant Widow" give the Duchess reason to question her own question. Martin's book is wonderful; deserves a separate posting; and will receive same. In the meantime please do pick up a copy and read to your heart's content.

Whilst traveling through the San Francisco Bay Lady K. presented the Duchess with Jeannette Walls's memoir, "The Glass Castle" (paperback), which recounts the fantastical childhood and upbringing of the author and her three siblings by her romantic, nomadic, and quite deranged parents, and the story of her transcendance into maturity both in spite of and because of "her raising" (as the royal family would say). The Duchess is enjoying this one every morning over copious amounts of cafe.

In "Losing Mum and Pup" (also in paperback), neo-con heir Christopher Buckley commemorates the lives and deaths of his parents, William F. and Pat Buckley,and his relationships with them and theirs with one another. The Duchess finds it touching, and funny, and relishes the memory of Pat Buckley's over-the-topness tinged with savoir-faire.

You may decline to read Fitzgerald's stories about Pat Hobby, his man in Los Angeles in the 1940s. These extremely short stories, written for Esquire magazine about a failed screenwriter, attempt droll but achieve ennui.

Last but certainly not least the Duchess has at her bedside (inspired by Mr. Amis, of course) "Our Mutual Friend" by Mr. Dickens, his final book. "Our Mutual Friend" is destined to see much of the States as it accompanies the Duchess on a cross-country flight to an East Coast reprieve (yes, a vacation!). It promises an excellent literary adventure, even if grammatically incorrect.

Oh, and the Duchess is enjoying the new incarnation of "Town & Country", edited by former "House Beautiful" EIC Stephen Drucker. Very nicely done so far . . . .

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