Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Holiday Weekend Reading: An Unexpected Guest

Looking for a good read for the last long weekend of summer? I just finished Anne Korkeakivi's An Unexpected Guest and couldn't put it down.


An updated retelling of Virgina Wolf's Mrs. Dalloway, the story follows the thoughts and footsteps of Clare, the seemingly perfect, if a bit bland, wife of a British diplomat as she plans a dinner party that could be crucial to her husband's career.


As Clare runs her errands in Paris's Seventh Arrondissement, we follow her down the Rue de Varenne and back in time as she recalls choices she made 25 years prior that have quietly haunted her to the point where the past seems to bleed into her present and she imagines she sees a man she knows to be long dead.


Korkeavkivi's depiction of an Expatriate's Paris is as complex and moving as that of her heroine, bringing to light a city that, like all of us, holds unexpected dimensions that can't be seen in a first, second, or even third look. Her description the Rodin Museum and the artist's The Burghers of Calais alone would make book worth one's time.

What will you be reading this weekend?

15 comments:

  1. I am determined, determined to finish Vanity Fair after seriously like two months of reading it--totally worth it but I am ready for something fluffier! Any suggestions?
    xo,
    Heather

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  2. So funny put this on my blog post last week as I book I just got and cannot to start reading! I am finishing two others (weird I know) who reads two books at once...and this its onto this. Cannot wait!

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  3. Sounds like a good read - it's going on my list! I was thinking of recommending the book I am reading to you...it's called The Rules of Civility. I don't have it here with me to note the author but it's a pretty good read!

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  4. there is a big stack of nonfiction parenting books with my name on it. i have got to buckle down and make a dent in my research for articles to be written this fall.

    this one sounds incredible!

    michele

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  5. This one sounds promising Jeanne. Just added it to my waiting list on the faithful Nook reader. This weekend, I will still be reading the 700-page long new Julia Child biography, "Dearie." I have found it engrossing so far. Even though the great Julia is at the center of the story, it is also a fascinating study of American society starting in the late 19th century. Highly recommend.

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  6. This one sounds promising Jeanne. Just added it to my waiting list on the faithful Nook reader. This weekend, I will still be reading the 700-page long new Julia Child biography, "Dearie." I have found it engrossing so far. Even though the great Julia is at the center of the story, it is also a fascinating study of American society starting in the late 19th century. Highly recommend.

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  7. Thank you for the recommendation.
    This sounds right up my 'rue'.
    Have a lovely day,
    Lizx

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  8. This sounds interesting - will add it to my growing list. I'm just finishing Peaches for Monsieur le Curé by Joanne Harris (you may have read Chocolat)
    http://missbbobochic.blogspot.co.uk/

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  9. Nearly finished with "Broken Harbor" and have a stack but I am highly motivated to up my reading! After having spent a few days with some bookish gals, they inspired me to up my game.
    Thank-you for sharing this book with me.
    "The Great Gatsby" is another one I want to re-read as I was perhaps too young to fully grasp that as a teen.
    pve

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  10. Some great recommendations here! Veronique, that Julia biography sounds fantastic.

    PVE, I've been thinking that a re-read of Gatsby is in order. Agree that it may resonate on a whole other level than it did years ago, and with the Baz Luhrman film coming out, I'd like a refresh on the book.

    Heather, have you read Barbara's suggested Rules of Civility? It would be a great follow up to Vanity Fair - one of the main themes is social standing and self invention, and I think that the main character would be a fantastic foil to Becky Sharp.

    If you are looking for something uber-fluffy... I confess to reading Austenland when I needed a palate cleanser after too many intense thrillers in a row (Mission to Paris, Tigers in Red Weather and Gone Girl, which was a total train wreck of a book). It was in a pile of "beach reads" at the bookstore in Cannon Beach and I was desperate for a feel good book so I picked it up. Definitely no great depths plumbed, but a fun read. XOXO

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  11. Definitely putting this on my list. I am finishing Gone Girl....recommended to me by a number of friends. Oh.My.Gosh...can not put it down. It's not exactly uplifting, it's a thriller and the writing...superb! It's out in hardback.

    I saw Barbara's recommendation of Rules of Civility. LOVED it!!!!

    Happy reading!
    xoxo Elizabeth

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  12. Elizabeth, Yes!! Gone Girl was so intense. I couldn't put it down, either. It was like a really twisted car accident that you can't turn away from. I actually was kind of glad when it was over, but definitely it was thrilling book. XOXO

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  13. wow, what a lovely write-up...as good as in any book. I'm sold...need to order this book

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  14. Gone Girl is on my list, just finished Seating Arrangements, now reading Penelope, AND of course adding this to the top of my list, loved the despcription...sounds right up my ally! Thanks!

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  15. Oh I think that book is really interesting, I still have to finish two before I can start to read a new one.

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