Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Jazzy July

So my literary love of Lauren Willig should by now be fairly obvious. Even if I didn't have two months this year devoted to her books, as well as the year long Pink for All Seasons re-read that has been going on since last September, I hope my previous efforts haven't been overlooked by my readers. Back when Lauren first said her third stand-alone would be set in the 20s I might have gotten more then a little excited. The 20s is an era that I just have a natural affinity for. Perhaps it's because I was raised on stories of my grandmother in her youth being a rebellious flapper and sneaking out of school only to show up in a cell in Chicago after being detained after a raid on a local speakeasy. Or perhaps that mobsters held a special appeal. What started as a love for a distinctly American era has grown more and more to encompass the unique "Bright Young People" era of England. Therefore, even if the two previous theme months dedicated to Lauren's first two stand-alones, Ashford April and This Summer, didn't exist, well, Jazzy July would have happened. I also illogically insist that her publishers knew of my struggle trying to find a good title for my theme month when the book was slated for a May release and moved it back just so Jazzy July could exist. I did say it was illogical.

What I love about doing these specific theme months is that it gives me insight into Lauren's process and into her finished work. I shoot her an email and she shoots me an email back suggesting books to read that inspired or informed her newest book. I narrow the selection down, in this case a nice balance of biographical, historical, and contemporary books, and give her the final list, she writes a little something about them, and then I sit down and devour them, ending in a review. This year I decided to do something a little different. Usually I sit down, read Lauren's book, write the review, then go on to read all the other books, because I don't want any outside source tainting my reading of Lauren's book. But the last two times I did this I noticed that re-reading the book later after having read these other books gave Lauren's book even greater depth. And in the case of The Ashford Affair, I feel like I might have done the book a disservice with my review. So I had a new idea. I've read The Other Daughter, I mean, seriously, there was no waiting on reading that book. BUT as I write this I have still to write my review. I jotted down notes and have a vague outline, but so it will remain until I read all the other books for this month. I then plan on re-reading The Other Daughter and finally writing my review. Personally, I don't think in this instance my opinion is going to change, but I do feel my understanding of the world Lauren has brought back to life already expanding. This is going to be a fun month and I hope you'll join me. Flapper costume optional. Mainly because I don't think I could fit the one I have anymore.


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