My Bookshelf – Postpartum (2017-18)

My reading understandably has been curtailed after little one came along last Spring. I am getting some time to read again now which is great. Here’s a summary of what’s been on my bookshelf over the past year or so. I’m also trying to keep my Good Reads profile up to date if you’re interested:

The Violin Maker: Finding a centuries old tradition in a Brooklyn workshop by John Marchese
Brilliant account of a top violin maker today Sam Zygmuntowicz, his workshop and violin making process. Being a violinist, obviously I’m biased to the subject matter but it was absolutely fascinating to get an inside view of the craft. Marchese’s musings on the luthier tradition, Stradivari and the Cremonese old masters, and the relationship between player and instrument were very insightful.
Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
Insightful firsthand account of that much talked about group, the “American working class.” Poignant, hilarious and tragic, Vance tells the story of his family and beating the odds to become a Yale law graduate while addressing head on important societal issues such as unemployment and migration, family ties and family breakdown and distrust of government.

How to be a Brit by George Mikes
Hilarious and absolutely on the mark, despite the first part being published in 1946. A must read for expats, Anglophiles and self-deprecating Britons (which is most of them).

Dune series by Frank Herbert
A landmark sci-fi series and I can see why. I’ve read the first two. Well worth it. Though I’m not sure how the rest of the series holds up.

The Bone Season series by Samantha Shannon
An interesting premise – set in the not too distant future in London where a police state, Scion, targets a clairvoyant underclass. Meanwhile an alien (?) race, the Rephaim abduct clairvoyants to their prison city in Oxford for nefarious purposes. The heroine Paige is a gifted clairvoyant who takes it all on after she’s abducted. It does take a strange Stockholm syndrome turn but found the first two novels fast-paced, exciting reads.

Little Women series by Louisa May Alcott
Timeless classic that I revisited after watching the BBC series. I read the first two and almost couldn’t put them down despite knowing what was going to happen next.