Betsy Loves, Culture

November’s Book Picks

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Emma – Alexander McCall Smith

Released November 6

Loyal readers (hi, Mummy…) might remember I reviewed Val McDermid’s retelling of Northanger Abbey; I wasn’t overly impressed. Now it’s time for Alexander McCall Smith.

Blurb

Beloved and bestselling author Alexander McCall Smith lends his delightful touch to the Austen classic, Emma.

Prepare to meet a young woman who thinks she knows everything

Fresh from university, Emma Woodhouse arrives home in Norfolk ready to embark on adult life with a splash. Not only has her sister, Isabella, been whisked away on a motorbike to London, but her astute governess, Miss Taylor is at a loose end watching as Mr. Woodhouse worries about his girls. Someone is needed to rule the roost and young Emma is more than happy to oblige.

At the helm of her own dinner parties, and often found either rearranging the furniture at the family home of Hartfield, or instructing her new protégée, Harriet Smith, Emma is in charge. You don’t have to be in London to go to parties, find amusement or make trouble. Not if you’re Emma, the very big fish in the rather small pond.

But for someone who knows everything, Emma doesn’t know her own heart. And there is only one person who can play with Emma’s indestructible confidence, her friend and inscrutable neighbour George Knightly – this time has Emma finally met her match?

Ever alive to the social comedy of village life, beloved author Alexander McCall Smith’s Emma is the busybody we all know and love, and a true modern delight.

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Yes, Please – Amy Poehler

Released November 6

I liked her in Parks and Recreation, she hangs out a lot with Tina Fey – tick and tick.

Blurb

In Amy Poehler’s highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much). Powered by Amy’s charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book full of words to live by.

TWWSML

The Woman Who Stole My Life – Marian Keyes

Released November 6

Usually provides an entertaining read.

Blurb

Okay, I’ll write my introduction. ‘Name: Stella Sweeney. Height: average. Recent life events: dramatic.’
Stella Sweeney is an ordinary woman living an ordinary life with her husband Ryan and their two teenage kids in Dublin. She works with – or really for – her terrifyingly ambitious sister Karen in their beauty salon. Nothing to get excited about here. Nothing to make her particularly unhappy. Or happy… No-one would be interested in stealing her life.
But then things started to happen
One day, Stella, attempting a good deed, causes a little car accident and faces down a bad tempered, handsome stranger. She hardly gives it much of a thought. But karma is hovering, and is about to take over, swoop in and change Stella’s life for ever. For better or worse.
Suddenly Stella has a life. A thrilling glamorous one. A life that other people might start to covet…

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The Chateau on the Lake by Charlotte Betts

Released November 6 but ONLY on Kindle

I’ve read two of her previous books, and they’re great; really great. If you like Joanne Harris, or Philippa Gregory, go for it!

Blurb

1792. As a teacher at her parents’ Academy for Young Ladies in the heart of London, Madeleine Moreau has lived her life sheltered from the outside world. But on the night of a dazzling Masquerade, tragedy strikes and she is left alone in the world. Desperate to find the family she never knew, Madeleine impulsively travels to France in search of them. But with war around the corner, and fearing for Madeleine’s safety, the enigmatic Comte Etienne d’Aubery offers her shelter at his home, Chateau Mirabelle.

Chateau Mirabelle enchants Madeleine with its startling beauty, but it is a place of dark and haunting secrets. As the Revolution gathers momentum and the passions of the populace are enflamed, Madeleine must take control of her own destiny and unravel events of the past in order to secure a chance at future happiness.

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Funny Girl by Nick Hornby

Released November 6

Why? Because he knows how to craft a brilliant story.

Blurb

Make them laugh, and they’re yours forever . . .

It’s the swinging 60s and the nation is mesmerized by unlikely comedy star Sophie Straw, the former Blackpool beauty queen who just wants to make people laugh, like her heroine Lucille Ball.

Behind the scenes, the cast and crew are having the time of their lives. But when the script begins to get a bit too close to home, and life starts imitating art, they all face a choice.

The writers, Tony and Bill, comedy obsessives, each harbour a secret. The Oxbridge-educated director, Dennis, loves his job but hates his marriage. The male star Clive, feels he’s destined for better things. And Sophie Straw, who’s changed her name and abandoned her old life, must decide whether to keep going, or change the channel.

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Girl Online, by Zoe Sugg

Released November 25

I’m always interested when social media has led to a book. Zoe Sugg, aka Zoella, was a YouTube phenomenon, so despite this targeting teens, I’ll pick up a copy.

Blurb

I have this dream that, secretly, all teenage girls feel exactly like me. And maybe one day, when we realize that we all feel the same, we can all stop pretending we’re something we’re not… But until that day, I’m going to keep it real on this blog and keep it unreal in real life.

Penny has a secret.

Under the alias Girl Online, Penny blogs her hidden feelings about friendship, boys, high school drama, her crazy family, and the panic attacks that have begun to take over her life. When things go from bad to worse, her family whisks her away to New York, where she meets Noah, a gorgeous, guitar-strumming American. Suddenly Penny is falling in love – and capturing every moment of it on her blog.

But Noah has a secret, too, one that threatens to ruin Penny’s cover – and her closest friendship – forever.

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