Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July reads

Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins
Silly and lovely beach read...yes, it's young adult chick lit, but it is witty and well-written.

Moonwalking with Einstein, by Joshua Foer
Fascinating read about memory contests and how we remember our world.

Slammerkin, by Emma Donogue
Harlots in 1760s London...certainly not a world I knew much about to this point.  The main character makes me really, really frustrated.  But the train wreck nature of the book kept me reading.

Also, for your word of the day, slammerkin is slang for a polonaise, or the type of loose overfitting skirt/gown as seen here:

Effectively, the top part of the gown (with the sleeves, corset, and the sides of the dress) is the slammerkin; it goes over layers of petticoats, with the outermost being either the same color and fabric as the dress, or a different color, like this one:

The reason for using it as the title is that slammerkin is also slang for a harlot (loose dress, loose woman). 

For another interesting read, I also read an article about toshers this month---they were men who used to comb the London sewers for money and anything salvageable in the 1800s.  But wait...there were tides.  Terrifying.

Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand (the author of Seabiscuit)
I love descriptive nonfiction.  It's a wonderful story.

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