20200316

Recent Reads

The last two books I read happened to have a lot in common. For starters both were based in France. The first, in Paris and the second in Cannes and Monaco. They also had fictional main characters whose lives were intertwined by real historical figures. Hemingway, Proust, Grace Kelly.. the list goes on. And I loved both of them.


The Paris Hours by Alex George

Synopsis - Paris between the wars teems with artists, writers, and musicians, a glittering crucible of genius. But amidst the dazzling creativity of the city’s most famous citizens, four regular people are each searching for something they’ve lost.Camille was the maid of Marcel Proust, and she has a secret: when she was asked to burn her employer’s notebooks, she saved one for herself. Now she is desperate to find it before her betrayal is revealed. Souren, an Armenian refugee, performs puppet shows for children that are nothing like the fairy tales they expect. Lovesick artist Guillaume is down on his luck and running from a debt he cannot repay—but when Gertrude Stein walks into his studio, he wonders if this is the day everything could change. And Jean-Paul is a journalist who tells other people’s stories, because his own is too painful to tell. When the quartet’s paths finally cross in an unforgettable climax, each discovers if they will find what they are looking for.
Told over the course of a single day in 1927, The Paris Hours takes four ordinary people whose stories, told together, are as extraordinary as the glorious city they inhabit.

Thoughts - I immensely enjoyed this book. It reminded me a bit of a book I read a few years ago called Hunting and Gathering also set in Paris. The book takes place in one day, none of the characters really interact with one another, it was very six degrees of separation. Famous icons filled this book.. many I had to Google.. Each character on their own journey.. with no promise of a happy ending. I'd highly recommend it.


Meet Me in Monaco by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb

Synopsis - Set in the 1950s against the backdrop of Grace Kelly’s whirlwind romance and glamorous wedding to Prince Rainier of Monaco. Movie stars and paparazzi flock to Cannes for the glamorous film festival, but Grace Kelly, the biggest star of all, wants only to escape from the flash-bulbs. When struggling perfumer Sophie Duval shelters Miss Kelly in her boutique, fending off a persistent British press photographer, James Henderson, a bond is forged between the two women and sets in motion a chain of events that stretches across thirty years of friendship, love, and tragedy.
James Henderson cannot forget his brief encounter with Sophie Duval. Despite his guilt at being away from his daughter, he takes an assignment to cover the wedding of the century, sailing with Grace Kelly’s wedding party on the SS Constitution from New York. In Monaco, as wedding fever soars and passions and tempers escalate, James and Sophie—like Princess Grace—must ultimately decide what they are prepared to give up for love.

Thoughts -  This was a lot lighter than The Paris Hours.. a great vacation/beach read. I had heard of Grace Kelley but didn't really know much about her until I read the book and went down the wikipedia worm hole. But while the story revolves around Ms. Kelly and her marriage the main characters are Sophie the perfumer trying to make it on her own and James the paparazzi looking for something less soul crushing to do. I felt invested in them, rooting for them to succeed. I'd highly recommend this one as well.. 

       
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32 comments:

jeanne christine said...

I usually prefer lighter reads but these sound interesting!

www.jeannieinabottleblog.com

Heather{Our Life In a Click} said...

These both sound like great reads!

Jennifer said...

Both of these sound really good!

Jennifer
Effortlessly Sophisticated

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I like novels that feature a few "real people" as characters. Thanks for the recommended books!

Polyester Princess said...

Sounds like two great reads, Hena. I especially like the sound of that first one. xxx

Sparkles and Lattes said...

Thank you for the book recommendations!!!

Kelly said...

I love historical fiction and these both sound very good! I'll have to make note.

Jeanie said...

I've always loved Grace Kelly and you might enjoy watching many of her movies (your whole family might enjoy "Rear Window.") There are some wonderful biographies about her you may enjoy, too.

I think I'd like both of these. I know what you mean -- the dif between the beach read and the other. Sometimes that works, sometimes not!

Stefanie said...

Yay for a good read! I'm into Chicagoland Vampires at the moment and a side of a single mum detective who's trying to find a prize winning, giant poodle stud.

BLovedBoston said...

Oh these both sound amazing!! Adding to my list immediately!

Stephanie Jane said...

These both sound goos and I am very tempted by The Paris Hours. I think it needs adding to my TBR!

littleglitterybox said...

Those books sound very fantastic! I love to read too, unfortunately at the moment I don't have that much time anymore.

xx Simone
Little Glittery Box

Red Rose Alley said...

It's a good time right now to sit and read a good book. I just bought a new magazine and look forward to browsing through it. Yes, Grace Kelley was a beauty. Thanks for the book shares. : )

~Sheri

Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom said...

I could use some new books to ready right now! Thanks for sharing these!

Carrie
curlycraftymom.com

simply styling said...

I always enjoy reading book reviews ! Thanks for sharing a bit about your recent read. Hugs to you and your family ! Stay safe my friend.

Laura B said...

These both sound so interesting! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Emmylou said...

The Paris Hours sounds like a great read. And as a Grace Kelly fan, that second book sounds interesting as well. Thanks for the heads up, Hena:)And great to hear that you guys are spending good quality time together during this crazy time.

Rowena @ rolala loves said...

These both sound good. I will definitely be reading more while in quarantine.

Rach said...

Both books peeked my interested! For sure want to read them!

www.rdsobsessions.com

Debbie said...

i am not a reader, but this is nice for people who love to read and i am glad you enjoyed both books!!

i have a friend who loves to read so i am going to forward this to her. she is always looking for recommendations!!

R's Rue said...

Ordering Meet Me in Monaco. Thank you.

ALLIE NYC said...

Oh these both sound quite good, but the first one in particular sound very interesting and I LOVE the cover!! Thanks for the heads up.

Allie of
www.allienyc.com

Karolina said...

Sounds like good books when someone wants to catch up on some reading! Stay safe!

Mica said...

They both sound really interesting, especially that first one, even if they might be a little too thriller like for me, haha! i tend to like easy, fun reads.

Hope that your week is going okay with everything happening right now!

Away From Blue

karen said...

I started open house and am trying my best to get into it. Reading during the day helps as opposed to reading at night when I'm completely exhausted. Hope you and your kiddos are doing well. As well as your parents!!

awhite said...

Meet Me in Monaco sounds like a fun read!

-Ashley
Le Stylo Rouge

Amy Aed said...

I would definitely like to read some of these - during the quarantine I definitely have a lot more time to read!

I hope that you're staying safe during this coronavirus outbreak, and are feeling well.

Have a good weekend!

Amy x Wandering Everywhere

sonia // daring coco said...

Meet Me in Monaco has been sitting on my wishlist for years now. And I've only ever read good reviews about it too. Need to push this title up further on the list

Sxx
daringcoco.com

Doused in Pink | Chicago Style Blog said...

Both of these books sound great! Thank you for sharing your review!

Jill - Doused in Pink

Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra said...

Meet Me in Monaco is one I've been wanting to read for a while now so I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it. Grace Kelly has always fascinated me.

Deborah Kos said...

When you are stuck in the house, it is so nice to have good books to read on hand. Hopefully, the social distancing will end soon.

NotJessFashion said...

Both sound really interesting reads. Thanks dear!

Jessica | notjessfashion.com

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