Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/big/public_html/wordpress/wp-content/themes/StandardTheme_20/admin/functions.php on line 229
Francesca recommends books | Manolo for the Big Girl

Francesca recommends books

These are 3 very different books, about which Francesca often thinks, and to which Francesca often returns.

The Handmaid’s Tale is a futuristic take on what would happen if a male oligarchy took over American society at the same time that fertility rates plummeted. Told from the perspective of a concubine, this story is truly unforgettable – a feminist nightmare, really. Very juicy and compelling.

First published in 1868, The Moonstone is considered the first mystery novel in the English language; it set frameworks such as multiple suspects and red herrings. The story begins when a young British girl receives a large and mysterious diamond, rumored to have been stolen from India, for her birthday. It is stolen that night from her home, and the subsequent investigation is detailed by a few different (often humorous) narrators, such as house servants and guests from the celebration. If you don’t mind 19th-century language, and you like mysteries (as does Francesca!) then this is a satisfying read. (It also works as a literary relic of Imperial England.)

Joy in the Morning is the least-known of Francesca’s favorite books, despite its having been written by the author of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. It is the story of a young, newly-married couple and their conflicts: she is 18 and uneducated, he is in college taking the classes she only dreams of attending; they are poor; their parents are against the marriage; and she gets pregnant (after the wedding). No, this is not an early version of “For Keeps.” It’s a charming and inspiring book, with a heroine who is both naive and plucky.

Happy reading!

xoxo, Francesca

10 Responses to “Francesca recommends books”

  1. Ottermatic September 20, 2007 at 10:44 am #

    Oh Wilkie Collins! How I love thee. I just read The Woman in White and it is one of my favorite books now. I’ll definitely check out The Moonstone. And A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is another one of my favorite books, so Joy in the Morning is now on my short list.

    Our great minds are clearly thinking alike, book-wise.

  2. Ottermatic September 20, 2007 at 10:51 am #

    Oooo I just read that Joy in the Morning is about a girl who moves from the east coast to Chicago… JUST LIKE I DID. Now I’m super excited. Thanks for the recommendations!

  3. bonnie-ann black September 20, 2007 at 2:26 pm #

    i love all three books… another one by Betty Smith i loved years ago was “Maggie Now”. and The Woman in White — absolutely great! the francesca has the most exquisite taste in the books.

  4. Margo September 20, 2007 at 4:51 pm #

    I love book recommendations – from intelligent people with oodles of style and class, that is. Have been on a bit of an autobiography kick lately, after I discovered V.S. Pritchett’s short stories I tracked down his memoir A Cab At The Door, which I can’t recommend highly enough.

  5. Jen September 20, 2007 at 7:52 pm #

    I looooove A Tree Grows in Brooklyn! I never new there were more books by the same author. Also, I second Handmaid’s Tale- its a little scary when compared to some current laws, hint hint. Terrifying.

  6. Twistie September 20, 2007 at 8:00 pm #

    I’ll never forget the first time I read The Handmaid’s Tale. (shivers) Brilliant stuff. It was my introduction to Margaret Atwood. She’s written a lot of terrific books, but hands down, Handmaid’s Tale is my favorite. Still, I’d never try to stop anyone from reading, say, The Edible Woman.

    I enjoyed The Moonstone when I was eighteen, but somehow have never read it again or picked up anything else of Wilkie Collins’. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s time to re-introduce him into my reading world. Then again, I’m also thinking it’s time for me to read War and Peace again.

    Good books make boon companions.

  7. the unfashionista September 20, 2007 at 8:58 pm #

    Oryx and Crake is another chilling futuristic cautionary tale by Margaret Atwood – I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoyed The Handmaid’s Tale.

  8. Jenna September 21, 2007 at 5:42 am #

    Margaret Atwood is the best. Oryx and Crake is my second fave after Handmaid…third on the list is The Robber Bride, which is intelligent, yet somehow manages to be a fantastic “beach read”.

  9. Ninjarina September 24, 2007 at 1:37 am #

    I don’t know why but Margaret Atwood bores the @#$ out of me and I had to find that out through “A Handmaid’s Tale” in AP English. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone with a decent education above age 15.

    I grew up in Williamsburg, where “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn” takes place. It’s nice to learn about my town’s history – before my time when the blacks and the Puerto Ricans held it and before the current gentrification embodied by the mass exodus of pretentious art and film students from the Midwest. My piano teacher lived there in the 60s and continues to live there now. She confirmed a lot of the racial/religious strife that went on in that area.

  10. oliviacw September 24, 2007 at 1:57 am #

    Just finished Joy in the Morning. A fairly quick read, and a nice tale – thanks for the recommendation. (Have already read A Handmaid’s Tale, not quite up to tackling Wilkie Collins yet.)