Introducing: Casee Marie of The Girl Who Stole The Eiffel Tower

Hi, everyone! I’m Casee Marie of The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower. Our dear Stephanie being under the weather, she invited me to contribute a guest post in her absence. Here’s hoping she feels better soon, but as she takes a break I’m happy to talk books with you all. Summer is the ultimate time for reading; a good book is essential whether you like lounging on the beach or in your own backyard. Summer for me has always meant escapism and adventure, and considering I’m perhaps the most unadventurous person you’ll ever meet that usually means I seek entertainment in the pages of books. I’ve journeyed through Italy, India and Indonesia learning how to eat, how to pray and how to love with Elizabeth Gilbert; I’ve swashed buckles with Isabella Allende’s Zorro; I’ve learned the art (and the disaster) of being a shopaholic with Sophie Kinsella. Books represent freedom and endless exploration; how very like summer! This summer the list of books I’d like to read consists entirely of novels, taking me from Machiavelli’s intrigue-ridden Florence during the High Renaissance to the a quiet English village where a retired Major finds life to be quite unexpected – and even to Chicago where a spirited bombshell takes the windy city (and the world of sports) by storm. If any of that sounds like your kind of read (or if you’re just a universal bookworm like me), here’s a full rundown of which novels I’m itching to dive into over the season!

The Enchantress of Florence – Salman Rushdie (Goodreads | Amazon)  The Enchantress of Florence is the story of a woman attempting to command her own destiny in a man’s world. It is the story of two cities, unknown to each other, at the height of their powers–the hedonistic Mughal capital, in which the brilliant Akbar the Great wrestles daily with questions of belief, desire, and the treachery of his sons, and the equally sensual city of Florence during the High Renaissance, where Niccolò Machiavelli takes a starring role as he learns, the hard way, about the true brutality of power. Vivid, gripping, irreverent, bawdy, profoundly moving, and completely absorbing, The Enchantress of Florence is a dazzling book full of wonders by one of the world’s most important living writers.

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand – Helen Simsonson (Goodreads | Amazon) The Major leads a quiet life valuing the proper things that Englishmen have lived by for generations: honor, duty, decorum, and a properly brewed cup of tea. But then his brother’s death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their respective spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their friendship blossoming into something more. But village society insists on embracing him as the quintessential local and her as the permanent foreigner. Can their relationship survive the risks one takes when pursuing happiness in the face of culture and tradition?

A Vintage Affair – Isabel Wolff (Goodreads | Amazon) Phoebe always dreamt of opening her own vintage dress shop. She imagined every detail, from the Vivienne Westwood bustiers hanging next to satin gowns, to sequinned cupcake dresses adorning the walls. At the launch of Village Vintage, Phoebe feels the tingle of excitement as customers snap up the fairytale dresses. Her dream has come true, but a secret from her past is casting a shadow over her new venture. Then one day she meets Therese, an elderly Frenchwoman with a collection to sell, apart from one piece that she won’t part with. As Therese tells the story of the little blue coat, Phoebe feels a profound connection with her own life, one that will help her heal the pain of her past and allow her to love again.

Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall–Kazou Ishiguro  (Goodreads | Amazon) Each of these five interconnected “stories of music and nightfall” by the author of The Remains of the Day is told in the first person, and each narrative places music and its players in a new light: One man’s One man’s impeccable taste in music is the only thing his friends value in him. A young cellist becomes the instrument of his tutor. A talented jazz musician, struggling to be recognized, decides that only plastic surgery can save him. A songwriter blunders into the bankrupt marriage of a couple he barely knows. A singer contemplating a comeback makes an irrevocable sacrifice Literary nocturnes with the clarity of music.sacrifice Literary nocturnes with the clarity of music.

It Had to Be You – Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Goodreads | Amazon) The Windy City isn’t quite ready for Phoebe Somerville—the outrageous, curvaceous New York knockout who has just inherited the Chicago Stars football team. And Phoebe is definitely not ready for the Stars’ head coach, former gridiron legend Dan Calebow, a sexist jock taskmaster with a one-track mind. Calebow is everything Phoebe abhors. And the sexy new boss is everything Dan despises—a meddling bimbo who doesn’t know a pigskin from a pitcher’s mound. So why is Dan drawn to the shameless sexpot like a heat-seeking missile? And why does the coach’s good ol’ boy charm leave cosmopolitan Phoebe feeling awkward, tongue-tied…and ready to fight? The sexy, heartwarming, and hilarious “prequel” to This Heart of Mine—Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s New York Times bestselling blockbuster—It Had To Be You is an enchanting story of two stubborn people who believe in playing for keeps.

 Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami(Goodreads|Amazon) Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable. As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman. A poignant story of one college student’s romantic coming-of-age, Norwegian Wood takes us to that distant place of a young man’s first, hopeless, and heroic love.

 Big thanks go to Carolann of Wonderpug Graphics Blog for the recommendation of Susan Elizabeth Phillips (she wrote a great review of Call Me Irresistable!). Do you ever find yourself planning out a summer reading list? Feel free to share your most anticipated reads, or perhaps your favorite summer books of the past. And thanks so much to Steph for inviting me here for a guest post!

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11 thoughts on “Introducing: Casee Marie of The Girl Who Stole The Eiffel Tower

  1. I just want to give a big thanks to Casee (My Twin) for doing this guest post for me while I’m out. It really meant a lot to have your help and support 😀 I was amazed at this wonderful post, seeing as how I have a great love for books! So I will deff. be checking all of them out.

    Thank you so much Casee,
    Stephanie xoxo

  2. I LOVE Norwegian Wood, I have a little obsession w/ Murakami actually, I think I only haven’t read 2 books in his collection, lol. Wonderful pick! They all sound so interesting in different ways! Marking them down.

  3. Sweet Stephanie, I hope you are feeling better! Sending you hugs!

    Casee, darling, as I have said to you before I really trust your good taste, and I will read these books this summer, starting soon! I am very exited to transport my self to the worlds of these books. I absolutely love reading, it provides me with such quality of life. I am glad to have the sensitivity to really soak up every moment spent daydreaming with books. Thank you for this lovely post! Hugs for you too 🙂

  4. I’ve read the Vintage Affair it was a lovely book. Actually I’ve read to many similar ones, I’m addicted to chick lit.
    Now I’m on the lookout for a good book to read! I’m rather picky!
    Anna

  5. Excellent taste my dear!!!! “The enchantress of Florence” is one of the best novels I’ve read recently, but I’m a Rushdie junkie so I’m sort of biased I guess (hehe). I’m sure you’ll love it and I recommend it 100% to everybody who hasn’t yet read it, specially people who are ‘new’ to Rushdie. He’s one of THE authors, I’m telling you. Re: “Norwegian Wood”, I’ve been wanting to read that for a couple of years now, but I’m still in the middle of “The winding bird chronicle”. Murakami is an absolute genius and his writing is so beautiful it makes you cry, REALLY. Amazing post and thanks so much to Stephanie as well!!!!! xoxoxo

  6. Once again Casee this is so great! It’s good to see Major Pettigrew + Ishiguru on here. I love your tastes in authors and various styles of reading material. These are indeed goodreads. I remember my old flatmate gave me the Enchantress of Florence, I was so happy she did. Sometimes it’s also great to re-read some of my favourites. Adding It Had To Be you to my airport reading list.
    -xxoo

  7. Pingback: Review: The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie

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