Monday, October 2, 2017

Mood Ring Recommendations: Feeling... Changeable

My current mood is influenced by the changing seasons and the slide into October (possibly my favorite month), so, for this week's Mood Ring Recommendations, my mood is ...

~ Changeable ~

First, the mood I've picked isn't precise, because I'm not exactly sure what mood I'm trying to express. Something that's more than what's on the surface; something duplicitous (but not always bad); one thing and then another. What's one word for all that?

Whatever the word is, these reads all came to mind when I started thinking about stories with a character who wears a mask, is different than we think, or changes midway once we thought we knew them.

Eleanor Hallowell Abbott, Molly Make-Believe: This sweet novel is from 1911, and it's the only positive novel featuring misdirection and misapprehension. It reads like The Shop Around the Corner and other sweet rom-coms, and it's a really lovely, light romance.

Louisa May Alcott, A Long Fatal Love Chase: Pretty much the title sums up the plot. One of Alcott's pot boilers that she was shamed for writing, this delightful Gothic features a heroine fleeing from a nefarious lover, and all the drama that entails.  (Alcott's Behind a Mask is really a better fit for this theme, but isn't my favorite, but if you want the original twisted-caretaker-edges-out-the-wife, this is your book.)

Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany's: Forget the beloved film (which I actually dislike) because Capote's Holly Golightly is nothing like Audrey Hepburn's version. This Holly is worthy of a close look: she's a little dangerous, very sexy, and a survivor.

Jane Harris, Gillespie and I: This chunky book is so good, with a wonderfully appealing unreliable narrator that I just adored. It doesn't hurt there's a midway oh-my-gosh-what?! twist that makes everything upside down. (I'm tempting myself to consider a reread now...!)

Rashad Harrison, Our Man in the Dark: This was one of the earliest books I reviewed on this blog and I still think about it. I loved every page of it. Our narrator is a thieving bookkeeper with MLK's Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the FBI manipulate him into getting dirt on King.

Sheila Kohler, The Bay of Foxes: This is a haunting novel of an Ethiopian immigrant in France who meets a famed French novelist; the older woman wants to relive an affair with the young man, and what should be a Cinderella story is much, much darker. I was reminded of Jane Bowles, Marguerite Duras, and Daphne du Maurier.

Alex Myers, Revolutionary: Another novel where "changeable" is less negative; in this case, a young woman disguises herself as a man to fight with the Continental Army. Myers, who is trans-identified himself, explores identity and love in a quick-reading hist fic that was surprising and romantic.

What books make you think of "changeable"?


  1. I totally agree with Holly Golightly, the book version. I am not certain why they made her so bubbly in the movie, but I rather like the darker, book version, even if it does take some time to adjust to her. The movie is so ingrained in our collective conscience.

    1. Book Holly is so shocking! but I love her so. It's so crazy to me some Hollywood writer/producer read Capote's story and ended up with what they did.

  2. I loved Breakfast at Tiffany's and need to pick up that Alcott book.

  3. Cat Winters' The Uninvited - it's an atmospheric ghost story with a plot twist that made me want to reread the book.

    1. Oooh, I'm so glad to hear that, Sarah -- I've got that one around and I looooove ghost stories!