when my mom told me she was reading a book entitled babayaga: a novel of witches in paris, excitement ensued. i fancy myself a witch, am an amateur folklore enthusiast and like to escape to european cities through my reading. also, the word babayaga rolls off the tongue. my mom and i made up an involved joke about naming a dog babayaga and imagining people's reactions when you explain what the name means "folklore witches who live in the woods and eat children, isn't it the cutest and oh so fitting for my sweet doggy creature?" i guess you had to be there...but, wait, i can hear you chuckling from here.
i finished the book a few nights ago. the wild story by author toby barlow did not disappoint. i liked the intrigue, strong foundation of feminine power, uncommon history (babayagas! from slavic folklore. witches who live in the forest) and inventive plot twists for a variety of characters. catapulted into late 1950's paris with ancient witches, advertising agency men, covert CIA ops, and a despicable bad guy who is driven by pharmaceutical sales.
if any of this sounds remotely interesting to you, give it a try and share your thoughts!
and, now, on to the next read. there is such satisfaction in finishing a book, taking a moment to let the story soak in and then jumping on to another. luckily, i am FULLY stocked for the summer. as part of my job, i spent a week in NYC in early june attending bookexpo and bookcon (basically a huge lovefest for books & reading & publishing) feverishly gathering all the advance copies of books that looked awesome. there were so many! staying with my true form, i mostly grabbed books with beautiful covers written by women about adventures.
aha, my magic circle. which do i choose?
- the bedlam stacks: smuggling and magic in the amazon, early 1900's. i read the prequel to this book, the watchmaker of filigree street and enjoyed it immensely. hence me running to the bloomsbury booth at bookexpo nabbing a copy.
- code girls - the untold story of the american women code breakers of world war II: american lady heroes breaking code and taking names in the second world war.
- from here to eternity - traveling the world to find the good death: a female mortician travels around the world exploring other culture's death rituals. very intrigued!
- the extra woman - how marjorie hillis led a generation of women to live alone and like it: history on when it first became trendy to be a single lady living alone.
- the glass town game: a fantasy world where the young brontë sisters create their own fantasy world to escape the truth of their life and soon to begin sentence at a wicked boarding school. the only young adult one on the list, but it looks so delightful.
- three daughters of eve: one night in istanbul where past and present collide when memories are stirred from a forgotten polaroid. about friendship, identity, history and religion. written by the "most widely read female writer in Turkey."