At the moment I have quite a stack of new (or new to me) books to get me through the winter. Vertical books have already been finished; the others are arranged only by size.
The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife, and the Missing Corpse, by Pru Marie Eatwell. Purchased at Strand Books when I was in NYC earlier this month and embarked on with enthusiasm before I even left the city. This is what happens when whackadoo ladies claim that their eccentric brother-in-law is also an eccentric duke. So many tangles it’s like a dish of delicious pasta with an unexpected mushroom or olive to surprise you.
The Collector, by Nataya Semenova with André DeLocque. Purchased at Brattle Books and tells the story of Sergei Shchukin, his astonishing collection of modern art (and its fate in Soviet Russia), and interesting family.
Letitia Baldrige’s New Manners for New Times. Purchased at Strand Books when I was in NYC earlier this month. The only Baldrige book I’ve ever read is A Lady, First, so I am eager to delve into one of her etiquette books.
All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson, by Mark Griffin. A Christmas gift from my friend D. I’ve already started it. Rock is not someone I know much about beyond McMillan and Wife and Pillow Talk (in that order), so this is already wonderful new information.
Secret Societies and Crazy Cults, by Jonathan Moore. Purchased at the Coop last fall, barely begun.
How to Behave Badly in Elizabethan England, by Ruth Goodman. Purchased at the Coop last fall. I think I got through the first two chapters in November, but they were delicious.
Fraud of the Century, by Roy Morris, Jr. All about the presidential election of 1876, the first in which the Electoral College vote did not reflect the popular vote.
A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire, by Ann Butler Greenfield. This sort of history I find truly engaging, and I expect this will take an honored place in my library with Color, Jewels, and Mauve.
White Trash: The 400-Year History of Class in America, by Nancy Isenberg. Purchased . . . oh, months ago! . . . and temporarily abandoned in favor of other books. But its importance was apparent from the first pages.
How Not to Be a Dick: An Everyday Etiquette Guide, by Meghan Doherty. A Christmas gift from Oldest Nephew Who Must Not Be Tagged. I know I am going to like this one!
The Art of the Compliment, by Christie Matheson. Important because so few people even bother with compliments any more. If it can’t sting, why say it?
Star-Spangled Manners, by Judith Martin. Purchased at Strand Books when I was in NYC earlier this month.
Full Service, by Scotty Bowers. A Christmas gift from my friend H, this actually replaces the copy I lost when I was mugged in 2012. “Cheerfully unsubstantiated” sex gossip from golden age Hollywood, I found it a delicious romp at the time, except for the icky stories about Charles Laughton.
Contagious: Why Things Catch On, by Jonah Berger. I forget where I bought this now, but it looks mighty interesting.