On the reading list! This week I’m wrapping up 2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.
No, these titles really don’t have much to do with one another, but that’s the joy of reading is it not? Let’s start with my current Audible listen:
Madeleine Altimari is a smart-mouthed, rebellious nine-year-old who also happens to be an aspiring jazz singer. Still mourning the recent death of her mother, and caring for her grief-stricken father, she doesn’t realize that on the eve of Christmas Eve she is about to have the most extraordinary day—and night—of her life. After bravely facing down mean-spirited classmates and rejection at school, Madeleine doggedly searches for Philadelphia’s legendary jazz club The Cat’s Pajamas, where she’s determined to make her on-stage debut. On the same day, her fifth grade teacher Sarina Greene, who’s just moved back to Philly after a divorce, is nervously looking forward to a dinner party that will reunite her with an old high school crush, afraid to hope that sparks might fly again. And across town at The Cat’s Pajamas, club owner Lorca discovers that his beloved haunt may have to close forever, unless someone can find a way to quickly raise the $30,000 that would save it.
As these three lost souls search for love, music and hope on the snow-covered streets of Philadelphia, together they will discover life’s endless possibilities over the course of one magical night. A vivacious, charming and moving debut, 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas will capture your heart and have you laughing out loud.
I’m listening to this adorable story on Audible during my commutes into work. The chapters are organized by time of day. I’m only an hour away from the 2 A.M. climax! It’s the only time I can say that I’ve been looking forward to my commute to find out how it all comes to be. Companies everywhere should require great books to listen to on commutes. It’ll probably greatly increase office attendance and punctuality.
Now…onto book club!
Jane Eyre (originally published as Jane Eyre: An Autobiography) is a novel by English writer Charlotte Brontë. It was published on 16 October 1847 by Smith, Elder & Co. of London, England, under the pen name “Currer Bell.” The first American edition was released the following year by Harper & Brothers of New York. Primarily of the bildungsroman genre, Jane Eyre follows the emotions and experiences of its title character, including her growth to adulthood, and her love for Mr. Rochester, the byronic master of fictitious Thornfield Hall. In its internalisation of the action — the focus is on the gradual unfolding of Jane’s moral and spiritual sensibility and all the events are coloured by a heightened intensity that was previously the domain of poetry — Jane Eyre revolutionised the art of fiction. Charlotte Brontë has been called the ‘first historian of the private consciousness’ and the literary ancestor of writers like Joyce and Proust. The novel contains elements of social criticism, with a strong sense of morality at its core, but is nonetheless a novel many consider ahead of its time given the individualistic character of Jane and the novel’s exploration of classism, sexuality, religion, and proto-feminism.
Jane Eyre is my current book club book. I’ve been asking to include it on the list for months and it finally came to the top! I’m halfway through it and it’s hard to read it without the Masterpiece Theatre version taking over my imagination. However it’s fabulous reading the story that I’ve come to have loved so much from the cinematic spin-offs. (And the Masterpiece Theatre version is by far the best. No questions.)
What are you reading right now? Thumb’s up? Down? Let us know! We’re always looking for recommendations.
Cover image courtesy of Natalia Makarenko.