Princesses Behaving Badly

Title: Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories From History Without the Fairy-Tale Endings

Author: Linda Rodriguez McRobbie. She is a freelance journalist, this is her first book.

Genre: Nonfiction

Readers: Professors JoLee and Irene Adler, publishing professional Gigi, attorney Elizabeth H. and librarian Mary Liz.

Summary: You think you know her story. You’ve read the Brothers Grimm, you’ve watched the Disney cartoons, you cheered as these virtuous women lived happily ever after. But the lives of real princesses couldn’t be more different. Sure, many were graceful and benevolent leaders—but just as many were ruthless in their quest for power, and all of them had skeletons rattling in their royal closets. Princess Stephanie von Hohenlohe was a Nazi spy. Empress Elizabeth of the Austro-Hungarian empire slept wearing a mask of raw veal. Princess Olga of Kiev murdered thousands of men, and Princess Rani Lakshmibai waged war on the battlefield, charging into combat with her toddler son strapped to her back. Princesses Behaving Badly offers minibiographies of all these princesses and dozens more. It’s a fascinating read for history buffs, feminists, and anyone seeking a different kind of bedtime story.

Our Take: These short real-life tales of princesses are fun and frightening, great for short reads. Not perfect for big history buffs who want lots of detail, but great for the casual lover of royalty.

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What We Saw at Night

Book: What We Saw at Night

Author: Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of several bestsellers including The Deep End of the Ocean, one of Oprah’s first Book Club picks.

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Romance

Readers: Professors Michal and Irene Adler, policy wonk BakingSuit and freelance editor Allison.

Publisher Summary: Allie Kim suffers from Xeroderma Pigmentosum: a fatal allergy to sunlight that confines her and her two best friends, Rob and Juliet, to the night. When freewheeling Juliet takes up Parkour—the stunt-sport of scaling and leaping off tall buildings—Allie and Rob have no choice but to join her, if only to protect her. Though potentially deadly, Parkour after dark makes Allie feel truly alive, and for the first time equal to the “daytimers.”

On a random summer night, the trio catches a glimpse of what appears to be murder. Allie alone takes it upon herself to investigate, and the truth comes at an unthinkable price. Navigating the shadowy world of specialized XP care, extreme sports, and forbidden love, Allie ultimately uncovers a secret that upends everything she believes about the people she trusts the most.

Read It If You’re Looking For: A novel that has it all: romance, suspense and more.

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