Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Book Report

Fact:  Did you know that when you have a new baby it takes 2 to 3 times longer to craft a single blog post?  It's true.  Look it up.  

Since so many of you sent in book suggestions I felt that I should get back to you about the books I read.  And for your information I've put more of your suggestions on hold at the library so I can continue my breast feeding and book reading marathons.  Catchy name I think.  So basically I read whatever I was able to get my hands on the fastest and I thank my friends, Tricia and Rachel, for lending me the following books.   

First up, The was great.  I really enjoyed it.  It was bigger than I expected but still a quick read.  For some reason I always love books and movies about the South and specifically, about southern women.  If Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood is playing on TBS any random Saturday you can bet I'm watching it (or Fried Green Tomatoes, Steel Magnolias, etc).  There's something about being a woman in the South that is at once glamourous and suffocating.  It seems that there are a lot of unwritten rules which they're expected to live by, and thus there is a lot more room for failure.  This book wasn't really about that--maybe a little--but I still find the (white) Southern woman an interesting figure in film and literature, and this book didn't disappoint.  However, this book was really about race relations in the South during the civil rights movement.  The focus is on a group of women--some black and some white--and their relationships with each other, and with society at large.  It's well written and I really like how the author writes from the perspective of these different women and is able to clearly capture each woman's voice and perspective.  So yeah... read it.  It's a goodie.  Oh and I should mention that while at the hospital at least 2 nurses and a Dr. both stopped dead in their tracks when they saw I was reading The Help and they'd say, Are you reading this?  It's SOOOO good....we just finished this for our book club and I loved it.  So there you have it--2 out of 3 nurses and a Dr. recommend reading The Help.    

And The Glass Castle.  I don't know...this book sort of haunted me.  I have to say I didn't enjoy reading a lot of it...but stick with me for a minute.  For those who don't know it's the memoir of a woman's childhood with a very dysfunctional, complicated and rather nomadic family.  Through out most of the book I had a knot in my stomach.  Since the author writes it from her childhood perspective, I'm reading about these incredibly inept, selfish and destructive parents but through the eyes of an innocent child who has yet to realize how crazy her life is.  As the story and the years unfold she starts to gain an awareness of her situation and for some reason it became easier to read... As long as we both know what's going on here, I guess is how I felt about it.  So while I can't say I enjoyed myself, it's incredibly eye opening and engrossing to read.  The book starts with a story of a 3 year old Jeannette cooking hot dogs on the stove of their mobile home, only to catch on fire and spend several weeks in the hospital.  And things just escalate from there.  However, what makes this book really interesting is that it's not that black and white (although I'm sorta making it sound black and white).  On one level it's easy to say these kids are in an abusive and dangerous situation, but on another level you know that these brilliant yet broken parents love their children and seem to be little more than children themselves.  The ending is worth sticking around for, but be prepared to be frustrated and a little furious along the way.  

Next on the docket (as soon as the library gets them to me):  Expecting Adam, These is My Words, and The Gift of an Ordinary Day (this last one was not recommended, but this video although a little cheesy, is sort of inspiring and helps me keep things in I thought the book would be good as well).  

And I think I'll just keep reading on down the list you guys sent's a good list.  So thanks.  


  1. Read them both, and agree with so much of your 'reviews'/thoughts. And you musn't forget---A GIRL NAMED ZIPPY. must.

  2. Hey thanks for doing this even though you are prob SOOO busy! Jord just got an ipad and I've been itching to buy some books... he didn't really predict that his new toy would only help me shop!...

  3. i'm still sending votes out for "the history of love" and i agree with miss molly "a girl named zippy" will make you laugh out loud.

    love, love, love!

  4. Molly and Emily--

    You're gonna hate I started A Girl Named Zippy and couldn't get into it. Of course it was for book club earlier during this pregnancy, so maybe I was just too distracted with what was going on to be super engrossed in any book. I don't know....maybe I'll have to give it another go.

  5. Awesome. I'm going to copy you.

  6. I loved These is my words. Oh, wait- did I recommend it in the first place?

  7. I couldn't really get into AGNZ either. I realized recently that I read The Glass Castle before having children, and may have been a little more disturbed after having a baby. I read "Love Walked In" (someone recommended it on your list) and enjoyed it thoroughly.

  8. I read all the books on your list. Loved most of them especially, These is My Words (took me two tears because I would either give it away to a sister or was always in the middle of another book. I read Expecting Adam about 10 years ago because everyone told me to read it, It's disguised as a good loving book but in the end I know the ultate demise of this family and wonder if any of these life lessons through their sweet little boy taught them anything. So good luck. Just finished Sarah's Key. It was a good, fast read. Something I gravitate to since I have a child with disabilities and don't have oodles of me time. Love your postings!