12/27/2009

Cane River by Lalita Tademy


I almost put this book back on the shelf before buying it. Oprah’s Book Club books have always been hit or miss for me. Thankfully I took this book on with me on our holiday in Mexico. I spent two glorious days laying in the sun, enjoying the lives of these beautifully strong women.

Review:
I loved every minute of reading this book. Lalita Tademy spent years researching her family history, and then used what she found to write a semi-fiction, semi-fact based novel about her female ancestors beginning in the 1800’s while they were still living in slavery. This is one of those rare books that tells a complete story. Each of these amazing, strong women, drew me in to the novel giving an excellent portrait of what a woman’s life in slavery would have been like as well as the Civil War, reconstruction, and the years of discrimination that followed. I was so sad to say goodbye to these characters at novel’s end that I found myself re-reading large sections of the book, unready to move on. I would recommend this story to anyone who has an interest in historical fiction, slavery, and the lives of real women. This is going on my all time favorites list.

12/06/2009

The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin & Anna Kraus


During college I worked as a nanny, which is why I am surprised I never managed to pick this book up before now or see the movie. For a while I was really opposed to anything resembling chick lit, but now I have seen the light. There is nothing wrong with reading a little light chick lit every now and again. Actually, it’s kind of a pleasure after a long hard day.

Review:
The Nanny Diaries is written from the perspective of “Nan” the Nanny. Come now, couldn’t you think of something a little less obvious? This of course, is second only to the evil mother, “Mrs. X.” Apparently, the author thought this would be a clever way to make it seem like Mrs. X really existed. I however, would have much rather enjoyed reading about Mrs. Goldingsternman, or Mrs. Heathrightcliff… or whatever silly name. But, Mrs. X? It just irritated me. Nevertheless, aside from the terrible names of the characters, it was a fun easy read. Although I thoroughly enjoyed reminiscing about my own “nanny-days,” I felt there was much lacking in the story. I always hunger for dynamic characters that grow and change and surprise me. These characters were predictable the whole way through. I give this book a 2.5 out of 5, (but I’m still going rent the movie!)

12/04/2009

i Won!

I just won my first Early Reviewer book from LibraryThing! Truly, Madly: A novel by Heather Webber. I hope it arrives before Christmas in Cabo. I'm in the middle of The Nanny Diaries right now. I was going to save it for vacation, but decided that what I really need right now is a light read. Since moving to OC, I've been looking for a good used bookstore and this weekend I finally found it: Book Man. Floor to ceiling, three rooms of well organized books at reasonable prices. Now I can supplement my gift card purchases from B&N, without feeling guilty.

11/27/2009

Second Glance by Jodi Picoult


Second Glance by Jodi Picoult

I made the mistake of asking the friend from whom I borrowed the book what it was about, which skewed the first half of the book for me. I still enjoyed the whole book, even slipping away on Thanksgiving to read it.

Review:
Written in three parts, present-past-present, Picoult works her magic in weaving the stories of many characters into one tale. This story spans over a hundred years of one family’s hidden history while tackling the issues of eugenics and genetics. I’m a sucker for books, movies, anything where I get to make the connections and put together the details into a completed puzzle. Without spoiling the novel, I can tell you that this is the story of lonely people finding something worth living for. The book was long, and bordered on the fine line between overboard and tying up the loose ends. After finishing it, I did appreciate Picoult’s attention to detail and the fact that no questions were left unanswered. I would recommend this book to someone who wants to curl up with a blanket on a cold weekend and enjoy reading something a little magical, a little sad, and a lot about love.

11/15/2009


Girl Mary by Petru Popescu

I have always been drawn to historical religious fiction, particularly about biblical women. Is that even a genre in itself? The cover of this novel caught my eye, and I pulled out my iPhone in the middle of Barnes and Noble to google the title to see if it was about The Mary, not just A Mary. As this was in the regular fiction section, I figured it would be a work of historical fiction, not Christian fiction.

Review:
The book was easy to read. It jumps right in to the story of Mary at the well, and later gives you the back story. Told from two perspectives, Pontius Pilate and Mary Amneh, the story gives a new outlook on what Mary’s life may have been like prior to the birth of Jesus as well as the politics of Roman Times. As a woman the story resonated with me, and although this was definitely not Christian fiction I found that it did pose some theological questions. Throughout the story, I found myself asking: is she the chosen one? will there be immaculate conception? will the book tell about the birth and beyond? The only answer I can give without spoiling the book is that the story ends before any “Jesus Story” begins. After finishing the novel, I immediately wanted to open the book of Luke and re-read the biblical version. I would recommend this book to any woman who likes biblical fiction, or wants to get a glimpse into what life was like for women during this time period.

If you liked this, try:
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
Women of Genesis by Orson Scott Card
Lilah by Marek Halter

11/08/2009

Formatting

I haven't finished reading any of the 3 books I'm in the middle of right now. Luckily, that is giving me time to get my blog ready. I know the easiest thing would be to just download a template from another site, but it goes against my nature. So, instead of taking the easy way, I borrowed Adobe from my sister and am in the process of figuring out how to make my own template. I have so many ideas and am so excited to combine my love of computers and art with books, for this project. Ideally, I hope to publish reviews of the books that I am reading. I'm doing this a) to keep a record b) because I love writing c) I miss blogging and d) in hopes of becoming one of those lucky people publishers choose to send free books to. Wish me luck!