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.