Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Gonna talk books here, I have been having a delightful time reading and this is what I have been getting through since we got here....

The Ladies Lending Library by Janice Kulyk Keefer given to me most appropriately by Beth over at Booksetc when we got together this summer

Now this was a good book. Simply put. There were elements to it I didn't relate to directly, the immigrant experience - I haven't been here long enough - nor the cottaging thing, but the relationships and the development of the characters over the course of this summer was fascinating to read. Some of it rang so true as well. The author did a good job managing to maintain a sympathetic response to the many points of view from which the book is taken which is again quite a literary challenge that she handled well.

Thanks Beth. I loved it.

Next up was Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. This one was given to me by none other than Nomad. Lovely group of blogging buddies, eh? This seems to be a book that is doing pretty well, I have seen it in a number of people's hands, and I can see why. It has a lot, travel, love hardship, food, God, willfully transforming your life, and it is well written to boot. I truly enjoyed this, the woman emerges from a very difficult divorce, goes to Italy to eat for four months, how harsh is that? Then India to pray and meditate for four months, which would be fascinating in a post-child life. I can't picture the husband getting into that either for that matter....then she goes on to Bali, and I will say no more. I did find that the final third of the book in Bali was less compelling, it read more like a journal rather than a series of vignettes or stories as the earlier sections managed. This may well be as this section was the latest, nearest and therefore the least processed of the three legs of her voyage, but it has an unpolished feel to it that the other sections do not, to their benefit.

That said, it was a great book, and inspirational on all sorts of levels, especially if you are curious, open-minded and love to travel.

So good. Thanks Nomad.

One I have been reading with the kids is "Does My Head Look Fat In This?" by Randa Abdel-Fattah, it is a story written from the perspective of an Australian Muslim girl who is choosing to wear the hijab at school, and what she encounters as she does this in a post 9/11 world. She is funny, laugh out loud put down the drink and hope you don't snort it out your nose funny, in places, and true and sincere and utterly believable. It is also hilarious reading it with my kids, as the main character's comments about her parents sound pretty kooky coming out of my mouth. She refers to her parent's lectures by title as in, "so then they ran the 'I've been on the planet longer than you have' lecture..." which I run past my kids now and then too....maybe I should just reference the lecture title and not bother with anything else as well....?

Great book on every level, she manages to talk about racism, insensitivity, the reality of some high-school politics, crushes and dating in a real, funny and accessible way without being the least bit condescending. So good. This was also a gift too, from one of the women I worked with this summer, thank you very much, we're loving it.

The book I am tackling now is Snow flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See, again a gift from the same woman as above, which is also so far, fantastic, although there are several pages when the main character and her friends are getting their feet bound that made me positively squirm. Seriously, not much does, but this was simply horrifying.

I am finding the book absolutely compelling, I love the setting and the feeling that I am learning about a part of the world and a time that I know little about, as well as enjoying a beautifully told tale of the girls and women who lived there. There is some extremely heavy-handed foreshadowing about some of the disasters that are coming up, which is making me feel a little less enthusiastic especially as it hasn't exactly been a picnic so far, but.....

One of the tidbits I loved about this book is that she maintains that in some regions of China there was a secret women's language, with it's own script as well, which was used to allow women to communicate with each other even when they were so profoundly helpless and powerless. This is a novel, so I am not sure whether such a language really existed, but I love the idea anyway....a good read so far, not sure about where it is going. The squeamish should skip a page or too.


If you made it all the way through that,


I'm impressed.

The first day of school seems to have gone well, the girls made dinner, but I had to work, so no photo-documentary. Sorry.

Work was chaotic, and I had to get them to re-do my schedule as I was working 5 nights a week. I am still working every night, but the schedule is better now, at the ends and beginnings of the evening, so I will still see the kids and the man.

That matters.

Cheers for now.

I keep feeling like I should sign these like a letter.


So here goes,

Cheers, hope your day went well,



Beth said...

Great reviews! I've noted the other titles. I love recommended reads.
Glad to hear your work schedule is doable - family time a must!

Elisabeth (aka Beth)

oreneta said...

Elisabeth: Glad you enjoyed it,