Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Many Books

Sorry about yesterday's post. That was painfully nerdy, even for me!

I had promised weaving at the end of yesterday's sucky post, but no, not today. I have excuses and I have towels, but no pictures. I don't even have my dumbass camera with me (which has, I'm sorry to tell you, a couple of really cute pictures of the motley crew) so I can't even post random pictures. Oh well. Tomorrow is another day...

So, how about some books instead?

I recently finished The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler. Eh. It was entertaining enough, but I kept wanting more. It never really rose to Jane Austen's level of wit, or her incisive commentary on male-female relationships (romantic or economic). Fowler does something that really irritates me: most of her characters (and she seems to agree) find Jane Austen utterly perfect in every way. They get very snotty with the two characters who question some of Austen's writing choices. Now, I love Jane Austen as much as anyone, but Mansfield Park, anyone? And Fowler wraps her book up much too neatly. Everyone, including the cheating husband, wind up in happy relationships. Which is neither realistic, nor Austen-esque. I was left with a strong desire to read some Jane Austen again, so that's something.

I also read The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio by Terry Ryan. This isn't so much a memoir as a tribute to the author's mother, who raised 10 kids under some pretty difficult conditions. It's a lovely book. There are so many My-Childhood-Was-Fucked-Up* books out there (and she could have written it from that angle), that it was a relief to read one that, at it's core, is a story of perseverance and optimism. And an aggressive chicken, who believes it's a cat.

And David Sedaris' Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. It's worth it just for the Dutch Christmas story. So. Funny. He's really an amazing writer.

Now I am onto White Teeth by Zadie Smith and Conspiracy of Fools by Kurt Eichenwald. Both of which are quite dense so I don't expect to finish either of them soon.

*No, I have not read Running With Scissors. I tried, but I really can't cope with stories of ill treated children. Even if the child grew up to be the author of the book. I didn't see March of the Penguins for the same reason. Babies die. I can't look.


Viva le Carrot said...

"Running with Scissors" was great, one of the best books I've read in years. Simultaneously poignant without being dark and hilarious without being jokey -- just matter of fact.

It's kind of like the Daily Show, where Jon Stewart can make you laigh just by presenting the latest Repuglican foibles and then doing a "take" to the camera; no joke is required, the thing speaks for itself.

Cindy said...


You must read Running With Scissors! It actually is a hopeful book!