Monday, December 21, 2009

The Lost Symbol on the Kindle

Last night I stayed up way too late reading The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. I'm sure I'll finish it today and it's like his others, a great read - fast and furious, filled with history, facts and little known symbolism, plus totally likable characters, and hatable ones, too. My husband asked me if I knew who the antagonist really is - I'm afraid he gave something away, because I'm thinking maybe...Zachary? Not sure, but it's a good one, especially to read right now in the hecticness of the holidays.

I must add, it's my first read on a Kindle. I do have to admit I like it, but I miss the page turning and flipping around, the tactileness of a paper book. But with where the publishing world is going, I may have to get used to it! I do like the % it shows you of how much you've read, but miss the actual visual of almost getting to the end. I'm not completely sold yet, but maybe not so aghast at it either.

Next on my list is one for book club - The Traveler's Gift, sort of a motivational, inspirational book we thought would be good to start the new year with. I'll let you know as I'm usually not into this type of book (I prefer my novels) but it's gotten some great reviews,a s well as some bad ones, so we'll see.

Also I want to read Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld and I'm very intrigued with The Skating Rink by Roberto Bolano, so that's on my list, too. Three to start 2010's not too bad. Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Help

Last night I read and read and finished The Help by Kathryn Stockett, a novel that takes place in 1960's Mississippi and the women in the town, the black and the white. While all Skeeter's friends are planning Jr League functions and counting their silver, she is interviewing the women who work as maids for these women. The more Miss Skeeter learns, the less she likes her friends and the more she becomes ostracized. As much as I loved the book, I would have liked to have seen it go a little more in depth. I feel like I would have liked to know more about Miss Celia, the rural poor girl who marries well but still can't fit into Jackson society. I would have liked to know if Elizabeth ever stands up to Hilly. I'd like to know what Aibeleen does, and how Mae Mobley grows up (though I don't think that one can or should be answered in the book).

Though not every aspect was satisfying to me, overall the book left an impact on me - proof is I made my husband put his down and listen to me recount the whole thing for him - he even looked interested.

A great conversation takes place between two of the maids - Aibeleen and Minny. They are talking about the lines drawn between people, and not just between black and white. There are lines between Celia and the Jackson women, there are lines between Minny and her husband. But who draws these lines? Who keeps them in place? Can anyone erase them? It's a touching, eye opening conversation, not only to the women having it, but also to the reader.

As someone who grew up in the South, though not a small town like Jackson, MS and not during the 60's, the book had a personal draw to me. I love what Kathryn Stockett says in the end bit she wrote - in summation - the South is like your mother, only you have the right to talk bad about her but when someone else does - watch out!

I look forward to my book club night about The Help.
Now back to An Echo in the Bone to see what else Jaime and Claire are up to...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's been WAY too Long!!

I can't believe it's been over a year since I've posted! What kind of blogger is that? So my early New Year's Resolution is to do one blog a week? Can I do it - sure!!
Obviously, in the past year, I have been reading a lot, and though some of the books weren't my favs, I've read a couple that have stuck with me for some time afterwards.

The one that comes to mind the strongest is Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah. It's the story of two friends growing up in the 70's and 80's, centered around their relationships with each other, parents and lovers. Not only do the time, fashion and music references hit home, like slouch boots and big hair, but the theme of friendship and motherhood is so strong that you can't read this book without a box of tissues nearby.

While one of the characters reminds me so much of myself, it opens up my eyes to my own strengths and weaknesses. It's one of those books that begs for discussion and as a few neighborhood women were reading it at the same time, we got together for an evening to discuss it over wine and food, and of course, friends. We're waiting to hear of a movie to come out from the book and had fun trying to cast the characters.

Presently, I'm reading the seventh installment of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, An Echo in the Bone, and I am completely in love with Jaime and Claire all over again. They never stop and though they must be in their late 50's (?) by now, their romance and relationship is still flourishing and passionate while at the same time, so mature and emotional intimate. One night as Jaime has trouble falling asleep because Claire is taking care of a woman giving birth, he muses that whenever he can't sleep he turns to Claire, whether to talk, make love or just watch her sleep - ahhhhh.

I just found a great blog, The Lit Connection, where she writes a lot about Outlander, including how her boyfriend has accepted it as part of her life. I understand, as my husband knows when I read Diana Gabaldon, I begin to speak with a Scottish accent and talk about Jaime and Claire as if they're my friends. I know, weird, nerdy all of that, but there is something to be said when a book affects you that much. Isn't that what we read for?