8.03.2008

Books the Imaginary Book Club has read but failed to post about

The Imaginary Book Club that exists only inside my head has been meeting but failing to post for several months now. 6 months. That's crazy. Like sand through the hour glass. I thought I'd prove that I've actually cracked open a few books by quickly recapping my recent reading material:

1. Water for Elephants. I was ready to love this book. I really was. Well written. Well researched. Fast read. But I kinda sorta only ended up liking it instead of loving it. The fact that circuses depress me probably didn't help. I'm also not into clowns. I think it's the makeup.

2. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Interesting. Quick read. So glad I wasn't born in China in the nineteenth century. Two words, for you. Feet binding. Yikes.

3. The Namesake. Didn't think I'd like it but I did. About a kid born in America to Indian parents. He feels caught between the two cultures. Reminded me of one of my best friends from high school. She used to make her parents put up a Christmas tree because she wanted to be like everyone else. Except her parents didn't know what to give her because she wanted American things so they ended up just giving her cash every year. But they were sweet. They used to take her back to India every summer for six weeks and she'd come back complaining about the lack of General Hospital. The horror. So I guess what I'm saying is, if your best friend in high school struggled with this stuff you might like this book. The dad in the book is also sweet. And I wish my parents would have given me a cool name like Gogol with a cool life changing story about my dad to go with it. I'd be snobby about it if people made fun of it. I'd be all, gee, I guess you don't read much, huh? Loser. Take that.

4. Supernanny: How to Get the Best from Your Children. If you've watched the show and thought you'd like to get some how-to guidance for her techniques, this is not the book for you. Skimpy on specifics. Real general. Ho hum.

5. The History of Love. Interesting. "Her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering." Um, hello, best quote ever. I should live so long as to have my husband say something so adoring about me. And the index card with the identifying information that he keeps with him in case he dies breaks my heart. Kind of like his friend Bruno. And him getting ready for the funeral. And how he felt so invisible. I've been through invisible phases. It's lonely. How brutal for the phase to last your whole life.

6. My Sister's Keeper. Target stocks every book Jodi Picoult has ever written. It was only a matter of time until I succumbed to her. Why the hell I resisted I'll never understand because I loved it. Sick kid needs a kidney from her sister. Complicated family issues. But not a horrific tear jerker. And this is coming from a girl that gets choked up during the Jon and Kate Plus 8 opening credits when Jon says, "We're a family and we're in this together." I thought the book was lovely. Made me wonder who I'd be if my kid were that sick. Besides medicated, of course. Heavily medicated.

7. The Double Bind. This book took me two months to finish. I got stuck like a hundred pages in and lacked the motivation to go on. Not exactly a rave review and I have no idea what my problem was. It's about a girl looking into some homeless guy's photos except the book has a whole, "The Great Gatsby was real and maybe this guy was Gatsby's kid" thing going on. I got seriously distracted trying to remember The Great Gatsby which I haven't read since 9th grade. I almost stopped in the middle of this book to reread it. That's how distracted I was. I had to make myself finish. Which, I'm glad I did though because the ending was the best part of the book. Although I suspected part of it.

8. Fearless Fourteen. The latest Stephanie Plum book. Joe Morelli was front and center. Less Ranger. Thumbs up. And I seriously wish I could figure out how to get that many people to want to hang out with me.

9. The Tenth Circle. Another Jodi Picoult book. Purchased an hour before we got on the plane for our vacation. Thumbs up. Suspect I may quickly make my way through every book she's ever written.

10. Real Simple magazine. I've read the last three issues. I used to think it seemed snobby and trendy but now I'm thinking about subscribing. I want to not like it but I can't. Everything in there is so clean and clutter free. I crave clean and clutter free. I'm sure that's because my life is so clean and clutter free. Not.

9 comments:

Chaotic Joy said...

I read both of those Jodi Piccoult books and gave them both thumbs up. They were both fast engaging reads. I actually have like those two best of the books of hers I have read. But I have two of her books sitting on my nightstand right now waiting on me.

Also, I started Double Bind. Worked on it for like 2 months and finally turned it in to my used bookstore for credit. It's rare that I don't finish a book I start so I am glad to hear you had the same problem.

Water for Elephants is on my list. Thanks for the book reviews. I always love them.

Maggie said...

I LOVE Jodi Piccoult, and I *might* own every book she has written. They are all good, although I think that it is pretty obvious which ones were her earlier works as compared to the later ones. Her latest, Change of Heart, might be my favorite -- you should definitely add it to your list of must-reads.

Shan said...

Thanks for the suggestions. I have read any of those, but I'm going to put them on my list.

notevenatshirt vb said...

I wish I had time to read these days. I'm jealous.

Melinda said...

Yeah, I just read Snow Flower, too. Yikes. If you haven't already done so (I did immediately upon finishing the book) get thee to Google Images and search for chinese footbinding. Then go soak those piggies, man.

no way said...

The Namesake was one of my favorites in recent memory. Get the movie if you have an hour or two. It made the transition from book to movie pretty well, and it was interesting to see all the parts shot in India. The Interpreter of Maladies (same author) was also a good one, especially the last story. I feel like I'm taking a trip down Jhumpa Lahiri memory lane...

As for Real Simple, I struggle with the same issues. I do love it-the color schemes, the page layouts, some of the practical ideas and recipes, and the "real-life" stories that are really well-written. However, it does have an air of snobbery that gets to me sometimes. For example, an article about the best khakis ever will have a bunch of pairs, and there might be some reasonable prices in there, but then the bulk of them will be like $247 a pair. After a while, I start to feel like "Okay Real Simple...we need to part ways for a while."

Love the book reviews.

carosgram said...

I loved Snow Flower and Fearless Fourteen. You have a very eclectic reading list. I might now add Water to Elephants to my list. Thanks for the reviews

teachergirl said...

Love Real Simple, but not everything written by Jodi Picoult. I think she is a good beach read. I read half of Change of Heart sitting in B&N waiting for teenagers. And I was able to put it down.

Kritter Krit said...

I'm having the same problem with The Double Bind. About a third of the way through and I'm struggling to stay awake. HOWEVER, I'm pressing on because I hear the end makes the snoozefest totally worth it. My mom said she bolted upright out of her bed and yelled, "NO WAY!" And my mom is not a No-wayer, so I'm totally holding out for the end.

Jodi Piccoult rocks! Read The Pact next. Or Mercy. Or Nineteen Minutes - it was soooooo good. Ooo, or Change of Heart! Quick, run back to Target and buy them all!!

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