Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I've been tearing through books at an unprecedented speed lately. I guess I attribute it to the extra sedentary time I have each day due to lactation. Perhaps this means I've sharpened my maternal skills, because I remember being able to get through little more than a magazine article when E was this age. And also because there is not a darn thing on TV these days. I don't even have a new season of Gilmore Girls to look forward to this year.

I actually have a terrible memory when it comes to stuff I've read. Its a feat for me to remember titles, let alone authors. There might have been more than this, but if you're looking for something to read...

I recommend...

Cane River by Lalita Tademy I realize that anyone who was going to read this read this years ago, so I'm definitely late to the party. But this book is as good as Oprah said it would be.

In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner and Sweetwater Creek by Anne Rivers Siddons -- Skip these if you don't like your fiction on the fluffy side. I didn't really love either of these (recommendations from people with whom I don't normally share literary commonality), but when you're feeding a baby at 3 am, you'll read just about anything in order to keep your eyes open.

Garden of Earthly Delights by Joyce Carol Oates -- She has a ton of books, but I tend to save them for one I'm feeling a bit uninspired in the library. Her writing style usually suits me, even if her stories sometimes fall flat for me. This book met and even exceeded my expectations. Kind of depressing, but I seem to have a hard time steering away from fiction of any other sort.

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson -- My husband lays in bed and laughs uproariously every time he reads a Bryson book. At his urging, I read this one, and did not regret it.

The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards -- The dialogue in this one is kind of forced, but the story was reasonably interesting.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy -- We've had this on the shelf since Father's Day, but it had not crossed my mind to read it. Pat had read it, but made little mention of it. Caress plugged it on her BRAND NEW BLOG (shameless plug) just as I was finishing up the previous book. Too late to make the 1/4 mile trek to the library, I grabbed this at whim. I had no idea what this book was about. Gasp! Gasp! Gasp! This was the most grim book I've ever read. It gripped me...like death. The characters haunted me everywhere I went. Perusing the aisles of Trader Joe's I thought about the man and the boy's hunger. Shopping at the consignment shop for winter clothes for the kids I thought of the clothing they lacked. Holding my son, I considered their isolation. I had to finish this book last night just so I could move on with my life. With that said, this book is beautiful and poignant. I loved it.

You know what they say, to get over one you get under another...or, in this case, open another...

Nickel and Dimed by Bárbara Ehrenreich -- Not a bit more uplifting but, perhaps, a bit less haunting as its the account of a woman trying to make it on minimum wage in various cities. At least she didn't have to eat another human to survive.

Outside of the Bryson book, none of these books are going to make you feel one bit better about humanity at large, but it might keep you from getting hooked on the latest round of Tyra and her minions.

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