Sunday, October 15, 2006

Book List - Delayed:

I give you some more of the books I've read as part of my 52 books in 52 weeks project. I am currently reading book #52, so I am about 10 books ahead of myself!! Here are numbers 20-26:

26. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See(6/15/06)
This novel set in 19th-century China details the story of lifelong, intimate friends (laotong, or "old sames") Lily and Snow Flower, how they are confined by rigid codes of conduct for women and how they are hurt by pride and love. This book was so well-written; very lyrical. I grew to love both women and shared their hurt in the end. I highly recommend this book.

25. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate di Camillo (6/15/06)
Ms. di Camillo is from Minnesota and she has written What about Winn Dixie, Tiger Rising and the Tale of Desperaux. I've only read Edward and Tale of Desperaux. It's a lovely story about a vain and selfish bunny who undergoes awful trials and hurt, has his heart broken and finally learns to love unselfishly. This is a kids book, but I know a lot of grownups who could benefit from the moral.

24. Any Bitter Thing by Monica Wood (6/18/06)
I have to give you the description from Amazon.com because I can't do this book justice:

"The victim of a hit-and-run accident, Lizzy Mitchell is left by the driver in the middle of the median, hurt and adrift. Later Lizzie comes to see the accident as indicative of her life up to that point. Raised by her uncle Mike, a Maine priest, Lizzy grows up surrounded by his devotion to ministry. But at age nine, her comfortable world crumbles when her uncle is accused of molestation. Lizzy, now a high-school counselor, is still trying to make sense of what happened to her uncle. Wood's characters, similar to those in Mary Lawson's Crow Lake (2002), show refreshing depth and complexity as they each grapple with the irrefutable power of the past. This emotional story is filled with crisp, rich details that linger in the memory much like the Moxie soda that Lizzy recalls from her Maine summers. Wood's stirring domestic drama is full of surprises as it explores the weighty themes of religion, perceived innocence, and the corrosive quality of best intentions."

Wow - really. Read this book. So good.

23. Night Swimming by Robin Schwarz (6/22/06)
Lame. Saccharin. Predictable. Wow. Chick lit at it's worst.

22. Jemima J by Jane Green (6/26/06)
Pale imitation of Bridget Jones. Even down to the floppy-haired Casanova. I loved Bridget Jones, but there is more than one lovable loser in this world, you don’t have to photocopy her. Sheesh.

21. The Bookseller of Kabul by Anne Seierstad (7/2/06)
This is another one that I'm going to give you Amazon's description for: "After living for three months with the Kabul bookseller Sultan Khan in the spring of 2002, Norwegian journalist Seierstad penned this astounding portrait of a nation recovering from war, undergoing political flux and mired in misogyny and poverty. As a Westerner, she has the privilege of traveling between the worlds of men and women, and though the book is ostensibly a portrait of Khan, its real strength is the intimacy and brutal honesty with which it portrays the lives of Afghani living under fundamentalist Islam. Seierstad also expertly outlines Sultan's fight to preserve whatever he can of the literary life of the capital during its numerous decades of warfare (he stashed some 10,000 books in attics around town). Seierstad, though only 31, is a veteran war reporter and a skilled observer; as she hides behind her burqa, the men in the Sultan's family become so comfortable with her presence that she accompanies one of Sultan's sons on a religious pilgrimage and witnesses another buy sex from a beggar girl-then offer her to his brother. This is only one of many equally shocking stories Seierstad uncovers. In another, an adulteress is suffocated by her three brothers as ordered by their mother. Seierstad's visceral account is equally seductive and repulsive and resembles the work of Martha Gellhorn. An international bestseller, it will likely stand as one of the best books of reportage of Afghan life after the fall of the Taliban."

Mind bending and mind opening. A peephole into another world.

20. Girl’s Night Out Edited by Chris Manby, Carole Matthews and Sarah Mlynowski (7/5/06)
I bought this book because one of the 25 stores was written by a blogger that I have read for years. Pamie Ribon. I have to say, her story was my favorite of all 25, but at the (Target) price, it was a bargain.

So today we make the transition from 5th grade Football to 5th grade Hockey. Sigh. I miss Lacrosse.

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