Modern culture, redux.

November 16, 2006

I read that O.J. “the Juice” Simpson has written and sold (!) a book of (supposed) fiction about how he would have killed his wife, had he done it (ha ha).

I won’t be buying this book, nor even perusing it in the bookstore aisles.  This is not just in bad taste…it’s revolting.  Is there really anyone who believes he is innocent of the crime of murder?  How has this become our entertainment?  There are only so many minutes in the day–I cannot fathom spending one of them reading this book.

My recommendation: pass.

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Just finished speeding headlong through Push Not the River, by James Conroyd Martin.  In the first couple of chapters, it was difficult for me to get used to Martin’s very spare writing.  There is a quiet to his writing that was a bit disorienting, but as I became familiar with the characters and the setting of the novel…I was hooked.  This is a book based on the real-life diary of Anna Maria Berezowska, a young woman of the aristocracy in 18th Century Poland.  She has left information about the Third of May Constitution and the Partioning of Poland at the hands of Empress Catherine of Russia.  While this historical insight is important, it is her personal accounts of her romantic love for one man and her motherly love for her child that transformed this book.  I felt glad to get this history lesson on Poland…it was easy to understand the effects of Poland’s stuggles with Prussia and Russia through this novel.  While not uplifting, the story is touching and the characters linger.  Recommend it.

Ok, so it’s not high-lit.

October 19, 2006

I know it’s not literature, but I loved this book: Lily White by Susan Isaacs.  The book employs a great technique, switching chapter by chapter from first to third person, from the present to the past.  It shows the main character’s life from her point of view, and a narrator provides history and background on her life.  Transposes a basic courtroom, crime drama with a social and class study…really great reading was had here.  Recommend it.

Oh, I do love a cup of tea.

October 19, 2006

So I just finished reading The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly.  While a light read, I found it fun and delightful.  Borrow this one from me if you know me, or buy it on Amazon if you don’t.  The book is set in Whitechapel, London during the height of the terror of Jack the Ripper. 

The main character is a hearty, phoenix-like woman named Fiona…she traverses the slums of London to the grandeur of New York, a real rags-to-riches triumph.  Great details regarding the making and packaging of tea, and I could easily envision the grime and poverty of Dickensian London.  Do sit with a cup of Darjeeling or your favorite black, and enjoy this read.

So I like some books…

October 19, 2006

I read a lot.  It’s how I maintain the proverbial “me time” in a life gone crazy with mommydom and juggling.  So, it thrills me when I read something great, and it angers me a bit to read material that’s been published that is less than great.  I decided to jump on the blogging bandwagon by reviewing the books I read and here to do it with me:  Mary, Book Reviewer.  If you read this, you probably don’t have enough to do.  But, it amuses me to write about written stuff, so I’m just going keep a log of what I’m reading.  Let’s go.

Just finished Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet.  I bought this book on it’s merits, namely the hundreds of rave reviews it’s received on Amazon.  Set in 12th century England, the book centers on the building of a cathedral, the Roman Catholic church, and a half dozen key characters.  I know I’m in the solid minority here, but I found the book plodding…the details were dull, I couldn’t pictures England in the 1100’s even by the 950th page.  Really didn’t live up to the hype for me.  If you are into architecture, or loved the Da Vinci code (and believe the Catholic church is a mess), you may like this book.  Or you may not, if you like architecture, loved the Da Vinci code, and actually like decent writing.  My recommendation:  pass on this one.