Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Books I've been reading

On a daily basis, I try to explain to Rosemary that imitation is the highest form of flattery. She is high into that stage of, "stop copying me!" and I have pretty mixed feelings about it. I can't stop other kids from saying it to her, but I hope that I can help teach her that sometimes kids will want to be like her and sometimes she'll want to be like other kids ... and that's okay.

So with that in mind, I am going to copy my friend Kelly and start sharing a little about the books I've been reading. Without further ado ...

Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton

An interesting (and sad) story of a rough childhood, a difficult adolescence, going to the school of hard knocks, and ending up the owner/chef of a successful restaurant in New York. I had such mixed feelings about this book because there were parts that were so well-written and inspiring, and then parts where her very rough personality was a bit too abrasive for me. I struggled with how she treated her husband and her marriage and then inspired pity on herself when it didn't work out. I asked myself how I could blame her when her parents basically abandoned her at a young age. Wouldn't anyone in that situation have a few walls up? If you consider yourself a foodie or appreciate how much the story of food can become the story of your life, I suggest this book. But don't expect to want to be Gabrielle's best bud when all is said and done.

For the last couple of years, I've been reading a portion of a chapter book to Rosemary each night before bed. We started with The Laura Ingalls Wilder books and our latest book was James and the Giant Peach. I had not read the book nor seen the movie, so I was quite surprised by some of the content, but it seemed to go over well and I think it was a good choice. Roald Dahl's more famous book is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which we had already read. It's fascinating what 50 years can do to the genre of a children's story. I just can't imagine how Judy Moody would settle with audiences if she had aunts who hated, abused, and starved her ...  

 The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

This is that book that I think everyone should read. It takes place during the Holocaust and gives so many perspectives that I have never considered before. It's actually told from the perspective of Death, which I approached with skepticism, but was glad to see it wasn't corny and overpowering. I loved the concept of The Book Thief - a story within a much bigger story of a poor girl who is drawn to books and words, who starts off stealing books and eventually writes one of her own. Her words were so compelling, they were a source of comfort to family members, while in bomb shelters, to the Jewish man hiding in her basement - and even to death herself. 

"The best word shakers were the ones who understand the true power of words. They were the ones who could climb the highest. One such word shaker was a small, skinny girl. She was renowned as the best word shaker of her region because she knew how powerless a person could be WITHOUT words."

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

I know I'm way behind the times on reading this one, but I finally got around to it and I loved it. It satiated the anglophile in me, and it was exciting to read this piece of historical fiction that took place in many of the places I've visited during my own trips to England. I visited the tower of London where we learned the stories of Queen Anne's hauntings, and saw her inscriptions in the walls. I thought it was really well written, and to the best of my knowledge fairly historically accurate ... that said, some people say it was biased to Mary Boleyn and I can't argue that one bit. However, how could one not be somewhat biased to a woman who chose true love and "poverty" over the corruption and wealth that eventually led to Queen Anne's beheading?

1 comment:

  1. Hooray for sharing your reads, love this! The Book Thief...loved that one.

    I have quit 3 books this month, I seem to be in a funk! Here is hoping for a redeemer in the last 6 days of April.