Friday, December 26, 2003

Filthy Rich

Quick read on the plane ride to and from San Angelo. Fun book, cute character. I laughed quite a bit. Made the trip go by quickly.

finished reading Dec. 26, 2003

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

Read this when I was in junior high or early high school. Loved it them, but couldn’t truly appreciate it until now. Recently watched Sylvia and cried my freaking head off. Read this and did much the same. Knowing Plath wrote it as an adult, reflecting on her youth and college days makes it that much more heartbreaking. There is no place in the world for some of us, we’re broken and won’t fit anywhere. Those of us who shined at school fall flat on our fat faces when stepping into the real world. And watching the movie really opened my eyes, she thought she could be okay, she’d fall in love, have a family and everything would be fine, but it never is. It doesn’t matter how hard you try, it doesn’t get better. Let this be a lesson. Don’t expect someone else to fix you, don’t expect to be repaired. Learn to exist broken, walk on knowing you won’t fit in, make adjustments as best you can, just know that you’ll never feel normal. I’m going to take my most recent reading of this book as a lesson, a lesson to adjust, shape up, learn to fake it, and maybe I can learn from Plath’s shortened existence. I won’t fall for a man, I won’t bring children into this world. And I’ll try not to die, and I’ll try to channel my discontent into some thing of value. I’ll try. I feel so eerily close to Plath. Always have, but moreso now, if possible. I’ll live because she couldn’t. Weird, I know, I’m being weird, but the movie and the book were so profoundly affecting, I need to do something with this feeling. I can’t wallow in my misery, it doesn’t enable me to move forward, and I can’t keep living so very static…

finished reading Dec. 11, 2003

Monday, December 01, 2003

Acid Row – Minnette Walters

I knew after I finished this that I would be done with Minnette Walters, until I could find a copy of Fox Evil at the used store. So I think that might have caused some hesitation at reading this. Also, book was quite different from her usual stuff. Several different storylines that never really meshed. You never get that close to the characters. Her other books have two or three people who become very close to. Not so with this one. Very violent, very harsh. It takes place over one day – there’s a kidnapped child in the hands of a pedophile, a riot on Acid Row and a woman trapped in a home by a rapist. I think she tried to take on too many issues – parental neglect, racism, mob hysteria, lack of education, class differences, etc. Overall, the book was a bit of a let down after rapidly reading through all my other Walters’ books. Hope she goes back to her usual style with the next one.

finished reading Dec. 1, 2003

Sunday, October 12, 2003

The Scold’s Bridle – Minette Walters

After the Sculptress, I realized I’d now read every Minette Walters book I owned. So I went to the store and bought everything I didn’t have that was available at the used book store – that being this and Acid Row. Again, you have the great female lead character. At this point, Walters is able to sensibly work in bits of romance without detracting from the main story. Deep characters, engrossing storyline.

finished reading Oct. 12, 2003

Friday, September 26, 2003

The Sculptress – Minette Walters

After reading the Dark Room I wanted more Walters. This was Walters second or first book. Had it forever. Could have done without the “romance,” it didn’t fit well with the story. I couldn’t quite see why the lead character would fall for the man she fell for, but on well. The mystery element though was excellent, very surprising. Finished the entire book while baking in the sun. Could get used to this kind of life.

finished reading Sept. 26, 2003

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

The Dark Room – Minette Walters

Read this while laying in the back yard working on my tan. Walters creates the most believable relatable characters. Maybe it’s a reflection of my own whacked mind, but I just love her female protagonists. The women are so smart, bitter, tormented by daily life. This was no different, great book, lots of twists and surprises.

finished reading Sept. 24, 2003

Sunday, September 14, 2003

East of Eden – John Steinbeck

Good book. Didn’t change my world, but I’m glad I read it. Great characters. I’d been wanting to read it for a while, when discussing Da Vinci Code I mentioned it regarding the element of Biblical translations not being exact. And then, lo and behold, Oprah announced it as her first book in the return of her book club. I’m a sucker for the Oprah book and for her I break my rule about only reading British women writers… I must say, this was a very male oriented book, said a lot about male beliefs regarding the world. The women were pretty awful, I think I read somewhere that Steinbeck was angry with an ex-wife when he wrote it. Didn’t like the characters a whole lot. I found the “good” people to be overly “good” and a bit stupid and naïve regarding the world. People need to have a bit of common sense in order for me to have any respect for them.

finished reading Sept. 14, 2003

Thursday, July 31, 2003

Harry Potter book 5 – J.K. Rowling

Excellent, of course. Wasn’t that upset about the much hyped “death.” Didn’t really like that character to begin with. Harry becoming quite a brat, his refusal to view Snape as an ally is getting tiring. My dislike of Harry though is in no way interfering with my love of the books. At this point there are so many other wonderful characters and so many intriguing storylines. These books really are amazingly wonderful…

finished reading July 31, 2003

Monday, June 23, 2003

Where are the children by Mary Higgins Clark

When I was younger I loved Mary Higgins Clark. I quit reading her stuff after a while though because it became so predictable. Always the person you least expected was guilty and after a while, that became the person you automatically suspect… you get the idea. This was one of her first, so I expected it to be better. It wasn’t. I’m just too old and too single to appreciate the idea of the victimized, naïve woman and the oh-so wonderful man appearing just in time to save the day.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Reading Lolita in Tehran

Read about this book in O magazine. Had to read it. Broke my rule about buying new books, and it was well worth every penny. The value of literature. You have to love books to understand it. Ideas are universal and transcend geography and religion and backgrounds. Eye opening regarding the lives of women in Iran. Gives you a new appreciation for living in the U.S. We tend to be so ignorant regarding the lives of people in other cultures. Loved this book so much.

finished reading June 19, 2003

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Trials of Tiffany Trott by Isabel Wolf

Started reading this thinking it was another Bridget Jones ripoff. Grew aggravated with the whole “must find a man” element. And then the book started to change, you realize Tiffany wants a bit more out of life, she’s not going to settle for whatever, whoever. Then this becomes one of the funniest, cleverest books ever. Really loved it, made me feel good about life and singlehood and such. Tiffany is brilliant, should get a series of her own. I want more.

finished reading March 27, 2003

Sunday, March 09, 2003

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

A bit darker, which I appreciated. This is the point when Harry starts to become a bit out of control – much more so in book 5. The beginning scenes, the intro of the death eaters are horrifying. And the death of Cedric, wrenching. I was shocked. Great book though.

finished reading March 9, 2003

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

This book was so good. I was up until three am finishing it. Impossible to put down once you read the last hundred or so pages. The best of the Harry Potter books I think.

finished reading Feb. 19, 2003

Saturday, February 08, 2003

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

I’d seen the movie over Thanksgiving and wanted to read all the books. Followed closely to the movie.

finished reading Feb. 8, 2003

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

The Breaker – Minnette Walters

As became something of a pattern for me, a bit of Walters makes me hunger for more… this book didn’t disappoint. Lots of twists and surprises. The detective work is nice.

finished reading Jan. 28, 2003

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Shape of Snakes by Minnette Walters

This book blew me away. Minnette Walters touches on the horrors of racism, class issues, police disregard quite successfully (something she tried to repeat in Acid Row, but not so successfully.) On the surface, it’s a murder story, the female lead won’t let it go, she’s bound and determined to find out what happened to her murdered neighbor. (You’ll understand why on the very last page, but don’t read ahead, because you’ll spoil the fun.) And on a deeper level it’s about a woman demanding respect, refusing to be ignored. She has a bastard for a husband, shits for friends, but she charges on, her determination is admirable. Loved this book so much. Walters is one of my favorite writers, and this is one of my favorite books.

finished reading Jan. 16, 2003