Sunday, February 25, 2007

Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross

9/10 - Now here's a female character I like! Strong, intelligent, not afraid to fight for what she believes. She ascends to the throne of St. Peter and becomes Pope as a highly educated and talented physician (albeit disguised as a man) and she does it in 800 A.D.! I'm not usually a big historical fiction buff, but I was surprised how well the author kept the story moving by interjecting a romantic subplot and a good dose of action and dispicable villains. I can't elaborate on why I only gave it 9 stars, because that would ruin it for those who haven't read it yet. Now if we only knew if it was a fictional story based on a real person or a myth.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Snowflower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

7/10 - This is another one of those books that would make an excellent book for discussion, but that I didn't really love. While learning about the history of women in China was fascinating and I found myself searching for pictures of "Golden lilies" on the internet, it gets depressing hearing over and over how very little they thought of women. I guess I can read a book where women are treated appallingly, if I feel the characters work to improve their situation or the fate of women in their culture. But I felt the main character, Lily, did more to perpetuate the poor treatment of women, especially by their own gender, than she did to improve it. I also heard what a great book about women's friendships this was, but I didn't really feel that in this book. And I found the sexual overtones distracting and odd. I wouldn't discourage someone from reading it, but I probably won't be handing it out to all my friends either. Except, I think Denise would find it interesting.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Patty Jane's House of Curl by Lorna Landvik

10/10 - Okay, I'm a sap, and Lorna Landvik caters to my every sappy whim. She is one of those writers that is so comfortable for me. I love her characters and writing style. Sure it's chick lit, but who cares if it brings you pleasure. Not every book has to be an intellectual odyssey right? All right, all right, I'm off to broaden my horizons now. Thanks Claudia for lending it to me.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

8/10 - An exceptional memoir, but a difficult read. I've come to realize that so many things change when you become a parent. I'm no longer able to watch the horror flicks I loved as a child, and I would just as soon not know anything about what's going on in the world. Ignorance really is bliss for me. I guess that's what ruined this book for me. It is truely an exceptional read, honest, heartbreaking, powerful, amazing. Yet I could not get past the GOD AWFUL parents. I know you where supposed to come to appreciate them for who they were, but I just couldn't. You shouldn't be a parent if you can't put your kids before yourself. That's just basic. But these people didn't even have them as high as 3 or 4 on their list of priorities. It made me sick, and I wanted to throttle them. The fact that 3 out of their 4 children turned out to be normal healthy functional adults is pure miracle. I highly recommend you read it if you think that's something you can get past.