Like a little fluffy lamb, I am, stuck in a catch-22.
Sounds painful, I know.
I wrote about cleaning out my closet, which might be as bo-ring as it sounds. Uh-oh. Maybe I should send a back-up submission? Something from the archives? What's something super funny that will knock Sue's panties right off her bum?
Today is my Mom's Birthday. I got her a stack of books, because she loves stacks of books. She also loves food, but I did not make her treats because she is trying not to eat treats. She has already lost 20 pounds, and is mean to sabotage people's treat-less lives with treats. But if some kind person leaves Swiss cake rolls or other treats on my porch, I will not be upset. Quite the opposite, really. I am looking forward to Halloween, when the Phantom comes and leaves us treats. Sometimes, I do not put up my paper phantom right away, and then we get more treats. Is a good scam. But then the kids insist we make treats enough to pass on both phantoms. Becomes a lot of treats. Good thing my Bosch can make a quadruple cookie dough recipe with one beater tied behind its back.
Anyhow, books. Books are calorie-free. Mom likes to keep a stack of unread books on her nightstand, because seeing them, and anticipating all their yet-to-be-revealed secrets, gives her great pleasure. Maybe like an unopened box of cake rolls, or a full TIVO. So, I've been saving all the middling to good books I've read, and passed them on.
Used books, you ask? Isn't that a chintzy present for the woman who gave me life? Well, yes, so I also spent about 3 hours on barnesandnoble.com reading reviews and picking out some new titles. That maybe she will let me borrow when she finishes.
Here's the used stack:
Book of a Thousand Days. Shannon Hale. LDS author, not LDS subject. Loosely based on a fairy tale I'd never heard, set in Mongolia. A lady is bricked into a tower by her father because she won't marry her father's pick. Her maid joins her, and they live in the windowless dark.
The Goose Girl. Shannon Hale. Same sort of thing, with the fairy tale, only it didn't touch me like Thousand Days. Still okay, especially if you love the fantasy/fairy tale stuff. Which normally, I don't.
Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons. Landvik. Book club book, that explores ( I've seen this before) female (not the lezzy sort) bonding. Sort of a Ya-Ya Sisterhood sort of feeling, only not as good. But not bad, either. I would tell you all to read it, but if you do, skip the part when one lady's brother comes and talks to the book club about his experiences in the war. I tried to skip it, but I still wish I hadn't read even what I did. I hate nasty violence.
Peony in Love. Lisa See. Not as good as Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, but still fascinating. Yet another young girl is being forced to marry by her parents. She regrets her disobedience.
Love in the Time of Cholera. Marquez. I didn't finish it because I got yucked out, but Mom enjoys a good writing, and it is well written, I guess. I'll let her decide for herself.)
The Birth House. Ami McKay. Loved the amazing descriptions of the Halifax Explosion (how can I have a degree in history and never heard of this? I read another book on this since, I was so fascinated), but I did get annoyed by the author's not-so-subtle pro-choice agenda. It didn't feel true to the WWI historical setting. I also get annoyed by this cult of the goddess thing that is going on in literature right now. I think our ability to carry and bear children is magical, but not magic. And men shouldn't be left out of it. It feels like women's lib gone way too far, making men out to be ignorant, cheating, beating losers. Um, as far as I can see, men don't have to be worthless for women to have worth. It doesn't have to be Big Male Medicine OR Midwifery. Sorry, getting off topic. Even with this criticism, I found many things to like about this book. It really made me think for a long time afterward.
Certain Girls. Jenifer Weiner. Not as dirty, nor as funny as some of her others. And the end totally threw me. But not bad. I'm passing it on.
Of all these, my favorite was Book of a Thousand Days. I would recommend it to all.
Now, for the new books:
Three Cups of Tea. Mortenson, Relin.
Pope Joan. Donna Cross
March. Geraldine Brooks
Those Who Save Us. Jenna Blum
On Cecil Beach. Ian McEwan.
I think she'll like them. I can't wait to get my hands on Pope Joan and March. I like stacks of books maybe even more than she does. When I die, someone should tuck books around me in my coffin. The whole being buried thing sounds better if I've got books to read. Makes me feel less panicky and claustrophobic. I wouldn't want to be bored in eternity.
Sorry, is creepy and morbid. I'll stop.
Have you read anything fantastic lately? Or not lately, but at any time in your whole life? What is your favorite book? PLEASE leave me a comment. I am looking for my Book Club pick for next year, and am currently reading like crazy. Right now I am leaning toward The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. I am going to reread it after I finish Gilead by Marilynne Robinson.