Lost in the pages

A whole month’s gone by. I haven’t posted on anything. My challenges. My fitness. My blitherings. 

So here’s a summary. Stuff’s been happening. Lots of work stuff. Too much work stuff. Some fun stuff – theatre, eating out, movies. Buying the perfect tea pot (three actually, worthy of their own post).

And I’ve been reading. Luckily I add a summary of each book as I go or if forget. 

Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa has changed how I view the Israel/Palestinian conflict. The tragedy, the politics, the ongoing conflict is made personal, is brought to the human level. The telling is poetic. 

The coincidences do not grate, held together by the narrative structure. 

As always, I have been provoked to read more and my iPhone was ever close to my side so I could check details and find out more. 

This is a book I strongly recommend. But be prepared for needing to take time out to breathe. There’s much love in this novel. But much suffering. 

Truely, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty is an easy read. Nothing rocks you. Nothing really new. Nothing to make you think. In the style of Jodi Piccoult but without the double twist and a huge social issue barrow to push. 

I’ve made my feelings known about the artificial contrivance of suspense as a narrative technique. And in this book it is truely, madly annoying. 

Spoiler alert: it is nothing big, that thing you are waiting for. The novel would have been much better if it told you up front what had happened at the bloody barbecue and then recounted how events led up to it and the effects on all the characters. Much as Mornings in Jenin did. You know the character faces a soldier’s gun in 2002 because that is how the novel starts. It then quickly jumps back to 1941, moving through the years to end in 2002. 

My choice: if you’re feeling fragile and want a quick easy read, go for Truely. If you want something that stays with you, go for Mornings in Jenin. 

I really enjoyed Z a Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler. It was because I empathised with the Zelda of the novel that I put the book down in June, having almost finished it. Men have been telling women’s stories for ever. Sure, this is fictionalised but, just as The Paris Wife by Paula Mclain told the story of Hemingway’s first wife with a less flattering view of the man, so too does this book. It makes me so angry how women’s talents and ambitions have been stymied for centuries and the resulting mental anguish put down as mental illness because they are not behaving as goodly, quiet wives and mothers. And that many were institutionalised based on such sexist bullshit. And that is why I’m a feminist. 

Naked, the first David Sedaris I have read, and there will be more, is a collection of memoirs, each chapter a stand alone. I laughed out loud. I had to share with Mr S. I promptly forgot those things that made me laugh. But to laugh for a moment is a good thing. Hence I will read more. 

7 thoughts on “Lost in the pages

  1. Yes, bring back the blitherings! I will get ‘Mornings in Jenin’. Right up my alley. Probably also the David Sedaris one – anything for a laugh.

    My feminist sensibilities were shocked this week when I had a conversation with some boys in one of my young, all boys’ classes about their inappropriate online viewing of women. “Are you one of those feminazis?’ was the response. Since then, ‘feminazi’ has become a word in the building. Sigh. More education needed.

    • My nephew (15) has used that word too. I have launched him on a compulsory education program 🙂 But seriously, I think young men are exposed to a lot of anti-woman troll comments online and they think that sh*t is acceptable.

      • Yes, I was quite floored. I have a very good rapport with the boys I teach and I hope to persist over time to have many conversations about this.

  2. I have read a couple of David Sedaris books but my favourites (naturally) are his obsessive articles ranting about Fitbitting and against littering, like this one: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/06/30/stepping-out-3

    It is maddening when an author uses suspense and the “reveal” is anticlimactic. I felt that way about Sue Townsend’s book “The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year.”

    Can you send me an email to anexactinglife@gmail.com? I have a book-related question for you, to be sent off-blog.

  3. Pingback: Watching  | lucinda sans

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