Saturday, August 19, 2017

So I read a book that was good, but it may have been just a little sad and disappointing. It's not really the fault of the author, but that of the conditions of the past.  The book was, The Other Einstein, by Marie Benedict, and it was based on the life and first marriage of the greatly esteemed scientist and modern legend, Albert Einstein.

Of course it was difficult to read about a troubling marriage that ended in divorce, but it was also very exciting to read about a female scientist of that time period, who was so smart that she had an amazing intellectual and romantic relationship with Albert Einstein!  Of course, their romance blossomed in their youth, but as they grew older life changed for them and for the conditions of their love.  We all know that early love might not always last, no matter how thrilling, and this is just one of the consequences of youth that apparently mostly no one escapes.

What was great about this book, despite how depressing was the dissolution of a marriage, was that it did show that a woman could be an intellectual of such stature, despite the conditions of women's rights at this time.  It was beautiful to have a view of how their romance brought forth such great ideas, although the author does allude to the conflicts that this eventually created in their relationship.  This was the depressing part, and I do mean tragically heart-wrenching.

I have been trying to read happier books lately, and I'm glad to have experienced this vision of two great lives of the past.  My optimism requires that I believe in a better future, and to trust that folks will get along, despite occasional heartache.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Sometimes a book cover or a title will bring me to read and discover a book.  I feel as if I was lucky to find Sweetbitter, by Stephanie Danler, and found this to be an exciting and fascinating story.  It chronicles the employment of a young lady in New York City at a sophisticated and fancy restaurant, as she makes the transition to being a hard-working career person after college, all on her own.

Growing up is frequently a difficult challenge for anyone, and while our protagonist is already an adult, the finer points of regular employment bring about the character development that is a fine study for this engaging novel.

Of course there is love, hence the title.  There is some very nice sweetness, but as you may have guessed by the broken wineglass on the cover, there is also the bitterness of being an adult just starting out.  I believe that we have all learned of the not quite so perfect nature of love and life, and of the difficult occupation of living here on earth.  We learn that in life this is often made all the better by the nuances of finer living, delicious food, and good company.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

For all of you peace-loving children's book readers, I just want to share a relatively new book that is so sweet and delightful.  This book is called, The Poet's Dog, and it is written by the well-known writer, Patricia MacLachlan.

It's a little bit depressing for the kid reader despite a remarkably happy ending, but for the adult, it is so tender and sweet.  Of course it is; it's about a poet and a dog, as well as some very cute kids!

I think that everyone in the world should read this book.  As a new dog-keeper, this book spoke to my hopes and fears about my new fur-baby pet.  There are really cool surprises in this book, and I do so much recommend it.

Thank you for checking in on me here, even though I've been gone for so long.  I'm really hoping that some of you might read this book, or find some other great children's books to read on your own!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett, is a beautifully drawn portrait of a family, particularly the bonding of children of divorced parents who come together as allies.  One can see that it was not altogether easy for them, but the love they shared becomes evident in the telling of the tale.

My next reading venture is to follow Jodi Picoult, with her latest novel, small great things.  This started out really fantastically, but then I found myself in murky waters in the second chapter, because of a really aggravating character trait that I hope she will be investigating peacefully.  In any case, I'll be reading it at home, with earmuffs and a scarf, maybe some fuzzy socks.  I've decided to go on ahead with the journey, normally shying away from intense subject matter, and I'm really excited to see how Ms. Picoult will work this out.  I feel very hopeful for her talent, and for the strength of art to heal.

Increasingly I find that my reading is oriented toward this subject, of healing.  It's nice to have an actual story, but the self-help books are nice, too.  In any case, I can find no other course of action for living in this world, except to promote hope for the future.  Pretty much everybody is acquainted by a yucky past, and that must be why humans invented art.  To see, but not see, or at least to decide where one is looking.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Wow, so I read another book by Eleanor Brown, The Weird Sisters.  This was delightful for many reasons, particularly for Shakespeare fans.   While the many references to Shakespeare are fun, what really drives this book, though, are the characters and the relationships of these sisters who do get to know one another as adults.  There is romance in the story, but what is more important is the growth of strong women.  It really is a lovely journey described, as the sisters are drawn together by their life-transforming errors and blessings in the context of caring for their ailing mother.

I gave up on a couple of books, mostly those about brain health and some YA novels.  I tend to read obsessively about brain health, so I hope I do okay in my own personal maturation process.  Unfortunately my taste for Young Adult novels is falling by the wayside, or maybe that is something fortunate, and perhaps speaks well of my growth. :)

My next read is Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett.  I'm really excited about this one.

Friday, September 30, 2016

So, for all of the cat lovers, I just read The Improbable Cat by Allan Ahlberg.  Oh my goodness.  it was a little spooky, but in a YA book kind of way.  I literally couldn't put it down, because of that unusual cat.  I was never quite sure what was going on, just like the narrator, who was a very convincing young adult character.

Gave up on the zombie book, and have returned to my "No Zombie" policy.  I also have decided that vampires are right out as well.  I think I'm going to read more children's and young adult literature, because that is where my heart really is.  Ok, and girlie relationship books. 

One of the blessings of being a grown-up is being able to decide independently what one chooses to read.  I'm really glad about this freedom.  I mean this was true in my youth as well, and Lord knows I read just about anything, but when you're a grown-up, you don't, like, have to write a paper about it, unless that is your work, of course.

What really drives me crazy about adult books is the violence, which is why I'm leaving the zombie world.  I know some readers really like a good revenge story, but not me.  I just like to try to be happy.  Maybe it's the years of trying so hard to be affable, but you can ask my husband how I like a good squabble, and more importantly, getting over it.

So, yes, time to read kid's books for awhile.  Will keep you posted.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Just finished a sweet book, The Light of Paris, by Eleanor Brown.  Although there was some anxiety and misfortune, there were also some really great stories within this book, of two related characters tied together in a beautiful way.  It had been recommended to me by a very nice lady, and so, in turn, I did the same for another nice lady just today.

Despite my admonition against reading zombie books, I've decided to read Zone One, by Colson Whitehead, and actually am finding it to be pretty good!  I'm still undecided on the zombie threat, particularly because of my trips to Wal-Mart and assorted festivals.  Right now I don't think anybody's trying to eat my brain, but I do realize that this could change at any time, but hopefully not.

Really!  I have hope for the future, and for the strength of human nature to resist the onslaught of zombie inclination.  Hopefully we can all work together, and keep it clean!