Friday, April 17, 2009
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston is about Janie Crawford, an African-American woman living in 1930s Florida. Janie tells the story of her life to her friend Phoeby, a story that involves three husbands. Only Janie's third husband, Tea Cake, shows her the true meaning of love and loss. Janie tells Phoeby in the end that one must ultimately know herself in order to know the world. The book includes heavy dialect that may be difficult for some to understand at first, but it's truly an intriguing story. Read this book if you enjoy Harlem Renaissance literature, if you want to read a story about a strong woman, or if you are interested in reading an American Literature classic. I give it a 9 out of 10.
Scrambled Eggs at Midnight by Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler is a story about young love told from two alternating perspectives: Cal and Eliot. Cal is fifteen and travels with her mom, a wench at Renaissance Fairs, from job-to-job. Eliot is fifteen and lives with his parents on a Christian fat camp for kids. When the two meet, they find that their love for each other can help them deal with their odd parents and strange circumstances. However, those very same things they need to deal with might keep the two of them apart. Read this book if you like teen romance, if you want a quick read, or if you like stories told from more than one perspective. I give it a 7 out of 10.
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion is her memoir about the year following her husband's death. Joan and John were married several years when John died instantly of heart failure. At the same time, their grown daughter, Quintana, lies in a hospital bed with a serious illness. Joan describes this strange time when she must come to terms with her husband's absence. She reflects greatly on their marriage, their daughter, and the mysteries of grief. Read this book if you've lost a loved one, if you like books that follow the stream of consciousness, or if you want something depressing. I give it a 6 out of 10.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks is a series of interweaving stories about a mysterious Jewish text, The Sarajevo Haggadah. Hanna is an Australian book restorer and is asked to travel to Sarajevo in order to restore the text that has been missing for several years. As her own story is told, stories about The Sarajevo Haggadah are shared. As Hanna tries to discover where the book has traveled and with whom, the reader actually learns about the people's lives who have taken care of the book since it's creation. While the actual Sarajevo Haggadah is a real book, People of the Book is a fictional story. The intertwining stories, however, make the history of what might have happened to the book interesting and inspiring. Read this book if you're interested in religious history, if you like stories that begin with a mystery, or if you enjoy stories told from multiple perspectives. I give it a 9 out of 10.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger is told through the words of Andrea, a new assistant to Miranda Priestly, the editor of Runway magazine. Andrea was never interested in fashion; in fact, she wants to write for The New Yorker, but she knows that working for Miranda for a year will get her any job she wants. Miranda is demanding, bossy, and arrogant. She asks Andrea to complete tasks that are next to impossible quicker than can be done. But, Andrea does everything asked of her. When her personal relationships begin to suffer because of all the time and energy spent at work, Andrea must decide if the perks of this job are worth the work. Definitely a fun and quick read with a lot of juicy gossip. Read this book if you like chick lit, if you want a quick, fun read, or if you watched the film. I give it an 8 out of 10.