Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress

I was extremely excited to read this book based on its title. I was expecting a fun "fish out of water" type memoir. Instead, Rhoda Janzan's book is more serious. Raised as a Mennonite, Janzan had been living a secular life as an academic, married to a atheist. When her troubled marriage abruptly ends (as her husband leaves her for a man he met online and then sinks into depression) and she is seriously injured in a car accident, she returns home to her Mennonite family. Janzan has a clear eye for both her own foibles and those of her parents and siblings. Although the book has moments of humor (describing her cheerfully daffy mother), she also seriously examines why she stayed in such a bad marriage, why she chose to step away from the Mennonite faith and why her brothers did not. The book jumps from topic to topic and could be more clearly organized. Although it's a decent read, the title is still the best part.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Flashlight Worthy

This web site has dozen of reading lists, including "Books for Book Clubs who Actually Discuss the Book" Check it out and get reading!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Book Meme

Stolen from Crowinator

What books are your comfort reading--the ones you slink back to in times of stress?

Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon books, The Time Traveler's Wife, Lonesome Dove, early collections of Bob Greene columns

What was your favorite book as a child, and why? The Laura Ingalls Wilder books, the Ramona books, as to picture booksI liked the Dorrie the Litte Witch books, Corduroy, Blueberries for Sal

What was your favorite book as an adolescent, and why? as I got a little older the President's Daughter books and the Cherry Ames Nurse books (a Nancy Drew-esq series)

What is the most unread category of books gathering dust on your bookshelf--the books you've bought but just never get around to reading?
Non-fiction, particularly twentieth century history

What kind of books would you like to say you read, but never do?

What's the oddest book you've ever read?
If on a Winter night, a Traveler.. by Italio Calvino, too experimental for me!

What book were you never able to get through, despite the recommendations of people you respect? My husband would like me to finish a Neal Stephenson

What's the book it took you a couple of tries to get into, but was as good as promised once you finally made it?
Um, Twilight? That's the rare book I put down and picked up again (because of hype), even though it was solidly "eh" rather than good. Maybe The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.

What's your favorite short story--or do you even have one?
Jhumpa Lahiri's The Interpreter of Maladies has some great ones

The desert island. Three books (and collected works don't count. If you want the Lord of the Rings it'll cost you all three slots). Go:

War and Peace (It's long, baby, it will last a long time), the Bible (so I can memorize it and be armed and dangerous in debates with conservative) and Desert Island for Dummies.