for those who are in or around sane

Monday, November 12

october books

yikes... blogging is not going well for me lately. i've been up to my ears in work-stew and topped it off with a glorious week in cali with the relatives (and wine). hopefully the holiday season will allow me more time for the things i love: cooking, reading and blogging!

october was a tough month for reading. i was able to finish up two books, and get a solid start on a third. first on the list is anne of windy poplars. via wikipedia, i found out that this book was actually written years after the anne series was completed. apparently the 3 years anne and gilbert spend apart cultivating their careers were not immediately important to montgomery's readers. the feminist in me indignantly cries "what??!! of course it's important!", but the person who finished the book says "oh, i see why now..."

gilbert spends 3 years getting his medical degree in some western part of canada, and anne obtains a principalship at a high school in a town not terribly far from avonlea. this book sets out to fill in the gap with an exchange of letters and experiences from the two lovers. it's a pretty idea, really. but my biggest complaint is that we NEVER see a letter, or get an excerpt from any correspondence from gilbert! from previous books, we know he's smitten with anne, and i expected a few juicy tidbits here and there (however provincial they had to be).

my second complaint is: in this book, anne can do no wrong. of course she encounters difficulties and large hurtles, but while in previous books the reader was left with a solid feeling of anne's goodness, we are simply TOLD of anne's goodness from the townspeople's constant verbal compliments. how this girl survived three years w/o getting a big head is beyond me. sure the trials are funny, sad, entertaining and creatively solved, but c'mon... can one girl really save the entire town in three years time?

despite my growing sense of cynicism, i will continue with the anne series. it's heartwarming, and great for a quick lunchtime break. i also have faith that montgomery did not spoil her next few books with overly saturated goodness, as they were written directly after the first few.

the second book i read was the big over easy by jasper fforde. it's the first in a series of nursery rhyme themed detective novels, and also our book club pick of the month. it's a cute book, but i dont recommend it for a book club. there's not much to discuss, and the plot changes so much that it's difficult to keep track of via our particular group's methods of communication.

basically, a nice, chummy, family-oriented detective has the crappiest job in the station and he ends up handling the biggest case the town's seen in years. there are playful references to nursery rhymes, and it was fun googling them to remember the exact phraseology. the action that happens is reasonably well written, but grows confusing over the course of the book. i'm not a huge fan of this one, and probably wont continue the series. i'm grateful for the light read, but would like to see where else the book club takes me.

because i joined a new book club, i abandoned northanger abby for a bit and started the american by henry james. this one was a large chunk to chew, and the club didnt meet till early november, so i kept it as my vacation novel. i'll report more on it for november books.

i have a few books on deck: end of the affair, the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime, and guns, germs & steel. we'll see how far i get, and with a heavy work load ahead of me, i'll need lots of luck! happy reading!

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3 Comments:

Anonymous intrepid reader said...

obviously gilbert got locked into the canadian healthcare system and couldn't do anything for three years. alone and hurt that anne didn't follow him, gilbert seeks comfort in the arms of his british columbian baby and tells anne to "find another".

feeling sorry for herself, the depressed anne goes to the town local and picks up wayward highway men to bring back to her tower of a room in windy poplars. naturally, the pringles lead the rest of the townsfolk to brand anne a witch, siting dusty miller as her familiar.

things look ill for anne until aunt chatty comes across anne and katherine brook arguing in the back yard. despite katherine's gruff exterior and slighted feelings on not being made principal, there has always been that hint of tension between anne and katherine that, no matter how much they fight, is never resolved.

aunt chatty, recognizing her own spurned feelings for aunt kate in katherine and anne, appeals to the goodness that still is in katherine on anne's behalf.

thus, on a dark and stormy night katherine, who really is a witch, concocts a spell to make everybody in love with anne at the sacrifice of coming across as a bitchy olde betty.

this act of love smites the bitterness in the heart of anne who declares herself in love with katherine and the two of them, now immortal cos they're witches (duh), move down to boston, are married and appear on the view to merrily chat the morning away with the gals and receive tons of awesome, free crap that they always give away on that show.

9:41 AM

 
Blogger dr. gonzo said...

now THAT'S hi-larious! a much better segue novel than what i read... who are you, intrepid reader? show thyself and enjoy a round of applause!

9:59 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey sexy glad to see you're writing again

9:07 AM

 

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