Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Anne of Green Gables

 Austin is really an awful city to visit, well not if you like late night beer fests on 6th Street. Then it might be a great place to visit. I am scared hurricane Alex will keep us here another day, please NO!  Did get a chance to finish Anne (with an “e”—inside joke of the book) of Green Gables.  Hmmm…  A very different read than Hamilton biography for sure.  A departure from a strong male changing the future of US politics to a witty young orphan girl impacting the lives of two older folks (one old stodgy woman and one soft old man).  Orphan stories can be really heartwarming if they don’t fall into the cliché of a dying adoptee.  So how do you think this one went?  I did like the picturesque description of the countryside of Eastern Canada.  Green Gables sounds like a heaven on earth.  I did like the character of Anne.  Spicy young girl with spunk written in 1908, now that wasn’t always the way woman were portrayed.  Loved how she put Diana Barry’s aunt in her place and then embraced by Auntie.  Why can’t all old aunties do that, huh?  Kept my interest but a bit wordy.  Probably a book that would work best for 12-14 year olds.  Not to be mistaken with books like The Alchemist, for sure! 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Federalist Papers

The Federalist Papers?  Anyone read them?  The Hamilton biography mentions them.  Amazing amount of writing by Hamilton, 50+ of the 85 entries.  Between him and James Madison (and a few submissions from John Jay).  Must have been so cool to sit in the constitutional congress jarring with the best of them thinking about this new nation.  Interesting some of the laws they put on the books.  How the times have changed from conservative thinkers to liberal life in the 2000s.  How the “fathers of our nation” must be shaking their heads from above.  Not that we have things all bad, huh?  Really gives a perspective on the thinking of the day.  On another topic – visited Eddie V’s for Dinner in Austin.  Great place.  Austin…ugh!  Not so much.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Partner

So I went another direction in reading today….  Got up and off to a conference with my son Alex (whom I hope gets the reading bug soon…. another story for another day).  We were off to Austin.  OK – WHO ever said Austin has anything to do???  When we went to the concierge at the hotel to ask what should we do, are there any stores?  Only 4 women’s clothes stores? Ok?  How about renting a car to visit the area?  Sorry, the car rentals closed at 1pm Saturday?  What is up with this place?  Sorry friends from outside NYC.  Seriously hard to compare any city in relation to NYC.  So I think this will be boring for Alex.  But on the reading front: 3 hour flight and I got into John Grisham’s The Partner.  So much so I couldn’t put down.  This guy can write!  What an intricate and involved mystery thriller.  I finished the book while Alex fell asleep watching the World Cup – soccer (nuff said! – no more “soccer is so exciting" please!).  Grisham is a brilliant writer.  Reminded me of Dan Brown’s work Angels and Demons, never seems to end and always another twist.  For those who haven’t finished the book, stop reading as I give my thoughts on the ending (Spoilers Ahead)……


Friday, June 25, 2010

Here's What I'm Reading & Some of My Favorites

So people often ask me, what type of books are my favorites to read?  As you can see from the list it is pretty eclectic for sure.  The Sci-fi type have grown on me to be honest.  At first I didn’t care for them, but Fahrenheit 451 was a good read – kind of sci-fi, right?  The Dune series and of course Ender’s Game were pretty good!  I am actually most partial to the fiction story.  The “chick-flicks” (Eat Pray Love, Summer Sisters), not so much!  You’ll get a good feel for my favorites as time goes on.
I am now in the midst of reading /listening to (oh yeah, I forgot to say I do cheat in the sense I listen to about 10% of the books on tape) the epic Biography of Alexander Hamilton.

I am actually enjoying it.  My son is a history buff so we do have some good conversations on the book.  Hard to believe that NYC was wilderness 200 years ago.  I can’t seem to find much space to bring my dog (yes, we just got a puppy last week! – a lab/border collie) that has grass.  The dog runs are so gross.  The smell and the feeling of being around people who are now like you is not so fun to think about.  More on that another time.  Hamilton was a brilliant man and the architect for so much of what we have as freedoms in our life.   Off to Texas for a conference in the coming week.  But I will be sending my comments on Hamilton (and will be starting a new book tomorrow from the plane), yes I usually read 2-3 simultaneously.  Hoping the new RAs provide some good new books to read.  (So far a few to whet your appetite to be added to the list: The Lorax and The View from Saturday).  Feel free to comment on which books I should move up on the list to read – right now it is between Shoal of Time or Anne of Green Gables. What do you suggest???

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Beasts of No Nation

A number of books I have been suggested to read are from the genre of war-torn areas and children who were raised to kill.  Iweala’s book was a quick read that challenged me as a reader (one who was raised in suburbia upstate NY) that a world as dark and distorted as his experience is all over the world.  I am saddened by the way children are dragged into a world of drugs, abuse, and complete disregard.  I only hope I have taught my children not to continue the legacy of abuse.  This being my first entry I have to think about the voice and the tone I want to create for sharing my thoughts on books… so give me a little time.  Easy to read in short periods with a break.  Violence is not something I relish reading…. 28 year-old writer.  Impressive to have that much perspective at such a young age, though travel is a recipe for knowledge and perspective taking.  Go abroad all.  You will be changed.