Monday, November 28, 2016
My favorite Ann Patchett book is her nonfiction, Truth and Beauty.
Commonwealth is fiction and about a blended family. One of the daughters marries a famous author who then uses her family as the topic of his next book.
Readable, but only a so-so read for me.
Posted by Elaine at 11:03 AM
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
I grew up with the 49ers of the 80s and 90s. So I seriously believed that the 49ers were supposed to be in the Super Bowl almost every year and just the team they played against changed. In my eight-year-old mind, I really didn't understand that not every team makes it to the post-season because the 49ers always made it to the play-offs. And that's just how the world worked, right?
How we've fallen since then! (Although congrats to my favorite player, kicker Phil Dawson on his 400th field goal!)
Okay, onto the book. This is written by Steve Young, one of the 49ers greatest quarterbacks! I heard Steve Young being interviewed on NPR and he sounded like a smart, thoughtful guy. (You can listen to the NPR interview here.) I had no idea that he struggled with intense anxiety during his playing years. I immediately requested his book from the library.
This book was super personal, thoughtful, and candid. He talks about some of his regrets, his struggles, his Mormon faith, and what life is like for him after football. Young was an excellent quarterback, but he is also a man of integrity and he sounds pretty self-aware. I also appreciate that he de-stigmatizes anxiety and discusses various ways that anxiety can be treated and managed.
If you're not really a fan of football, you probably won't like this book because there's a lot of descriptions of the games (explained in very concise ways though) and so a basic understanding of football would be helpful. But if you love football, and even better, if you love the 49ers (as hard as that is right now!), this book might be right up your alley.
Posted by Elaine at 4:25 PM
Monday, November 21, 2016
A question I am sometimes asked is, "How do you decide what to read?" I mostly find book recommendations via blogs (Modern Mrs. Darcy), fellow bookworms (Grace, Rebecca), and bestseller lists. However, sometimes I just browse the New Book section at the library and pick up anything that catches my eye. This is how I found People Who Knew Me.
Emily married young, and finds herself pregnant while her marriage is in crisis. Then, September 11th happens and she takes the opportunity to start a brand new life for herself.
Very readable and original. However, there were some details that were left unanswered that made the story less plausible (how did she change her name? attain the proper documents to work again? social security number? etc.) so that detracted from the book.
Overall, interesting but with some holes.
Posted by Elaine at 4:30 AM
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Instead, I am seeking out what I am calling "gentle reading."
One of my favorite childhood books is E.L. Konigsburg's From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, but I haven't really read any of her other books. I found this one in our neighborhood Little Library and it definitely falls under the category of "gentle reading."
Elizabeth decides to become an apprentice witch to Jennifer. The back cover reads, "It was all great, until the day they started to make flying ointment."
This is the story of elementary school friendship, witches and apprentices. A fun easy reading book, gentle on the heart, and whimsical.
Posted by Elaine at 10:58 AM
Monday, November 14, 2016
Unfortunately, I can't say the same about The Smart One. Sorry, I can't even bring myself to expend the energy to even come up with a concise summary for you because that was the problem of this book - there were enough characters and plots for about four different novels. So, I recommend trying out Girls in White Dresses if you want, but feel free to skip this one. :(
Posted by Elaine at 5:00 AM
Monday, November 7, 2016
Girls in White Dresses will take you right back to your 20s with all the details of that season of life. It follows three main characters, Isabella, Mary and Lauren. The book is cohesive, yet told in what seems like a series of short stories.
Super smart, spot-on, wry, and hilarious because its very accurate descriptions ring so true.
Posted by Elaine at 7:30 AM