Thursday, July 23, 2009

Secret Life of Bees

Another great book! I listened to this one over the last two weeks and sometimes it was hard to turn the car off because I wanted to know what happened next. This is about 14-year-old Lily, a girl from South Carolina who runs away from home in search of love and information about her mother. She finds acceptance with 3 black sisters, where she learns about bees and life. Sounds kind of crazy, but I loved it! Funny, heartwarming and so good. Read it.

Read/Listened: July 7 - 21

Next Up for the Car: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (I read it when it came out in 2007 but I'm dying to re-read, especially after I see the 6th movie)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Devil in the Junior League

Emily let me borrow this book several months ago and I finally got around to reading it. I loved it!! Devil in the Junior League is one of those quick-witted chick lit novels that manages to make you laugh and surprise you. The plot is this: The fabulous Frede Ware, Junior Leaguer extraordinaire, is shocked when her husband leaves her and takes her money. To get back at her ex and recover her money, Frede hires her uncouth neighbor, lawyer Howard Grout. In exchange, she has to get his leopard-print wearing wife Nikki into the Junior League. The book is set in a small town in Texas and captures Texas high society perfectly. Think a cross between Highland Park in Dallas and Bellaire in Houston. Its fun and witty and I couldn't put it down. Perfect for laying by the pool!

Read: July 11-18
Up Next: American Wife

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Reading Lolita in Tehran

Amazon Book Review: An inspired blend of memoir and literary criticism, Reading Lolita in Tehran is a moving testament to the power of art and its ability to change and improve people's lives. In 1995, after resigning from her job as a professor at a university in Tehran due to repressive policies, Azar Nafisi invited seven of her best female students to attend a weekly study of great Western literature in her home. Since the books they read were officially banned by the government, the women were forced to meet in secret, often sharing photocopied pages of the illegal novels. For two years they met to talk, share, and "shed their mandatory veils and robes and burst into color." Though most of the women were shy and intimidated at first, they soon became emboldened by the forum and used the meetings as a springboard for debating the social, cultural, and political realities of living under strict Islamic rule. They discussed their harassment at the hands of "morality guards," the daily indignities of living under the Ayatollah Khomeini's regime, the effects of the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, love, marriage, and life in general, giving readers a rare inside look at revolutionary Iran. Threaded into the memoir are trenchant discussions of the work of Vladimir Nabokov, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jane Austen, and other authors who provided the women with examples of those who successfully asserted their autonomy despite great odds.

My Review: I'm not quite sure what I thought about this book. I was intrigued about the idea of a memoir about a women's book club, classic English novels and Iran. I liked the general idea and story, but got lost a bit lost when the author discussed books I have never Lolita and anything by Henry James. At times it read more like a lecture than a memoir and, to be honest, I had to force myself to keep reading. I really liked the parts of the book that focused on the girls in the book club and their struggles to find freedom and identity in Iran...but I had to skim to get to those parts. So, I do recommend the book sort-of, but only if you've read the books she discusses.

Read: June 15-July 10
Author: Azar Nafisi
Pages: 340