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Showing posts from April, 2012

Book 19 - Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman

<This is Tupelo Hassman's first work, and boy is it powerful. The story focuses on Rory Dawn (also affectionately known as R.D. - a nickname bestowed upon her by her maternal grandmother). It is told in bits and pieces, a novel that has some plot line but is mostly comprised of short stories that deal with the same characters. Rory lives in the Nevada desert (somewhere outside of Reno) with her mother, Jo, in a trailer. You learn shortly that R.D. has 4 older half brothers but doesn't know their father or her own father (at least she knows their father's name). Jo works as a bartender at the local truck stop and combats a nasty alcohol habit as well as a habit of picking up the wrong men. Her grandmother also has an addictive personality and cannot, for the life of her, stop gambling or smoking. R.D. desperately wants to be a Girl Scout and takes out the Girl Scout Handbook from the library so often, that her name is the only name on the checkout slip. There are no t…

Book 18 - Girl Land by Caitlin Flanagan

Caitlin Flanagan is, perhaps, best known for her book To Hell With All That and this is her latest in her series of dithering, except that instead of targeting mothers (both stay at home moms AND moms that have jobs outside the home as well as being a mom), she targets our tween and teenage daughters. I think that more specifically, she's looking at girls that are on the cusp of getting their first periods and maybe a little bit older (because she does look at people like Patty Hearst in addition to teenagers). The tone of the book (and it's broadly sweeping generalists) were pretty apparent right from the get go when Ms. Flanagan claimed that all of her female friends stated that the tween period was the most intense period of their life (excluding childbirth, first sexual encounters and other, potentially life changing events, such as marriage and first jobs of course - please note the sarcasm). Flanagan then goes on to talk about things like moral mania (essentially a who…

Book 17 - Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

This novel is, essentially, a sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice but you didn't need to have read Pride and Prejudice in order to understand and get this book. This is a murder mystery that takes place at Pemberley (the Darcys' estate) approximately 6 years after Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet have married. James adequately describes the history of the families and the characters and then also, lovingly and painstakingly describes what appears to be a beautiful life (at least in the beginning). On a dark and blustery evening, Elizabeth, her sister Jane, Darcy and a few guests are eating dinner, relaxing by the fire and preparing for the annual ball that is taking place the next day. As they are getting ready to pack it in for the night, the characters see a chaise lurching and speeding unsteadily towards the house, nearly falling over in the process. When the carriage finally gets to the house, Lydia (the sister of Jane and Elizabeth, who, as you may or may not remem…

Book 16 - Mad Women by Jane Maas

OK, so I'm one of the people that really (and I mean really) enjoys watching the AMC series "Mad Men." I am obsessed with that time period for quite a few reasons but mostly because I find any era that immediately precedes and/or involves or causes as drastic a change as the 60'sdid is fascinating to me. Specifically, I really enjoy the historical changes in women's roles that occurred during this time period and so, when I saw that there was a book written by a woman that had actually done what Peggy Olson (who happens to be my favorite character in the series, followed closely by Joanie) did, I really wanted to read it. I also think that the book was written because of the series - was the series accurate? Did people really drink, smoke, have that much sex at the time in the Madison Avenue advertising agencies? During the first part of the book, Jane Maas works for Ogilvy and Mather as a copywriter. Ogilvy was one of the first people to do market research an…