flea: (Default)
Books: 39 total.
32 new to me
7 re-reads

They break down evenly into fiction (mostly romance, a few mysteries, and Little Women) and non-fiction (all over the map).

I'd like to read more next year. I'd also like to get a paid LibraryThing account and really get a hold of the books we own plus the books I've read but don't own.

1. Talk to my brother at least once a month. Didn't happen, though I did remember the resolution and call him a couple more times than I would have done otherwise.

2. Bake bread once a month. I didn't bake any bread all year. Probably because of the damned resolution.

3. Lose what Casper affectionately refers to as my "chubby little belly." Lost it, was too-skinny over the summer, now back at normal or normal plus one or two, due to holiday indulgences.

4. Work at being happy. I think I did work, some. Not sure I succeeded.

Good things I did this year, though I didn't resolve to do them:
-Got both me and Casper to the dentist, despite the expense and hatefulness of it.

-Took to hanging most of the laundry out to dry, saving electricity (it's made a notable change in the bills).

-Participated in a book club. I've read some books and met some people I wouldn't have, even if I have suffered some social anxiety and ambivalence about it.

-Re-took the GRE, applied to and got into grad school for a library science degree, and completed my first class.

-Got me and mr. flea to see a counselor together, to try and work together and get forward motion in our lives, practically and in terms of our relationship.

Tomorrow, looking forward. Next year may be a big year for us.


Dec. 30th, 2007 10:13 am
flea: (Default)
Gary Kinder, Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea (1998). This had its longeurs - I've been working on it for months - but also its racy parts. It's the story of an 1857 shipwreck (racy!) and the search for it and recovery of the ca. 100 million dollars worth of California gold. Since it sank in 8000 feet of water, there were a lot of technological challenges. This is salvage, not underwater archaeology, so I have some residual squick about the whole thing based on my former career. Longeurs came in the endless discussions of technology, investors, etc. I think mr. flea would like it, but it's way too long for him.

Jennifer Crusie, What the Lady Wants (reread).

Faber and Maslin, Siblings Without Rivalry. This is very simply written and a fast read, but also remarkably effective. The techniques work instantly (broke up a squabble between mr. flea and Casper the day I read it.) More geared towards older (i.e. verbal and sentient) children. But it's an easy enough read that you can read it now and re-read periodically for refreshment.
flea: (Default)
Dear web sites for popular local amenities: please to put your holiday hours on the web site, so I don't have to use the Evil Telephone to find out when you will be open! Guilty parties include: Guglhupf, Mama Dip's.

I don't think I ever wrote about my mother's visit to Mama Dip's when she was last here. She'd been to Crook's Corner before but was not too impressed by shrimp and grits. When she was here in November we did a marathon day of shopping, starting in Carrboro. We had worked our way up to Chapel Hill (and a hilarious store in the little mall set back from Franklin Street, where my mother bought an, I shit you not, $195 fitted sheet) and I had the brainwave to take her to Mama Dip's because she likes fried chicken. For starter's, Mama Dip herself was sitting in the entry when we came in and complemented me on my shoes (I was wearing my purple suede Dansko Roxys.) My mother went nuts over the place. She LOVED the food, went to talk to Mama Dip, and bought a cookbook. It was a side of her I don't often see, but I guess southern country cooking really touches a nostalgic place in her. She talked a lot about what her mother used to cook, especially fried chicken and succotash. Her mother (Porter) was born and raised in Annapolis, a daughter of southern parents, but I've always had an image of her as not domestic at all. My mother told me she learned to sew and bake bread, for example, from her girl scout leader. (Porter died when I was 2 and my mother only 25, so I know very little about her). I asked my mother if Porter had learned how to cook from her mother (Mary), who was one of four sisters from a lower middle class background and had been a schoolteacher before she married Bill, a PhD in philosophy from Chicago (step up!). My mother said, "oh no, she learned from Mary and Bill's cook, Sarah." Such a completely different way of life, to grow up in Annapolis in the 1930s.

In other completely different ways of life, I am reading the book Friday Night Lights, published in 1990, about the 1988 football season at Permian High School in Odessa TX. (I don't watch the show.) I was in high school myself in 1988, but it was on a completely different planet from these folks, I tell you what. I think what shocks me most is the completely open, causal, virulent racism. The school system was only desegregated in 1982, and man does it show. When people say no progress has been made in this country? I'm betting that racially things are better in Odessa now. I mean, I really really hope so.
flea: (Default)
I am reading Rajiv Chandrasekaran's book Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone. It made the Times' list of top 10 books of 2007, although it came out at the very tail end of last year, actually.

It is terribly, terribly depressing. Really good read, but THE STUPID IT BURNS.


Nov. 13th, 2007 05:29 pm
flea: (Default)
Haiku2 for casperflea
carrie bebris pride and
prescience 2005 so this is
what bad fanfic is
Created by Grahame

books read

Oct. 23rd, 2007 02:49 pm
flea: (Default)
Georgette Heyer, The Unknown Ajax (reread)
Georgette Heyer, Pistols for Two (reread)

Carrie Bebris, Pride and Prescience (2005).
So this is what bad fanfic is like, eh? This book would have been a kind of boring but passable, light mystery novel set in the Regency if it weren't for the fact that many of the main characters are those of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Since that was the case, my standards were a little fiercer than they might otherwise have been, and I found I couldn't forgive the poor quality of the characterization, the outrageousness of the plot, and the various anachronisms. Please, people, leave Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy and the gang alone. Now I need to go read some actual Austen to cleanse my palate. I looked at Amazon, and I don't know whether to be pleased that many of the reviewers were as disappointed as I, or saddened that this woman has written two more books starring the Elizabeth 'n Darcy detecting team. (I didn't spend money for this - got it off the giveaway bookshelf.)
flea: (Default)
As you may have gathered, Thursday is the day I attempt to buckle down and do my homework. This means lots of posting, because I need lots of breaks when I try to concentrate on things. I am actually making good progress today.

But! What I wanted to say was, Casper can write her name now, the short version. She did it twice yesterday. So cute. Her lower-case e was backwards one of the times. Then she got frustrated. I told her she should keep practicing and I had a hard time learning to write when I was a kid (which is true.)

Mounatins Beyond Mountains, Tracy Kidder, 2003. A biography of Paul Farmer and the medical work he and his organziation do in Haiti and fighting multi-drug-resistant TB globally. For book club. This is a very well written book; the subject matter is inherently interesting, but the writer's skill is really clear as well. Farmer does incredible work, and incredibly important work, but he (as with many incredibly driven people) seems like he would be hard to live with/be around.

Driven to Distraction (1995). This is sort of "Intro to ADD." I bought it because our therapist wondered aloud if mr. flea had ever been evaluated for ADD, and whether that might be an issue in his struggles with his dissertation. I've heard some people say this book was like a lightbulb turning on for them, but it didn't do much for me (and I don;t think, having read it, that mr. flea has ADD). It did get me thinking (again, and I say this as a person on medication for a psychiatric disease) about how fuzzy our understanding of the brain is - chemically, physically, psychologically - and how little we really know about most mental illnesses/disorders.

A. L. T., Andre Leon Talley (2003). This is an autobiography of the fashion journalist and 6'7" flamboyant dresser. He was raised by his grandmother in Durham, NC, and the book is largely about her, as well as his later mentor, Diana Vreeland. He is evocative on his childhood as a fashion-obsessed, southern black child (born 1949) in an upright churchgoing family, and his very close relationship with his grandmother. He isn't very analytical about his life in the broader American social context, however; there's only the most oblique discussion of sexuality (his own, or others'; he describes himself as in love with a girl in high school but most of his commentary is about how well she dressed), almost none of his race and impoverished background in the context of the high fashion world and his embrace by it, and almost no mention at all of his mother (who was still living when he wrote the book, but never lived with him, and was divorced from his father when he was 10.)
flea: (Default)
I sorta quickie-skimmed this last night, but it was a book that does okay with sorta-quickie skimming.

Alfie Kohn, Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason (2006).

First off, my mother dated Alfie Kohn briefly, when I was maybe 12, she was 35, and he was 27. They met through a personal ad when we lived outside of Boston. It's a little funny to see that he has kids who are now about 10 and 6, judging by the photo on the jacket, since my mother's kids are now 35, 32, and 29. Also, he looks about 25 still, and he's actually 50. I remember him a little - he was very nerdy and didn't know what to do with a 12 year old in the slightest, which is also why it's very amusing to me that he writes about parenting now. Kohn first got famous (to the extent that he is actually famous; I mean, not Jackie Collins famous, obviously) by writing a book called No Contest, arguing that competition is bad for society. This in 1986, Reagan Time in America! I haven't read it.

I am exceptionally rambly today. Anyway, this book I read. It's essentially in the vein of books like Haim Ginott's, Alice Miller's, and Playful Parenting - basically, nice touchy-feely psychology-influenced hippie-people parenting. He argues that punishing kids is bad, but the thing that probably would get people riled up in this book is that he argues that *praising* kids is bad, too - it has the potential to stifle their inner motivation, and make them do stuff just *because* you say, "Good job." That's pretty radical, I think. In some ways it makes sense to me - but in other ways I can't imagine how you would actually raise a child like that. I gather the Montessori method is supposed to do that - I should really read up on it more since Casper's school is supposedly using it - but I must say her classroom seems to be all about rules and some really traditional stuff. I can't imagine her teacher doesn't praise.

He makes some important points: it's really important to understand the developmental abilities of children, and not punish them for doing something they can't really control (he has lots of examples of things he's witnessed people saying in public). Like, Dillo is throwing rice on the floor not to be bad, but because he's 14 months old, and throwing rice is fun. (We do not yell at him for throwing rice, in case you were worrying. We do *limit* the amount of rice available within his reach.) He also argues that American culture, for all its "Think! Of the Children!" propaganda, is actually NOT child-friendly or child-centered. Mass culture tries to *sell* things to children, but it doesn't really accept or respect their needs or abilities. He suggests that when we say children are "good" we really mean "being quiet and under our control" and that's actually something that bothers me when people say it about my kids. "Oh, is he always this good?" He's *easy* to take care of, and doesn't tend to fuss in public, but that shouldn't be a moral judgment, and I don't expect it to determine much of what his ultimate moral place in life will be.

Fundamentally, Kohn is a proponent of the idea that a parent's main job is to guide a child into being himself, and not break him too much. I agree with that, but he doesn't give much coverage to the problem that sometimes you need to control your child for your own sanity.

I told my mother I was reading this book and she scoffed at the idea that Kohn might have anything to say about parenting, implying it was too hippie-impractical (and Just Like Me With All My Permissive Ways). Since she owns copies of Between Parent and Child, and Pictures of a Childhood, WTF? I guess she is now well into her bourgeois post-hippie phase.

book read

Sep. 17th, 2007 10:30 am
flea: (Default)
How I Live Now, by Meg Rosoff (2005). This is YA fiction set in a near-future or AU England, where a war occurs. It is narrated in first-person by Daisy, who is 15, and has gone to live with her cousins right before the war breaks out. I got it for Christmas. It's a very short read and the strong voice carried me right through; it wasn't until afterwards that I began to question some of the logic of the way the war unfolds. But I think in some ways the logic isn't the point; this isn't a thinky SF world-building novel, it's an emotional teenager novel. (As an aside, reviews will talk about incest wrt this book; the sex is between first cousins who had never met. This does not fit my definition of incest, though it may yours.) The logic was good for me, though, because this was an example of why I generally only read light fiction. Given that it's a war, many distressing things happen, and I have been haunted by some of them since I read this book a month ago. And while I can try to tell myself, "Logically, a war in England wouldn't play out like that," the fact is that right now on this planet wars ARE playing out like that, and it's terrible, and if I think about it too much I become unable to function.

And I have dreams of walking long distances in wartime with my children. Last night's featured Hecubus taking care of Casper (I think the Dillo and I had died) for 9 years, walking all the way from NC to California.

No, I am not going to read Cormac McCarthy.
flea: (Default)
Connie Willis, To Say Nothing of the Dog
Jennifer Crusie, Anyone But You

New to me:
Patricia Gaffney, Mad Dash, 2007. (ARC from work). Gaffney is a romance writer who is switching into women's fiction. This was well done but ultimately kind of a downer (it is about a couple who have separated, and while they ultimately reconcile, most of the book is during their separation) and I wonder how it will play with her old fans, the HEA romance crowd.

Marion Nestle, What To Eat, 2005. This is an aisle by aisle take on the supermarket, examining nutrition in the food available. It is written at a very accessible level, and would be a good education for people who don't know much about nutrition. I suppose there are a lot of people out there who fit the target audience, but I wasn't much surprised by any of the main lessons of the book: food companies are out to make money, not to provide healthy food; the best diet includes foods in as close to their natural state as possible and few heavily processed foods; sugar (in multiple forms) is added to a ridiculous number of processed foods. That sort of thing, which I follow fairly well myself. However, for some reason, every time I worked on the book I seemed to be eating candy. Perhaps it was a subconscious rebellion.

Names of children in Dillo's new class at school: Asher, Isaac, Sebastian, Sophie, 2 Lilys one of whom is about to move up. All aged about 15 months - 2 years. There are 10 kids in the class; I haven't got them all sorted yet.
flea: (Default)
Full Tilt, Janet Evanovich and somebody or other, 2003? A very fast, not very good, sorta-thriller, minimal-romance. With hit men, crazed Vietnam vets, a gay hairdresser who gets hit on the head and turns into a macho redneck (barf), and no sex. Oh, and a talking car named Muffin. I managed to read this the day I had the crippling headache, which shows how little attention it took. From the Light Books shelf at work, natch.

Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing our daughters from marketers' schemes, Sharon Lamb and Lyn Mikel Brown, 2007. An analysis of the messages being sold to girls from preschool to the teenage years, and guess what? They mostly aren't that good. Stereotypes, the sexualization of 6 year olds, the Dykes To Watch Out For problem (no films where female characters have good conversations that aren't about the male characters, with the exception of "girl fight" movies). I read this with interest, as I want to be aware of the mass market messages to my daughter but also raise a child who understands and can fit into our culture - i.e. I don't want to hide her away in the happy-clappy gender-neutral woods, but I don't want to her to be a Barbie-influenced math-phobic, either. This book is pitched a little low for me - I was pretty aware of the messages they identified, and could have done the analysis myself - and I wonder if they are underestimating girls and the sophistication with which they can parse marketing, even at a fairly early age. It was a little depressing, to have it all set out clearly. Anyway, a parenting issue to think about.

Father Knows Less Or: "Can I Cook My Sister?": One Dad's Quest to Answer His Son, Wendell Jamieson, 2007. This isn't out yet - I read an ARC from work. The questions asked by children and answered by various experts (some expert and some not - a policeman answers why cops like donuts, a dominatrix explains the physics of whip noises) are creative and interesting and I certainly learned stuff. The essays about the author's boyhood and his family were sort of boring, and as the book went on I skipped them and went straight to the questions.

Will the Vampire People Please Leave the Lobby, Allyson Beatrice, 2007. 'Nuff said.

The sleeping thing is not going very well. Dillo goes down okay in the crib in the study, but is still waking up at the "usual" nursing times and wanting to be nursed most nights. One night he slept from bedtime until 12, nursed, and then slept until 4; one night mr. flea got him back to sleep at 10 or 11 and he wasn't up until 3, but, for example, last night I nursed him at 10 (whoops, too sleepy to remember I wasn't supposed to - we're trying to not nurse but every 4 hours -, find and wake mr. flea, and send him in), 1, mr. flea went to him when he cried at 4 but unsuccessfully and eventually brought him into our bed, where I nursed him. Gronk.
flea: (Default)
but I have to get this one out:

Dear People Originally From or Who Used to Live In Brooklyn,

Just because you have a past in Brooklyn does not mean you are cooler than everyone else. You live in North Carolina now just like the rest of us.

Also, that goes double for you if your three year old son has orange pants with a built-in three-foot stuffed tail that he wears everywhere. And if he tells people he is a fruitarian (which I hope he is not, because I don't that think would be a healthy diet for a growing child.)


In book news, book club discussed
Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (2006). Story of a climbing bum who spent several weeks recuperating from a failed K2 summit attempt in a tiny village in Pakistan and promised to build them a school, and did, and is now the director of the Central Asia Institute which builds schools (www.ikat.org). I didn't like the way the book was written, and I think I would be seriously annoyed at Mortenson if I had to deal with him in person, but it's a good story and they're doing good work.

Also read:
Gina Kolata, Rethinking Thin (2007). I could have done without the framing device of the dieters in the study - their stories didn't humanize the science for me as they were so generic as to be indistinguishable. I loved the history of obesity studies - early scientific studies in general fascinate me. The really recent research is a little harder to interpret - it seems like some areas of study are still definitely in progress. One area I wish she'd addressed in more detail is the public health issue. She discussed mortality rates associated with weight - if you are not morbidly obese, it's actually a little better to be slightly overweight - but sort of brushed off diabetes (which seems to be a pretty big issue to me) and didn't address quality of life issues - what if being overweight means chronic joint pain or lessened mobility, even if it doesn't make you die? And even if reducing the amount of soda and junk food in school lunches doesn't reduce obesity rates, isn't it worth doing anyway, for the sake of overall decent nutrition?


Jun. 22nd, 2007 11:21 am
flea: (Default)
54 bush beans this morning, about 4 of them nibbled at the ends by rabbits, who have also entirely consumed the remaining lettuces.

My tomatoes aren't doing very well. They just aren't growing, and my cherokee purple is yellow and losing leaves.

In book news,
Atul Gawande, Better (2007). Mostly New Yorker articles, which I had read. but it's nice to reread. I really like his writing, although I have some bones to pick with his article on giving birth and c-sections.

Wendy Wasserstein, Shiksa Goddess (2001). Really short, fluffy magazine pieces, collected. I checked this out mainly because of my memory of her New Yorker article about the very premature birth of her daughter, and a coworker was reading her just-published novel and we got to talking about it.

Liza Mundy, Everything Conceivable (2007). About the variety of assisted reproductive therapies and their social implications (IVF, egg donation, sperm donation, selective reduction, multiples). A good introduction to the topic, and balanced, I felt. I was especially interested by the contrast between the US and UK in terms of degree of regulation of ART and associated consequences. And by how much we really don't know, medically, and are just starting to explore, socially (interest in donor-gamete children about their biological donors, etc.)


May. 22nd, 2007 11:29 am
flea: (Default)
Way overdue books read, 2007:
-Anyone But You, Jennifer Crusie (1994). Loved it. Older woman, younger man, great book even though I didn't love Fred (the dog.)
-Aunt Dimity and the Deep Blue Sea, Nancy Atherton (2006). Same as the previous in the series.
-Light Thickens, Ngaio Marsh (1981?). Reread. A production of MacBeth. I really like her theater books, and this one brings back Peregrine Jay from a much earlier book. Not the world's most satisfying mystery, though.

Books I recall having read to me as a child (interestingly, all by my father):
-The Hobbit (he made it scary; I can vividly recall his goblin "Who are these miserable creatures!" from the crossing of the mountains.)
-The Count of Monte Cristo (presumably an abridged version, and in English, natch, but still a bit of an odd choice to read aloud to your 8 year old...)
-Miles from Nowhere: A Round the World Bicycle Adventure, Barbara Savage (I loved the illicitness of the occasional swear words at age 10; in retrospect, this book probably inspired some of my interest in international travel.)

Books I have on the list to read aloud to my children:
Soonish, for Casper:
Winnie The Pooh (we've read a bit already)
Charlotte's Web (she loves the 1970s cartoon movie)
Stuart Little (has not seen the movie)
Rabbit Hill (Robert Lawson, and one of my absolute favorites as a child)
The Secret Garden (and others: A Little Princess, The Little Prince...)
Just So Stories

The Hobbit, and later, LOTR
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and following
The Book of Three and following; later, the Westmark trilogy
Little House on the Prairie and following
All the books by Ellen Raskin
Most of Zilpha Keatley Snyder (The Headless Cupid and The Egypt Game, especially)
Willo Davis Roberts (The Girl with the Silver Eyes, The View From The Cherry Tree)
flea: (Default)
I was a little lazy this weekend, and despite the gorgeousness did not get as much done as I wanted to. I did: mow the lawn (mostly - will try to finish tonight); purchase tomato (Cherokee Purple, Brandywine, and a modern hybrid), zucchini, and cucumber seedlings and plant them; plant carrots in the big orange pot, plant beets (um, where did I plant them? I think next to the endmost tomato. Yeah, that's it.)

A rabbit or something ate a lot of the kale.

I forgot to purchase basil. Next week.

The iris are blooming like mad: http://www.flickr.com/photos/casperflea/475865954/

To do: finish mowing lawn (there's a lot of hand-trimming that needs to happen, too); water everything; plant beans next to the peas; check peas for ripeness (gosh that seems like the wrong word but what would be better?), plant more carrots, thin lettuce and eat the thinnings; the neverending work of trimming bushes and cutting down errant saplings.

Book read:
An Anthropologist on Mars, Oliver Sacks, 1995. Essays like those he still writes in the New Yorker and elsewhere, about an artist who became colorblind in an accident, an artist who has very detailed memories of the town he grew up in, the name memfault British autistic teen who draws buildings, Temple Grandin. Generally interesting stuff, though his style starts to pall on one after a bit (so enamored of the footnote!)


Apr. 24th, 2007 07:44 am
flea: (Default)
I brought a couple of paperbacks from the giveaway pile at work home with me last night. Casper picked up one, which has a castle on the cover, and started flipping through the pages and "reading" the story to her brother. It was about a blueberry princess who lived in a blueberry castle with PILES of blueberries. But then a moving van came and took everything and she moved to a STRAWBERRY castle. The end.

The other one I read:
Nancy Atherton, Aunt Dimity and the Next of Kin (2005). This is a modern "cosy" - i.e. a Britain-set mystery where nobody is killed and there's a village and they gossip and everything is charming. It is well written and pleasant to read, but completely Mary Sue (the heroine is an American who inherited large sums of money and a British cottage from an unknown benefactor, married a wealthy Brahmin (Boston variety) lawyer, had adorable and rambunctious twin sons who are safely in the care of a nanny so don't interfere with the plot, volunteers all over the place, oh yeah, she's the proprietress of a charitable foundation... it's not clear whether she can sing and her violet eyes are not specifically mentioned, but I'm sure they exist.) Anyway, easy fluff, very quick read. You can see why it's like, 10th in the series.

book read

Apr. 14th, 2007 07:38 am
flea: (Default)
Judith mcNaught, Every Breath You Take (2005). Contemporary romance. Whitney My Love and Almost Heaven were two of the first romance novels I ever read, when I was in college, and I don't think I'd read any McNaught since. It was interesting to see how consistent her characters are - the hero always conficted and dark, the heroine with an innocence (despite in this case, said innocence being rather improbable). This was competently done but nothing spectacular - I took it out of the donations box for giveaway reading at work, remembering Almost Heaven, which I loved, and will return it there.

My real dilemma is, do I add it to my LibraryThing list or not? I think I do, tagged "read don't own", with a link here for the review.

I am unburying my desk, to make way for the financial paperwork I'll have to do later. I have also washed dishes, done laundry, and cleaned up child toy disaster. And eaten ice cream. Everyone else is still asleep.
flea: (Default)
Tonight is book club, and we read Little Women, which I had never read before. At least, I read Little Women; I rather suspect, from the emails that I received, that precious few of us finished it. In any case, we are watching the movie (Hepburn version, 1933; not the 1949 version with a BLOND Liz Taylor as Amy!) tonight.

I can't decide if I would have loved this as a girl or not. I was a cynical 12 year old, but I did love Anne of Green Gables and things of that ilk. As an adult reader, I am distanced from the text by my understanding of history and knowledge of the Alcott family (my mother volunteered at the Concord Museum for a while; I've been to Orchard House and seen 'Amy's' drawings on the walls.) I can certainly see how many girls at the time, and still today, would love it. I wasn't spoiled for who Jo and Amy marry, though I did know Beth died (is there anyone in the world who doesn't know Beth dies? If so, I'm sorry; you do know now.)

It falls strangely into the two pieces (book one ends at Meg's engagement). The first book is more truly girls' literature - full of promise, and romantic - one is sure that Jo and Laurie will marry. The second book feels a little antifeminist - the trials of Meg as a new wife and mother make her seem very weak and silly; Amy is redeemed from being a brat and snags Laurie, who is both rich and virtuous, showing us the triumph of the ladylike; Jo seems to give up her dreams of being a novelist to look after little boys and a shaggy German academic. The first book is all about the girls and the family and Marmee and the boundless possibility of their adult futures; the second book sees their lives narrow to their relationships with (future) husbands.

Another odd thing is how completely absent the father is, even when he does come back from the war. Bronson Alcott was an oddball; one of the critical essays suggests she left him out because his philosophy would be unpalatable to the mainstream readers she hoped for. My mother has a rant about how completely irresponsible he was as a parent; I guess they nearly starved and froze to death one year when he decided to live off the land (without actually knowing how to.)

Did you read it, as a child or as an adult? Do you love it?


Feb. 20th, 2007 03:10 pm
flea: (Default)
Jennifer Crusie, Strange Bedpersons (1994). This is the weakest of her books I've read, and I can't quite pinpoint why - partly it is too short for its plot, partly it deals in stereotypes (though that's part of the plot), but I think it comes down to I can't see the connection between the hero and the heroine.

Eloisa James, Your Wicked Ways (2004). One of her better, I thought.

Jo Beverly, The Stanforth Secrets (1989). Very plotty, with a fairly big hole caused by the unbelievable actions of a key character.

Jo Beverly, The Stolen Bride (1990). Again, so much intrigue that the actual roance was placed second. Melodrama central, though Beverly always could write.


flea: (Default)

July 2016



RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 21st, 2017 03:03 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios