Archive for May, 2005

The Mermaid Chair, by Sue Monk Kidd

Sunday, May 15th, 2005

As you know by now, S. M. Kidd is one of my favorite authors, and I am as much a sucker for mermaids as I am for bees. I am not sure whether to recommend reading The Dance of the Dissident Daughter before or after The Mermaid Chair. I think I got more out of Mermaid by reading Daughter first. In any case, I really loved this book. I read it in 3 days. The summary will tell you it’s the story of a woman who has an affair with a monk while taking care of her self mutilating mother. That sounds so harsh! Yes, those are the vehicles that move the plot forward, but that is not what the book is “about”. The theme centers around a woman finding out who she really is, finding her spiritual center, communing with other women and with nature in a way that we are not often taught through our society or through the 3 major monothiestic religions. This is one of my favorite topics (which I have discussed with some of you at length!) . In any case, whether you agree with this perspective, or think it’s a load of crap, The Mermaid Chair is a very touching, soleful read. I definitely recommend this one (note that it is only in hardcover currently – May 2005).

What I am reading now – Queen Bees and the Wanna Bees (yes it’s bees again!) So far I like it. More to come once I finish it!

The Honey Thief, by Elizabeth Graver

Sunday, May 15th, 2005

I picked this one up because scrolled across the top of the cover were the words ” A New York Times Notable Book of the Year”, and also because I have taken a liking to the topic of bees. The only interesting fact I learned from this novel is that honey bees across the nation are dying from mites. I found this very sad, but short of being a genetic engineer, there is not much we can do about it. My overall recommendation, don’t get further than the cover. Perhaps I was spoiled by “The Secret Life of Bees”, but this just seems a like a shallow imposter, a hollow story with characters that I could not relate to. If you are looking for bees, read some Tori Amos lyrics, or of course, Sue Monk Kidd;-)

The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz

Sunday, May 15th, 2005

This is a really quick read. In a nut shell the 4 agreements are not to gossip, not take things people say personally, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best. Seems like simple and obvious enough advise, which I didn’t find particularly life shattering. In short, I can’t really recommend this one, although it’s such a short read that it’s not too much of an investment if you decide to read it.

Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card

Saturday, May 7th, 2005

Yes, this is technically a ‘science fiction’ novel. My husband had recommended it for some time, and all I kept thinking was I didn’t feel like reading a story where I had to suffer through learning an entire new vocabulary, politics, creatures, etc like I did when I attempted to read The Hobbit. I finally gave in, and I am so glad I did! Even if you do not consider yourself a ‘science fiction person’, this story transcends being pigeon holed into a specific genera. Ender, the title character, is so relatable, and so intelligent, you find yourself thoroughly engrossed almost immediately. This is actually the first book in a 6 or 7 book series. I have read all but the last one (Shadow of the Giant). They are all good, but the best two are Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow. If you are looking for something a little different, and very intelligent, I highly recommend Ender’s Game.

The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd

Saturday, May 7th, 2005

I read this one a while back, when it was still in hard cover, and it is still one of my top recommendations. This is a beautiful novel, that is sweet, and strong and powerful. I have given a copy to most of my friends, my mother, my mother-in-law, and every response has been “I didn’t want it to end”! I have a lot of respect for the author. She is also the author of The Dance of the Dissident Daughter. I would recommend reading both of these books, especially to women who find the current state of our religion, our society and politics to be very patriarchal in nature. Somehow, we lost the devine feminine; she became buried and manipulated, and was labeled either the virgin or the whore. Yes, I have read The Di Vinci Code (who the heck hasn’t!!) and this theme resonates in that novel as well. I have studied this topic at some length, and if this commentary has at all peeked your interest, The Secret Life of Bees is a good place to start.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Saturday, May 7th, 2005

I don’t think there is a book club around the Bay Area that hasn’t had The Kite Runner on its list. With so many recommendations, I felt I couldn’t help but read it myself. Within the first 100 pages, I was inwardly cringing, hoping that some light would come to into this suddenly dark tale. Even so, I was riveted, and finished the book in 3 days! Without giving too much away, I will say that the ending was wrapped a little too neatly. But even with this slight flaw, it is well worth the read. The Kite Runner is one of those novels that you find yourself thinking about even when you have put its pages down. I would put this on my must read list, with the small caveat that its subject is a dark one.

Jaimie’s Book BLOG

Saturday, May 7th, 2005

Never having created a BLOG before (and now being laid up on the couch after foot surgery) I thought it the perfect time to start a list of the books I am reading: the must reads, the must avoids, and the many “tweeners”. Being an insatiable reader who is always interested in the recommendations of others, I thought perhaps there might be other folks out there looking for some suggestions as well. Yes, a book club would be a good option, but then we are obligated to read something we might not be interested in. This way, no strings attached, no obligations, just opinions:-)

With that, here goes….