Between the Lines: 12/11/10

Saturday, December 11, 2010

This has been a very very good week for diving into some good reads! Finally! I feel like I've been in a reader's drought for about five months looking for the next captivating novel.

On Tuesday night, we had an incredible bookclub in which it was my turn to choose the week's pick. It took a minute to decide between a book by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie and the book Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower, but the ultimate choice was The Thing Around Your Neck by Adichie. It was time for a female voice to be thrown in the mix of author's we've reviewed, and I've been hoping to read one of Adichie's works, although I should have chosen one of her novels Purple Hibiscus or Half a Yellow Sun instead of starting with her most recent collection of short stories. I have a feeling she's quite the master at drawing fully-developed portraits of her characters and fleshing out their ordeals and personas over a long stretch rather than a full sprint. But there were very fruitful stories such as the title story.

I checked out Nora Ephron's hilarious collection of musings about the nuances of aging, I Feel Bad About My Neck, and the first three chapters were the best laugh-out-loud experiences I've had (at work, mind you) period. Ephron is really effortless at the sort of neurotic dissection of everyday occurrences, no matter how microscopic. For instance, her chapter called "I Hate my Purse" is the best analysis of why purses--although necessary--suck, and she lists all the accurate reasons (random tic-tacs at the bottom, loose tissues and tampon wrappers, open bottles of lotion and random loose tea bags or sticks of gum, etc) to back up this claim that so many women hold. Hilarious! It's a very quick read, broken up into short chapters that touch on everything from saggy necks, unexpected stomach rolls, parenting, broken relationships, love for apartments, and wishes for our younger selves when we're older. Although I loved Ephron's voice, for this twenty-something it was alittle hard to relate to a woman who got botox injuections twice a year, was able to pay five figures a month on rent for ten years in New York at one point, snubbed her nose at ever traveling back to Africa because she couldn't find a hairdresser while out in the "bush" during a safari trip in 1972, and seemed to go through marriages like a box of chocolate chip cookies.

Right now, I'm taking on Erica Kennedy's novel Feminista which received fantastic reviews from The New York Times and InStyle, various book blogs, and from my good friend and fellow bookwork Whitney. I haven't dabbled into much chick-lit, but I was so intrigued by its antithesis, the newly-dubbed genre "Bitch Lit",  that I figured let's just jump into that instead :)

And lastly is The Hunger Games, a book that came up at the end of Tuesday night's book club to excited squeals. Sounds like the stories (there are three I belive) are set in post-apocalyptic settings and star characters from the young adult science fiction crowd who are forced into an ethical situation of having to fight each other to the death to appease "The Capitol"--the government--who hold all the power. I just read that the film is currently in the early form and will be distributed by Lionsgate at some point. If this series is anywhere near as riveting as Jose Saramago's Blindness, a similarly themed post-apocalyptic man vs. man scenario, then I'm excited to check it out.

Happy reading!


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