Book Review – The Shoemaker’s Wife

Did you know that Adrianna Trigiani used to write for the Cosby Show?  True story.

Don’t let that influence your decision to read her novels though.  They are nothing like sitcoms.  Everything she writes is just…yummy.

The librarian warned me that this one ‘was a bit slow.’  And she was right.  But I happen to like slow.
It’s a story about two brothers.  It’s about Italy.  It’s about America.

Just the descriptions of the Italian mountains are enough to make you feel like you had a vacation.

Book Review – I regret this

Ok, remember how I was going to read one non-fiction book per month in 2013?

Well, it’s March and I have finished one.  That’s pretty good as far as my resolutions go.  But here’s the problem.  My intention was to read biographies of great men and women.

Here’s what I ended up reading.

Before I read this book, I hated Cody Brown.  I know it’s not a very Christian thing to admit.  But Jesus is no fan of lying either so I’m not sure which way to go on this deal.
I didn’t hate Cody because his religious views are different than mine.  I didn’t hate him because he is a polygamist.  I just think he’s kind of a slime ball.  For example, the wives constantly talk about financial problems and he drives a two seater convertible.  What kind of butthead father of 20 drives around in a brand new car while his wife is crying over the checkbook.  That is inexcusable behavior in any husband.  And Cody is always pretending that he has it rough.  At one point in the book he says. “Think about how hard you work on your one marriage.  I do that times 4.”  Dude…cry me a river and go drown yourself in it.  If you wanted us to have sympathy for you, perhaps you should not have let cameras document your life.  You understand how TV works, right? 
But as much as I abhor Cody…I love his wives.  (Some I love more than others.)
The best part of reading this book is that it proved me right in almost everything that I yell at the TV while watching their reality show.  These sister wives are not too different from any women that you know.  They are annoyed with each other and their husband quite a bit.  Which is enjoyable to me.  They are smart, decent, strong women.  And they are as jealous, as petty and as passive aggressive as Leah and Rachel were in the Book of Genesis.  Plural marriage wasn’t a good idea then.  It ain’t a good idea now

Book Review – The Racketeer

John Grisham makes me happy.  I just love him and I do not care how you feel about it.

That being said…I felt his last few books were getting a bit thin.  I thought Grisham was falling into the trap of most uber-successful authors and perhaps was going to start phoning it in.

But this book.  You gotta be kidding me.  It is as good or better than any of Grisham’s early work.  It is so well planned that I never knew what was coming next.

The story is about a lawyer (surprise!) who is in federal prison.  He’s innocent…no really. 

So in his copious amounts of spare time (apparently prison is quite boring), he hatches a scheme to get out.  It’s not a jailbreak.  It’s totally legal.  And you are going to enjoy it.

Book Review – The Round House

The Round House is about a rape on an Indian reservation.

I know, right?  Doesn’t this sound like the most depressing book in the history of ever?  

I thought so too.  But it won the National Book Award and it has over 600 five star reviews on Amazon. I had to at least attempt to read it.

Here’s what I can tell you.  Louise Erdrich is an artist.  She has crafted a story that makes you feel without turning that story into a melodramatic bowl of nonsense.  Her characters are unique and believable.  Her plot is effortless.

Some books just make you better for having read them.  This is one of those books.

Book Review – 7

Jen Hatmaker is currently ruining my life. 

I read 7 during the Christmas holidays.  In retrospect, probably not a great idea.  Yep, I read this book in a room with so many presents they wouldn’t even fit under the tree.  Did I mention the book is about excess?

I feel confident that, if we ever met, Jen and I could be good friends.  But I also think we would probably roll our eyes behind each other’s back every now and again. 

7 is about a series of experiments that Jen and her family particpated in.  Each month, they (or sometimes just she) gave up excessive something or other.  The first month was food.  Jen picked seven foods and ate them exclusively.  One  month required her to wear only 7 items of clothing.  (This one would have been easy for me)  Other months included media, shopping and possession fasts. 

I don’t actally disagree with much of anything she has written in this book.  It’s just that much of it makes me feel guilty about the way I am living my life and honestly? that gets on my nerves.

Also, in addition to wanting to sell the house and move the family to a camper, reading this book made me think we should also adopt a couple of Ethiopian kids.  Which means I am gonna need a bigger car…