Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cliffs Notes Blog Post

For the last several days I've had several ideas for blog posts swirling around in my head. Unfortunately, I don't seem to be able to get any of them to crystallize into a full blog post. So today I'm writing the Cliffs Notes version of several blog posts:

Books: I have read a couple of really good books recently, but since I didn't get a review written in a timely fashion, I can no longer remember enough details about them to write a full a review. So here's what I remember:

Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls - excellent book by the author of The Glass Castle. This time she tells the story of her maternal grandmother (Lily?) who was without a doubt a woman ahead of her time. Lily admired Scarlett O'Hara because "[s]he was tough, she was sassy, she knew what she wanted, and she never let anything or anyone get in her way." The same could be said of Lily herself. 'Nough said! 4 stars.

Room by Emma Donaghue - this is the first book in recent memory that I couldn't wait to get back to every time I had to put it down. Room tells the story of a 29 year old unnamed woman who is kidnapped at age 22 and kept hostage in a hidden room. In time she gives birth to a little boy, Jack, who has only a rudimentary knowledge of the world "Outside". The story is told from 5 year old Jack's perspective and it is absolutely fascinating. 4 stars.

Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda - Secret Daughter tells the story of Kavita a poor Indian woman who secretly gives up her baby daughter for adoption to avoid its death. At the same time Somer, an American woman and her Indian husband decide to adopt a child from India after learning the devastating news that Somer is infertile. Gowda deftly intertwines the stories of Kavita, Somer and the child that binds them together while presenting the story from the perspective of all three women. 4 stars.

Theater - I have seen two very good plays in the month of November:

Oklahoma! - I had never seen this play or movie before, so while I was expecting it to be old-fashioned and corny, I was not expecting it to be somewhat racy and to deal with some very serious issues. What a suprise!

Absurd Person Singular - This play really demonstrated to me in a very overt way that different people can have very different reactions to the same play - especially if the play is a "dark comedy". Geoff and I attended this play with friends and while I focused more on the comedy and found the play to be hilarious, my friend couldn't look past the very serious and dark events happening on stage and didn't see the humor in the story. When we shared our views with each other on the ride home, we both wondered why we didn't see the other side. It occurred to me that this is the beauty and power of live theater. It can evoke such emotional and divergent responses in the audience. Fascinating!

Politics: The more you know, the more frustrated you become. I have never been an overly political person, but this mid-term election cycle I decided to pay more attention and educate myself on the races - local, state and federal. I even attended a deadly boring Town Council meeting earlier this week. And now I'm frustrated, annoyed and riled up. I have the absolute wrong personality for this. I get way too emotional and have far too little patience for the nonsense. Not to mention that the president and one member of our Town Council were at times extremely rude to residents who got up to speak at the meeting. It made me furious. I liked it better when I was uninformed and blissfully ignornant! I'm not sure I can go back to putting my head in the sand, but I wish I had never taken in out.

Aging: You know you are old when sleeping in on a weekday holiday means you don't get up until 7:19 am. Ugh! Even worse is when you decide that you really should start exercising so you decide that since you are getting older and haven't really worked out in any serious way in years, that you should start with something gentle and easy - like yoga. Let me tell you, nothing brings home how old you are like realizing you have absolutely no flexibility left. And when you wake up the next day (after sleeping in until 7:19 am), your muscles feel like you ran the NYC marathon. Yup. I'm old!


Jen said...

Hi Pam! Good to see you blogging again. I like your mini reviews. They are just enough for me to make me want to read these books! I'm currently finishing up my first reading of "Walden" -- just have the closing left. Interesting book.

I'm the same way with politics. I don't tend to get involved, but when I do (as in when I was covering local town government for a newspaper) I tend to get really riled up. Too bad I couldn't really do anything about it as an "objective" reporter!

Terra said...

Pam I just LOVED half broke horses and the Glass Castle! I am so glad you read half broke horses. Also nice to see you out here again...I like the cliff note version. I might have to steel that idea somtime

LindyLouMac said...

Mini reviews are fine with me as well, all books I want to read, more for that wishlist. There just seems to be so much to try and fit into life. Something has to give. Take Care and keep up the yoga, I cannot believe you consider yourself old, hope you were joking.
P.S. I am no longer signing up for follow up comments, in box cannot cope.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Ah, not old. Yoga is hard.

I understand not being able to put an entire blog post together. It will come. Thanks for the book recommendations also.

Oklahoma - fun, fun musical.

Gail said...

Welcome back! Thanks for the reviews -- they sound great. I know exactly what you mean about aging -- I remember when I missed dance classes on a Saturday morning because I slept past the 10 AM start. I don't think that will EVER happen again!

Sandy said...

A couple of those books went onto my TBR list. I also sent some to Dawn. I LOVED Oklahoma and I can be so-so on musicals. I am so looking forward to seeing APS. AND don't get me started about the election where less than half of our state's population got off their asses and voted.

Karen Peterson said...

ROOM sounds really good. I'm going to have to add that to my ever-growing list.

I've been abnormally interested in politics since the Bush/Clinton/Perot election of '92 when I was 15. Every single election cycle I find myself wishing I didn't care. It seems so much easier that way.

injaynesworld said...

Hi, Pam. I loved Glass Castles, so maybe I should give Half Broke Horses a read. I've heard of Room. It also sounds intriguing. I just finished reading and reviewing "Big Girls Don't Cry" a look at how divided women were in the 2008 election between Hillary and Obama. Really interesting stuff.

Don't stick your head back in the sand. Keep it held high, stick out your tongue and blow raspberries! :)


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