July 16, 2008

A few good reads

A couple of books I've recently enjoyed....


The Laments was passed on to me by Sarah. She found it in a thrift and what a find it was! As Sarah accurately described, it has some real laugh out loud moments. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It made me laugh and cry all at the same time.

"Ever in search of greener pastures, idealistic but frustrated engineer Howard Lament drags his long-suffering wife, Julia, and their three sons from South Africa to Rhodesia, Bahrain, England and America. The family's rootlessness weighs most heavily on eldest son Will, secretly adopted after a maternity ward mixup goes horribly awry, who feels the odd man out in the face of his constantly changing surroundings and the preternatural solidarity of his twin brothers. Hagen, a screenwriter and first-time novelist, makes the story a coming-of-age saga and familial drama, often comic in tone but also full of tragedy: car crashes, a kidnapping, death and dismemberment. As the Laments give up their privileged status under apartheid and eventually settle for downward mobility in the crass American suburbs, Hagan makes their wanderings and expatriate identity crises a commentary on the vexed legacy of British colonialism. The narrative sometimes slows to allow the Laments to hash out their liberal politics, and some sketchily drawn characters (Lament's son Julius is memorable largely for his un-self-conscious masturbatory rituals) die when their plot assignments are completed. Hagen pokes fun at Albion's seed with comic clich├ęs-the Rhodesians are racist Colonel Blimps, the English are soccer thugs, the Americans are conformists, religious zealots or strident New Leftists. The Laments themselves, saddled with the melancholy of postimperial decline, are a spirited but slightly sad lot who wish for better lives. This is a funny, touching novel about the meaning of family, with an oddly high body count."

If anyone is interested in reading this I would be happy to pay it forward, just leave me a comment :)


The Red Tent was another awesome discovery. It is the female's perspective of the biblical story of Dinah, daughter of Jacob.

"The red tent is the place where women gathered during their cycles of birthing, menses, and even illness. Like the conversations and mysteries held within this feminine tent, this sweeping piece of fiction offers an insider's look at the daily life of a biblical sorority of mothers and wives and their one and only daughter, Dinah. Told in the voice of Jacob's daughter Dinah (who only received a glimpse of recognition in the Book of Genesis), we are privy to the fascinating feminine characters who bled within the red tent. In a confiding and poetic voice, Dinah whispers stories of her four mothers, Rachel, Leah, Zilpah, and Bilhah--all wives to Jacob, and each one embodying unique feminine traits. As she reveals these sensual and emotionally charged stories we learn of birthing miracles, slaves, artisans, household gods, and sisterhood secrets. Eventually Dinah delves into her own saga of betrayals, grief, and a call to midwifery."

Don't worry, it's not all about a woman's menstrual cycle. It is a reminder that being a woman, and nurturer of life, is a very powerful force and should be celebrated. In yesteryear it was considered second rate next to a man and in today's time it seems to be taken for granted. There has to be a happy medium somewhere.

I am currently reading "Little Earthquakes" by Jennifer Weiner and I am already hooked into the plot.

I have had a love of books since I was a child. I just wish I had more time for it. I really hope that my boys will also share in this passion.

2 thanks for stopping by, i love comments!:

Amy July 17, 2008 at 1:49 AM  

I would love for you to send me the Laments. Can you wait till I get an address? LOL

Sarah July 17, 2008 at 5:58 PM  

I absolutely loved both of these books! And, yes, I still have a book package for you LOL I swear I haven't forgotten! I was such a solitary kid and reading was what I loved most. I even got a job at my local library which consisted of 1 small room full of dusty old books when I was 13 :)

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I'm a mom with a camera that loves exploring the world around me through my macro lens...and of course showing off my handsome little men.

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