our book club reads happy books!

Read Anything Good Lately?

on April 4, 2012

To be honest, I haven’t read anything that has really blown me away lately. (I’m not counting “Saving CeeCee Honeycutt” because that was a re-read.) So instead, I’ll tell you about a book I read that I didn’t like, because I mentioned it in this post . The book is “Girlchild” by Tupelo Hassman. I had high hopes for this book – the cover had a picture of an old-fashioned library due date card pocket on it and the inside jacket has this intriguing synopsis:

“Rory Hendrix is the least likely of Girl Scouts. She hasn’t got a troop or even a badge to call her own.  But she’s checked the Handbook out from the elementary school library so many times that her name fills all the lines on the card, and she pores over its surreal advice (Disposal of Outgrown Uniforms; The Right Use of Your Body; Finding Your Way When Lost) for tips to get off the Calle.”

Libraries, Girl Scouts, and pulling yourself up by your bootstraps to build a better life.  This sounded like a book that I would love. But that old saying about not judging a  book by its cover sometimes actually applies to books. There  was very little about libraries, or Girl Scouts, or boot straps in this book. It was a very sad book about a very unfortunate girl. It reminded me very much of ” House on Mango Street”  by Sandra Cisneros which we read for our June meeting. In subject matter, theme, and even in the ending, the two books were very similar. I preferred Mango Street a little more because it was shorter! Not even sure why I finished “Girlchild”, it depressed me so much. I guess I was waiting for the Girl Scouts to come in and save the day! If I had to answer the question. “why do you bother to read depressing books?” I would reply “I always believe there will be a happy ending.” Like Harold Hill in the “Music Man”,  “I always believe there’s a band, kid”

Speaking of “Mango Street”, this is a good opportunity to catch up on another month of Book Club. (I do eventually hope to do a recap of all our previous meetings.) June was Mango Street and “a Short Guide to a Happy Life” by Anna Quindlen. We met at Lauren’s house and I seem to remember a delicious cake (almond pound cake? My memory for good cake is a little disturbing!) Because it was June and many members were busy with graduations, we picked two very short books to read.

I picked Anna Quindlen ‘s book because it fit in with the graduation theme and because she is one of my favorite authors. And I knew none of her novels would ever fit the criteria for our “happy” book club. (Years ago, when my daughter was making fun of my depressing taste in books, she suggested: “Mom, you should write your own book about a girl who becomes an orphan, gets a disease, and then dies. That will be depressing enough for you”.  Well, too late! Anna Quindlen has written all those books – and I love them! I think her novel “Every Last One” is the most  recent book I read that really blew me away.)

But a couple of her non-fiction books to consider: She has a memoir coming out titled “Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake”.  I will definitely check that out. It might even be a good book club selection. And I liked “How Reading Changed My Life” (Yes, I am such a reading nerd, I read books about reading! Also, I am such a reading nerd, when my soon to be husband and I bought our first house, a fixer-upper, he gave me the task of taping off the hardwood floors with masking tape and newspapers so we could paint. He scolded me because I wasn’t going fast enough. I kept stopping because I found interesting articles to read in the newspapers!  Big bonus: I found out an important secret about my husband. If you do not do a job quickly enough or up to his standards, he will take over. This has gotten me out of a lot of sanding, painting, wallpaper scraping,etc. Even cooking.  Now I basically stand around, listen (or at least pretend!) to him talk and hand him tools. And he thinks I’m a great helper! It only get annoying when he tries to take over one of my sewing projects. And yes – his ideas are usually great. Even more annoying!)

How about you – have you read anything great (or not so great) lately?


3 responses to “Read Anything Good Lately?

  1. Trish says:

    Somehow I missed this entry, and I CANNOT stop laughing about your last paragraph about Dad. I’ve seriously been chuckling to myself for like 10 mins. As we all know how history repeats itself… I have a feeling I’m in for a similar fate 😉

  2. […] cake until a day before you’re going to serve it. That fondant is sticky, sticky, sticky! And thank goodness my husband still likes to get involved in my projects! I couldn’t have done this one without him. I won’t get in to all the gory details, but […]

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