Sunday, February 25, 2007

Four Short Takes For a Snowy Sunday

It's been a long week and I had no chance to read. Training, meetings, and visitors all got in the way until the weekend arrived bringing a malevolent winter storm. Fortunately, we did not lose power and I did not have to leave the house - and it also forced the cancellation of an early morning promotion tomorrow that would have required my presence at work at the inhuman hour of 5AM! So, as the wind howled and the power flickered, I stayed snuggled under the covers and read. Got through four books before heeding the siren song of the Oscar telecast....

Vive La Paris.
Love Esme and admire everything she does for kids and reading. Was happy to visit Miss Pointy and Gang again. The fighting, the Dr. King, the bullying, the "walk in someone's shoes", the yellow star controversy, the music lessons, the intergenerational plotline, the family story about Paris.... I enjoyed this book, but I think it tried to cram in a little TOO much.

Interesting. An anorexia story that starts at the shocking end and works backward. An anorexia story told from a brother's point of view. An anorexia story about the "invisible" sibling in a family where one child has a life-threatening condition. An anorexia story where the girl actually DIES. A well told and memorable look at an all-too-common disease.

Saint Iggy.
I could not look away from the pages of this book, even though I knew it was going to come to a sad end. Going has a way of making a "misfit" youth into a whole and compelling character. Iggy's endearing longing for some hope in his bleak life is heartbreaking. He not only hopes for a better future, but for a better present and a better past. Everyone in his life fails him and he feels that he has failed himself. His act of sainthood is both maddeningly foolish and fittingly satisfying.

Life As We Knew It.
I enjoyed this one the most of my four today. Perhaps it was because the wicked storm in the area had many people without power or heat or food - it created an eerie backdrop for my reading. I appreciated the fact that the precipitating disaster was not man-made. I marveled at the scene where the entire world makes a small party of watching something slam into the moon. I appreciated the complex relationships within the family that changed and mutated with the increasing weight of survival. For some odd reason, I kept flashing to Anne Frank and her family, trapped together in a tiny space, alone and frightened and facing certain death. It is a powerful book, a cautionary book, but also a hopeful and empowering one.

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