Fanny and Sue

Friday, March 13, 2009

It's opinion time dear readers. I've been on the fence lately about one aspect of Suggestion Saturday: Should I read a book someone has suggested if it's a book I've already read. At first I thought I wouldn't, but I do read an occasional book that I've already read, so maybe I should. What do you think? Or maybe I should leave it up to each individual person who recommends books. I guess I'm just wondering if it takes the fun out of suggesting a book if you know I've already read it. Tell me what you think dear readers?

Today's book; "Twins Fanny and Sue Logan are born just before the Great Depression in St. Louis. While the sisters are identical in appearance, and frequently dressed alike, as they grow up, their distinct personalities emerge. One is often in trouble while the other is the good girl or, sometimes, her reluctant accomplice. Whereas one twin is boisterous and even pushy, the other is more introspective and cautious. One thing never changes, though, and that is the way they are profoundly connected, capable of anticipating each other's needs and feeling each other's joy and pain."

I don't think the book's description does it justice. In fact, the description makes the book sound really boring and I never would have bought the book if I was going just on that. I bought the book because of the customer reviews on amazon - and the reviews did not let me down.

Shallow thoughts on today's book:

  • One of the main characters has the same name as my Mother and so throughout the book I kept imaging her (and the character of Fanny, since they're identical twin) as looking just like the childhood pictures I have of her. So her childhood pictures have now served two purposes: 1. I've found that it's really hard to stay mad at someone while looking at a picture of them when they were a child. Try it out sometimes dear readers, and I think you'll agree. Just try to yell at someone after looking at a toddler picture of them where they're standing there looking all cute and innocent and 2. I was able to have a lazy imagination today since I didn't have to take the time to imagine up the main character. Which left me plenty of mental space left over to rename a few celebrity children in my head. It's a fun little game - just take someone whose kids names you don't like and try to rename them using the same first letter. Okay, so it's actually not a fun game, but it passed the time while waiting for the repair guy to fix the hot water heater, so it served its purpose.

  • I was amused during the part of the book where Fanny is at the movie theater drinking a bottle of Root Beer. That probably doesn't sound amusing, but I'm going somewhere with this one, I promise. The root beer bottle has an advertisement on the side that says "soothing to the nerves, vitalizing to the blood, refreshing to the brain, beneficial in every way." Advertisements from the 30's-50's are so funny, in a disturbing sort of way - cigarette ads that talk about how healthy smoking is, Coke ads that assure consumers that Coke is good for your organs. And then there's my personal favorite, an ad for 7Up that I found in a magazine from 1946 that tells parents that the best way to ensure a healthy, happy baby is to give little Johnny or Janie a nice bottle of 7Up before bed. I certainly hope little Johnny/Janie's parents set aside a little money each month for the dental bills that I'm sure followed. On a side note: I'm really glad that the practice of sticking a y or an ie on the end of every kids name died out a while ago.

And here's your random fun fact of the day: Sugar water is nature's hairspray. Apparently if you spray sugar water onto your hair before putting the hair into curlers it will make the curls hold better. So, if you're ever stuck in the wilderness, without your hairspray, but you still want to look your best and you don't mind being attacked by bugs all day, then just mix some sugar and water together. And if you don't have any sugar on hand then just melt down some skittles and use that, and if you don't have any candy with you then . . . I'm not even going to finish that last sentence because I don't even want to contemplate a vacation that doesn't involve at least 5 kinds of candy for the car ride there. And here's your second fun fact of the day: hairspray (the kind that didn't come from the pantry) was invented in 1948. That's probably a subject that will never come up in your life . . . ever, but just in case it does, you will now be equipped to wow all your friends with your knowledge of the history of hairspray. That's just the kind of blog I write - one that not only entertains (I hope) but that also empowers people to more effectively discuss the history of hairspray. I give you the real facts here, so that you won't continue to embarrass yourself at parties by telling people that hairspray was invented in 1945 and then having your friends mock you in the car on the way home afterwards by saying, "Can you believe that fool thinks hairspray was invented in 1945. Any idiot knows it was really 1948."