Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Today is the end of blogging week number 19 (it's kind of hard to believe that it's been that long), so it's time for the end of the week count:

For the week:


PAGES - 1,922

For the year so far:

CHAPTERS - 2,815

PAGES - 37,051

Today's book, ""It takes a village" aptly describes how Lone Oak, Texas, comes to the aid of one of its own in this latest offering from Texas author Wood, who has a real appreciation for the laid back lifestyle and language of a small town. When Mary Lou's husband is trampled to death by his horse, she signs up for more hours at the DQ and for a single-parenting course at the community college. The seven class members openly share their personal concerns--cancer, abuse, AIDS, absent children, and the death of a spouse--while the professor struggles with uncertainty as she ends a five-year affair. The group quickly bonds and all rally around Mary Lou, whose 14-year-old daughter, Echo, leaves home after her father's death, first living in their neighbor Mr. Roseborough's tree house, then taking to the road, sending only the occasional postcard home. When Echo returns with a baby of her own, the classmates support Mary Lou once again, hopefully during what will be a happier phase of life."

Shallow thoughts:

  • This was not the book I had planned to read today. I started out reading a different book, but while I was reading the first ten pages I kept feeling like the book was so familiar . . . and boring. By the time I got to page 12 I realized that I had already read the book, and hated it. How sad is that, I'm starting to buy books that I've already read and disliked. If that isn't the surest sign of a person with a book buying problem then I don't know what is.

  • I picked today's book (or rather, today's book Part 2) based on the cover - I didn't even read the description beforehand to find out what it was about. The cover made me think of cartoons, and how can you go wrong with cartoons? And, as I'm sure you can see by the description, the book turned out to be a bit of a downer - but it was still a good book. It wasn't a great book, just good - the kind that is good enough to justify spending one day on but that I'm not sure is interesting enough to want to read spread out over a period of days or weeks.

  • Writing this blog has given me a lot of freedom to branch out and try different types of book because I know I still have 29 or 30 other books to read that month. But if I only had time to read a book or two a month I think I might feel kind of let down by today's book. My standards have become totally different now (oh look at me, pretending like I have any standards in the first place AHAHAHAHA), which makes me feel as if my recommendations of what's a good book and what isn't should be totally ignored. So, if you haven't already started to ignore me when I say a book is good, then sorry for leading you astray dear readers. And from now on I think I'm going to try a new standard for what is good and what isn't, and I'm going to call it: Would I still think this book was good if it was the only book I had time to read this month. For today's book, I'm going to give it a great big NO.

  • My biggest pet peeve about the book was the way the author felt the need to keep reminding us that one of the characters had adopted her daughter. Is that really the kind of information that needs to be mentioned every fifty pages or so? Does the author not think the readers have the ability to retain that piece of information from one chapter to the next? I expect to be constantly reminded of details in a Danielle Steel novel, but not here. And I choose to believe that the reason Danielle Steel novels are like that is not that Danielle thinks we've forgotten, but because she's drunk while writing her books. Just look at her picture on the back of her books and tell me that doesn't look like a woman who spends all day drinking champagne while writing - although I secretly like to imagine that when she's not being photographed she really wears sweats and drinks beer out of one of those beer helmets (it's entirely possible that I may have given this too much thought).

  • There was one aspect of the book that I found amusing, but it was only amusing because it reminded me of a movie. Every time the main character, Mary Lou, went to her single parenting class I kept thinking of that part in About a Boy when Will joins the single parents group (Single Parents Alone Together) in order to meet women. It's kind of sad when the best part of the book is the way it reminds me of a movie - or maybe it's not the book's fault, maybe it's my TV addiction talking on that one.