Saturday, November 14, 2009


Today's book was suggested by Helen'sAngel - so thanks for the suggestion Helen'sAngel.

Don't worry dear readers, the two pictures of today's book that have been posted are not a sign that I am still tired and totally incoherent. I am full rested and wide awake today, so today's blog entry is actually going to be coherent. I'm just feeling a bit indecisive about which cover I like the best, so I thought I would post them both and let you decide.

Today's book, "We meet 13-year-old Briony Tallis in the summer of 1935, as she attempts to stage a production of her new drama "The Trials of Arabella" to welcome home her older, idolized brother Leon. But she soon discovers that her cousins, the glamorous Lola and the twin boys Jackson and Pierrot, aren't up to the task, and directorial ambitions are abandoned as more interesting prospects of preoccupation come onto the scene. The charlady's son, Robbie Turner, appears to be forcing Briony's sister Cecilia to strip in the fountain and sends her obscene letters; Leon has brought home a dim chocolate magnate keen for a war to promote his new "Army Ammo" chocolate bar; and upstairs, Briony's migraine-stricken mother Emily keeps tabs on the house from her bed. Soon, secrets emerge that change the lives of everyone present...."

Shallow thoughts:

  • I spent most of today with the family (I like to refer to us as "the family" because it makes us sound like we are in the Mafia, and it heightens the sense of drama), and so the same thing happens whenever I am reading in front of my family, my Dad makes his standard blogging joke of, "You should just watch the movie and pretend like you read the book." Then he laughs and I can tell by the look on his face that he is trying to saying something that will result in me mentioning him on the blog (the blog that he doesn't even read, by the way.) I suppose I am just playing into his hand, and encouraging future bad jokes by giving him what he wants and mentioning him here. But I guess since he DOESN'T EVEN BOTHER TO READ THE BLOG (not that I'm bitter about that or anything) it doesn't really matter what I say about him. So it doesn't matter if I point out that I think he would be much prouder of me if I cheated than he is knowing that I actually read all of the books. But that stupid conscience had to get in the way and wreck everything, and so I actually had to read today's book.

  • But I'm so glad that I do have a conscience, because I really liked today's book. Normally I am a book wimp, and only like to read happy books that don't remind me of the 3,000 unplesant things going on in the world that I nightly obsess over while trying to fall asleep. But, occasionally a darker book comes along that I really enjoy, and this was definitely one of them. I started reading and I instantly felt like I was getting lost in the book.

  • And then, proving just how self-involved I can be, I still managed to see a reflection of my own life in the life of a fictional character who is 13 years old and living in 1935. The book opens with that thirteen year old, Briony, writing a play. Ahh, the wholesome pursuits of youth, how well I remember engaging in those pursuits myself . . . except wait a minute, I wasn't writing a play, I was writing a script for a crappy TV sitcom that I was convinced was riveting but was really one of the worst things I've ever written in my life. That's right, as a child I would pass the time when I wasn't watching TV by writing about TV. Is it any wonder that I grew up to be a TV addict?

  • Favorite passage, "Freedom was still a novelty. The pace and clatter, the colors of the coats, jackets and skirts, the bright loud conversations of West End shoppers, the friendliness of the girl who served him, the spacious lack of threat - he sat back and enjoyed the embrace of the everyday. It had a beauty he alone could appreciate." - It's a good thing that little scene didn't take place in the 80s or he would have been even more overwhelmed by the flourescene hair scrunchies, the bad perms, the leg warmers. . . he would have been begging for the freedom to end after a few minutes. That's right dear readers, I really went there - I took a well-written passage and drove over it in the sarcasm bus and totally ruined a beautiful moment. You didn't really expect me to write more than one sincere blog entry in the same week, did you?