Monday, July 27, 2009

The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman

(Just a brief review. . . )

I really, really enjoyed this book . . . as I have enjoyed some of her other books. I perhaps enjoyed this one even more, but parts of it were quite predictable. Let me just say, without giving too much away, that when I started reading this book about three sisters, I just knew that something fatal would end up happening to one of them. Anyway, I digress. The Story Sisters seem to be very close and in fact, they spoke their own secret language, much to the chagrin of their mother. Actually, it was the oldest Story sister who "learned" the language in the night. . . and seemed to have many issues. . . which evolve into drug abuse problems. I love the tone of the book overall.

There is more to this book, and I do recommend it, but I will just leave it at this.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Short Reviews of Recently Read Books

Honeymoon in Tehran by Azadeh Moaveni
I enjoyed Moaveni's first book, "Lipstick Jihad" a few years ago, and looked forward to this book. "Honeymoon in Tehran" deals with Moaveni's move back to Iran to cover the 2005 presidential election for Time magazine. She meets the man she would marry and have a child with at this time, too. During her early marriage, life began to change for the people in Tehran with Amadinijad as President. Suddenly, restrictions that hadn't been around since the early '80s were were suddenly back and being enforced. Moaveni's relative freedom with her reporting is now coming under scrutiny. The question reverberating throughout the narrative. . . should Moaveni, her husband and son remain living in Iran? This is a very well-written book. There are several portions that are information-laden in terms of life, politics, religion, etc, which I really enjoyed. . . but be aware this is not a "quick, light read" if you are looking for a something of that sort. Personally, I found Moaveni's book more engaging than Tara Bahrampour's _To See and See Again: A Life in Iran and America_.

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World
by Vicki Myron
This is a fun and touching read. It is about the love of a cat, the story of a small town, the story of a library, and the memoir of the author -- who was the library's Director for 20 years. It is an easy read, too, and I highly recommend this book.

The Chosen One by Caroln Lynch Williams
This is a very moving book. . . and, I feel, maybe slightly better written than the comparable "Sister Wife" by Shelley Hrdlitschka. "The Chosen One" is about a nearly 14-year-old girl, Kyra, whose uncle, one of the heads of 'the Chosen Ones' sect, has had a vision, that Kyra is meant to become his next wife. The uncle, her father's older brother, is nearly 60 years old! This sect also kills babies who are in anyway "unfit". . . Kyra has been secretly visiting the county's bookmobile. She knows from newspapers that there is a world "out there" that can help her.

Mercy, Unbound by Kim Antieau
This book deals with anorexia and mental issues from an interesting perspective. . . the protagonist believes she is becoming an angel, and therefore has has no need of food. There is so much more to this little book. I highly recommend it.

One True Theory of Love by Laura Fitzgerald
I was excited to read this book because I loved the author's A Veil of Roses, which I read as soon as my local library received it. The reason I read the that book over two years ago was because my husband is persian, as are the majority of the characters in A Veil of Roses. At the time I read that book, I had no clue that we would be moving to Tucson, where both of these books take place, a year later. One of the strengths of One True Theory is that it is very grounded in place, in setting. Having lived in Tucson nearly a year now, I knew where just about every landmark and intereseciton was located, or even what it looks like. Fitzgerald even mentioned the Persian restaurant Ali Baba, which we are very familiar with (but she did not mention what they ate. . . I would like to imagine that they ate the koobideh kabob, as that is the best item on their menu.)