Back to Books

Well, I'm finally able to breathe through my nose and suck on a throat lozenge at the same time, so maybe I've turned the corner on this lousy cold. I didn't get as far as I'd hoped on my reading last night, because the nighttime cold meds kicked in too quickly, so maybe tonight I can finish one of my two library books.

The first one (the one I'm trying to finish) is Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women by Harriet Reisen. I started it while I was proctoring midterms--nothing I can really do while students are taking a geometry exam--and it is a really rich biography. I mean, some of it I know already from other biographies I've read, but I find a lot of what I know filled out a great deal more, not to mention there were still many new details to learn. This particular title is more or less the written (expanded) form of the recent PBS American Masters episode. I have about 80 pages to go. Good stuff.

The other borrowed title is Solace of the Road by Siobhan Dowd. I'm a few chapters in because it's on the front seat of my car. I was early for pilates class last week, and it was too cold to wait outside, so I dove in. It recently made YALSA's top ten list, and interestingly enough, both this recognition and its publication occurred after Dowd's untimely death. It's pretty interesting, and for a book set "across the pond" it is actually quite accessible. You know how sometimes the locations and local expressions are too hard to understand sometimes? It's not too bad in here, and Holly (a.k.a. "Solace") is pretty sympathetic. Solace so far seems everything I had expected Before I Die to be but wasn't. I'm eager to see how the rest of the story goes.

Oddly enough, I find the cover of Solace far more appropriate and appealing than that of LMA. It's such a tall book, and they made it brown and faded, the back of some unknown woman with her hair tied in a red ribbon at the top, and then a silhouette of a woman writing at a desk crammed at the bottom. BORING. Alcott was not unattractive, for Pete's sake. It just gives off that tired old "oppressed women of the 1800s" feel to me.

I know, I sound a bit harsh, but I think that such an interesting author--an interesting woman, for that matter--and a really good book deserved better packaging. You know me, I get passionate over stuff that rarely anyone else gets worked up over.

Now I have to go send an outraged note to Glamour magazine for doing an about-face in March's issue, which features in of all places its "love rules for women" article a quote from Chris Rock's book about not cheating just because "you will get caught". . . after February's issue had a feature article about a certain golf pro and how awful it was on his wife and how women need to stop the cycle by not sleeping with married men.

Seriously, did an editor goof? How about a little consistency?


Dave E. said…
"You will get caught". The crappiest reason to not cheat on someone. Talk about the maturity of a five-year-old.

Honest, wv: orgie
Mr. Bingley said…
Cerealy. What a great reason not to do something: because you'll get caught.

No worries that maybe schmaybe it's, like, oh, I don't know, say, actually immoral and wrong.


Dave: Best WV Evah
Kate P said…
Thank you, manly men, for weighing in!!!

(Dave--that was your WV? NO WAY! Hee.)
Dave E. said…
Way. I thought twice about mentioning it, but you have a good sense of humor. I sometimes wonder if there's some kind of post analysis tied to the word verification. They often seem too perfect.

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