to face a world of cold reality

So I finally finished Saving Fish From Drowning. I’m not sure why it was so popular among bookclubs a couple of years ago…
It’s the story of an ill-fated trip through Myanmar (formerly Burma) taken by twelve friends of a woman killed in a bizarre unsolved murder. (No, this is no Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones, have no fear.) It’s supposed to be a “good-hearted farce that is part romance and part mystery” as the cover says…I found it to be more of a long-winded mockery that is part memorization project (15+ main characters) and part news story with no end. And that’s not even mentioning the confusing dead narrator that sometimes is all-knowing and sometimes stuck inside the head of one of the characters. I don’t recommend.

I haven’t read anything else recently. We’re up against a big deadline at work and I’ve had a lot else on my plate. I’m hoping to finish Blindness this weekend and start The Broken Shore, and yes, Emy, I’m going to read Eclipse or Starfire or Vampire Kisses or whatever that’s called soon. ;-)

Oh, and I’d just like to put in a plug here for my brave little book club of girls from work. Our first read, right after we were all hired in July (yeah, we work at a place where new hires only start once a month, in a big freshman year like group of newbs…) was Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. (I don’t remember if I ever gave an opinion about that one – I enjoyed it a lot more than I’d like to admit. I try to steer clear of Oprah’s fine opinions.) Then we read Water for Elephants which I have also heard wonderful things about, but I really struggled to finish (possibly more the fault of The 19th Wife (yes, sensationalism will get me every time) than the story line.) Last month (after a long holiday hiatus) we read Persuasion, which raised lively discussions, since apparently I’m the only one among us who supports the “traditional role” of women in the book. I personally think that Anne Elliot is a patient, long-suffering but ultimately faithful version of Penelope, waiting for her own Odysseus while staving off her family’s idiosyncracies and suitors of her own. That was not a popular opinion in our group of obviously highly-motivated career women. (Once again, I laugh at my own mental image of myself.) Our next two book choices are Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, by Lisa See and Ender’s Gameby Orson Scott Card (which his best, by far.) I tell you all this just to pat our little group on the back. Look at the range of fiction we’re willing to read for each other! The funniest part? I think that while I have put in lots of input, I have yet to pick one of these books…it’s great to have someone else do the hard part of choosing once in a while. :-)

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