Meredith's Challenge 2.0

52 books, one year. Stay tuned for more details.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Bon Voyage!

I fell behind on posting, sorry. I quit my job, I registered for culinary school and I leave for Europe tomorrow. I hope you understand. See you in two weeks!

P.S. If you would be so kind to leave me a message, letting me know a bit about yourself, I would be most grateful. Thanks!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

2.23 The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood

Does it say something about me if I told you that I read this the same weekend we went to a friend's wedding party and that I was cranky and miserable for the rest of the day? Or that after reading it, I'm even less interested in getting married? I know that it's fiction and focuses on a specific time period ( first printed in 1969). I cannot imagine acting in a way that is the opposite of how I feel so that my partner feels better about himself or literally running away from somebody only to return because that person asks me to marry him. And then get engaged to this person even though I don't think that I really like him all that much. Ugh. God(dess) bless feminism.

This novel has a lot of heavy, obvious symbolism which I wasn't too keen on. I get that the main character feels trapped but why she have to get stuck under a bed to show the reader? Not eating because she felt like she was disappearing? And the woman cake bit? I don't know what to make of it. By the end, I didn't know what to think anymore. It seemed like the one feminist in the book was going to get married, which she emphatically did not want to do earlier, because she was worried about her son being gay and having no father figure. And the heroine was in another relationship that she didn't really want to be in. ***sigh*** Margaret, why did you lead us astray?

Friday, June 09, 2006

2.22 The Apprentice by Jacques Pepin

For the folks who are here because of Friendster, sorry for the delay in posting. Blogger blew up and refused to recognize the importance of my being able to post my review in a timely fashion. Stupid Blogger.

It's a very good thing that Mr. Pepin is a chef and not a writer, though I do have serious doubts that he wrote this all by himself. He must have read a lot of serials in his youth because his book seemed like one long and then this happened, and then this happened, but wait, this occurred and then finally this! Ta da! But wait, there's more...

His childhood was pretty interesting because he grew up in France during WWII. Besides that, not really that gripping. Maybe it is to him. Aren't most people interested in their own lives and think that others are too? I mean y'all are still reading this aren't you?

I've still got a few more books under my hat, before I'm all caught up. More to come!

Friday, June 02, 2006

2.21 Peel My Love Like An Onion by Ana Castillo

I'm having a pretty good track record this year with fantastic books and this one is no exception. I won't go in again about how much I love rich, lush prose but that is definitely one of the reasons why I love this book so much. Castillo wrote this to describe the end of a love affair:

"a love dried up like a persimmon left in the fruit bowl too
long and both of us too lazy to throw it out."

When I read that I knew that despite myself I had to take this one slowly and savor it instead of rushing to find out what happens in the end. There were a lot of moments like that.

The story follows the life of Carmen La Coja, a flamenco dancer who has polio: her love affairs, family, and life after dancing. It's a first person narration and I love the insight into Carmen's head, especially what she has to say about her relationship with her mother, and her own surgeon-like precise observations of those around her.

The ending threw me, I wasn't expecting the seemingly fairy-tale all-is-well sort of thing, but isn't everyone tired of the tragic heroine line too? What's a writer to do? Ambiguousness? A blend of two? All three? Is that even possible? At first, I was upset about her love life ended up (no spoilers), but after some more thought, she got exactly what she wanted and there's nothing wrong with that, especially after her numerous unfilled desires.