Monday, July 9, 2012
IT'S MONDAY, WHAT ARE YOU READING?
Kind of a disappointing reading week for me. Not sure if that was because I am in kind of in the doldrums-- my son left for college (and I keep trying to figure out how the house could feel so empty and quiet with the departure of one person, who didn't say ten words on a good day?) and then our four-year-old lab ate something and had to be put to sleep)-- or if the books I read just were not that great.
By far the best book I read this week was a picture book, MADAM PRESIDENT by Lane Smith. It's been out four years, probably since the last election, but I somehow missed it. This book details the responsibilities of the president and her cabinet in typical Lane Smith fashion- slapstick humor, lots clever twists on words and illustrations. Perfect for an election year or a unit on American government.
At the library last weekend, I picked up an adult memoir BLUE NIGHTS by Joan Didion. I read one of Didion's previous memoirs, THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING, which described her grieving process after husband John Gregory Dunne and daughter Quintana passed away within 20 months of each other. BLUE NIGHTS is kind of a continuation of that memoir, except it focuses more on Quintana and captures the regrets that Didion feels as a parent-- Were there things she should/could have done differently? Did she recognize her daughter's struggles with mental illness and alcoholism? Were there things she, as an adoptive parent could, or should, have done differently? Didion's style is pretty dark, and I'm not sure it's a book I should have read this week, but it was definitely a compelling read.
I also read a couple of intermediate grade novels that I got at the library. Both of them seemed like they would be good, and started out strong, but then just kind of never went anywhere. I don't review books I didn't like, so I won't mention them here.