Monday, July 31, 2006

The Girls

I am generally reading several books at once. I also read the Ensign cover to cover, which I consider obedience, and I often miss the good stuff that's there in my dogged devotion to reading the words in there, at the expense of quality. I brag about how I always read it, but am often reminded through the bloggernacle to go back and check out something especially profound. I read the scriptures daily.

I'm also reading Levi Peterson's autobiography, which started out very interesting, but is dragging as I read about his dating and college years. I think it will pick up. Oh, and a small book called Facing God which was recommended to me by my monk friend.

I always have three piles of books on my bookshelf. One is books from the bookmobile, which parks right in front of my house; one is a pile from the Cedar City library, and the other is books I have purchased.

I had a bunch of books checked out, so I put off reading The Girls by Lori Lansens (along with John Updike's The Terrorist, which I may never get to) so I could get all my borrowed books back to their respective facilities sometime in the year I checked them out.

The Girls is a worthy book. I will not donate this book, I will keep it. I recommend it to all readers. It's full of insight, but the story is compelling--about Siamese twins joined at the head. The author does a wonderful job of writing in both twins' voice and telling a compelling story. A teaser: one twin becomes pregnant at the age of 16 and gives the child up for adoption.

Here's a few passages that resonated with me:

(referring to a neighbor woman who mourned her son killed in a tornado) "She buried his bike under the apple tree. I always wondered if she thought Larry's spirit was speaking to her through Rose's poem. I'm not being sarcastic. I really believe it."

What I liked about that is sometimes I say strange things and people think I'm being sarcastic or funny, but I really believe most of what I say.

(Referring to a "true" story of how a man hits a deer with his car. The deer goes through the window and lands in a sitting position on his mistress, killing the woman): " 'What's a mistress?" (six year old) Ruby asked.
'Aunt Lovey had turned full circle to look at Ruby and me in the backseat. "A mistress is a woman who has sexual relations with a married man." Her policy was, if you're old enough to ask the question you're old enough to be told the truth.' "

(Ruby's comment after an interchange with her sister, Rose) "That made me feel good and quite annoyed at the same time, because I don't need her approval. But I do. You know?"

(Ruby, again ) "Rose really brooded about that. She likes a good brood. She does. But I choose to be happy." ( :) I am like Rose, I like a good brood)

And one last, funny thing: (Rose, this time) ". . .I had a flash of Ruby at about five years old, at the Jaycee Fair in Chatham. We'd gone on a child's ride. . .A crowd had gathered to watch us. i remember friendly faces for the most part, somewhat pitying, friendly faces, at lest until we got off the ride and Ruby shouted, "That made my vagina tingle!"

This author wrote another book, which I am going to have to order. Bill and I are going to West Yellowstone in September and I will ride all comfy in the back seat, tranquilized and with a pile of books.


Elizabeth-W said...

I always enjoy your book reviews! I'll give you a couple as repayment. Here's what is on my nightstand:
1.East of Eden (for church book club)
2. No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam by Reza Aslan (for my other book club) A very interesting look at religions in general, especially the historical context of Islam (it was fed by Judaism and Christianity).
3. Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang. From the back cover "Jung Chang was born in Sichuan Province, China in 1952. she left China for Britain in 1978 and obtained a PhD in linguistics from York University in 1982, the first person from the People's Republic of China to receive a doctorate from a British University." So this is the story of herself least, and more about her grandmother, and especially her mother who joined the Communist movement believing initially it would be better than the feudal warlord system. It's been really a great read.

Barb said...

I don't read nearly as much as I would like. I find that I really love character development so much now. Maybe it is because I am getting older. Or maybe it is because in recent years, I have become even more observant of people and more introspective of myself. Those sound like some great reads. I am going by memory so I hope I get this right. I read a book called Friendship Garden by Toni Hinton, which was a gift to me. There was very profound prose there about women and their worth.(see the head shaving chapter). Also, grief is addressed in a way that was so compassionate that is very compassionate.

Barb said...

As you can probably tell, I was editing the last sentence and evidently did not read it very well as compassionate is there twice. I would very much recommend the book.

annegb said...

I love Steinbeck also, Elizabeth. I also enjoy the topics listed in your other books. I'll have to send for them on the inter-library loan.

I'll have to order the Friendship Garden as well. I'm fortunate to have good friends.

Barb said...

I guess that I should not trust my memory. The title is actually "Garden of Faith" it is by Lynne Hinton and is the sequel to "Friendship Cake". So you can see how I wanted to add the Friendship with the Garden. :)