Monday, January 5, 2009

Three Books

I am currently reading the following three books: Mercy, by Jodi Picoult, The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, and The One Hundred, by Nina Garcia.

While I have often heard of Jodi Picoult (pee-KOE), possibly because she has, like, a gazillion best sellers, I have never read anything by her. After finishing this book moments ago (so - I was currently reading it this morning), I can say with some certainty, that I will not read anything else by her in the future. I don’t read a lot of best sellers so I don’t really know, but I suspect the sex scenes make sense, the character motivation is discernible, and there is someone you might like to see again in another novel at some point in most of them! Don’t look for that in Mercy.

I read it for our neighborhood book club and as always, I’m glad I took the time to read it because it makes me have to define what I didn’t like about it. Mostly, I’m excited to discuss this question: Who is the most selfish character? The most selfless? You can be sure my answers will be chewed up, if not upon.

Regarding the second book, The Alchemist, I am finding some of it interesting, and some of it just plain crazy-ass. It's a very quick read, but I am stalled due to the aforementioned insanity. I am reading it because Will Smith (warning: lots of primacy of consciousness here, but the last line is good) really likes it and I really like Will Smith (he does go on to say that his Grandmother taught him about alchemy when she said, “When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade”, and I have no problems with that kind of alchemy). There is an interesting interview with Mr. Coelho on the BBC World Book Club which in part discusses what I’ve found the most interesting sub-story thus far: his metaphorical sheep which simply follow him, the shepherd, because he provides them with their basic needs.

“If I became a monster today, and decided to kill them, one by one, they would become aware only after most of the flock had been slaughtered, thought the boy. They trust me, and they’ve forgotten how to rely on their own instincts, because I lead them to nourishment.”

The book explores the connections between one’s choices, will-power, and destiny, but does so in a venue full of mysticism and magic. Basically, it’s a mixed bag, but probably worth the read.

Finally, The One Hundred: A Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own, which I continue to refer to as The 100 Dresses confusing my daughters no end, is just slightly more than fashion brain candy. In addition to the list of 100 things every stylish woman must own, it also has fabulous fashion cartoons, a lavish layout with no shortage of white space, fun facts, and Nina’s favorites, as well as some pretty fascinating fashion history. Of the list, you'll never guess #40. All right, then, I'll tell you: the investment bag.

Happy New Year, gentle readers.

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