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Friday, September 28, 2001
truth, etc.

Finished Sojourner truth: a life, a symbol. At first I was put off by the content because Truth was so spiritual, and there was a lot of information about her preaching and involvement in spiritual communities. Eventually the text paralleled her life and progressed into her abolitionist & suffrage interests. I was unconvinced that she was a feminist until nearly the conclusion of the book. It was difficult to see her evolution from Isabella to Sojourner Truth. I kept looking for benchmarks along the way and they just weren't there.

I read the first chapter of Split second by Alex Kava. It promises to be a great read, but of course, we will see...

I picked up Evidence against her by Robb Forman Dew--a winner of the national book award-- and Rick Bragg's latest Ava's man. They'll go into the queue and eventually be read. I've not been terribly satisfied by the books I've read lately. I'm sure it's because some are so poorly written and only faintly engaging. I may change my reading habits by indulging less in cotton candy type books. A woman's gotta have some fun, so I'm sure to keep reading essentially pleasurable books, but I will shift my focus toward more literary fiction and try to squeeze in a few biographies each month.

Wednesday, September 26, 2001
playing catch up

I did relatively well reading during my vacation. I completed five books. Wind done gone, Film strip by Nancy Bartholomew, Good life by Keith Scribner, Female intelligence by Jane Heller, and Copy Kat by Karen Kijewski.

I'm currently reading Sojourner Truth: a life, a symbol by Nell Irvin Painter.

I'm not sure whether to just rate the previous 5 books I read, or what.So here goes.... Wind done gone was interesting, but not my favorite. Film strip was just a fun mystery read, brain candy.... a good vacation or airplane book. Good life was meatier than any of the other books. Based on the true-crime kidnapping of an oil executive, the author gives a credible psychological fiction type thing. Sorry I'm not more coherent, but I've only had a few sips of this morning's coffee. Copy Kat was not to my taste. Hey, that's better than saying that it's crappy. The writing is okay, but it's just not to my taste. She's one of these writers who uses each sentence as a new paragraph. And, I just didn't like the way she handled the main character and her thought processes. I bought the book used, because I finished up the library books I took with me to Hilton Head. Desperate for something, I recalled a shop in Coligny Center that has a paper book exchange. Guess I would have enjoyed one of those Richard North Patterson books better, or even the Tom Clancy (I actually liked the one that I read a few years ago, believe it or not). I like a meaty book, and Kijewski's novel was quite sparse. So I have a second paperback in that same series that I'll probably never read. Again, desperation, and certainty that I would finish the first one and again be wanting for a book to read. Actually, Copy kat took me an inordinate amount of time to read because it was truly odious.

Thursday, September 13, 2001
ker-slumping along

Accidentally left Iron Shoes at work over the weekend so I didn't get to read it at all.

I did start Dorothy Cannell's The thin woman last weekend, and finished it up Wednesday night. It was really good for a British novel. Good characters, plot, and setting. I may read more of them as time goes along, but there are so many books I want to read (so many books, so little time...) And, my pc crashed yesterday so I lost my files, one of which was a 4 page list of books I want to read. Ah well, such is life. It's really unfortunate that my pace is slowing down. But, next week will be my vacation, so hopefully I will devour a book and a half per day.

I began Ray Suarez's book The old neighborhood: what we lost in the great suburban migration, 1966-1999. It was okay, and I think I would have enjoyed reading it some other time. I have to be in a certain mood to really get into certain non-fiction.

I started Alice Randall's Wind done gone yesterday while relaxing on my front stoop. Here's the first chapter; a blurb from Salon; and news from Bookweb. There have been several news stories surrounding the book's possible infringement on copyright laws since it tells another side of life in Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the wind. Actually I think her house gets more attention that she does. Wow, I didn't realize that she has a stamp, too. There's probably a lot that I don't know about Mitchell since GWTW isn't my favorite book. I read it gosh in junior high and remembered it being somewhat tedious because I got bored with all the landscape/sunset/sunrise descriptions. And, I've not wanted nor needed to read it a second time.

Friday, September 7, 2001
reading slump

Haven't had much time to devote to reading this week. Too much interior painting going on. Did squeeze in Kathy Reichs's newest novel Fatal voyage, which was really good. Takes place in western NC, Bryson City..., which is about 50 miles east of Tennessee. Other than the nasty stereotypes about mountain folk and librarians, I muddled through. Although it was doubly irritating, I really thought this was her best book so far. I enjoyed the one about the nun's bones in Quebec (Death du jour), but didn't really like the other about the motorcycle gangs (Deadly decisions), blech! An interview with Reichs wherein she mentions her childhood reading was primarily Nancy Drew (try this if the 1st link doesn't work) and those chipper Hardy Boys. The latest press release from UNC-Charlotte...Though she's listed as faculty in the Dept. of Anthropology, she's listed as being on indefinite leave. It lists her email as kjreichs@aol.com

Oh, and I did begin that Lerone Bennett book, and my main question so far is, did he have an editor? The writing is atrocious.

In the meantime, I started Iron shoes, in which the main character is a library clerk at an under funded library. Molly Giles, the author is interviewed at Bookpage. This book is also recommended by Salon. Although I love to read about librarians, it is merely coincidence that I'm reading about librarians in fiction.... Itís more difficult to do that on purpose, unfortunately.

Tuesday, September 4, 2001
labouring away

My pace has slowed. However, I did read 2 chapters in Richard Maruis' A short guide to writing about history, which is infinitely readable, entertaining, and ultimately educational.

Then, I read Donald Wright's African Americans in the colonial era: from African Origins through the American Revolution (The American History Series). Really enlightening. I learned so much, and it was really well written as well.

For fun reading I finished Slow River by Nicola Griffith. I read Blue place sometime last fall, I believe. I hoped that my library would purchase her other books, but so far they have not. I've had to rely upon ye olde standby-Interlibrary Loan. But, Blue place was rather haunting. I still recall the imagery and character, Aud, who I imagined in my mind the whole time as Angelina Jolie. Although the woman in the photo on the book jacket looks like a model, there's something in her manner/carriage that reminded me of Angelina. I found an interview with Griffith at January Magazine. The next book I'll start reading is Forced into glory: Abraham Lincoln's white dream by Lerone Bennett, Jr.

And, I've got another Nicola Griffith ILL to retrieve from my local public library. Lots of reading to do, so little time!!