I guess I was going a little crazy in the last post. My mother, and I quote, said, “it was too graphic, and too many confusing sentences. Did he do that to you? Because I’ll kill him.” So, for the record, no, he did not. So, it’s inevitably time for an update and we can just cover up that ratty post with a new one (the other one does have pretty pictures though).
I guess since there’s nothing good on plinky.com, I’ll just write about the beginning of today and how I’m avoiding the hospital, and my father’s imminent health procedures to write a blog. But, really I’m just going to give a few book reviews on some books I’ve just finished. Lately, I’ve been reading everything, BUT A Gate at the Stairs (which I started in March and still think about daily, the plot, I mean, but just can’t convince myself to go any further with it. It’s like a mystery that isn’t unfolding fast enough for a girl with compulsive A.D.D. I’ll probably be reviewing it next year). So instead, I’ve just been floating around, reading things brought into the shelves at the RR Loft and trying to get inspiration for a few stories for graduate school applications next year. It’s still up in the air if I’m applying or not, I’m quite liking my teaching degree classes, but who knows if I’ll like them for another year, AND THEN, the classroom. I’m like a school junkie. I’ve graduated college, I’m back in school for a second bachelor’s and then I’m thinking of graduate school in the fall for both an MFA, or a Masters in Library Science. Yes, I do want to be that librarian that gets to sit on the carpet mapped out like a small town and read monster stories to young children, and I will be purchasing some glasses, and an up-do hair clip. (This would all help if I could spell librarian correctly, the first time and without spell check).
I’m getting off course, as usual. If you’re used to reading this blog then you already know how my mind works and you’ve forgiven me, if not, you’re shit out of luck I’m afraid. I hope you aren’t taking notes because my brain is playing mental hopscotch.
Okay the two books I’m going to do quick reviews for are: The Blue Angel by Francine Prose and The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown.
One of the books I couldn’t put down and the other one kept doddering along, like an Ugly Duckling.
1.The Blue Angel (Francine Prose):
I should probably start by explaining the plot: male writing professor teaches workshop to a small group of students that are all very different (much like a Glee cast): you have the black girl who is secretly rich, but for the sake of her reputation she talks “hood,” as Prose puts it I believe. You have the suck-up, the ex-army man who is in the class as an older student. The punk character (who is also a main character). The girl who is in love with the boy, and always sticks up for his work. And the writing professor who is in a marriage to a woman he loves because it is comfortable, but I’m not too sure he’s still in love with her, in fact, he isn’t, at all. He has a daughter who is not speaking to him and who has become a morning-after feminist while away at college. He has an affair with a student (you see it coming from Page 1) and his life, in general, downwards spirals from there. At the end, we aren’t sure if he is set-up, well he’s definitely set-up, but we’re not sure of the motives. The key to the book, is he ends up cheating because of the girls erotic writing style.
This ending makes you want to start furiously cleaning your kitchen, it’s that upsetting. I know for me it takes an awful lot for me to get on my hands and knees and scrub that kitchen floor (that’s practically spotless because my mother believes in “Cleanliness next to Godliness).” However, Blue Angel is impeccable all the way through. The main character takes every step you don’t want him too. It’s like watching a horse-race on television when you’ve placed a big dollar bet (See: Kramer in the Subway Episode of Seinfeld). I’m reading this book, yelling at it’s dirty pages, “No! No! Don’t do that! She’s horrible! She looks like a dinosaur – they’re setting you up!” And yet still, he “let’s the penis do the picking” as Patti would say.
This book is also by Harper Perennial so it has a P.S. at the back, which are my favorites. And after I finished, I read the interview with Francine Prose and she said that the male professor is so bent on self-destruction that it had to end the way it did. STILL MIND CHURNING! I spent the rest of the day after finishing this book, humphing around angry, and stomping through my house, slamming dish cupboards and knocking over my mom’s collections of salt&pepper shakers. I love books, actually, where you want the whole time for the character to go the other way, take the other path, “Just say No” as they taught us in DARE class, and yet they continue towards the devil with his crooked smile, but perfectly braced and aligned teeth.
I’ve read one other book by Francine Prose that wasn’t as good, Goldengrove. It was still good, the writing was just so much more diverse in The Blue Angel. I plan to read more of her books and keep you all updated. This book was a finalist for The National Book Award and was a New York Times Notable Book. So, it’s got the credentials behind it, and if you can handle an ending that might not be what your heart desires, I definitely recommend it.
2. Weird Sisters – Eleanor Brown
I chose this book for a number of reasons, I will list them here:
- In her author snip-it at the end, she calls her husband her “partner.” This may not be a big deal to other people, but for the longest time I thought she was a lesbian. When I realized she wasn’t, I discovered what a bias I had to the word, “partner” and it made me want to beat myself over the head. Also, I like the idea of “partner” as a significant other because it makes me think of two people walking down an empty, gravel road, together holding hands, both walking at the same tempo. How quaint.
- It is overwhelmed with Shakespeare Quotes because of the father’s job as a Shakespeare professor and obviously, the three sister’s names.
- It has a cover like Her Fearful Symmetry which I absolutely despised as a book and so I try to read books that I think may be like that book in order to understand that book a bit better.