2/23/08

A couple of new books

I gave up on The Time Traveler's Wife. I'm not sure why, really. I was only a few pages in. Maybe the sheer volume of the book made me nervous, maybe that I was already confused after only a few pages. Either way, I set it down for a while hoping to get back to it soon.

Tuesday I hit the library and grabbed a couple other books that I have been wanting to read. A client had recommended The Glass Castle (see my list of books I have read to the right). It was a memoir, similar to Running With Scissors she said. While it too is a memoir of a dysfunctional childhood there was less humor because it all seemed too real.

Jeannette's (the author) mother is a free spirit, artist who refuses to get a paying job and believes that children should have few rules. Her father is an alcoholic who smokes 4 packs a day, steals money from the family, is incredibly brilliant but can't hold down a job from more than a few months. This leads Jeannette and her 3 siblings on a whirlwind journey across the US running from the "gastapo" and the mob (they are told), to find the cheapest shack to rent until the running starts all over again. Jeannette and her siblings spend their lives taking care of their parents and each other rather than living the free spirited childhood that their mother thought she was giving them.

I liked the book. It kept calling to me. I almost felt like I could hear the author telling the story - it was all so real.

Yesterday I finished Water for Elephants (again, see the list of books I have read to the right). I found this book on Amazon's recommendations for me. I knew nothing about it when I picked it up except that every time I logged into Amazon it was on the front page.

It was a, relatively, easy read - I finished in about 6 hours (while I was waiting until 4:30am for Kirby to come home from a night of poker with my brothers). It follows the life of a young man, unexpectedly orphaned, who, accidentally, hops a circus train during The Depression. He finds himself working the circus and taking care of the animals while falling in love with one of the performers.

It was interesting and informative (I learned a lot about how circuses were run, how their animals were treated, how their employees were treated). There were many heartbreaking moments when I realized that many of these instances (animal abuse and the like) are all too true for that time period (and perhaps even today). There were different pictures at many of the chapters of the book taken from different circus "museums".

I recommend both books, though maybe not to Nicki :)

4 comments:

Jessi said...

I may try the Glass Castle... couldn't do the circus one... cruelty to animals makes me so ill...

Cray and Bickford Family said...

Water for Elephants did have some tough parts. It wasn't all about the cruelty to animals but there were certainly parts that disgusted me.

Do try The Glass Castle and let me know what you think!

Nicki said...

hmmm I will have to do a little research on the glass castle, maybe....

Cray and Bickford Family said...

I think you might even like Water for Elephants. In the end, it truly is a love story. Although the story isn't only focused on the love between the man and the woman (also on his love for the circus and the animals) I do think you might like it.