Cites & Bytes @ Bailey

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Monday, May 08, 2006

Margaret Truman is Killing Me (Slowly) ...

OK, not really, but her audiobook, The President's House, is one L-O-N-G piece of work and gives new meaning to the word exhaustive. Every aspect of White House history is covered, including the usual suspects.... pets, kids, weddings... and there is a disappointing amount of insider or new information. It is not nearly as interesting as one might hope. Constant Reader will know that my commute is brief at best, therefore it seems that I have been trapped in my car with Margaret Truman for months. And there is something pedantic, faintly scolding in her voice... if only I wasn't so OCD, I could have quit her back on CD 3...

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares. A little late to the party, but I enjoyed this entertaining account of four friends and a pair of magical jeans that give them courage in various situations. Not too keen to read the sequels, really, and that was before I learned the Traveling Pants were a "packaged" franchise. The situations faced by the protagonists, by the way, are not all that light-hearted... one faces the death of a young friend from leukemia, one struggles with the impending remarriage of a father who is definitely missing a sensitivity chip, one goes too far (to borrow a phrase from my youth,) and one causes a senior citizen fistfight through cultural misunderstanding/an unintentional but implied accusation of sexual assault. Have fun, kiddies!

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. This was a moving book about a young girl who is raped but cannot bring herself to speak to anyone about it. It chronicles a year of bad grades, being a social outcast, hiding in closets at school, losing her best friend, losing her socially ambitious new friend, being ignored by her busy parents, running in fear from the popular boy who assaulted her. Somehow, through her own grit and determination to survive, a good biology class and an even better art teacher, she manages to speak out at last to warn others, has another violent encounter with her rapist, and begins healing her life. It really makes you ponder how an individual is overpowered in more ways than one when victimized in this manner. Good book.

Oh, yeah, I forgot to say this is what I have been reading lately...


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