Thursday, July 18, 2013

Book: Looking for Anne of Green Gables

I've been trying to read more non-fiction lately, so I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled across this book at the library. 


This is a book about the famous author L. M. Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables, Emily of New Moon, and countless short stories. A Canadian icon, I loved learning more about the author and her beloved heroine. 

The book starts out detailing Montgomery's young life. The author outlines unique situations that would have gone on to inspire the character of Anne. As the book progresses, more interesting facts come to light, including the identity of the model who inspired Anne's red hair, and snippets from Montgomery's journals as she grew up and began work on the novel. 

My favourite aspect of this book is discovering how much Montgomery drew on her own life experiences to shape the character of Anne, and in some instances, Diana. It makes me feel drawn to Anne even more, and closer to Montgomery. 

I highly recommend this book to Anne fans of all varieties. Keep in mind that it is non-fiction, and it may seem a bit dry to some readers. It is an easy read, and even includes photos of Montgomery, her family, and other important ephemera. It's a fascinating book, and worth the time and effort you put into it. 




Book: The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing

A few weeks ago, I finished reading The Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing. 


It was a quick read, making it a good summertime book. As it opened, I was caught up in the world of a young girl who is sad about losing her childhood vacation home {it also might have been their real home, it was hard to follow along}. As the book went on, I found myself more and more interested in the life of the heroine. 

However, halfway through, things went a bit...off. There was randomly one chapter about nothing in particular. After that, the main character started doing things that didn't seem true to her character. It got really boring watching her make terrible choices, and the book stopped moving forward. Finally, the last chapter seemed to provide a sense of completion, of a satisfying ending. And yet, nope. I found the ending to be jarring, and there was no true ending, or satisfaction of endings wrapped up. 

Some people might say that it's like life; there isn't always closure, and people make bad decisions. But I felt like the ending didn't match the story that had been established. Overall, I wouldn't really recommend it. I found it on several reading lists on Pinterest, so clearly some people think it's worth reading. If you find it at the library, sure, check it out and bring it to read by the pool. But don't feel like you need to go search it out. 

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Book: Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

A few years ago, this book {and subsequent movie} was extremely popular. At the time, I was around 8 years old, much to young for the demographic the book was aimed for. Now, many years later, I read it without all the excitement and hubbub, and I'm glad it worked out that way; there was nothing to influence me before I read it, or sway my opinion afterwards. 

I watched the movie a few months ago, because I was curious. I'd even forgotten that it was a book. From there, I figured I might as well read it. So I did. 




I loved reading this book. I dove right in, and loved everything about it. The writing style is descriptive without being flowery, the characters are developed and interesting, and the setting is somewhere I'm not familiar with {the South, years 1920-1990ish}. Some of the minor characters tended to blend together for me, but for the most part, each character stood on their own. 

What appealed to me the most was the themes of love, friendship, and female connection that ran throughout the novel. Perhaps it's because most of my female friends have moved all over the world that I connect so strongly with a novel about having your closest friends around you. I would love it if all my closest friends lived within blocks of me, and we could get together on a whim. Unfortunately, that's not the case. So I lived vicariously through the characters in the novel. 

After I finished reading, I looked up some reviews online. While there were some positive reviews, there were many negative ones. Reasons ranged from dislike for "chick-lit" to anger over issues of alcoholism and child abuse. Yes, this is a serious read. I don''t enjoy reading about child abuse {I can't think of anyone who does}, I recognize that life is complicated and not everyone has perfect, loving parents. 

Overall, I would recommend this book. Be aware that it's not all rainbows and sunshine. It is a book about women who are trying to figure out who they are. It is a book about friendship, love, and family ties.