September 28, 2012


I am SO happy that September is almost over. Normally, I like September just fine; cooler weather, falling leaves, college football and pumpkin spice lattes are all good things in my book. However, the past few weeks have been difficult in many different ways, and I'm glad that they are over.

This weekend I taking a road trip with some friends to upstate New York to attend Jordan and Mike's wedding. Jordan and I met at my previous job, and he and Mike moved to Baltimore last year so I don't see them nearly as often as I'd like. This will also be my first trip to New York that doesn't involve Manhattan, so it should be a fun weekend all around. 

Mike and Jordan

Jordan and Mike

September 27, 2012

The Casual Vacancy

There is a certain kind of book written by a certain kind of author that prompts a certain kind of exasperation: “No matter what I say, fans will buy this, read this, worship this. (Please do not throw bricks at my window.)”
I didn't write that sentence, but I'm glad that Monica Hesse did, since I couldn't have stated it better myself. I loved the Harry Potter series, and I look forward to reading more from J.K. Rowling. In her Harry Potter books, she is adept at telling an adult story through the words of children and adolescents; the language may not be particularly elegant or compelling, but she conveys tone and mood through straightforward prose. As such, I'm excited to read her newest work, The Casual Vacancy, an adult book actually written for adults that was officially released today. The reviews have been lukewarm, which isn't surprising after the Harry Potter phenomenon. A criticism that I've noticed repeatedly is that there are no spells or plucky sidekicks in Vacancy; the characters are real this time, and as such, flaws and cynicism can't be charmed away with a simple wave of the wand. I can't wait to read it.

September 22, 2012

The Red Tent

For one of my book clubs (I'm now in two) we read The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant. The novel is historical fiction, based on the rape of Dinah from the Book of Genesis. I'll be honest, my Bible-knowledge is not what it should be. I was familiar with the story of Dinah, but about halfway through The Red Tent, I went back to my Bible to read the historical account. I appreciated the way Diamant took one page of text and filled an entire book, staying true to both the culture of the times and the original telling of the rape of Dinah.

That said, you don't have to be a Biblical scholar, or even a follower of the Judeo-Christian faith to enjoy this book. At its core, it's the story of a young girl as she comes of age and learns from her mothers and her sisters about the ways of the world and what it means to become a woman at a time when women were treated as a lower class. Initially, I thought the book may be a bit dry, but it was richly woven with anecdotes told from the first-person perspective of Dinah.