Monday, July 14, 2008

A Smorgasbord of Books . . .

I read an editorial this week – I think it was in the Chicago Tribune – about how blogging is simply a self-indulgent form of narcissism.
For a few moments I was worried – had I somehow gotten myself involved in something totally self-centered – again?
As I thought about it, I decided the editorialist isn't reading the right blogs.
There may be some blogs that fit that description, but I haven't come across them yet. And this Bookstack Blog party reminds me more of what my grandmother would have called a conversation over the back fence – the kind of chat she often had with friends who lived nearby, friends she saw almost every day.
Most of us don't have back-fence friends any more, the kind of friend who lives so close she can drop by for coffee on the spur of the moment. What we do have to keep in touch are blogs, and what a pleasure it is to hear from friends in response to a simple question like “What are you reading?” !!!
In answer to that question, my friend Terri says, “I recently started In My Father's House by Bodie and Brock Thoene . . . I'm enjoying the book – I love books rooted in history.”
Christina just finished Loving Frank by Nancy Horan. “It is about the affair Frank Lloyd Wright had with Mamah Borthwick Cheney, which was the scandal of Chicago at the time,” says Christina. “He left his wife for her, she was later murdered by an employee of Frank's. It was a fascinating book; I just had no idea. The newspapers painted her as a home wrecker, but the truth was they had a deep intellectual connection; she truly understood him in ways his wife didn't (of course that is not grounds for leaving one's wife.)
Christina also just finished If I Am Missing or Dead: A Sister's Story of Love, Murder, and Liberation by Janine Latus. She says, “This book haunted me for days. I found myself baffled by what the women in this family would accept from the men around them. A lot of abuse, control, and degradation. It was sad and riveting and in the end a bit triumphant.”
Finally, Christina says, “I was debating whether to e-mail you about this book, but to be honest – I loved it! Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster made me laugh out loud several times, partially out of recognizing myself in her, but also because she is blunt, graphic, and so very self absorbed and egotistical. I have loved all her books and pass them around to my girlfriends.”
If books are food for the mind, and we are what we eat – these past few days offer a smorgasbord of books!


Janine Latus said...

I'm the author of If I Am Missing or Dead, and I'm glad you found it a bit triumphant. The truth is, many, many women accept degradation from the men in their lives. I wrote the book so that we could all compare notes, and maybe stop accepting it. It would be interesting if more people who have read it would weigh in; I'm guessing we'd find similar stories in lots of lives.


Holly said...

My friend Christina was clearly touched by your book, Janine. Are you working on another book?

Thanks for stopping by.