1.29.2013

Reviewlettes

Do you remember the Sara Lee jingle? I was going to provide you with a commercial with the jingle compliments of your neighborhood YouTube, but I came across this one and had to share despite no jingle.



That's weird, right? Yeah, I thought so.

Anyway, the jingle. I used to think it was Nobody Does it Like Sara Lee? And then later found out it was Nobody Doesn't Like Sara Lee.  Really? That's just bad writing, people.

This elaborate lead-in is a way to credit Raych with the term reviewlettes.  Perhaps she didn't originate it, but Imma gonna credit her anyway. Nobody Doesn't Like Raych or Nobody Does it Like Raych - they're both true. And now, reviewlettes (because I've been a book-finishing fool lately and can't be bothered to properly review them).

A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin (aka #2 in The Game of Thrones series)

I was so physically drained by all the dark and cold after reading book 1 that I took almost a year before tackling book 2. This time, much better. It ends in a good spot, so I could pick up the next one right away or wait awhile. I'm not going to go into plot because I don't like spoilers, but I will say that there's much fighting and war-making among those clashing kings. And also it's cold. And winter is coming. I loved highlighting passages with my new kindle, and here's one for you:
The years pass in their hundreds and their thousands, and what does any man see of life but a few summers, a few winters?  We look at mountains and call them eternal, and so they seem . . . but in the course of time, mountains rise and fall, rivers change their courses, stars fall from the sky, and great cities sink beneath the sea. Even gods die, we think. Everything changes. (331)
That's the beauty of this series. It's compelling and fantastical and scintillating; but it's also lovely and thought-provoking.

Hitty, Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field (1930 Newbery Medal winner)

This book is written from the perspective of Hitty, an antique doll looking back on her hundred years of experience. She takes us along on her many adventures, some more far-fetched than others (hello, doll as icon to island "savages"), but all are fascinating peeks into pieces of history. It was a perfect readalong for my child because it was interesting and smart and about a doll, while also being a bit more dense and with more advanced vocabulary than she's accustomed to. She's a wide and deep and constant reader, but she probably would not have finished this one on her own. Like so many of the earlier Newberys, it could be a rather difficult read, but it is a rewarding one.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

When Mollie reviewed this one the other day, I walked right out of my office (in the library) into the stacks and grabbed it off the shelves. I'd heard of it, like the rest of the reading world, but I hadn't been compelled to read it until that review. Was it the Mary Oliver quote - one of my favorites? Or was it the reminder of how much we love to hike? I'm not sure, but I'm glad I pulled this one off the shelves. As you probably know, it is Strayed's memoir about her experience hiking part of the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT) a few years after her mother died. I'll admit it was not a perfect book. Some of the details (mostly of a sexual nature) seemed to me unnecessary, but they were central to her experience, so they had to be there. The hiking was good although I felt about her much the way I felt about McCandless of Into the Wild fame. Why, for the love of all things holy, did it take someone so long to help her lighten her pack? Why didn't she know to do it herself? It suits her personality, but it is almost impossible to imagine someone planning such a big experience without learning at least those basics. I mean, she knew how to use a water purifier but not how to pack her pack? Despite the small annoyances, it was a good book, and I especially enjoyed the way it got me moving on something we've talked about for years but haven't quite been ready for: our family is going to start a section-hike of the AT this year. So, thanks, Mollie. And thanks, Strayed. We've bought our map and will have our own grand adventure!

2 comments:

  1. Wild sounds like a good read. My man would love the idea (although he'd never read it) because he works in the camping industry and always finds it amusing what people think they can do with a bunch of stuff they buy. I also think the Sarah Lee thing is weird... I notice he stopped short of saying he didn't fool around with 'women' but said 'fast cars' instead!

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  2. Well, as everyone knows: fast cars = fast women. Fact.

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