For years, I swore I'd never marry. I said this not because I didn't want to settle down, not because I honestly *wanted* to be a spinster for the res...moreFor years, I swore I'd never marry. I said this not because I didn't want to settle down, not because I honestly *wanted* to be a spinster for the rest of my days (although I know some "spinsters" who have led very awesome, wonderful, ENVIABLE lives and it's by no means a curse) - I said I'd never marry because I knew *exactly* the sort of man I'd be happy spending the rest of my life with, and I honestly believed with every fiber of my being that he didn't exist. And if that was the case, I'd spend my days alone because I wasn't settling for any less than what I knew would make me happy.
Imagine my surprise when David came along. Even though I was thrilled to be getting married, I was also terrified. And marriage (or the prospect thereof) can be absolutely terrifying for some women. If you are, like me, ferociously independent and have no interest in becoming somebody's "little wifey", no interest in giving up your independence along with everything that makes you who you are, marriage can be (in spite of the joy and excitement) more frightening than death for some women.
This book addresses many of these fears and was a huge step in the realization that marriage is what you make it - not necessarily the cookie-cutter cliche you've built up in your head. Marriage doesn't have to be what it was for your parents or anyone else in your family. It doesn't have to mean giving up your independence, giving up your interests and everything that makes you who you are. More importantly, if you're a newlywed or a bride-to-be and you are terrified of what lies ahead - you are not by any means alone. It's okay to be scared. It's okay to have second thoughts. This book uses the input of many other brides, newlyweds and those long married to help you sort through everything that's going through your head - including methods of managing the relationship.
It's all very subjective, of course - not everything in this book is helpful. Some things are glaringly obvious while others may not resonate at all with you. But still, it was worth the read and the simple knowledge that I wasn't the only bride in the history of the known universe to be scared of what was going to happen after vows were made and the piece of paper was signed.
Highly recommended for brides-to-be and newlyweds.(less)
**spoiler alert** I haven't even finished this yet and I can tell you it's amazing. The life of Keith Richards is very storied and in some cases, surp...more**spoiler alert** I haven't even finished this yet and I can tell you it's amazing. The life of Keith Richards is very storied and in some cases, surprising. Apparently, for example, he used to get the shit beat out of him at school when he was a kid. Used to spend the entire day trying to figure out how to get home without running into the two kids who beat the crap out of him every day, until one day he fought back.
More importantly than the surprises though, at least to me, is his musical knowledge. The man KNOWS HIS SHIT. These parts of the book might be boring or completely lost on those who are uninterested or know nothing about the technical aspects of music. But to me - hearing Keith go on about how he plays all the classic Stones songs we know and love so well - "Tumbling Dice", "Jumping Jack Flash", "Gimme Shelter" - whatever you can think of, he gives away all his secrets here. If you're a guitar player, you'll probably be going, "So THAT'S how that's played!" - particularly if you've tried to play something a million times and it never sounded quite right. I could listen to him ramble on about chord changes, songwriting techniques and tuning structures all goddamn day.
The whole book is written as though Keith is sitting there with you in a bar somewhere telling you his life story. The chapters are long, but are broken up into smaller bits, so the whole thing has a very "Tell me a story, Uncle Keef!!" feel to it. I fucking love it. And if you're a Stones fan, you will too.(less)
I'm having trouble summing up this book. It's very complex, it's horrifying and it's very, very sad.
Iris Lockhart starts getting phone calls one day f...moreI'm having trouble summing up this book. It's very complex, it's horrifying and it's very, very sad.
Iris Lockhart starts getting phone calls one day from a mental institution named Cauldstone claiming that she is listed as the contact for one Esme Lennox - the sister of Iris' grandmother, Katherine (Kitty). Iris insists there must be a mistake, because Katherine never, ever mentioned having a sister. The paperwork proves it, however, and Iris is pretty much forced to take in this old woman who has been institutionalized for over sixty years. Not knowing what to expect, a very sad story begins to unfold as it becomes clear that Esme is not sick, and never has been.
Esme grew up in old Scotland at a time when women's lives were planned out for them completely from the moment they were born. The only purpose for a girl was to groom herself for marriage, when she would bear children. Her husband was chosen by her parents and how she happened to feel about the man was not taken into consideration. As a woman, you were expected to accept the life laid out for you without question or protest. The mistake Esme made? Letting on that she was aware that she not only HAD a brain, but knew how to use it, too. Because she dared to have opinions, express them and try her hardest to break out of the mold, they locked her up and threw away the key - for sixty years.
As Iris spends more time with Esme, Esme's tragic story comes into focus, and Iris comes face to face with some awful, very sad truths.
This book moved me on a level I wasn't really prepared for. I identified with Esme in that she's a woman who has no desire whatsoever to follow the path laid out for her by society's standards. And that someone would do what was done to Esme is horrifying.
Highly recommended for anyone looking for something thought-provoking.(less)
Call it chick-lit if you will, but I like Amy Tan. The Hundred Secret Senses is one of my favorite books (I should read it again), and I picked up the...moreCall it chick-lit if you will, but I like Amy Tan. The Hundred Secret Senses is one of my favorite books (I should read it again), and I picked up the Bonesetter's Daughter years ago and never got around to reading it until now.
This book centers largely around the relationship between Ruth Young and her elderly Chinese mother, LuLing. LuLing has been diagnosed with dementia, and while caring for her, Ruth happens across some pages written in Chinese in what she recognizes to be her mother's handwriting. Ruth has them translated and discovers that some things LuLing has been saying recently, which Ruth thought to be nonsensical product of the dementia (such as that her sister is not really her sister and that she is actually five years older than everyone thought), are actually true. Through the translation of her mother's story, Ruth discovers her mother's character, her origin and her own roots.
Tan's writing is emotionally effective. Like Ruth, as a reader you come to understand and even identify with LuLing. It even made me a little curious as to my own mother's life, or even my grandmother's life.
But as I remember thinking of the Hundred Secret Senses, I found the story taking place in years past more interesting and engrossing than the one taking place modern-day.
I have read better books, but I did enjoy this and I would recommend it to anyone who's read and enjoyed any of Tan's other work, or to anyone who finds themselves intrigued.(less)
A thriller along the same lines as the likes of Angels & Demons (except better written), this is definitely worth your time.
Following an accident...moreA thriller along the same lines as the likes of Angels & Demons (except better written), this is definitely worth your time.
Following an accident in Rome, photographer Josh Ryder begins to experience what he considers to be hallucinations of two separate lives in previous eras. After psychologists and doctors fail to diagnose his problem, he begins work with the Phoenix Foundation - a foundation specializing in aiding children with exactly these types of episodes, considering them to be memories from past lives. With the Phoenix Foundation, Josh finds himself back in Rome a year later to explore an archeological dig headed by two professors who claim to have made a huge discovery - one that could threaten the very foundations of Christianity.
Exploring the themes of reincarnation, three people are brought together to resolve their past and preserve the lives that remain at risk.(less)
Being a bookseller, we often get advanced copies of books. This was one of them, so I actually read this before it came out. The prologue was gorgeous...moreBeing a bookseller, we often get advanced copies of books. This was one of them, so I actually read this before it came out. The prologue was gorgeous and striking to me, but the rest of the book failed to match it.(less)
I've been taking this very slowly - about 2 passages per day. The first entry stated something that I've been screaming about for years now. I don't e...moreI've been taking this very slowly - about 2 passages per day. The first entry stated something that I've been screaming about for years now. I don't expect to agree with everything in the Tao, but I definitely think I'm going to get a lot out of this.(less)