Books to curl up with: a librarian's musings

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Moving on from the poodle

I was introduced to Jeanne Laskas with her book about moving from the city to the country in Fifty Acres and a Poodle. The new book is Growing Girls. She recounts tales of raising her two daughters from China. I loved her tales of being the non-supermom. Thee boom of animals on the farm also made for great tales.

I must admit as the mother of a daughter from another country, that I found the chapter, where she considers how some people view international adoption as some kind of racist explotation of the poor, hard. She handled this chapter very sensitively.

The bulk of the book however is fun. It was fun to visit Jeanne and her family again.

Friday, May 19, 2006

A dog's life

I must admit that I am a cat person, but I am a sucker for a good animal story. Marley & Me by John Grogan is one of those books. Goofy, stupid Marley will steal your heart.

Grogan and his wife decide to get a puppy as a trial for the responsibility of parenthood. They go to a lady breeder of labradors. They are only going to look. Yeah, right. They meet the puppies and their gentle graceful mother. (Turns out that dad is out of the house for good reason. You'd know these puppies are going to be high energy and more than a little crazy. ) They fall in love with Marley, who comes right over and wants some loving.

Grogan gives the book the subtitle - life and love with the world's worst dog. This is true. He chews everything. He runs wild. He gets kicked out of obedience school. Still as crazy and destructive as Marley can be, he is also as kind and loving as he can be. Grogan chronicles their lives with Marley as young newlyweds, first time parents, etc. He is their crazy family dog.

This book was a real pleasure.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Bon Apetit

I just finished reading Julia Child's autobiography, My Life in France. This is a charming book which chronicles her marriage to Paul, how her thoughts about food exploded in Paris and of course how she became involved in her first cookbook - Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Written with her nephew, the book is very much in her voice. I could almost hear her telling me the stories as I read it. Paul was a talented photographer and his photos illustrate the book. (His work is owned by the MOMA.) This book complements well Apetite for Life, the biography by Fitch, which chronicles her whole life including her work in WW II intellegence.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

popping them like bon bons

I recently found Aunt Dimity's Death by Atherton in my mom's vast stash of mysteries. It is the first in a series of mysteries featuring Lori and the ghost of her mother's best friend, Aunt Dimity. These are cozy mysteries set in England; although Lori is an American.

In the first book Lori's life has been spiralling downward financially and emotionally since the death of her mother. Out of the blue she gets a letter asking her to come to the offices of one of Boston's most blueblooded law firms. She arrives in the middle of a terrible storm. Things have hit bottom. Turns out things are about to go up. It seems that the Aunt Dimity of her mother's bedtime stories are a real person and her mother's best friend from the war.

Lori will be paid to do some research and editing on a book, if she goes to England. Suddenly her money problems are solved and her life may have a chance to get back on track. Of course she didn't plan on Aunt Dimity's ghost being there to keep her company. And the senior partner's son is there too under her feet and being a little to attractive. Lori finds herself trying to discover both her mother and Dimity's secrets.

These are nice little mysteries and are easy reads for the end of a long day.