So hey, I've been reading, but every Tuesday night, I put the kids to bed and make lunches and then I'm just too tired to blog about what I'm reading. I miss summer. A lot.
Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison
I love the Netflix show. Like, devoured it in three days and when does season two release?! I knew that the book really only loosely followed the first three episodes, so I wasn't expecting the TV show in book form, but I was still interested to read Piper's memoir. It was interesting in a lot of ways, but not the ultimate redemption story that I was hoping for, for many reasons. I'll be honest, if I was in prison with Piper, I would've shivved her simply for the mention of all the mail she received compared to the other women. And not just mail, but special mail from her friends who have Louis Vuitton stationary. I just couldn't get past the author's uppity tone. She got more mail. The prisoners all stayed within their racial divides, except her. She was friends with EVERYONE. It's evident that she comes from a more privileged lifestyle, which is part of what's intriguing about the book, but I guess I just found some of the mentions unnecessary. I also found the ending really disappointing. She spent the entire book talking about these women she met in prison and how they were all getting out at the same time and she wrote down their information so she could connect with them outside. Here is this woman with an education and connections, who could be an honest asset to women who don't have these things... and the book ended upon her release from prison. So, did she just use the womens' stories to write a book and that was that? I would've liked a little more.
Son of a Gun: A Memoir
This is one of those memoirs that really worked. Sometimes I read a memoir and think, But why do I want to read about your life? I don't really care. This was the exact opposite. The author's mom was murdered by, presumably, his step-dad and he sets out to retrace steps and make sense of her sad life, why she died so young and why she lived through so much abuse, all the while tying in the history of the town of Tombstone, where he grew up and where his mother met the man who would eventually cause her undoing it. It was sad and really beautiful and everyone should read this one.
The Shining Girls: A Novel
I'd been looking forward to this book for a long time and it fell far flat of what I'd hope for, unfortunately. Maybe because I'd so been looking forward to it? But c'mon. A serial killer version of The Time Traveler's Wife? That's genius. Except it wasn't. The characters were all flat. I didn't feel any connection to any of them. While I was worried the book would leave me a little too on the edge, it didn't. At all. The serial killer wasn't developed enough to scare me. I didn't feel enough of a connection to the shining girls to feel sorry when he killed them. And why is he killing these girls? That's kind of developed but not really. There was just a lot missing in what could've been an amazing book. Was it a decent read? Sure. Did it grip me the way I thought it would? Not even close.
Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson
I took a class on cults and alternative religions in college. Topics like this have always fascinated me. That said, a 400 page book on Charles Manson is not exactly light bedtime reading, but it was absolutely fascinating. It began with his childhood and carried all the way to present day, with a look at the socio-political climate at the time the Manson family began Helter Skelter, as well as an in depth look at the media circus in the aftermath and the work it took police to finally bring them in to the courtroom. It was absolutely fascinating.
What are you reading?