September 30, 2010

Book Report, Vol. 2.

Since the last (and, paradoxically, first) Book Report, I have gotten married, gone on a honeymoon, unpacked our house (again), and started a new job.  I thought that I would have more time to read after this crazy summer was over, but it turns out I was wrong.  (Write it down; J can tell you, that doesn't happen very often).  Anyway, this Book Report is shorter, but I really, really loved these three books and I wanted to share.

1. Freedom: Franzen tells the story of a family called the Berglunds, who are a family in peril - and more specifically, the marriage between Walter and Patty is in peril.  Obviously, any book entitled Freedom is going to be a political novel, and this is one is, as it explores the idea of "personal liberties" and all that that phrase means.  The narration of the story alternates between Patty, Walter, Joey (their son), Richard (Walter's college roommate), and even a third person novel written by Patty.  It's difficult to say much about the story without giving it away, so all I can say is read it - at the very least it offers some critical and insightful commentary on modern American life.

2. Big Girls Don't Cry: This book tells the story of the 2008 election, and in particular, the story of Hillary Clinton's candidacy.  But please, don't be scared off if you are not a Democrat or a Hillary fan - this book is incredibly interesting.  Traister also discusses the roles of other women in the election like Michelle Obama, Katie Couric and Tina Fey, Gloria Steinem, and of course Sarah Palin.  However, the most interesting part, to me, is Traister's discussion of the intersectionality of feminism, sexism, and racism and how the election changed the way we perceive and discuss these issues.

3. What Is Left The Daughter: The novel written from the prospective of Wyatt Hillyer, writing a letter to his twenty-one year old daughter, attempting to explain the circumstances leading up to her birth.  The chain of events is set in motion when Wyatt's parents commit suicide by jumping off of two different bridges on the same day - the result of their separate involvement with the same next-door neighbor.  Wyatt goes to live with his aunt and uncle and falls in love with his cousin Tilda.  Things are complicated when Tilda becomes involved with a German student named Hans, as the narrative is set during World War II.  I thought about this book for days after I finished reading it.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sure these books are good but for my money, nothing beats the original Big Girls Don't Cry by Fergie