So, I read a lot this week. Between having plenty of free time while visiting the parents and choosing a couple of kids’ books to read, I got through four books (actually 3.5…but I’m a fan of rounding up). Really, I kind of look like a speed reading bad ass if you determined my reading prowess from just this post. Awesome.
I’m going to keep my comments about each book very brief, as writing four full book reviews would do me in.
- Book number 1: Ramona’s World by Beverly Cleary
Ramona’s exactly the same, and she’s AWESOME. I want her spunk, her determination and her outspokenness! It may get her in trouble, but I’d rather have girls be like that than Bella Swan. As always, thank you, Beverly Cleary. You are my favorite.
Also, does anyone besides the Quimby family ever say “cross” to mean annoyed? They say it ALL THE TIME, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard it in real life.
- Book number 2: Welcome to Utopia: Notes from a Small Town by Karen Valby
There’s a genre of novels and nonfiction works that is basically “big town girl goes to small town and sees how ignorant but loveable everyone is”. As someone who grew up in a small town, I hate hate hate those books. So insulting. This book isn’t that. The author profiles the tiny town of Utopia, Texas with a particular focus on a few of the citizens, including high schoolers, ranchers, and old timers. Welcome to Utopia’s best moments can be heartbreaking, but the book does suffer from overall meandering which can happen when there isn’t really a plot.
- Book number 3: The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
Like Ramona, Calpurnia is a great, spunky female protagonist. She lives in Texas at the turn of the century and spends her time pursuing scientific research with her grumpy grandfather instead of being a lady like her mother would prefer. Not only does this book introduce a fun character, but it also gives kids the basics of the process of scientific inquiry and evolutionary theory. Thumbs up!
- Book number 4: Bitchfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch Magazine
Oh, but I’m conflicted about this collection of essays. Some rope me in, making me angry, curious or interested to learn more. Others feel out-dated, petty or a bit over the top. Even as someone who has strong feelings about “women’s issues” (big quotation marks there!), reading this as a whole can be almost annoying. Do we have better things to worry about than if a group of women can be referred to as “guys” (as in, “Hey guys, who wants to get ice cream with me?!)? I think we should. I certainly do.