Saturday, January 15, 2005

In Her Shoes

My friend Jenn sent me the book In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner for Christmas (thanks, Jenn!). Anyway, I was reading yet another Oprah's Book Club selection at the time, Back Roads by Tawni O'dell. After finishing Back Roads and a previous Oprah selection, I was ready for a book that didn't leave your head spinning from the horrors of poverty, incest, love lost, etc. You know those Oprah picks. They're good for you, but after a while, geez!

Jenn to the rescue.

Now, I was a little skeptical of In Her Shoes at the beginning. I guess I like to think of myself as a literary snob even though I know in my heart of hearts that I haven't read nearly enough to qualify. The cover illustration was a drawing of two high-heeled and well manicured pairs of feet. It was like a snap-shot of what goes on under the table on an episode of Sex and the City. Since it was a gift, I felt compelled to give it a try. And you know what, even though it's not Faulkner, I had a great time reading it! It was refreshing to be entertained without being outraged or depressed. It was fun to care about the characters and to get involved in the story without lingering emotional attachment. It was light and funny. The perfect anecdote to the two previous books. Did I mention that it had a happy ending where everything works out?!

Here are some highlights:

This retiree is nervous about asking a lady out for a first date...
Come on, old man! he told himself. He'd been in a war; he'd buried a wife; he'd watch his son become a Rebublican with a Rush Limbaugh bumper sticker on the back of his minivan. He'd survived worse things than this.

"Don't think," said Mrs. Lefkowitz, drawing herself up to her four feet eleven inches and whacking at the ground with her cane, narrowly missing Ella's left foot.
"There is no think, only do."
"Yoda," said Mrs. Lefkowitz, and began the laborious process of turning herself around.
"Let's go."
(Yeah, I could use a little bit of Yoda's advice from time to time too...only do.)

(Here's how I feel about learning Hebrew)
Take poetry. For Maggie, reading anything from the simplest sentence on up involved a sort of detective work. First, she'd have to sound out and decipher each individual letter of every single word. Once she had them individually, she'd have to string them together, nouns and verbs and the gaudy baubles of adjectives, and read it over and over again before she could extract the meaning, like a chunk of walnut tucked into a gnarled shell.

Reading is fun!

Thanks, Jenn!


At 1/17/2005 7:24 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

I am so glad you liked the book. I just thought that you would have a hard time finding stuff to read there that was in English. Did you bring all those Oprah books with you or did you get them there?

The book I sent, I have to admit I put very little thought into. I just looked in Wal-Mart and it had the cutest, most colorful color. I'm like you in a way. One minute I want to broaden my horizons and read intellectual books (Like The Hobbit I read last fall) followed by reading a Stephen King book. Reading is fun, even when the books sucks. At least you can say you read it!


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