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The, uh, whatever in books

November 8, 2009

I mentioned before briefly that I was reading Claudia and Mean Janine for one of my classes.  I didn’t actually get to say this outside the class’s discussion board, I think, but I was actually really impressed with the book during the reread!  There’s a lot going on, and even if some of the characters never get rounded out, there’s the sense that they are or will be in other books, and all of them are distinctive.  Now, I don’t know if part of that is my memory, filling in the blanks for each child, but that doesn’t really matter, I think.  The point is that I didn’t really have much to snark!  I’ve heard that other books in the series are pretty racist, pretty dim, pretty annoying, but this one is not.  Claudia is smart, that totally comes through, but she thinks she’s lazier than she is.  (Anyone who balances baby-sitting, grandmother-sitting, art classes, and housework isn’t as lazy as she thinks she is.)  Also, as an adult it was much easier for me to see how lonely Janine is and how she’s really trying to connect with Claudia.  I also find the title fascinating: there was so much less Janine than I expected!

It didn’t make me wanna pull out the entire series, but it was nice to go back and not get a horrible surprise like with The Vampire Diaries.

The other thing I mentioned I was reading for school that I didn’t follow up on is Julia Child’s My Life in France.  As I said before, vegan and a fiction reader–so out of my comfort zone, but I also forgot to mention my idea of cooking is pouring boiling water on ramen noodles.  That said, despite what I expected, I pretty much was only grossed out by two things, both of which had to do with more French cuisine than cooking animals.  (It’s preparing them to look like what they are, something we’re not really crazy about in American cooking; we prefer nuggets and strips and such to keeping the beak on.)  The rest of the book I was totally fine with–although keep in mind, I’ve been vegan for a few years now and I have a pretty good disconnect to animal products at this point.  Also, the chapter on bread: OM NOM NOMMITY NOM NOM NOM.  But it’s not really about food.  It’s about France, and Julia Child’s marriage, and politics, and family…it’s about LIFE, really.

And that’s odd for a fiction reader: it’s not till someone who reads fiction almost exclusively picks up a non-fiction book that they realize how structured fiction is–how unlike real life, no matter how realistic the fiction.  Real life is anecdotes, stories told around a dinnertime; there’s no plotline.

The book was very easy to set down, but just as easy to pick up.  I guess that’s the mark of good non-fiction, for me.

I’m not a very good blogger today; my glasses snapped at the bridge yesterday when I was drying them–they are only about three years old; I thought they were much older.  (I figured out their age based off my Photobucket account.  So clever.)  But anyway, not the point.  They are broken, which is funny cuz I was going to call the eye doctor tomorrow morning to set up an appointment anyway.  The bf tried to superglue them back together but it didn’t work, so he taped them instead.  I am big nerd.  Er, I am a bigger nerd than before.  Wait wait, THAT wasn’t the point either.  The point is, they’re not taped PERFECTLY so they’re a bit…off.  This makes me a big headachey.  So…no big post.

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