July 3, 2008

Book Reviews (#11 & 12)

My Grandfather's Blessings

This is the second book by Rachel Naomi Remen, the author of one of my favorite reads from 2006: Kitchen Table Wisdom.

It was more of the same. Short vignettes about the depth of beauty and suffering (and how the suffering is often the source of the beauty) of humanity that touched me and often made me cry.

If you feel that you are not seeing enough good in the world, I recommend her books to help you remember that people, in all of their forms, are great. Flawed. Funny. Hurt. Growing. But always wonderful in their own way.

Also, if the writing of the summary of the book on her site bothers you, don't be fooled. Her writing is very narrative. They are great stories that entertain and suck you in without preaching. I don't know who wrote the summary on her site, but it doesn't do the book justice.

Ladies With Options

As she often does, Sarah-the-book-fairy showed up at our house last Thursday with some books to loan me just in time for vacation.

As she predicted, I very much enjoyed this fictional story about a group of women in Minnesota who start an investing club and take over the world, or at least their very small portion of it.

It's based on some loose facts -- the U.S. stock market of the 1980's through the late 1990's, the decrease in manufacturing in the midwest during that time, the wild success of a few companies such as Dell, Microsoft, etc.

It's easy, accessible, a delightfully quick read, and very clean. All of the problems are solved neatly in the end. The characters were fun to get to know, and it was a great story with a happy ending. All-in-all, a perfect vacation read.

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