Friday, February 18, 2011

and then there were three...

I just finished reading and then there were three..., a memoir by Supriya Bhatnagar

They're a family of father, mother, and two daughters. The major life changing event is when the father dies unexpectedly when the older girl is ten years old. The mother has to make all the important decisions by herself now, and the family has to relocate to a different city. The book mostly describes the life of the family when the older daughter is in her teens, written from that daughter's perspective.

What makes the book interesting is to read about all the little (and maybe not so little) things in life. The kinds of decisions and events that every family goes through and seeing how they deal with them. To see how these things may be a bit different from what we're used to because the family lives in India.

What surprised me was how little impact the caste system, political events, economic changes etc. had in their lives. I had read A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry a while ago and the India described there is so different (the two books overlap in the time frame they describe). I realize that A Fine Balance is fiction and And Then There Were Three is non-fiction, but not all the differences can be explained by that. I'd like to find out more about how those two different worlds in the same country fit together.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


I just finished reading "Ice: Would you risk everything for a fairy tale?" by Sarah Beth Durst. It was the selection for the BC in DC book club. I love how it integrates today's world (the research station, GPS, etc.) with the fairy tale element.

When Cassie was a little girl, her grandmother told her a fairy tale about her mother, who made a deal with the Polar Bear King and was swept away to the ends of the earth. Now that Cassie is older, she knows the story was a nice way of saying her mother had died. But on her eighteenth birthday, Cassie encounters a polar bear who speaks to her...

It's wonderful to read how Cassie gets to use all the skills she learned growing up at the Arctic research station to get through the adventures she encounters on her journey.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Reading in the beginning of the year

I'm still trying to report every book I've read. This year so far it's been:

- The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
- The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Tough (book 4 in the series)
- How Stella Got Her Groove Back by Terry McMillan (abridged audio read by the author)