Paige Dickerson's Blog

WOW!!! Lots of books!

Posted in Books by voteforjaneausten on April 12, 2009

Hehe. So this weekend I have finished: (finally) Augusten Burroughs’ Magical Thinking, Jodi Picoult’s Change of Heart, Martha Beck’s Steering by Starlight, Sophie Kinsella’s Remember Me and started Laurie Viera Rigler’s Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict (what can I say I needed something light after all that!)

Magical Thinking

As I said before, I was able to get past the crassness in the book and really came to enjoy it. It really has rather inspired me to try writing some short stories of my own. I had always thought of short stories as not enough time to develop a character, but had never considered doing a collection of short stories that were autobiographical in nature. In fact, I’ve already started! I have to say Burroughs’ humor is what I found most engaging. There is one story about how people read his memoir Running with Scissors and because it addresses some deeply personal issues — such as sexual abuse and his very damaged family life — people who would recognize him on the street started to confess their secrets to him. Some of them are horrifyingly funny. Some of them are just plain sad. But throughout it all he is hilarious. The inner monologue is awesome (but, um, I would never approach him if I happened to run in

Change of Heart
Ok, Ok. I admit it right now. I am Paige and I am addicted to Jodi Picoult’s books. I can’t even put my finger on what sucks you into them so much, but I think it is the character development. In Change of Heart, a man Shay is convicted and sentenced to die for the murder of a small child Elizabeth and her step-father Kurt. Claire is Elizabeth’s sister who was born after their deaths to mother June. The book centers on Shay’s fight to give his heart to Claire, who is dying of a heart defect. As in many of Picoult’s books there is the underlying tone of atonement, a mystery you don’t find out about till the end and an ending that will haunt me for weeks. I can’t read a lot of her books in a row because my brain continues to obsess about them long after I’ve turned the last page. A book I previously read Salem Falls left me unable to read for a few days — and anyone who knows me that is something in itself!

Steering by Starlight

I read Beck’s Finding Your Own North Star a couple years ago, and although I enjoyed it, it didn’t resonate with me in the same way this one did. I am not really sure why, but it quite inspired me. I read through it, and sometime in the next couple weeks I’ll go through it and do the “workbook” stuff. I can’t say that I know for sure exactly where I am in my journey, but this gave me hope that it is possible. What I love about Martha Beck is that she acknowledges that there is something mysterious and powerful about our thoughts and beliefs. That there is a way that we in a way “create our own reality.” Yet, she doesn’t go so far as people in The Secret to say that if you really, really believe you can sell all your possessions and buy lottery tickets and because if you know you’ll win you will. She also points out that The Secret is ridiculous because there is no way for so many people to have attracted cancer, or for Anne Frank to have attracted the Holocaust. I like that because I, too, believe that the thoughts have power — but not ultimate power. So I’ll let you know if doing the workbook parts helps me discover what I should be doing.

Remember Me
Another author I just can’t get enough of is Sophie Kinsella. Her books always feel like a best friend when I’m reading. (Yes, I really do think of books in terms of how close we are as friends….
) In this one Lexi Smart wakes up in a hospital one day only to discover she has forgotten three years of her life. She is now successful, rich and, oh yeah, married to a man she had never met three years ago. She’s smart and funny, just like most of Kinsella’s heroines. I really enjoyed this book — probably more than the Shopaholic series. My favorite is still Can You Keep a Secret. One part that made me crack up out loud in this book is when Lexi’s husband Eric makes her a “marriage manual” complete with an index! The plot is slightly predictable, but I enjoyed every step of the way. I did think it was a bit unreasonable that some major, major details were not revealed to Lexi until the end when she had basically figured it out herself. I just can’t believe that a family would be that ridiculous to NOT tell someone suffering from amnesia some of the events that had transpired — then again, her mother also failed to tell her she was married until her hubby was coming into the room.

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict

Really, I’m only a couple chapters in, so I can’t say much about this one yet. I don’t think it will be one that will stay forever on my bookshelf, but it is a fun read after several intense books. I guess I’m not really into the whole “time travel” thing, but it would be interesting to see what it was like back then.

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  1. mattviews said, on April 14, 2009 at 3:16 am

    Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. I pondered at this question a lot when I was an inchoate blogger. I wish to be able to reply to all the comments, given that the comments are open-ended. I also want to acknowledge all my readers and not to make them feel they are ignored. The etiquette of dealing with comments also lead to a bigger question of when and how to link a blog. Anyway, I appreciate your taking time to share your thoughts on my blog. šŸ™‚

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