a new(er) direction
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen—I know, I know, I can’t believe I am just now reading this. I have read many of her other books and finally got around to reading it. Ah, if you have never entered into the world of the Misses Bennet, Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy, you are truly missing out. While some of the obvious themes are in the title (the idea of the troubles that ensue when one is too proud or prejudiced against someone, etc.), it is also interesting to pay attention to how Austen critiques the social hierarchy that she herself was part of. (Her characterization of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet seemed to speak a lot to this).
The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine—this book is a must read for any women, (and the men who love ‘em). It examines how the female brain (while always also speaking about the male brain) is shaped differently than men’s brains and how during different stages of a women’s life, i.e. after having a baby, the woman’s brain actually changes. The book also discusses how chemical reactions in the brain are different than that of men’s, and also examines some things that have been considered myths about the female brain, i.e. is it true that women are more emotional? Communicative? The Female Brain is a really fascinating book for anyone who is interested in psychology or the mind.
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on CD—there is something so fun about listening to someone read the Harry Potter books aloud while you are spending WAY TOO much time in your car. Jim Dale reads all 7 Potter books on CD and is great because he does a different voice for each character and NEVER gets them mixed up, and for those of you Potter-ites you know how many characters there are in those books! That’s all I really wanted to say. I am sure people have read enough about these books that I don’t need to recommend or rate it. I just wanted to say that I love Jim Dale.
Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry—considered to be part of a trilogy of books that take place in dystopian societies which also includes The Messenger and The Giver. This book focuses on the character Kira who has a gift of weaving beautiful tapestries which reveal a special gift. She is given the chance for a better life in a village that values little, but when she starts learning some of the secrets of her town and her past what will she do? The story is so well written. I absolutely love Lois Lowry books and still marvel that they are considered YA/upper elementary reads, when many of her books make for such PROFOUND reads later in life too.
The Messenger by Lois Lowry—While The Giver is not necessarily related to the other two stories in the trilogy, The Messenger is the follow up to Gathering Blue. It follows one of the minor characters from Gathering Blue as he comes into his own and tries to figure out what his “gift” is, while he continues his daily work. The message at the end of this book was really beautiful and another example of why it is important for us to always look around and question whatever does not seem right or fair.