Posted by: Natalie | June 25, 2010

Reading Failure and Holiday Packing

Despite my best efforts – actually, scrap that – Due to a lack of effort, I have failed to complete Gregory Maguire’s book Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister. In this case, the whole ‘judging a book by it’s cover’ phrase comes to mind. I do judge a book by its cover, I like books to be pretty or enticing or mysterious. This book definitely falls into the ‘pretty’ category as well as calling upon my fascination with anything fairytale based.

However, the contents failed to encourage me to complete it to the bitter end. I have found it hard work and thoroughly un-enjoyable, but that is not to say it is an awful book. It certainly has merit and I still love the idea of a ‘back story’ or alternate historical view. But, I am sad to say, it was just dull. It missed the essence of magic needed for a fairytale – I know, I know, it is supposed to be a real life, adult view of the story, but I don’t care! If I think I am reading something related to potentially dark, gruesome, gothic and magical fairy stories, god damn it I want some of those aspects to shine through. But, alas, there was none.

I did however like the lead narrator, Iris, the smart, ugly sister. She is a wonderful heroine with so many hopes, loves and ambitions that are simply quashed left and right by her horrific mother. Bless her though, Iris is not in possession of those womanly attributes so sought after to provide a suitable marriage, but she is the epitome of a modern woman; strong, courageous, thoughtful, loving, ambitious, stoic and (when she can be) independent. She tells the tale, however drab, with humour and sadness. I feel terribly sorry for Iris, firstly for having to put up with the incredibly rotten and spoiled Clara (The ‘Cinders’ character) and secondly for being a potentially tremendous literary heroine in a pretty poor book.

I shall be a little disappointed not to know the ending to Iris’ world, but I just don’t care enough!

Anyway, tomorrow morning I embark upon my holiday of a life time – Vegas Baby! I can’t actually believe that it has come around so quickly! I have gone through lists and lists and finally finished all tasks, ready for tomorrow’s bon vouyage. I have, after much deliberation, selected the books for my trip, they are:

  • Steig Larsson’s The Girl Who Played with Fire
  • Steig Larsson’s The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
  • Kahled Hoessini A Thousand Splendid Suns
  • Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr Ripley

I am not necessarily going to get through all four, but you never know. However, I am still torn. I am also contemplating taking We Need To Talk About Kevin, just so I have options!! But we shall see. They currently sit atop my freshly ironed clothes waiting to be put into my case. I have already tried packing once today, but I am convinced I am forgetting something. So, I figure if I leave everything out long enough, each time I walk past the piles it may remind me of something else I need – I am soooooooooo excited!

So, you may not read anything entirely fresh over the next couple of weeks but I cannot leave you lovely readers hanging. You are so kind as to visit that I cannot for shame leave an entire 14 day gap in my ramblings. This means I have worked my little socks of (sort of) to make sure that three days each week there is a scheduled post. But, before you know I shall have returned and be badgering you all with my new American wonderment!

I hope you all have a pleasant couple of weeks, see you soon!



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