Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What Do Women Read?

Day 77 of the “What are you reading, and why?” project. Regular readers of this blog know that:

1) Women read the same things men read…
2) ...except there is “chick lit” and “dick lit” (or, if you are British or more polite, “lad lit”);
3) I ask this question in the context of just having attended a women’s retreat and asked various women what they are reading, and…
4) I will surely give equal time to men and ask, “What Do Men Read?” tomorrow…or the next day, in this same rhetorical, for-the-sake-of-a-blog-title way.

To return to Mary Beth and Pam, who do a lot of reading:

Mary Beth, who loves politics and current events, recently read Game Change, by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, both journalists, about, as the subtitle states, Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime, from the insiders’ point of view. The authors revealed the gritty truth about all the candidates, and, according to Mary Beth, the only one who came out smelling like a rose was Michelle Obama. Mary Beth said the reasoned, objective, and humorous approach did not prepare her for the emotional ending, and she found herself in tears on the last page.

Pam had recently read The Cellist of Sarajevo, by Steven Galloway, a novel based on the real cellist, Vedron Smailovic, who risked his life in wartime to play an adagio day after day in memory of the dead. Art as quiet heroism, and more cause for tears.

Pam is now reading a gentle memoir called Growing Up in Holmen [Wisconsin], by Arlan Helgeson, a local retired dean and history professor, because:

1) he is the age of her parents, and it’s like learning about them;
2) he is local and handy, and she wants her book group to read the book and then go over and talk to him;
3) she was able to borrow a friend’s copy of a hard-to-find book…!

And Mary Beth is now reading a novel recommended by a friend. The Whistling Season, by Ivan Doig, is set in Montana toward the end of its one-room schoolhouse era. Mary Beth says it was slow going at first, but now she is really into it and likes its simplicity and authenticity.

So, as always, what are you reading?


Karen R said...

I'm reading The World Below by Sue Miller. It's a generational novel, which I really enjoy. Probably falls under "chick lit" though.

PANoramic View said...

I have just finished two books: The Time Traveller's Wife (Neffeneger) and a new mystery genre writer (new to me, I should say)..No Lesser Plea (Tannenbaum). A friend has gifted me the book Hester (Paula Reed) which I have just started.
I would LOVE to get feedback about The Time Traveller's Wife. No Lesser Plea was GREAT fun, and I will read more of this author's crime mysteries.

Kathleen said...

I read The Time Traveler's Wife with my book group. And my daughter and I just watched the movie together.

Janet Hazeski said...

I'm reading Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel, an historical novel about Thomas Cromwell in Henry VIII's court. Mainly because I have been obsessed with the Tudors since I was in 6th grade and am reliving the history (sort of?) with The Tudors on Showtime. Also reading Idols of Perversity - Fantasies of Feminine Evil in Fin-De-Siecle Culture by Bram Dijkstra. Enough said on that one!