What I Am: Reading

I haven’t done one of these in a while — I haven’t done much of anything around here in awhile. Except hit you up for donations (get on that, will you?). (Just kidding.)

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

Gregory is a new author for me, and I may check out some of her other books. I enjoyed The Other Boleyn Girl — it’s not a new favorite or anything, but it was an entertaining, compelling read. I never gave much thought to the whole “behind the scenes” of the reign of Henry VIII, and this was an interesting glimpse. I had no idea of the intrigue (as portrayed in this novel, anyway) or how long it took for Henry to decide to set aside his first wife and marry Anne Boleyn. And, you know, there was a reason her head was chopped off — I guess when I learned about this in history (?), I just figured he was the king; he felt like it. It’s a bit more complicated than that. Plus, I liked the voice of the protagonist, Mary Boleyn. All-in-all, an entertaining book that I would recommend.

The Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris

I have been devouring these, about one a month, for a while now. I have gone so far to buy the paperbacks — usually one per trip to Target. Buying books, especially paperbacks, is extremely out of character for me, but I certainly do not regret it. I am currently on Book 8, From Dead to Worse. I am enjoying the hell out of the series. Smartly paced, smartly written mind candy, with a truly likable, tough protagonist. I am usually all about all things vampire, but Twilight made me extremely cautious (because, frankly, I thought it sucked). Harris easily brings vampires out of the closet (so to speak) in the 21st century without breaking the ‘rules’. And no sparkling! It may be time to pick up the True Blood DVDs. I can only hope they are as good as the source material.

Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing our Daughters from Marketers’ Schemes by Sharon Lamb Ed.D. and Lyn Mikel Brown

I have checked this book out of the library twice, and twice had to return it without finishing it. I am going to have to buy this one, too. It’s a scary look at the way marketers attempt to channel girls into two distinct roles: “you’re either for the boys or with the boys”. As a mom who has struggled with the messaging on clothing for my 5-year-old, this book was eye-opening. I’ve only gotten about one-third of the way through, and I have to buy it and finish it, and start talking to my girls. We can’t just tell our daughters they can be anything they can be because the message from the media is vastly different. This book gives parents the tools to discuss the messages their daughters see and dissect them. It’s practical and non-confrontational — and rather exhaustive in its examination of girl-targeted marketing. I’m looking forward to getting through it, and starting constructive conversations with my smart, feisty daughters!