Sunday, October 7, 2007

SEPTEMBER BOOKS, PART II

I ranted so much about one book in my previous post that I though I had better open a new post for the rest of the books I read in September.

I walked into Barnes and Noble one day recently to find an entire display devoted to the book shown above, by Sarah Addison Allen. They are promoting highly and have it on sale for a low price (as hardcovers go). I remember seeing it and liking the description in my One Spirit book club offerings, and the price was certainly right, so I bought it. It's about the Waverly sisters who have peculiar gifts that make them outsiders in their hometown. Even the apple tree in the backyard behaves strangely. This book reminded me a lot of Alice Hoffman's "Practical Magic" book and movie with Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock. If you loved "Practical Magic" you'll love "Garden Spells." I did.

I have said before that I plan to read or re-read at least one classic a month. This month, I re-read "The Good Earth" by Pearl S. Buck. In this time in my life, when I am trying to re-build my connection with Mother Earth, it is good to read a book about a man so completely tied to the land and so dependent upon it.

Another book I loved this month was "The Observations" by Jane Harris. Set in Scotland in the 1800s, it tells the story of Bessy Buckley, an Irish maid who goes to work at a grand country house for Arabella Reid, a wealthy Scotswoman, and her husband. Bessy discovers that Arabella is writing a book of observations about her and the other servant girls who preceded her. Incensed, Bessy plays a trick on Arabella, and all hell ensues. I loved this book so much because it is written in the voice of Bessy, an earthy, unintentionally humorous, sharply observant, very likable girl. Without Bessy, it would have been a quite ordinary mystery story about what happened to the servant girl before Bessy. Thanks Barb N. and Judy for recommending it.

I started out liking "The Wonder Spot" by Melissa Banks. I had enjoyed her "Girls Guide to Hunting and Fishing" and enjoyed the first chapter, in which our heroine attends her cousin's bat mitzvah. But the ensuing chapters turn out to be about her relationships with the various men who wander in and out of her life. I became as irritated with her as did her Jewish relatives who wondered why she didn't stay with the nice Jewish doctor. His only fault seemed to be that he name dropped the names of famous patients. At the end, our heroine has found a great guy younger than herself. But will he be the last? I doubt it.

6 comments:

miss*R said...

I think I will look for this book, sounds like one for my 'delicious summer reading' as Daisy put it.
thankyou xo

miss*R said...

oh & ps- I have an ancestor from Scotland called Arabella.. not sure if she was wealthy though

Autumn said...

I am going to look for this book. It might be a fun one to read..
Also I left you a comment on my blog about the ghost in Williamsburg, so receck that post if you have time

Carmen said...

I saw someone reading the wonder spot this morning in the trolley, mmmhh???
The spell garden is in my wishlist.

Janet said...

I just finished Garden Spells and loved it! I'm now reading Eat Pray Love....it's a good one too.

Bimbimbie said...

Two books that have me interested to seek out - The Good Earth and The Observations ... thanks Julie *!*