Tuesday, June 26, 2012


by Charlaine Harris

Oh, Sookie. Sookie, Sookie, Sookie. Your life seems to be a series of unfortunate mishaps. ...

Seriously. This girl has somehow gotten herself into one mess after another, mostly related to her telepathic abilities and her relationships with men in power in the supernatural world. Which makes for an entertaining read. With this series, you know you'll get some good mystery, action, & romance when you crack open the book. Each book in the series has consecutively become darker and more serious in nature. My only complaint is that the spunky, personable Sookie that readers fell in love with - who loves to soak up some sun and uses multisyllabic words from her "Word of the Day" calendar - seems to have fallen into a deep depression. As a result, the comedy aspect of the series has gone into remission. However, Harris still writes an engaging story, filled with murder & intrigue, which pulls the reader in. The cliffhanger ending has me waiting on the edge of my seat, to see what next adventure Sookie may find herself wrapped up in.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Stepford Wives

by Ira Levin

If you're a member of my generation you may have heard the term "Stepford wife". You may know of the satire written by Levin. You may know of the original creepy, thriller of a movie from 1975. Or, if you're anything like me, your only Stepford experience MIGHT just be the bizarre (completely unfaithful) modern adaptation where (**spoiler**) it turns out a woman is behind it all!

So with that in mind, I thought that I knew how this book would go... and I was wrong. Levin's satire is ten times more horrifying than any movie could be. What makes it so scary is the subtlety that Levin uses, and the fact that his characters are so seemingly innocent, yet truly deceptive. I have no idea how a man reading this book would react, but my all female book club had a two hour discussion on the topic. Despite the sci-fi twist in the novel, it makes sweeping statements regarding the dynamics between males and females (which would have been ahead of the times in 1975, with women creating new roles for themselves outside of the home). At the heart of it all, is the message that what men truly want (no matter what words they say to your face to contradict this) is to be the sun that their women revolve around. While I'm not typically a fan of "statement" works, Levin does it in an entertaining, page-turning read.

In The Stepford Wives, women with spunk, personality, talent & original beauty are replaced by generic versions of themselves that stay at home, cook dinner, and wax the floor while waiting on their husbands with perky little bodies. The primary couple of Joanna & Walter seems to have genuine love and respect for each other when the first move to Stepford. However, Joanna ultimately finds herself betrayed by her apparently caring husband, as he reveals that he is tired of being second in her life. And couldn't she just wear some lipstick every once in a while?  :-O  What's truly terrifying is that he continues his plan to replace her, even as she is honestly making efforts to continually improve their relationship and give Walter what he needs... emotionally AND physically. Ultimately, Levin's book states that while men have tacitly accepted women moving outside of the home and pursuing their own passions, they long to return to the past when women stayed barefoot in the kitchen. Thoughts?