Saturday, October 5, 2013

Inner Beauty Weekend


So yesterday I usually post my inner beauty Friday book review.  Seriously after Wednesday I didn't even know what day it was any more... we had houseguests coming, I have a family event next week, and 2 girls at work are out so I'm just confused half the time.  But I did read a lot somehow (a lot of commuting time on the El) and so I dub this "inner beauty weekend" and I will be working on it further by hopefully taking a nap about 2 o'clock today and enjoying brunch tomorrow with friends. 

The first book I finished was The Sparrow by Mary Doris Russell-
Here is the summary from It was predictable, in hindsight. Everything about the history of the Society of Jesus bespoke deft and efficient action, exploration and research. During what Europeans were pleased to call the Age of Discovery, Jesuit priests were never more than a year or two behind the men who made initial contact with previously unknown peoples; indeed, Jesuits were often the vanguard of exploration.

The United Nations required years to come to a decision that the Society of Jesus reached in ten days. In New York, diplomats debated long and hard, with many recesses and tablings of the issue, whether and why human resources should be expended in an attempt to contact the world that would become known as Rakhat when there were so many pressing needs on Earth. In Rome, the questions were not whether or why but how soon the mission could be attempted and whom to send.

The Society asked leave of no temporal government. It acted on its own principles, with its own assets, on Papal authority. The mission to Rakhat was undertaken not so much secretly as privately – a fine distinction but one that the Society felt no compulsion to explain or justify when the news broke several years later.

The Jesuit scientists went to learn, not to proselytize. They went so that they might come to know and love God’s other children. They went for the reason Jesuits have always gone to the furthest frontiers of human exploration. They went ad majorem Dei gloriam: for the greater glory of God.

They meant no harm.

My thoughts: This was actually a re-read for me as I read this like 7 or 8 years ago.   It was my first foray into "sci-fi"per se.  It was also interesting as I attended a Jesuit University so the description of the Jesuits priests and ideals rang pretty true.  I always like books that have some element I am familiar with or have experienced fully, it makes the story more real for me.  Although it drags a bit in the beginning I think overall it is quite a thought provoking book and not SOooo "sci-fi" as to be off putting.

Next up was White Girl Problems by Babe Walker-
Here is the synopsis from
"Babe Walker, center of the universe, is a painstakingly manicured white girl with an expensive smoothie habit, a proclivity for Louboutins, a mysterious mother she's never met, and approximately 50 bajillion Twitter followers. But her "problems" have landed her in shopping rehab--that's what happens when you spend $246,893.50 in one afternoon at Barneys. Now she's decided to write her memoir, revealing the gut-wrenching hurdles she's had to overcome in order to be perfect in every way, every day. Hurdles such as: - I hate my horse.
- Every job I've ever had is the worst job I've ever had.
- He's not a doctor, a lawyer, or a prince.
- I'll eat anything, as long as it's gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb, low-fat, low-calorie, sugar-free, and organic.
In an Adderall-induced flash of inspiration, Babe Walker has managed to create one of the most enjoyable, unforgettable memoirs in years"

My thoughts: At first I thought this was an actual memoir.  And I was like "This is what is wrong with the world!" I mean she is a totally noxious, absorbed, vapid person.  Thank goodness this was a quick read because otherwise one might throw it across the room in anger.  It's like reading (What I imagine) Paris Hilton's diary might be like.  Then I looked up "Babe Walker" and realized she is a fictional character created by 3 friends and I was still like "this is what is wrong with the world!". Because why would you devote time to a fictional character like this in order to make a book out of it...because there is a market for it and that is just sad. 

And finally I just finished up "The American Heiress" by Daisy Goodwin-

Here is the synopsis from :
"Traveling abroad with her mother at the turn of the twentieth century to seek a titled husband, beautiful, vivacious Cora Cash, whose family mansion in Newport dwarfs the Vanderbilts’, suddenly finds herself Duchess of Wareham, married to Ivo, the most eligible bachelor in England. Nothing is quite as it seems, however: Ivo is withdrawn and secretive, and the English social scene is full of traps and betrayals. Money, Cora soon learns, cannot buy everything, as she must decide what is truly worth the price in her life and her marriage."
My thoughts: This was ok.  If you want a poor little rich girl story this is kind of it, it also features no likeable characters.  It is a look at a very specific time and people (the gilded age) and actually currently we are in a similar economic situation.  The "gilded age" is the only time there was a bigger difference between rich and poor than there is now.  And the main character Cora is ridiculously rich.  But if you like period pieces and descriptions of lavish parties and houses than you might like this.
So there you have it, if you have any book suggestions for me please leave them below!


  1. The first one sounds good, the second one--ugh. Not for me. Third one, okay, but probably not for me.

    I've been on such a mystery kick lately, it's hard to pick up anything else!!

    1. I should mention I read White Girl problems because I thought it was going to be a humorous look at how we take our trivial problems too seriously and how to make a difference.... Not so much. I don't get on reading "kicks" per se, what ever is next that's in from my holds at the library is what I read.

  2. Hmm... none of those books sound super amazing. I just finished Night Film which was kind of creepy but great. You should check it out!