Sunday, September 5, 2010

Reading up a storm

I have been reading like crazy again.  I am starting to feel a bit better, but I swear this kid just sucks the energy right out of me....thus leaving me on the couch with a book.  On the bright side, my decision to find cleaner books to read has been a success so far....I have been pleasantly happy with most of my choices of books.  I have however found that Christian authors like to write about THE WEST, mail-order brides, and arranged marriage TURNED happy true love.  BUT if you search hard enough---and read the backs of enough books, you can find something ELSE---phewww!!!
Book 1, Dawn's Prelude by Tracie Peterson.  In this book Lydia had been forced into an arranged marriage by her father (see I told ya), but then is left a young widow.  Through a loophole in both her father's and her husband's wills, she inherits the money of both men---making her excessively rich.  The problem is that her step-children (who are older than her) feel that they have been scammed out of their inheritance and decide to fight (through ANY means necessary) to regain their father's money.  She escapes to Alaska and begins rebuilding her life, but is soon followed by her angry and very dangerous step son, who will stop at NOTHING to get his money back.  I learned a lot from this book.  I love reading about Alasaka and the beauty and nature there.  It makes me feel just a little closer to my BFF Sarah Palin:) 

Book 2, Morning's Refrain by Tracie Peterson.  This is the 2nd book in the Song of Alaska series.  It continues the story of Lydia and her family in Alaska.  This book is MOSTLY about her son Dalton and his fight to continue fighting against the step family for his mother's money.  This one was a little LESS exciting than the first, but still kept me pretty interested.  I plan to read the last book in the series soon, so I guess that means I liked the first 2 ok:)  I also forgot to mention that Christian authors LOVE series!!
Book 3, Sixteen Brides by Staphanie Grace Whitson.  This book cracked me the heck up.  It is about 16 widows from the Civil War who are given the chance to head out west and homestead on free land.  They head out on their search for land and a new start only to find that they have been scammed.  They are actually sent out West as prospective brides to the hundreds of men who are stuck out West without any women around.  Some of the ladies decide they are ok with their fate as brides, but five of them decide to join together and get their free homestead.  They work together to create a home, a farm, a cattle ranch, and new lives.  Of course they also encounter some men in their new town---and I bet their are a few love interests.  This was not something I had EVER heard about in history---sending widows out west to fill the void of ladies---crazy and kinda funny.
Book 4, Written on the Wind by Judith Pella.  This book was the longest and MOST history filled, and also the one in which I learned the most.  This is the story of 3 wealthy sisters who's dad is a jerk and a newspaper owner.  One sister is a reporter, one is an actress/singer, and the other is a college student.  Cameron, the reporter is sent to Russia to follow the progression of WWII---and is then caught in the middle of Russian fighting during the war.  Blair begins drinking and partying and tries to break into the acting business---which forces her to give up many of her morals as wells as a bit of herself.  And Jackie, meets a Japanese American boy and despite the frowns by society becomes his best friend.  All of this occurs RIGHT in the middle of WWII.  It was very interesting to get the point of view of all of the different fronts of the war---especially Russia since it is a country I know little to nothing about.  I am currently reading the 2nd book in this series and it is even more filled with history and interesting WWI facts that I did not know.  I loved this book the most out of the first 4 I read---just so you know:)
AND book 5, She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell.  I just wanna say right up front that this book was entertaining as well as a bit disturbing.  It takes place in Victorian New York amongst the super rich debutants.  Clara, the main character, is being taught by a tutor who is applying to colleges for her and teaching her Economics, foreign languages, and most importantly NOTHING about society.  Her mother died when she was young her aunt comes to live with her to begin teaching her the rules of "COMING OUT."  She is forced to quit her formal education and come into society early so that she can catch the eye of an heir and get him to propose to her.  This book follows her journey through the crazy-ness of etiquette and courting.  A few amazing things I learned.....
1.  Corsets....they sucked beyond belief. I always thought that they were pretty much just stiff girdles that sucked in the tummy a bit and made dresses fit better.  What I learned.....they were actually torture devices.  In this book the girl is forced to wear her's 24 hours a day and have it cinched WAY to tight.  She cannot eat more than 2 or so bites of food at a sitting otherwise she got crazy indigestion and was forced to puke.  She fainted from lack of breath, but was forced to dance and dance at all of the balls----and thus faint.  They were used on young girls to permanately sculpt the forming body into the perfect small shape by moving the rib bones in and keeping the wearer basically an anorexic.
2.  Corsets again.....They caused permanent damage. The girl's mother in the book basically died because of her corset.   It was pulled soooo tight that her internal organs were forced OUT of her body.  Her uterus and bladder prolapsed (came out) and she was forced to wear a pessary (basically a metal basket to hold her uterus from falling out of her body).  Her insides became infected on the outside (duh!!!) Sicko huh????  I guess this was such a common thing that pessaries were sold in the Sears catalog.  I happened to look it up on the internet and was shocked at how much damage cinching of corsets caused---crazy business. 
3.  Most importantly I learned that I am SOOO SOOO glad I was not alive back then because besides wearing a deadly girdle a girl pretty much had to marry WHOEVER was chosen for her AND follow SOO many rules of society----almost makes me understand why eventually ladies burned their bras and marched in the streets for their rights.  I am glad they did too because I did not even KNOW how many rights they gained for me!!! 
SOOOO enough about that.  I loved this book!!!!  My favorite books are the ones that make me feel a little smarter after I finish, so these 5 books were pretty much a success because LET'S FACE a mommy, sometimes I need ANY mental stimulation I can get!!!!

1 comment:

marciekoch said...

Jess - Since you're on the track of reading "good" books, thought I'd suggest Francine Rivers. She's a Christian author and has good books. We have a few that I can loan you. They're set in modern times, so not sure if you'd be interested! :) hehe - just joking.