Friday, November 21, 2008

More of Stephanie Plum and Mma Ramotswe

The thing about reading a series is that there isn't much new to blog about. I finally got the latest Stephanie Plum novel (#14) in to me at the library and Stephanie Plum is Stephanie Plum...same old enjoyable light read.
I've also worked my way through more Ladies Detective Agency books and still finding them very enjoyable. I've finished up to #7 now and look forward to the next one.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

More of Mma. Ramotswe

I've spent a lot of time catching up on Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies Detective Series this past month. I'm currently up to In the Company of Cheerful Ladies (book #6). These books are so delightful. I love the language, the setting, the characters...just everything about them is a joy to read.
I absolutely love this quote from The Full Cupboard of Life "Traditional Botswana men like ladies who are more traditionally shaped. You and I, Mma. We remind men of how things used to be in Botswana before these modern-shaped ladies started to get men all confused."
I also love the notion that men like to look at a woman and be reminded of good food on the table :o)
Still enjoying the books and look forward to the next installments. I see there's plans for book number 10 to be published in the new year.

The Forbidden Daughter by Shobhan Bantwal

So I bought both of Bantwal's books from Amazon and quickly delved into this one. Again, Bantwal tackles an Indian dark 'secret'. This one is the cultural preference for boy babies to be born and the sad reality of gender based abortions.
The story is a little more complicated in this book. The main character, Isha faces early widow-hood after her husband is mysteriously murdered. The circumstances behind his death remain unsolved. Isha is the mother of one daughter and is pregnant with her second. It is for this reason that she leaves her husband's family home after he is killed. Her in-laws make it very clear that they would have wanted her unborn child aborted and believe her baby to be cursed. Isha faces her struggles head on. I found less jumps and bumps in this book. I do think that as Bantwal gains more experience in novel writing, the reads will get better. She has some definate strong ideas that she wants to get out there. She has a good voice for setting, once she works out some kinks in character I believe more people will be enjoying her books. I look forward to what she has to offer in the future.

Dowry Bride by Shobhan Bantwal

I actually (gasp) bought this book. I saw it at Indigo last summer and couldn't get it out of my head. I also couldn't find it at my library. Jonathan was ordering a book on Amazon and wanted to get the shipping deal so we bought me a couple.
This is Shobhan Bantwal's first novel and a very interesting topic. It looks at the notion of bride burnings in of the dark 'secrets'. In a male oriented society, a woman's place can be to bring in a handsome dowry and start producing babies (male preferrably).
The premise is this, Megha (trapped in a miserable young marriage with an overbearing mother-in-law) overhears her MIL and her husband plotting her death one night. She flees into the safety of her husband's cousin Kiran, who offers her shelter and security.
This book is rich in detail of life in India, which I loved. I have a heart for the people of India and would love to travel there one day. I did find that there were some jumps and bumps in the writing from time to time, but could overlook those to enjoy the story.

Naked Beneath My Clothes by Rita Rudner

This is a re-do. I first bought and read this book years ago after watching many a Rita Rudner comedy special. I think she's very funny. This book is a series of essays that she wrote with random thoughts on life and things that happen to her. It's one of those books that you can pick up and put down here and there and carried me through my uncomfortable moments of 'I don't have a book to read' the last few months. (similar position Stuart McClean holds in my life). After finishing this book (again) I wondered what happed to Rita Rudner. So I googled her (as you do) and found out that she is a headliner in Vegas with a steady show at Harrahs. You can find out more about Rita at her website