Monday Book Review: “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” “Next Stop Grand Central,” “I’ve Got Your Number,” “The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!” and… “Ollie the purple elephant”
Amy Chua has gotten a load of grief over her memoir, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” about parenting her two daughters. I liked the book — I thought she was brave and forthright, and funny, too. She’s the first one to admit her flaws, people, so get off her back. I agree with some of her methods. I know, I know — she got a little extreme. But you know what? Motherhood makes you crazy. It’s the truth.
Maybe we could talk honestly about our struggles and demons, instead of going all judgmental and focusing on finger-pointing. When did it become such a sticky wicket, “modern parenting”? Try to do the best you can and call it a day. Gah.
“Next Stop Grand Central” is another great picture book by Maira Kalman. It was published in 1999, but I just got a copy of it a couple of months ago. I’m trying to collect everything by Kalman — some of it is expensive and hard to find, but if you poke around on eBay and Amazon, or at the used book stores, titles show up and you can find them at reasonable prices.
Just received a review copy of Sophie Kinsella’s latest, “I’ve Got Your Number.” (My disclaimer.) I started it and it is fun and engaging, like her books always are. I needed something a little lighter — I’ve been on an F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald kick — novels, bios, short stories. I like these self-imposed author studies I do, but it’s a little much sometimes, eh, Sylvia? So Ms. Kinsella, thanks for another good read.
(Edited on 3/12/12 to say: Finished the Kinsella book last week — loved it. There’s a touch of sorrow and intensity to this one, woven through. V. good.)
“No one wants to hear stories about about bad things. That’s the truth. I remember that my tutor at college once asked me if I was all right and if I wanted to talk. The moment I started, he said, ‘You mustn’t lose your confidence, Poppy!’ in this brisk way that meant, ‘Actually I don’t want to hear about this, please stop now.’”
Next: Somehow, when I was doing my library work, I missed reading Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith’s picture book, “The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!” (flipside in Spanish: “!La Verdadera Historia de Los Tres Cerditos!”). You know why? It’s such a great book that the students and teachers always had it checked out and I never got to enjoy it! How dare they! Ha. Found my kids’ old copy awhile back, out at their grandma’s house, and brought it home with us.
I give this one five out of five stars. Yes. !Si!
Jarrett J. Krosoczka (who also wrote the hilarious “Lunch Lady” series of graphic novels) has a new picture book out: “Ollie the purple elephant.” Too. Cute. Really liked the art in this one, and the story is fun. That’s it for books. Now how about a short film and some music? Alright.
This short film won an Oscar last night. I just adore it.
And now, just because I am still so bummed about Whitney Houston’s death, another video — this one of an impossibly young Whitney and her incredible mom, Cissy. Peace, peace, peace to the Houston family