Monday, August 09, 2010

Book meme -- best book

Day 03 – The best book you’ve read in the last 12 months

Lordy. I don't know. I don't remember the books I've read in the last 12 months. I usually say that whatever I'm currently reading is the best book, i guess. And my short-term memory is not what it used to be. Actually, my memory is not what it used to be.

As I said below, the two Martha Beck books had a big impact on me -- although I'll confess that I have not gone back and done all the exercises in them yet.

I honestly don't remember reading one that I could hardly put down or that stayed with me to this day.

On vacation, I did read The Help by Kathryn Stockett, and it was just excellent. I didn't know if I'd really like it as well as a friend thought I might, but I did. It's a marginally fictionalized story about the black maids of the South during the 1960s. I did not live in the South at that time, but even when I did, in the 1990s, I encountered the maids when I attended a book club which had a fairly large number of women who lived in wealthier neighborhoods. We'd often go either to their country clubs for the luncheon meetings, or occasionally to their homes, and I have a crystal clear recollection of at least one home with a uniformed black maid who had prepared the meal and served it.

I was one of the 'poorer' members of the club and did book reviews rather than host the meetings -- we all had options about what we preferred to do. It was an interesting experience and I enjoyed meeting all the women and seeing a glimpse of what was much more the 'old' south than the one in which I lived.

The book rings true, though, and is still thought-provoking, especially about the ways we treat others and the perceptions we have of other cultures.

So much of what I read is 'pass-through' -- entertaining for the moment but with no more real substance than cotton candy. Or it is informative -- books on writing, for instance, or self-help like the Martha Beck books. They get absorbed into the general body of information and trivia which is my brain, and few stand out.

I'm wondering if I'm going to be able to sustain this meme for 30 days with the kind of memory I have for what I'm reading!

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