Petropolis

June 5, 2007

Finally finished “Petropolis” today. I blogged about it last week I think, so it took me a few days to finish it. In my previous life I could have probably finished it in a couple of nights. I really, really enjoyed the story, although I would probably recommend waiting for the second edition because there were some typos and glaring grammatical errors…at least to me. The story is written in third person, but is mainly told through the eyes of a young Russian girl who immigrates to the U.S. It was a bit odd to read dialogue that was meant to be in Russian but typed in English, and then getting to the characters really speaking English, when it seems that is what they’ve been doing all along. This immigrant, or foreigner, perspective might be why the grammar errors are there, like using entitled instead of titled or emigrated instead of immigrated. The “entitled” slip almost made me put the book down, I was so disappointed. But it had been such an engrossing read that I kept going. The main character of the book is a total anti-hero. She is chubby, awkward, feisty, and kind of dumb. But she gets in great adventures, and let’s her poor judgment lead her to great things. The book is also about severe poverty, endurance, survival, sacrifice, and even love, although it’s hard to tell because so many of the “loves” in the story are selfish deep down. Short of explaining the whole plot, it is a bitter, painful story that was easy to get through because of the humor and ridiculousness of the characters.

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beautiful books

May 29, 2007

I’m such a hypocrite when it comes to spending money. As the family’s “chief financial officer,” I know that we need to be real careful with how we use our money until our next pay check. We just paid the mortgage, and just took a little weekend getaway that ate up a lot of our spare cash.

With that said, I think I am going to splurge today on a beautiful book I haven’t been able to get out of my head since skimming it last week. It’s called “Petropolis,” and is a coming-of-age story about a rebellious girl in Siberia who moves to the U.S.

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I consider this potential purchase a splurge because it is recently released and thus in hardback. I rarely buy hardback because they’re so expensive and a bit clunky to read. But as I’ve grown older I have come to appreciate the beauty of the jackets and binding more than before. I could also either 1) wait for it to come out on paperback, or 2) look for it in the library, but something about it is screaming for me to own it, today if possible.

I love these coming-of-age stories written by bright young women. The last hardback book I bought was “Towelhead” by Alicia Erian. I bought this book while at a journalism conference in Denver and read it that weekend. It’s about a 13-year-old girl who finds herself no better off living with her estranged father in Texas than with her disinterested mother in New York. It was a painful, funny and real story that I’m sure was loosely based on her life.

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Another great book is “Prep” by Curtis Sittenfeld. That’s a girl, not a boy. This one is set during the high school years of an elite prep school in the east coast. It is a very rich and detailed story that reminded me of one of my favorite childhood authors, Judy Blume.

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I’ll have to follow up once I actually get “Petropolis,” and then give my take once I finish it.