Monday, March 3, 2008


(....not quite yet! But there is still hope.)

I have found that I'm not a real goal-oriented person, meaning, I don't intentionally sit down and write out things I want to accomplish. Though I don't dismiss the value in setting goals, I feel that most people, myself included, are too disappointed too often because we fail to reach our intended goals.

Having said this, in January, I decided that I would challenge (that's the operative word here) myself to read more. I've always enjoyed reading, but I tend to go in spurts. And sometimes there are more periods of non-reading and lots of soap opera watching than there is of having a good read. So far, I have to say I've done quite well. I'm averaging a book every two weeks.

Currently, I'm reading Gregory Maguire's Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister. Some of you may know his more famous work, Wicked. Like many, I picked up that book, only to put it right back down. I know it has received many accolades, but I don't know of anyone who has acutally liked it. Anyway, this other book of his came highly recommended (well, so was Wicked) and I thought I would give this guy another chance. Last Sunday, I started reading and couldn't put it down. I'll admit, it's not a book for everyone, but it sure is an interesting version of Cinderella.

Below, I've copied a summary of the book:

Is this new land a place where magic really happen?

From Gregory Maguire, the acclaimed author of Wicked, comes his much-anticipated second novel, a brilliant and provocative retelling of the timeless Cinderella tale.

In the lives of children, pumpkins can turn into coaches, mice and rats into human beings.... When we grow up, we learn that it's far more common for human beings to turn into rats....

We all have heard the story of Cinderella, the beautiful child cast out to slave among the ashes. But what of her stepsisters, the homely pair exiled into ignominy by the fame of their lovely sibling? What fate befell those untouched by beauty . . . and what curses accompanied Cinderella's exquisite looks?

Extreme beauty is an affliction. . .

Set against the rich backdrop of seventeenth-century Holland, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister tells the story of Iris, an unlikely heroine who finds herself swept from the lowly streets of Haarlem to a strange world of wealth, artifice, and ambition. Iris's path quickly becomes intertwined with that of Clara, the mysterious and unnaturally beautiful girl destined to become her sister.

Clara was the prettiest child, but was her life the prettiest tale?

While Clara retreats to the cinders of the family hearth, burning all memories of her past, Iris seeks out the shadowy secrets of her new household--and the treacherous truth of her former life.

God and Satan snarling at each other like dogs.... Imps and fairy godmotbers trying to undo each other's work. How we try to pin the world between opposite extremes!

Far more than a mere fairy-tale, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister is a novel of beauty and betrayal, illusion and understanding, reminding us that deception can be unearthed--and love unveiled--in the most unexpected of places.


simply kris said...

First off-my whole family has taken to reading like crazy! It's an odd phenomenon to find us ALL sitting with a book in hand- and it's been happening quite frequently as of late. Secondly, I recently blogged about "lowering the bar". I got sick of going to bed and reciting the list of things I did NOT accomplish. Now I have attainable goals of 1-showering 2-making the beds 3-feeding children (i should probably add "feeding Joel" to this goal) 4-a shiny kitchen sink. That's it. I go to bed happy. :)