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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Fun + Undemanding = Fundemanding

The holidays are finally over, and I expect to have time to catch up on my reading. You would think that some time off would have helped, but then I ambitiously decided to make little ornaments to give away. Then I ambitiously decided to make dozens of holiday cookies. And, in the middle of piles of fabric and chocolate chips and tiny snowman noses, my son brought over Super Mario Bros to play on the Wii, which was so much fun that the books kept piling up. I finally picked out one that looked light and fun, and it was.

I Still Dream About You
Fannie Flagg
Random House, 2010

Hiding her unhappiness from those who believe she has a perfect life, former beauty queen Maggie has decided to end it all. Literally. She carefully plans everything to be perfect so no loose ends remain – even to the extent of planning who will find her body. She has decided life just isn’t worth living anymore, so she closes her checking account and cancels her credit cards and picks a day to end it all. Only something happens to make her postpone her decision: a big beautiful old house that she has always loved is going on the real estate market and Maggie just has to stick around to make sure she sells it to a good owner, who will love and cherish it the way it deserves to be cared for. So she reinstates her financial accounts and gets the utilities turned back on until she can take care of business a little while longer, until – you guessed it – something else comes along to make her change her plans.

This charming undemanding book is just the thing for reading over the holidays or on the beach during spring break. The characters are likeable, except for the nasty realtor trying to take over Maggie’s business, but then, she’s supposed to be. The plot is predictable but pleasant and who really wants to read heavy depressing stuff all the time? I enjoyed it, but not as much as some of Flagg’s other books.

PS: I can’t figure out the meaning of the title at all.


Other books by this author:
Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven (2006)
A Redbird Christmas (2004)
Standing in the Rainbow (2002)
Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! (1998)
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café (1987)
Coming Attractions: a wonderful novel (1981)
Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man (1981)

Other titles you may enjoy:

Best of Friends by Cathy Kelly (2005)
Four very different women: a television actress, her painfully shy teenage daughter, a woman reeling from her ex-husband's new romance and a wife returning to Ireland to help her husband's career are brought together in Ireland as they get the chance to transform their lives for the better.

The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas (1995)
In 1930s Harveyville, Kansas, Rita Ritter, a recent arrival, is invited to join the Persian Pickle Club, but her interest in journalism brings her dangerously close to a secret the club has sworn to keep.

Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani (2000)
The 35-year-old self-proclaimed spinster of a small Virginia village discovers a skeleton in her family's formerly tidy closet that completely unravels her quiet, conventional life.

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