Monday 12 March 2012

BSC Book Club ~ February 2012

Somehow this entry never got posted at the end of February...

February has come and gone already and, like in January, I managed to read only 2 books this month. Nonetheless I am sticking to my original goal to read 50 books in 2012.

3. Diabetes for Canadians for Dummies by Ian Blumer and Alan L. Rubin

Synopsis: This Canadian guide to diabetes management provides the information you require to rule your diabetes. From diagnosis, to symptoms, to treatments, this book guides you through the complex world of diabetes.

This is a great little diabetes resource, particularly for newly diagnosed individuals and their families. The book covers both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, with the focus predominantly on type 2. It is chalk full of useful tips and basic care information, though for those who have lived with diabetes for some time, much of the information is redundant. The version I read is pocket sized and easily fits into a purse or small bag, so it would be super-easy, and handy, to carry around when first diagnosed, in case a quick reference is needed.

I would recommend this book to newly diagnosed individuals, especially type 2's. For those with type 1 diabetes, this book is not ideal, especially since there are lots of more thorough and specific texts out there.

4. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

Synopsis: In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, "old same," in an emotional match that will last a lifetime. The laotong, Snow Flower, introduces herself by sending Lily a silk fan on which she's painted a poem in nu shu, a unique language that Chinese women created in order to communicate in secret, away from the influence of men. As the years pass, Lily and Snow Flower send messages on fans, compose stories on handkerchiefs, reaching out of isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. Together, they endure the agony of foot-binding, and reflect upon their arranged marriages, shared loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their deep friendship suddenly threatens to tear them apart.

What a beautifully written, poignant tale of women's life in China in the 1800's. I absolutely adored this book and found myself completely swept away by the lifestyle and culture so delicately presented. The detail in parts was shocking, such as when the girls foot binding began, while the setting and strict cultural traditions are vividly embedded on every page.

The real greatness of this story, however, is the intimate relationship between the laotongs, or "old sames," Lily and Snow Flower. A tale of true friendship, this story emphasizes the importance of trust, openness, and, ultimately, forgiveness, as the two girls grow into women and experience love, loss, and motherhood.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing! And good for you for getting two books finished! My pile of books that I want to read just keeps getting taller and taller. Must make time for that!