I discovered these two items stacked on top of each other, as shown, in the bathroom the other day. Tee hee!

Architectural Digest

Architectural Digest comes to our house every month. We never ordered it; we never paid for it. I suspect that when we renewed our Atlantic Monthly subscription from a teenager going door to door for a fundraiser, the kid must have checked the wrong title. Except that we still get the Atlantic also. *shrug*

Hubs and I do have an interest in architecture, but not this kind. In fact, this magazine isn’t even about architecture. It’s all interior design. And I’m sorry to say this, but I just don’t live at a level where I can look at glossy photos of movie stars’ boudoirs and say gee, honey, why don’t we do something similar? We used to subscribe to Old House Journal — now that’s a magazine about architecture. Every issue had actual floorplans! And jargon! Words like gambrel and muntin and foursquare… *shiver*

Shelters of Stone

The other thing on the stack, Shelters of Stone, well, that’s a little harder to explain away. Yes I did in fact give Bookworm Girl a copy of Clan of the Cave Bear to read. I really could not resist. She herself is kind of a mousy girl but she loves books with strong women characters. True, there are sections of Clan that are totally inappropriate for an 11yo. But she has read other “inappropriate” stuff which has led to some great mother-daughter discussions. And personally I think the fascinating setting of Clan, and Ayla’s story, more than outweigh the rape scenes. Needless to say, she loved the book and we had some great conversations about it.

However, when I gave her Clan of the Cave Bear, I wasn’t thinking at all about the subsequent books in the series. Once she’d read the first one, I couldn’t very well leave her hanging. But they are… simply… terrible. And by terrible I mean they are badly written. I could forgive the stale, repetitive plots (Ayla meets strangers who don’t trust her because of her weird accent and strange ways… until she saves the day either with her medicine woman skills or one of her new inventions… and then the strangers love her and accept her as one of their own… and then she leaves and meets more strangers who don’t trust her… ad infinitum…). I could forgive the explicit sex scenes (well… nevermind…). I could forgive the endless descriptions of Stone Age geography, ecology, plant life, etc. (actually, I like that stuff…). But I can’t forgive the lousy story-telling. The way we are told instead of shown. The way every time Ayla meets someone new, the author spells out her whole story all over again. The way too many adverbs. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

One good thing, though. Bookworm Girl was very critical of the series too. “I bet you anything the baby is going to look just like Ayla,” was her snarky prediction, “except it’ll have Jondalar’s striking blue eyes.” Good girl!


About Daxie

I walk the dog, volunteer on the PTO, read obsessively, work freelance, and try to make sense of this crazy world.
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