Posted by: Sally Ingraham | February 6, 2009

Joan Bauer Saves the Day

Don’t get me wrong – I’m still enjoying Proust. I renewed Swann’s Way for the second time, the other day, which means I’ve had it for going on 4 1/2 weeks. I’ve made some progress, but it is dense going – similar to the brownies that the Morning Glory Bakery makes. They’re delicious, but you quickly find that two or three bites is entirely satisfactory, and you’ll save the rest for later. That’s what I keep doing with Swann’s Way – reading 10 to 15 pages or so, and then saving the rest to savor later.

Meanwhile, I finally cracked and went to the library to get some other books – to read on the side. Sips of milk to help the chocolate go down. Of course, a short and sweet book by Joan Bauer goes down fast, like a handful of skittles!

PeeledPeeled by Joan Bauer was very nice. Not as totally awesome as Rules of the Road, nor as lovely as Hope Was Here, but still very nice. Set in an apple orchard community, it had the snappy dialogue and interesting characters that Bauer does so well, along with a fast paced plot and a satisfying triumph of the little man.

With this one, though, I didn’t find myself connecting to the characters as strongly as I have with those in other Bauer books. Hildy Biddle had a lively voice, but she was a bit too…cute. The plot of the story – teenage journalists trying to uncover the truth about a ghost and what’s really going on between the local paper mogul and a real estate company – was definitely fun, but not much more.

Which is completely fine! Peeled was exactly what I needed. It felt GREAT to read a book in two days, and I am now refreshed and ready to take another bite of that decedent brownie. Pages 116 through 131, here I come!


  1. I once heard a piece on NPR about Proust’s Swans Way. It made me want to read. I jotted down the words; time regained.

    On the same random piece of paper, I later wrote a grocery list. Stan took it with him to Albertson’s and had a few people trying to help him find “time regained.” They had narrowed it down to the cosmetic aisle by the time I showed up on my bike.

  2. um, maybe it’s just because i’m a fat kid, but i freaking love those brownies and eat the whole thing when i have it. maybe i just try to eat half but then the other half sits there and tempts me.

    i totally understand about slow going through books, there are several that i still have to finish. usually it’s the serious ones that make you think. cause i can get through a fiction book like nobodoy’s business.

  3. Liz – That’s an awesome story! I do recommend the book. I hope I can make it through all 7 (gulp) volumes…!

    Kyle – Bad example in regard to the brownies! They are pretty wonderful and I’ve been known to down a whole one. 🙂

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