Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Over the Counter #34

Two memoirs caught my eyes as they passed over my library counter and under the scanner this week. Confinement - enforced and chosen -  from two different viewpoints.....

Orange is the New Black - My Year in a Women's Prison by Piper Kerman.

From the publisher Spiegel & Grau:

"With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money ten years ago. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187-424—one of the millions of women who disappear “down the rabbit hole” of the American penal system. From her first strip search to her final release, Kerman learns to navigate this strange world with its strictly enforced codes of behavior and arbitrary rules, where the uneasy relationship between prisoner and jailer is constantly and unpredictably recalibrated. She meets women from all walks of life, who surprise her with small tokens of generosity, hard words of wisdom, and simple acts of acceptance. Heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging, Kerman’s story offers a rare look into the lives of women in prison—why it is we lock so many away and what happens to them when they’re there."

Some Girls - My Life in a Harem by Jillian Lauren.

From the publisher Penguin Books:

"A jaw-dropping story of how a girl from the suburbs ends up in a prince's harem, and emerges from the secret Xanadu both richer and wiser.

At eighteen, Jillian Lauren was an NYU theater school dropout with a tip about an upcoming audition. The "casting director" told her that a rich businessman in Singapore would pay pretty American girls $20,000 if they stayed for two weeks to spice up his parties. Soon, Jillian was on a plane to Borneo, where she would spend the next eighteen months in the harem of Prince Jefri Bolkiah, youngest brother of the Sultan of Brunei, leaving behind her gritty East Village apartment for a palace with rugs laced with gold and trading her band of artist friends for a coterie of backstabbing beauties.

More than just a sexy read set in an exotic land, Some Girls is also the story of how a rebellious teen found herself-and the courage to meet her birth mother and eventually adopt a baby boy."

(Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!)


bermudaonion said...

I've been wanting to read Orange is the New Black for a while.

Jenna said...

I looked at Some Girls just yesterday and thought it'd be a good read... haven't heard of Orange is the New Black, but it also sounds interesting