Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Kindle Single - Sparkle by Mara Altman

Amazon recently introduced Kindle Singles; "long-form journalism" that is shorter than a novel, but longer than a magazine article. They cost a buck or two, and focus on one specific topic.

It seemed like fun to try something new, so I bought Sparkle by Mara Altman. It is well-reviewed, and one of the reviewers was absolutely appalled by the filthy language, so I was pretty sure I'd find it funny.

The general gist of the book is familiar - a slightly neurotic modern woman gets serious about her boyfriend and wonders if she's losing herself as a result of the coupling. The (essay? article? I don't know what to call it) story outlines Mara Altman's personal crusade to discover WHY people wear engagement rings, and why she's so conflicted about wearing one.

Not being an engagement ring kind of girl, I snorted forcefully at the description of the classic 3-stone ring as "the cock-and-balls model". Altman researches the history of the engagement ring back to the old Egyptian myth that says the vein in the left-hand ring finger flows right to the heart and quips, "Anatomically speaking, veins that connect to our hearts also eventually connect to our assholes." How can I not love this woman?

I will not divulge all of Altman's discoveries on her journey to dissect engagement rings (and her relationship), so I'll just say that the article was enjoyable. It was part informative and part engaged-Bridget-Jones; I related to many of her feelings about engagement rings and learned a few things along the way. Overall, I'm pleased with my first Single - it was $2 for a lazy morning's entertainment, and I think that's a good value.


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