Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What I'm reading...Orange is the New Black

Those of you that know me know that I am a big reader. I have always been and will likely always be. I am blessed to also be a pretty fast reader so I go through books a little quicker than the average person. I usually enjoy light readers, Chic Lit if you will, and I think that is mostly due to Law School and all the boring case law I was forced to read. I didn't want to give up my habit but I had to keep the books pretty casual to keep my interest. I have began to branch out a bit more now that I am no longer stuck reading all those boring cases but I still go back to the Chic Lit every once in awhile.

For the last year I have been a part of a Book Club in Spartanburg. It is literally the perfect "club" for me. We read good books, drink good wine, eat delicious apps and spend good time with good friends. Last night we had our monthly get together to discuss the book of the month, Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison.  This is a book that I probably would not have thought to read had I seen it on the bookstore shelf or had it popped up in my recommendations on Kindle but it received a glowing review from my mother in law who has pretty similar taste in books as I do so I thought it would be the perfect book to suggest to my Book Club and it turns out I was right!

Orange is a true story about the author, Piper Kerman, who spent a year of her life in women's prison for being peripherally involved in a large drug trafficking organization. After college Piper sought out a more exciting life of adventure and ended up in a relationship with a woman who was a major player in a drug trafficking org. She never really took part in the actual drug trafficking but she would tag along as they traveled to exotic locales, stayed in upscale hotels and spent money like it was going out of style. Eventually she was asked to help and she did, one time. She then left the girl and the drug world behind and moved on with her life. She worked, she met a great guy, she moved across the country and her previous life was really just an after thought. That is until one day five years later when federal agents showed up at her door with an indictment! She ended up pleading guilty and being sentenced to 15 months in minimum security prison. The book tells us the ins and out of her stay at Danbury Women's Prison Camp. From the hierarchy of the prisoners, to the day to day activities to the individual stories of the women she met. Orange gives an eye opening look at what is really going on in our prison systems. And it wasn't what I it cliche but I expected to hear stories of male guards attacking female inmates and women being forced into unwanted lesbian relationships and although those things may have happened, they didn't happen to Piper and they were not the focus of the book. The book really made you think about the women who are in our prison system and what they go through when they leave. It also really made me think about the whole "War on Drugs" issue and the purposes that is serving. (I wont even open that can of worms...) All in all I really enjoyed the book and I would totally recommend it to a friend!

Some other recent reads I loved:
Hunger Games Trilogy
The Help
House Rules

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