Well, since I’m all about rebelling, I got her book AND Obama’s book at the library. I intended to go through them and sort out the half-truths and also to try to find parts that sound exactly the same. I thought that would blow the ladies in the book club’s minds. I still might, but I’m finding it to be a rather tedious chore and I’m short of time these days.

(Let me digress a moment to point out that both people have messianic complexes. I heard a late night talk show host say that about Obama the other night–saying that he doesn’t care about being re-elected, he just wants to get his agenda pushed forward. But Palin’s book sure sounds like she feels the same way–called by God! That’s the similarity I’ve found so far)

I figured I’d be A. bored stiff B. underwhelmed.

Not so much. Well, it’s definitely not a work of great literature. One problem I see is the different voices, which makes the book seem inconsistent. Incongruous? You can clearly tell when the ghost writer is writing, the polish is apparent and there’s an attempt to make political points. A good successful attempt. But the more interesting parts are where Palin herself is speaking about her life.

I’m about a third of the way through and I’ve come to a few conclusions. First of all, Sarah Palin works her butt off and always has. Her parents taught her the meaning of a good honest day’s work. If she’s to be believed, she had at least one job as early as she could get one, often two and she paid her own way through college. My mind was boggled as I read about all the things she does in the course of a year, or a day. Car-pooling, important government meetings, having babies, shooting her moose, dressing it out, getting it ready for the freezer AND cooking it.

That’s pretty impressive. Secondly, in many ways, she’s the quintessential American. Sports, an early awareness of the political process and an apparent patriotism, and focus on family seem to be an important of her life. I was surprised to realize that a male politician with this type of resume would look pretty good indeed.

Thirdly, she doesn’t stand much on ceremony or appearances. She and Todd got married at the courthouse, just the two of them and two old people they went and recruited from the old folks home across the street. She fired the chef at the governor’s mansion, cooking their own meals and hiring a caterer for important functions. I could go on and on in this.

She doesn’t spare herself in telling how she betrayed her stepmother-in-law when Faye Palin ran for mayor of Wasilla. Sarah didn’t think Faye could win (she didn’t, but how much of that is Sarah’s fault is anybody’s guess) so she urged other, more viable (in her opinion) candidates to run. She writes about Todd’s anger at her and admits she blew it. I respect that.

I’m not into the part where McCain asks her to run yet.

There are things about Palin that bother me still. I was embarrassed to be a Republican when she blew the Katie Couric interview. (Why are Republicans so reluctant to say she blew it? She did! College educated Republican governor didn’t know Katie was going to crucify her if she could? Heck, I know that! She can say she wasn’t prepared (and I don’t know what she says about that yet because I’m not there yet), but I’M not prepared and if I went into an interview with Katie Couric, I’d know I was in for it and be ready to do battle, not be interviewed warmly, kindly and gently.)

Her voice grates on me. Actually it sounds like my voice, kind of high-pitched and teenagery. I wish somebody would teach her to modulate so she sounded more mature and graceful. I think she did her family a major disservice by agreeing to run for vice-president. Bristol needed her, Trig needed her, and Todd needed her more than the country needed her. Exposing them to the media on-slaught can’t have been good for them. On the other hand, she appears to be a talented politician, and maybe more–maybe a stateswoman–I haven’t decided yet. Would we limit a man that way? I don’t know. I thought Romney’s focus should have been on supporting his wife over running for president. Thought the same thing about Edwards. Family trumps politics. Although few politicians seem to think so.

I’ll keep you posted as I read the book. But I’m starting to really like this woman. You may see a complete 180 on my part.

The funny thing is I got her book because I was (and still might) planning to rip off the faces of the staunch Republican women who insisted we read this book in book club, continuing (in my view) the marginalization of the few Democrats in our ward who’ve been offended in the past. I’m wavering between insisting, on my turn, that we read Obama’s book or The Help. The Help is a better book, but if I’m going to have tea party politics shoved down my throat, I might have to shove back. Even though I don’t feel much good about Obama any more.

PS A point I made to a friend the other day: She said she was beginning to not like Michelle Obama. I said, “oh, give me a break. Does the name “Nancy Reagan” mean anything to you?” She was all about herself, her clothes and hair. She spent a bundle in the White House. If Michelle is being too much of a Marie Antoinette, she’s in good company.