Thursday, June 2, 2022

Late Spring Booking

Discussed No One Is Talking About This yesterday with the Bay Area tribute book group. It was just three of us, one was sick and one hasn't participated for the last three books. I found it more slight than I expected. It's a quick read if you need one. The first half made me laugh several times and made me read bits aloud to my husband. The cat being named Dr. Butthole may be the best for me. She does high/low humor very well. Excerpts:

"A hundred years ago you would have been mining coal and had fourteen children all named Jane," she often marveled, as she watched a man stab a finger at his wife in front of the Keurig display. "Two hundred years ago, you might have been in a coffee shop in Göttingen, shaking the daily paper, hashing out the questions of the day - and I would be shaking out the sheets from the windows, not knowing how to read."


Of course it was always the people who called themselves enlightened who stole the most. Who picked up the slang earliest. To show - what? That they were not like the others? That they knew what was worth stealing?


"You could write it," she had said to the man in Toronto, "someone could write it," but all writing about the portal so far had a strong whiff of old white intellectuals being weird about the blues, with possible boner involvement.


Self-care, she thought, and sprinkled in her tub a large quantity of an essential oil that smelled like a Siberian forest. But when she lowered herself into the trembling water, what she would have referred to in the portal as her b'hole began to burn with such a white-hot medieval fire that she stoodstraight up in the bath and shouted the name of a big naked god she no longer believed in, and as strong rivers flowed off her in every direction she did not remember the conditions of the modern moment at all, she was unaware of anything except the specific address of her own body, which meant either that the hot bath had worked to restore her to herself, or else that she would have sold out her neighbors to the regime in an instant, one or the other. 

We agreed that the two halves of the book make for a pretty simple story. But I'm happy to have read it and have discussed with friends. I may see if I can rope some of my h.s. Zoom friends for the next book. 

I finished The Girl in the Tower, the second book in a medieval Russia fantasy series by Arden. I don't like the title much but gobbled up the book. Like the first one, it is amazingly successful at using the fairy tale infrastructure and weaving human characters and motivations through it. Really good, I picked up the third at the library too. 

Jeeves and the Wedding Bells by Faulks was nicely done. I've read two authors' homages to the great PGW now and liked them both. The maestro has inspired more art. Faulks also wrote a Bond novel, I'm almost tempted, 

Currently starting The Widows of Malabar Hill by Massey. It seems like a perfect summer mystery novel - at least judging from the beautiful cover! I have a tall stack of TBR books now including The Historian by Kostova. I'm told it's vampire-iffic and Euro touristy and that also smacks of a good summer read.   


Youngest had her graduation ceremony, bless her. She's committed to the university in Las Cruces and has a plan. We'll need to figure out the financing, which will include student loans, sorry kid. I love her a lot and hope she will find some good stuff in her college experience. 

Oldest gets here on the train a week from tomorrow. Although it may be in the wee hours of the next day, because Amtrak. We get to enjoy her company for a week before she goes back to Chicago and then off to her European study abroad plus more travel after. What luck to parent two people I like so much and who have so much to offer.    


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