This week the air feels crisper and the days shorter. Summer is definitely on the wane. Hello Fall! This week there are no Sweet Ann Words of Wisdom because Sweet Ann is not here. But I feel sure that if she was she would be admonishing us to grab those last tomatoes and bits of basil and hold tight to what remains of summer. Yup. Pretty sure that would be the case. We also had some more fudge delivery this week from former Desketeer Priscilla S. who brought a nice chunk from her beloved island and also Marianne P., not to be outdone, has stated she has a block in her fridge at home from Basin Harbor. We have not seen this yet however and until we do let’s just say we are suspending belief. This week we have a party, an eight (again), seeds of compassion, back to school, judging a book by its cover, tissues with issues, weirdness and some legend couched with dark realities.
Let us begin!
Cathy M. (you remember Cath! She keeps us on the straight and narrow!) reports in with her latest audio book Amor Towles’ Rules of Civility. “I’m a little late to the party but I’m loving (and listening to) Rules of Civility!”
Abby is also listening this week. “To help my commute move along, I've started listening to The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown. The fact that Edward Herrmann is the reader makes this already compelling story a sure thing. As the title explains, this is the story of the University of Washington crew who showed the world a thing or two at the Olympics. I'm not far in, but when an audiobook makes you want to sit in the parking lot that is I-95 at rush hour, it must be good.”
Steph seems skittish. This is not like her and makes me nervous. Let’s keep an eye out on this. “I admit I approached David Rakoff’s Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish with trepidation. Rakoff worked on this book, a set of stories set in the US throughout the twentieth century and linked by the brief interactions between characters, almost up until the day he died last year which puts a lot of unfair pressure on a book. And did I mention that it’s written entirely in verse? However, the book lived up to all my expectations. It’s remarkably well-written and the couplets, which in some places are so impressively rhymed that I gasped, just swept me away. If you’re familiar with Rakoff through his often scathing essays, you know that a seed of compassion has always been buried beneath his wittiest skewering. In this book, fittingly, that seed has blossomed into something truly beautiful. “
Patty McC. would like to remind us that YAWYC (You Are What You Consume). Also please note that you will need a Spotify account to accesss this link. “As a parent with one child in elementary school and one in middle school, I have been curating my ultimate back to school DVD and Spotify playlist. I recommend that the music be listened to on shuffle. It’s no surprise that I endlessly study all things education 24/7 as that’s my thing and current obsession. I can talk the ear off anyone who engages me in an education topic. Ask me. I am always happy to talk about education, books and lifelong learning. “ Here is a list of Patty’s top 5 Back To School Books and Movies!
Pat T. has just finished reading The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty. “I was attracted to this book because of its great cover, as well as enjoying the author's previous book What Alice Forgot. The story is about three women living ordinary lives in Sydney, Australia. Cecilia is married with three beautiful daughters. Tess is also married with one son. Rachel is a widowed school secretary, with one grandson who is moving with his family to New York. For the past twenty eight years, Rachel has never found closure from her daughter's death because no one has been convicted of the crime. All these years she has harbored suspicions about who killed her Janie. As these women’s’ stories unfold and the secrets of their marriages are revealed, their lives explode! One of the many reasons I liked this book is that, as you read, you start inserting yourself into the story and begin to wonder how you would respond to the circumstances of these characters.
Jeanne is continuing her careening ride through life by doing two things at once. “I joined the Jojo Moyes fan club when I finished reading and listening to Me Before You. Susan Lyons is a terrific British narrator and the story of Will Traynor, sentenced to life in a wheelchair when he is hit by a motorcyclist on a rainy day and Louisa Clark, his feisty new care companion is written in a way that you can’t put it down until the last tissue is crumpled. So, I needed both print and audio! I just started The Kings and Queens of Roam by Daniel Wallace. I love the whimsical book cover and the movie based on his book Big Fish, and like that one, this book is artistic and a bit weird. But the combination works! The McCallister sisters are as different as sisters can be: Helen is older and bitter and Rachel is beautiful, naive - and blind. Having lost their parents at a young age, they have only each other. Part tall tale, part folklore, Southerner Wallace’s inventive writing tells a moving story of family and the ties that bind.”
I really enjoyed a memoir that is due out in November from Anjelica Huston entitled A Story Lately Told: Coming of Age in Ireland, London, and New York. Anjelica lived a beautiful charmed childhood. As the daughter of Hollywood legend John Huston and beautiful ballerina Enrica Soma, the people who populated her childhood and adolescence were not your average citizens. I don’t know about you, but John Steinbeck, Carson McCullers and Peter O’Toole never showed up for weekends at my house growing up. Avedon did not take my picture ever (his loss), and if Iris Tree and Lady Diana Cooper were part of my daily existence I am pretty sure I would have remembered that. This is not to say that all was riding to hounds and Film Premiers. Huston confronts the dark realities of her parent’s relationship with each other and what it was like to grow up basically rudderless from the age of 17 when her mother died in a car accident. This is a really fascinating look at the making of a fascinating young woman. I am looking forward to Part II, Watch Me which will begin where this one leaves off and talk all about the Hollywood years. It is due to be published in the Fall of 2014.