Greetings and welcome to the Finally Friday Edition of You Are What You Read. This week’s housekeeping: We send thanks to the Always Charming Diane H for the Taffy Offering of the week. This taffy hails from Rhode Island where they, to my knowledge anyway, do not make it from cactus parts. Thanks again Diane! I have no news on Animals Run Amok. It would appear that the Animal Kingdom is behaving itself and our lives are not overlapping. I believe this to be a good thing.
As you can see from our image this week, The SoNo Loft is BACK! The message is a gentle reminder that sometimes we have to break free of that oh so comfortable comfort zone and try something that’s scary. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” A couple of years ago there was a book written called My Year with Eleanor by Noelle Hancock. You may remember how much we all enjoyed it. Anyway, the author was at a crossroads in her life and she did just that. Every day she forced herself out of her comfort zone and did something, that to her, was scary. Grab one of our copies for the weekend read. I promise it will not disappoint. Just make sure that your scary thing isn’t a stupid thing, like sticking a fork in the toaster.
This week we have some sarcasm (no surprise there), an explosion, a muse and some guts and grit.
The Playlist? Yes is the answer. And you know that for sure! (Happy 70th John Lennon!)
Let us begin!
Kaitlin from the Rock is BACK this week with her print and listening. “Sooooo--I'm still reading Go Set a Watchman. But I'm now listening to Bossypants, by Tina Fey. The good news is that it's hilarious--her stories are relatable, her delivery is sarcastic and witty, and I feel like I'm getting to know someone I always enjoyed watching on TV. The bad news is that I look like a fool laughing out loud and gasping for air as I run around the Rock.” If you knew the characters that live in our neighborhood you would doubt this as much as I do!
Sweet Ann has just finished Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg. “This a well written novel that follows a group of people reacting to an explosion that occurs on the eve of what was to be a joyous wedding day. Four people were killed, the bride and groom to be, the father of the bride and a much younger man who is dating the bride's mother. While it made for an interesting story to follow the different points of view, at times it became a bit confusing to figure out their relationships to the deceased. But, it did all become clear at the end of the novel. Did You Ever Have a Family is a story of forgiveness. I thought it was a well written book and I would recommend it.”
Abby has just finished Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff. “I always appreciate a book that feels totally original and consider it compliment to say a book reminds me of no other and this is true of Fates & Furies. When Lotto and Mathilde are newly married, they are completely immersed in one another. Lotto has personality, charm, and rumors of a grand family fortune. Mathilde is a beautiful and mysterious woman, striking in her height and hard edges. Together, they are a force. Mathilde fills the classic role of muse to Lotto by paying the bills, ensuring he is surrounded by loved ones, and allowing him to work. But when we hit the midpoint of the story, Groff turns the second half of the novel into a revealing study of Mathilde, and what we see is far from what was initially depicted. There are some lovely passages and images that have stayed with me, but ultimately, I was unable to buy fully into the stories of the characters.”
The Always Delightful Pat S has turned the last page on Can I Go Now: The Life of Sue Mengers, Hollywood’s First Superagent. "Can I Go Now? is an intriguing look at a woman who steamrolled her way into an exalted position in a Hollywood that was run by an old boys network, as well as an up close examination of the American film industry in the 60’s and 70’s. Sue Mengers may have started off as a receptionist at a talent agency in NY but she knew in a second that she could and would be a dealmaker to and for Hollywood stars. In ten years’ time, through sheer guts and grit, Mengers had bullied and cajoled her way to California, and along the way, become the highest paid talent agent in the world. While Mengers passed in 2011, Kellow has stuffed his book full of anecdotes from Michael Caine, Ryan O’Neal, Barbra Streisand, Jack Nicholson, Candice Bergan, Ali McGraw, Tina Fey, Peter Bogdonovitch and Robert Evans. While these tales tell much about Sue Mengers as agent, friend, enemy, collaborator, they also speak to the heady times defining the film industry in the last quarter of the last century with an excess of money, drugs and creativity. It was a time when all bets were off-with one exception: growing old. Aging was the one thing that Hollywood could not countenance. In spite of all the success and countless accolades which marked her career years, her last years were sadly somber.
DJ Jazzy Patty McC is here from SUN with the final musings and of course The Playlist. What’s good Pats? "This week The Loft is BACK! In the midst of their rooftop construction, I thought about the words hanging off their balcony. We increasingly live in a world where the word, “YES” is used less frequently. I don’t know about you, but as a gal with a glass is half-full viewpoint, I could use a little more ‘yes’ in my life that doesn’t involve interweb searches for cute baby animals to soothe my soul. So this week I highly recommend Yes, Please by Amy Poehler. I understand the value of improvisation and how it relates to everyday living and the potential for classroom education. The four C’s of improv are creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication. Although this curriculum exists at some high schools as an elective, wouldn’t it be transformative if we added this to our elementary schools. Yes, it would!! This week is all about the yes."