The message from The SoNo Loft is “You Are Not Broken”. And we aren’t thank goodness. The storm has come and is thankfully gone. It is the end of January; these things are to be expected. I like to spend the time before a weather event examining what makes it into the shopping carts of others. It has always fascinated me what people think they “need” for a big storm. Does anyone really need an industrial sized drum full of Cheetos? The only use I could think of was that the orange glow of your hands would enable you to be found in the dark should power be lost. Or perhaps that same orange powder can melt snow? People! As my mother used to say, a loaf of bread, a dozen eggs and a bit of cheese and you’ll be just fine. She left out the Liquor Store but I have to believe that was implied. Monday, the PA Rodent will emerge from its bunker and hopefully this year he will have some good news for us. Make a wish and here’s hoping that the Full Snow Moon which is going to occur on Tuesday is totally misnamed. This week we are all over the map and we have Boston, more Boston, Hong Kong, Newfoundland, Florida and New York. And of course The Playlist!
Let us begin!
Pat T. has finished Boston Girl by Anita Diamant. Here’s what she thought. “The cover of this book depicts a young girl engrossed in her book as she sits on a post surrounded by water and this picture captures exactly what I felt as I was reading this book. Addie Baum, as 85 year old woman, looks back on her life when her granddaughter asks her the question, ‘How did you get to be the woman you are today?’ Her story is full of warmth, sadness, love, misunderstanding, friendship, loyalty and humor. I didn't want to let go of the pleasure of reading this lovely novel!”
Mall has also just finished Boston Girl and she too is a fan. “Thank you, Juno, for encouraging me to devour Anita Diamant's latest novel, The Boston Girl. Addie Baum narrates the story of her life, growing up in the North End of Boston to immigrant parents during the turn of the century. As a young girl, Addie's active curiosity brings her to The Saturday School, a literary and arts club for young women from all backgrounds. Don't let that make you think it's all poetry and embroidery; Addie and a group of young girls all surround and eventually scare off an abusive man with nothing but croquet mallets and baseball bats. The story is about Addie, sure, but it's also about the power of female friendships that help in shaping a whole, complete person. Teachers, friends, sisters, colleagues, and granddaughters, they all play a role in this book. Keep your phone handy because you'll be calling every important woman in your life after finishing this one!”
Abby is starting a new series this week. “While I did not read book group favorites The Art of Hearing Heartbeats and A Well-Tempered Heart by Jan-Philipp Sendker, I was excited to see his upcoming book Whispering Shadows (April 2015) is the first of a mystery trilogy., German-American Paul Leibovitz was always fascinated by China and as an adult expat in in Hong Kong, he was living the life he dreamed of when he suffers an unimaginable loss. Moving to a small island in Hong Kong accessible by ferry, Paul is immersed in grief and barely able to manage contact with others. When approached by an American couple whose well-connected businessman son has gone missing, Paul turns to his police detective friend Zhang. Zhang is a devoted friend who understands Paul’s grief and does his best to draw out his old friend. Zhang himself is badly scarred from events that took place in his youth during the Cultural Revolution. I’m looking forward to how Sendker moves Paul and Zhang’s investigations into a trilogy. “
Barbara M is also on an island this week. In a different part of the world but an island just the same. “An island off the coast of Newfoundland is the setting of the novel Sweetland by Michael Crummey. The Canadian government has decided that it was no longer viable for them to provide services to the island and so they offer the inhabitants large sums of money to move to the mainland, but only if they all agree to leave. There is only one hold-out, Moses Sweetland, whose family has lived on the island for twelve generations and for whom the island was named. The descriptions of island life are vivid and the dialogues which are written in dialect all add to the atmosphere. The pace of the book is leisurely and the author alternates between the present and the past revealing the islanders’ histories. I am thoroughly enjoying this book and am totally captivated by the story of this remote place. “
Steph is reading about weddings. This is not surprising. But this week she is reading about a fictional wedding. “Over the weekend, I read I Take You by Eliza Kennedy, a very funny and oddly sweet debut novel. The novel begins a week before the marriage of Lily Wilder with a drop-dead introduction:
“I’m getting married.
It’s a disaster.”
For though her fiancé Will is indeed fairly perfect, and though pretty much everything about her life is perfect, there’s one big problem: Lily can’t stop cheating on him. She’s not even sure she wants to get married at this point. She, Will, and her closest friends all head down to Florida to meet with the neurotic wedding planner and her odd family to prepare for the big day. A great book for fans of Jincy Willett or Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, or anybody who likes their books funny and with a sharp bite.
It’s no secret that there is a core group of us who are Bravo fans. Big, big Bravo fans. We discuss and dissect the Housewives, chat up Top Chef, and basically worship at the Altar of Andy. Andy is now keeping me company on the days I drive to work with The Andy Cohen Diaries: A Deep Look at a Shallow Year. Andy draws inspiration from the other Andy, as emulates the Andy Warhol Diaries looking back on a year in his life and all who come into his orbit. The title is truthful: it’s shallow but it’s also much fun. Andy is unabashedly in love with New York, pop culture, celebrity and he’s not afraid to dish. Definitely not something you would want to listen to with kids in the car though so be warned about that.
DJ Jazzy Patty McC! From The State Which Shall Not Be Named. I have heard that it’s her birthday next week (the 4th for those who like precision) HAPPY BIRTHDAY PATTY! And thanks for our weekly playlist! Everything goes down easier with a playlist! What’s good this week Birthday Girl? “I was almost jealous of the mountains of snow you folks were promised during Snowmaggedon. I thought about the luge my children made in our front yard last year and remembered the joy that it brought them. It’s been seriously cold here but the Snow Gods have been kind to us this season. We’ve not been out sledding yet and are still searching for the perfect hill. So I thought this week you might need a playlist for future snow days. Whether you are shoveling, snow blowing or just staying warm inside consuming carbohydrates and hot chocolate it goes without saying that we need tunes. I recommend this one on shuffle. Stay well and stay warm.”