Happy End of Week! I don’t think I am wishing my life away when I say that every week down is another week I am farther away from the evil being wrought by the PA Rodent (I am looking at you Phil. Still not a fan.) and that much closer to a cooler full of contraband, a dishy beach read and toes in the sand. We had Mardi Gras and Chinese New Year to help while away the week and ease the pain. Notice please, that both of these have some serious carbs attached to them. You have King Cake (burning question: who got the baby this year?), although some people believe more in the Doughnut, Pancake or Paczki for Mardi Gras and Chinese New Year is all about the noodles and the dumplings. I know that for myself I have been carbo loading like a champ. In fact, if I had to write a bio on myself, I would have to put under interests: reading really good books, eating pasta, celebrating beautifully crusty baguettes loaded with cheese or butter and sleeping through the winter. I may want to reconsider this approach to life as beach season approaches. Watch this space for an event that we have coming up that will be announced next Friday. Suffice to say that a gauntlet has been thrown and we accept. And there is a certain library up the line that is going to be very, very sorry that they poked this hornet’s nest. This week we have some young women and some young men. And don’t you worry! We have not given up The Playlist for Lent. I think the only thing we have put on a 40 day hold is the bare leg! Phil! This is your doing!
Let us begin!
Sweet Ann has just finished Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar. “This engaging novel is told in diary entries and letters from the different characters commenting on their small social group as well as what is happening in the world at the time. The main story is told in the voice of Vanessa Stephen, whose sister will become the famous author, Virginia Woolf. It is an intriguing story about jealousy between sisters and their relationship with their brothers as well as the group of artists they spend much of their time with. As the reader, you are exposed to their advanced ideas for the time as well as examples of their well-known works. The format took me a minute to get into but then I really enjoyed it a great deal. “
Steph is here with some what sounds like some pretty heavy lifting. I know we can count on her to tell us if it’s worth it. “I can’t stop thinking about A Little Life, by Hanya Yanigihara, which comes out next month. I really enjoyed her debut novel, the ambitious and surprising The People in the Trees, but with this even more ambitious book, she’s done something truly incredible. The best shorthand I have for this book is that it’s a cross between The Goldfinch and The Interestings, but much darker. Four young men meet at a small college, become best friends, and move to New York full of hope, to pursue careers and exciting lives. The book follows them over the next few decades as their relationships grow, wither, change, and bloom, but keeps coming back to Jude, whose past was unthinkably miserable and haunts him throughout. As the book progresses, Jude’s life is opened up to the reader and some characters, going to darker places than most fiction will go. Incredibly, though, the darkness of the book is not the point—the compassion and love that follows it is. Yanagihara has made two choices that make this book addictive—first, many of the most momentous scenes of the books take place off the page, and second, the point of view changes abruptly, often in the middle of dramatic scenes. The effect, when combined with her incredible gift for building real characters on the page, is that I lost hours of my life to this book without realizing it. I was devastated by the ending. Not a light read, but probably one of the best books you’ll read this year. “
DJ Jazzy Patty McC is in da house from The State Which Shall Not Be Named with The Playlist and some really interesting gossip that I think you all will be intrigued by. What’s good Pats? “My paranoid weather-tracking friend has given me some news. She said there’s another email circulating from the rogue band of rodents. Apparently it details Phil’s Valentine’s Day misadventures. She said Phil has been dating a sweet little groundhog named Eula and that this was their first Valentine’s Day together. Since Eula is a vegan, Phil made reservations at the swankiest vegan restaurant he could find. It wasn’t local. There was a bit of travel involved but he promised Eula that it would be worth it. When they arrived the Maitre‘d informed them that they did not have a reservation and furthermore he couldn’t possibly seat them as they were fully booked. Phil pleaded. He tried using money, his influence, and his good name but all to no avail. The Maitre’d would not budge. They were turned away hungry and disappointed and headed back towards home. Phil stopped at the local pizza joint on the way back and presented Eula with a heart-shaped vegan pizza. She dumped him the next day via text. Since then Phil has been holed up in his burrow, heartbroken, depressed and despondent all the while muttering that he’ll show everyone a winter they’ll not soon forget.”