Happy Friday People and welcome to You Are What You Read: The Animals Run Amok Edition. We have no housekeeping for the second week in a row. The SoNo Loft is still MIA and we have no Taffy or Fudge love offerings to thank you all for. The Natural Order has been upset. This is very disturbing.
And speaking of Natural Order and being disturbed, we do have some Wildlife Updates to discuss. Yesterday, the New York Post reported that there were 2 sharks spotted off Oyster Bay Long Island. The waters of several surrounding beaches were emptied of bathers while the two six footers cavorted and capered. The All Clear was sounded about an hour and a half later. You can read about that here. And we know it wasn’t our girl Mary Lee. She’s Summering off the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia where the water is nice and warm. The Daily News reports that yesterday an alligator of all things was spotted strolling down a street in the Inwood section of Manhattan. He was described as ‘feisty’ because really? How else would you want your gator? Feisty seems about right. You can read about that here and peruse the pictures. Apparently duct tape can be used to close the jaws of a gator rather effectively. So there’s some news you can use for this week. In Domesticated Animal news, there was a story in this morning’s Post was a story about a cat named George who after escaping from his owner’s arms basically shut down the subway system for about 40 minutes. You can read about that here. I am marveling that fellow riders let the owner live, frankly. Think you’re safe here in the ‘burbs? Well you’re not. On the cover of this morning’s Connecticut Post, was a story about how certain animals are on the wane (bees, bats, bunnies) while others have climbing numbers (beavers, bears and bobcats). And it’s everywhere People! In Lake Mary, Florida a homeowner watched as a brown bear walked into his garage, helped himself to a 20 pound bag of dog food, ate it and then collapsed on the lawn in a food coma. So, as you go about your weekend, be ever vigilant People! Wildlife is trying to take back what’s theirs! And help themselves to what’s ours!
This week we have some France, some Duke (sorry Traveling Companion), King David, self-help, and the portrait of a marriage.
Of course we have The Playlist. We're not animals!
Let us begin!
The Amazing Amanda is here with her review of Joanna Bourne’s Black Hawk. I find the cover and description of this book to be so embarrassing. When I picked it up out of sheer ‘whatever new Regency-era romance they have’ desperation, I expected the worst. Then when I started reading, I kept pausing to text my BFF about how surprisingly great this book was. The story begins with the stabbing of a French female spy in London. She manages to make it to her ex-lover's house before she collapses. The story is then told in alternating flashbacks between the present and the past as they investigate who tried to kill her. However, this isn't your usual romance story. You join the hero and heroine as children during the French Revolution, as they slip through walls to rescue conscripted kids. They're brave, smart, and deadly. It is espionage, murders, and a thrilling chase across Europe as the two lovers work against each other. They know they their relationship is treasonous, but it's so difficult to stop. I read this on a cross-country flight with a few chapters left to savor. It's brilliant. The author's description of emotions and the changing nature of relationships gave me a pause. Don't let the genre or cover fool you into thinking this is your standard romance novel. It is so much more.”
Abby is here with a documentary this week. “I attended Indiana University in the Bob Knight years and acknowledge Bob was not known for creating a lot of good will among a large swath of society. Another program that can bring about strong negative feelings in basketball fans is Duke University. I’ve never had issues with Duke, perhaps in part because Duke’s Coach Mike Krzyzewski aka Coach K played for Bobby and was also an assistant coach at Indiana. But perhaps no one has ignited more hatred of Duke than player Christian Laettner. At 6’11, Laettner had amazing skills on the court but gave off a vibe that created a lot of conflict and outright hatred for him and his incredibly successful team. How much hatred? There is actually a documentary called I Hate Christian Laettner. That title is based on a song someone took the time to write. Now that’s some hate. Produced by ESPN as part of their 30 For 30 series, the film offers a 5 point breakdown of why the talented Laettner is so widely disliked. Laettner participated in the film along with fans and haters alike. It’s a great documentary that highlights Laettner’s incredible impact on the game. You may not want to lunch with him, but if I was putting together the all-time best college team, I’d want him on it.”
Barbrara M loves herself some Geraldine Brooks. Let’s see if that holds true. “Brooks has done it again. She's written a well-crafted interesting book. The Secret Chord is based on the story of David from the Bible and although I abhorred the descriptions of the horrific wars I loved the book. The story is narrated by Natan, the prophet, who tries to provide David with a balanced outlook on events. Her characters are well rounded and the dialog, while sometimes a bit syrupy, is believable. David is, after all, sometimes attributed with writing The Book of Psalms. The story moved with a rapid pace and kept me interested until the end. “
Pat T can be found, as usual, listening. “I have just finished listening to Ali Wentworth's newest book, Happily Ali After and Other Fairly True Tales, and all I can say is it is crazy funny! She will have you laughing as you listen to her attempts to follow the self-help adages that permeate our everyday lives. She wrestles with the topics of her marriage to a ‘sex icon’, George Stephanopolous, embarrassing yet comical parenting issues with her two daughters, and confronting the aging process, as her 50's are fast approaching! This audio book is read by the author and is as equally entertaining as her last book, Ali in Wonderland: and Other Tall Tales!
The Always Delightful Pat S is almost done with what has to be my favorite book of the year so far, Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff. “Picking up this novel, I thought I would be reading a fairly desultory exploration of marriage; albeit a well written one. Well, I had no idea. Meet Lotto and Mathilde, two physically beautiful and brilliant youths who marry in the first thrall of passion. Beautiful, talented and the envy of all their friends, the world is their oyster. And so begins the arc of their story as we follow them for the next twenty four years of their marriage. Bound by sheer physical passion as well as a highly successful artistic collaboration, their marriage seems almost too perfect to be real . . .. I am three quarters of the way through and I can’t wait to get back to it tonight! Practically throbbing with undercurrents of malevolence like that found in Gone Girl, this book is nothing like it seems. Jen promises that it delivers nothing short of ‘literary whiplash’.
DJ Jazzy Patty McC is here from The State Which Shall Not Be Named. What’s good Pats? “Here we are deep in the middle of summer. I know this because it’s that time of year that my freckles spread and band together, giving my skin the illusion of a tan. I also know this because my youngest has already started the dreaded chant heard at least once by every single parent during the summer months. I can guarantee that we won’t be hearing that chant this weekend as we have a few great festivals here. Maker Faire Detroit is back and we’re headed to The Henry Ford on Saturday to partake in all that tinkering, hacking and creating. Last year we learned how to pick a few different kinds of standard locks as well as how to solder. THAT was a good time! Today, if there is talk of boredom I will put this playlist on in shuffle mode and tell him to just dance. Take some time to enjoy the summer festivals this weekend.”