Greetings and welcome to the Please Don’t Try This At Home Edition of You Are What You Read. This week’s housekeeping is as follows. In the Offerings Department, we have to thank Cathy M of the Admin Suite for the Offering of Taffy. Thanks Cath! We missed you and we’re glad you’re back. Diane H also brought forth an Offering of Taffy all the way from Idaho! Thanks Diane! Hope the trails were happy ones and welcome home. We also received an Offering from Blanche P who is still woefully MIA and greatly missed. Miz Blanche sent us peanuts from what the Traveling Companion calls without any irony at all The Homeland. We thank you for the peanuts Blanche but get back here already! We miss you!
We say also thanks with a heavy heart to Dulcy B and her parting gift to the staff of taffy. We are going to miss you HUGE Dulcy B. You have been a true and amazing friend not only to the institution but also to each and every one of us on staff. We wish you and your family all the best on the Left Coast.
In Animals Run Amok news, Springfield Massachusetts police were called to a private residence to remove a 6’ long, 150 pound alligator from an enclosure in a backyard. Of course, this is illegal and just plain stupid. The law says the animal seemed healthy if a bit overweight. No one has any idea how he got there, how long he has been there, what he’s been eating, where he Winters (safe bet it’s not Stowe), and who his owner is. This is a developing story People and we have more questions at this point than answers. Currently, the gator is now residing at the Springfield Forest Park Zoo should you care to check this for yourselves. You can read about that on Mass Live.
Yes People! It is peak vacation season. Town gets quieter and quieter and one expects a tumble weed to float down the Post Road any moment now. And while hi-jinx and high times seem to be the order of the day, we need to remember that is not an excuse to throw common sense to the wind. Sadly, in Philadelphia, the 2400 block of Cedar to be precise, it would appear that any sense someone’s momma credited them with melted in the heat. What went down, you ask? I have two words: Dumpster Pool. Seems that some genius thought the perfect centerpiece for the block party would be an improvised pool that consisted of a rented dumpster which he then filled with water from a fire hydrant. Various articles quote the mastermind behind this questionable undertaking as saying that he had to try 10 different companies before one would allow him to create a pool out a receptacle used for waste. You read that right. Ten. Separate. Calls. The mind reels.
Well, Times being what they are, it was posted on Instagram (of course) and all was soon revealed to Powers that Be. What ensued has to be the most hilarious PSA, penned by Karen Guss the Communications Director for the Department of Licenses and Inspections that I have ever read. If Mothers wrote PSAs this is what they would sound like. It includes the line, “We are not screwing around here” and goes on to literally tell these chuckleheads why this was the dopiest idea ever and that their Block Party Days are over. It stops just short of grounding them and saying the words “This is why we can’t have nice things.” You can read about that on NPR. But I have one more question. Just how does one get their Dumpster Pool corporate sponsored?
This week we have a missing baby, a double life, the elite, a dead king and a Hungry Heart.
Playlist? Sorry, DJ Jazzy Patty McC is on vacation this week. Her vacation has a beach. To my knowledge, there is not a dumpster pool. There is a beach. Just like there is supposed to be. Like normal people.
Let us begin!
Sweet Ann is here this week with The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon. “The title of this novel comes from the Bible, Matthew 25:31-46, and is a biblical reference to the coming of God when people will be divided between goats and sheep, bad and good. This is a very interesting story about two ten- year-old girls, Grace and Tilly. It takes place on a street in a small town in England during a heat wave in 1976. A neighbor, Mrs. Creasly, has disappeared and the girls believe that if they find God, she will come back. The story travels back to 1967 where, on the same street, a baby went missing and there was a house fire. The neighbors on the street, including Grace's parents, have secrets about all these events. Although the story deals with some dark moments, it is also a wonderful story of the girls' friendship. Ms. Cannon has created a neighborhood street that is full of concern, gossip and a tremendous heat wave that also becomes a character in the story.”
The Always Fabulous Babs B was heard raving all week about Rare Objects By Kathleen Tessaro.
“Maeve Fanning is a first generation Irish immigrant, born and raised among the poor, industrious Italian families of Boston's North End and living with her widowed mother. Maeve is determined to better herself despite the hardships of the Great Depression. Unfortunately, Maeve also has a fondness for strange men and bootleg gin that soon finds her spiraling downward, leading a double life. Eventually Maeve ends up in a Psychiatric hospital where she makes friends with a strange but beautiful woman, who like Maeve, is unable or unwilling do control her desire for freedom. Once released, Maeve is determined to start over and lands a job at an eccentric antiques shop. While delivering a purchase to the wealthy Van der Larr family, she meets the beautiful socialite Diana Van der Larr, only to discover she's the strange woman from the hospital. The two women strike up a friendship and Maeve begins a relationship with Diana's handsome brother James. The more Maeve becames entwined with the wealthy family, the more it pulls her into a world of deceit and ultimately betrayal. Maeve, who is desperate to leave her past behind, is forced to figure out what she really wants in life and just how far she will go to reinvent herself. I could not put this book down it’s a glamorous story of ambition and deception!”
The Always Delightful Pat T read Bright, Precious Days by Jay McInerney, in anticipation of his visit to us on Wednesday night. Here’s what she thought. “Bright, Precious Days is the third in a trilogy following the marriage of Corrine and Russell Calloway. College sweethearts from an Ivy league, we are re-introduced to the Calloways on the brink of their fifties-having spent their twenties and thirties creating their lifestyle as a trendy couple operating in the upper echelons of ‘the rich and the beautiful’ of New York City’s elite. It is 2008 and along with the economy, Russell’s career as an editor at a small but significant publishing firm, hangs in the balance as he faces increasing financial debt. Corinne, beautiful and accomplished, has given up full-time work to spend more time on motherhood-and ennui. The story itself is ho-hum, but McInerney does a masterful job at creating a pitch perfect rendition of the trappings of New York City wealth-restaurants, menus, dress, jewelry, hobbies. It reads like a guilty pleasure-enjoy!”
The Amazing Amanda is now onto book two of The Raven Cycle with The Dream Thieves. "Have I mentioned that you should listen to the audiobook? The series is available on Hoopla so we can all listen to it together. The reader does a great job with Ronan and Gansey's voices in particular. The book starts a few weeks after the previous one. Summer is here which means the quintet have more time to pursue their dead Welsh king. The first few chapters are slow, but when it hits its stride, it hits its stride. I'm not done with it yet, and there are three scenes which I'd love to tell you, but simply can't due to spoilers. They involve the world's oddest flirtation, an inevitable and frightening fight of sorts, and a kindness which makes you feel warm at the thoughtfulness of the gesture. There's also the huge discovery of what Ronan's dad was up to which makes you gasp aloud. Maybe next week I'll be back with my review of book three..."
I am a huge admirer of Jennifer Weiner’s prose. Her Op-Ed pieces in the New York Times are always great and spot on. So I was really excited to pick up her latest Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing which is an interesting blend of essay and memoir. Weiner talks about her childhood outside Hartford and describes herself as “a Lane Bryant outtake in an Abercrombie & Fitch world”. The one thing that always had in her arsenal was the need to tell a story. And it is evident that this is the one thing that has sustained her and brought her joy throughout her life. It is written with heart, soul and humor in the most delightful, intelligent way that only Jennifer Weiner can pull off. It comes out in October so get excited.