Welcome to the Tax Day Edition of You Are What You Read. I know, I know. Not even the fact that it’s on a Friday and we really have until Monday to write the check dulls that blow. This week’s Housekeeping includes a special thanks to Map M (not her real name) for the offering of tea and cookies to the You Are What You Read Gods! Thanks Map. You rock! And my low 3:00 blood sugar and work- mates thank you too.
In Hopeful Sign News, the water has returned to the pool by the entrance and the flowering cherries are in fact flowering. This may be it People. We may be on the way to True Spring. I can’t do a bare leg yet, but I am sensing its return any minute now. Perhaps next week if all holds.
In Animals Run Amok News, we seem to be circling back to Laura’s review from last week about the intelligence of our friends the Octopi. It would appear that Inky, an Octopus being held against his will in New Zealand, decided to make the Break for Freedom about three months ago by sliding through a gap left by maintenance workers, making his way over to a drain hole where he squeezed his football sized body through a 6 inch hole and swam away. His captors (aka Aquarium Officials) are just making this news known. And apparently this is not the first Octopus break-out, they are easily bored and will take matters into their many hands to rectify that situation. Any way you can read about that on the Washington Post. Enjoy.
We have talked in the past about how hard this life can be and how we grab onto any small thing that makes it easier or gives joy. Smallish things such as a cup of tea and a cookie from a patron turned friend or the kindness from your Train Friends with the offer of a ride on a rainy day can drive the dark back into the corners where it belongs. And while these are little things, they do make a difference and are easy for us to do for each other. We also seek out a whimsical dot on the landscape while we head off to our daily travails that enable us to put bread on the table to brighten and lighten the journey. It can be that person who boards the train whose story you have written in your head. Or perhaps, the ever changing landscape as you go over the tidal rivers and see the return of egrets, the removal of the plastic shrouds covering boats in harbors readying them for that first spring sail, or once upon a time, the message from The Loft in SoNo.
I know I am not alone in sadness about the loss of our weekly message. Many of you have reached out to me personally and have felt the same sense of loss and dismay. Earlier this week, I caught myself gazing out the train window out at the now empty balcony wishing for reappearance. I like the Huskies as much as the next Nutmeg State denizen but the UConn banner that adorns the neighbor’s deck rail just does not inspire in the same way. The Loft has been gone since October, and still I look out and hope. On Wednesday, as I sat at my desk to begin doing what I do, I got a Direct Message on Twitter from the folks at Think Around Corners, the creators of the Banner, asking me how I was doing and telling me that they had a surprise for me. The picture you see for this week’s image was what was sent to me. They said that as long as the Village of Scarsdale doesn’t object, there will be a message every week and they have promised to share. To say this made my day, week, month, year is an understatement. So go forth People! And in the spirit of The Loft create some whimsy in your landscape to share with others, or extend a small kindness. And for those of you who have occasion to ride the Harlem Line you’re in luck! Your trip just got a whole lot more fun.
This week we have some quaint, some crack, and an attack.
Hello Playlist! Always good to see and hear from you!
Let us begin!
You Are What You Read
Pat T just finished one of our most wanted books this week and here is what she thought. “This past week, I had the pleasure of meeting Helen Simonson, author of [The Summer Before the War] and [Major Pettigrew's Last Stand]. The Summer Before the War is set in the quaint town of Rye, near East Sussex and the story focuses on social class, village life of the early twentieth century. The main character is a charming, and spirited Beatrice who struggles with the constraints of the time. If you like the Edwardian period, Henry James, a slew of interesting characters, as well as some interesting historical facts, you will enjoy curling up with this cozy book.”
The Always Delightful Pat S has just finished [Dodgers_] by Bill Beverly. But she’s not finished raving about it. Trust me on this one. “Billed as a coming of age tale, Dodgers is a debut novel for author Bill Beverly. A far cry from Huck Finn or Holden Caulfield, our hero Easton, (East for short) embarks on a voyage of discovery-both figuratively and literally. Fifteen years old, East is a lookout at his dealer uncle’s crack house in an area of Los Angeles known as The Boxes. When the crack house is raided by the police during East’s watch, he is given the opportunity for redemption in a cross country drive with three other boys to kill a witness in an upcoming case against his boss/uncle. The crew, aged 13 to 21, sets off and in Easts’ case it’s the first time leaving The Boxes. Joining East is Michael Wilson, a 21-year-old smooth talker with one year of college under his belt. Walter is a problem solving 17-year-old computer geek, and finally Ty, Easts’ 13-year-old brother whose bloodless persona is simply chilling. Written in spare prose, Beverly has created characters coiled with tension. The emotional intrigue and impending danger leave the reader on the edge of their seat as these boys are faced with impossible choices. This is a book that grabs you from the first page-and does not let go. I am rooting for East even now.”
Steph is here with one I also finished this week. Here’s her take on [All is Not Forgotten]. “I picked up a lot of thrillers at the PLA Conference, anticipating the rush of readers this summer looking for smart, fast-paced reads. So far, the best of the bunch has been All Is Not Forgotten, by Wendy Walker. The setting is an affluent Connecticut town called Fairview; an invented town, and yet, one that will feel very familiar. A young woman is violently assaulted, and in the aftermath, her family chooses to go forward with an experimental treatment that erases all of her memories of the attack. But though her brain is cleared, her emotions are still high, and months later, she is still traumatized. The entire family turns to a local psychiatrist for help, and as the narrator, it is through his eyes that we learn everything they are going through. But the good doctor is more invested that you’d think—and there are many surprises to come. It’s an intense and graphic read, definitely not for the faint of heart. But if you can make it through the first thirty pages, you’ll find a nearly perfect page-turner.”
DJ Jazzy Patty McC is here from Meat Chicken with our final musings. What’s good Pats? “I no longer have a commute, but there was a time in my life when I did. My commute after the Northridge earthquake that shut down the Santa Monica Freeway (the 10) aka the busiest freeway in the United States was seriously messed up for 3 months. I know the side streets of LA like nobody’s business. Then again my commute from Connecticut to Wall Street was no picnic. Throw in a terrible first trimester of morning sickness and you’ll know what kind of hell I’m talkin’ ‘bout. It should come as no surprise then that I am sympathetic to those of you who commute. I deeply understand both coasts commuting woes. So, this week when I heard that something familiar in Scarsdale was visible from the Metro North, I got excited. Anything that makes a commute tolerable is a blessing in my book. This week I celebrate the return of The Word from The Loft with a big HELLO AGAIN! Hello, all the way from The D, we’ve missed you!”