Greetings and welcome to the Crushing It Edition of You Are What You Read.
In Hopeful Signs this week, I am happy to report that Golda R sent me a picture of daffodils blooming along with some wood hyacinth. Thanks Golda. It’s nice to know that the Tundra can support some life forms. Dot sent me a picture of a returning bald eagle who was chillaxing above the Kennebunk River. Thanks Dot! Another Hopeful Sign is that the Traveling Companion is on his way down to Augusta, GA to do what he does. The Masters is probably the meanest Hopeful Sign. All that green lush while we wait, wait, wait on the Tundra. It was nice seeing the sun for a day and a half wasn’t it? Here’s hoping that next week we can open the wagering on the Return of the Bare Leg. It will be the first week in April after all.
Speaking of April, on April 26th in NYC the 9th Annual Shorties will be announced. What’s a Shorty, you ask? A Shorty is awarded to the best of social media, aka the Time Suck Rabbit Hole Employers everywhere have come to loathe. Sure, we all have our favorites that we follow on Instagram or Twitter but YouTube has remained a largely untested frontier for me until the following was brought to my attention. Under the Science and Tech category, specifically the Weird Class (of course, what were you expecting?) you can find the wonderful world of The Hydraulic Press Channel. What? You all are saying. The Hydraulic Press Channel? What?
Yes, People. The Hydraulic Press Channel. The delightfully funny and Finish Lauri Vuohensilta is our Master of Ceremonies and he is willing to put anything your heart desires on his hydraulic press and let it rip. Suggestions can be made on YouTube under the comments section or on their Reddit page. Nothing is sacred or to be spared from Lauri and his press. Items suitable for destruction have included bowling bowls, bowling pins (their innards are wood!) diamonds, and a $40,000 gold bar.
But my personal favorite is the sad, sad end of Stretch Armstrong. You can watch it on YouTube. Pure comic gold, People. Enjoy. But if you get caught at work, please don’t tell them I told you about this. It’s all on you.
This week we have Koreans, noises, Norsemen, hydrangea, and more cloistered nuns.
Sweet Ann loved Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. “This is a sweeping novel which begins in 1900's Korea and then moves to Japan. Sunja, the main character, is a young woman who works hard with her mother to run a boarding house after her beloved father has died. She makes the tragic mistake of falling in love with a Japanese man and becoming pregnant. This changes the course of her life as she moves to Japan. Koreans living in Japan, even for generations, were treated horribly by the Japanese. This novel is a good family saga with well-developed characters and an insight into Japanese and Korean relationships during the twentieth century. It could have been a bit shorter but I found it to be an interesting thought provoking well written novel.”
Pat T is still listening and she wants you to be listening too. “Don’t miss our upcoming event Now Hear This: Growl, Moan, Hiccup and Other Tales from the Audiobook Studio evening of entertainment designed to delight audiobook fans. The program is on Thursday April 6th from 7 to 8 pm and will feature a conversation between a Grammy Award-winning producer and two celebrated narrators and as a plus, there will be a behind-the-scenes look at the audio industry, narrator readings, and audience Q &A."
The Amazing Amanda is listening to stories from the north. "Neil Gaiman is a natural storyteller. In his latest work, Norse Mythology (read by him), he brings you close and tells you mythological stories the way they were meant to be told. That is, he speaks them. I have a passing familiarity with the Norse gods. We know of Thor and his hammer, the clever Loki, and Odin the All-Father. But what do we really know about them? As Gaiman says, most of their stories have been lost. We have very few tales to tell anymore. In this work, touched by Gaiman's great storytelling capabilities, I grimaced over blood running into a dwarf’s eyes and laughed aloud at Loki's solution to tricking the Builder. This is an excellent work for those who want to understand a little better how our ancestors saw the world. And I must stress, listen to the audio version."
Diane. Always looking for pretty. “Our library has a wonderful collection of gardening books on the second floor and that’s where I found Hydrangeas for the American Garden by Michael A. Dirr, published in 2004. There are so many varieties of hydrangea and this is a comprehensive book on the selection and care of this wonderful plant. There are chapters on seeds, cutting and layering. I found this book a wonderful reference for spring not only for researching new Hydrangea but also for caring for those that I already have in my garden."
The Always Delightful Pat S has finished Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan which is shaping up to be our favorite read for the Summer of ’17. “Two sisters, Nora, responsible and shy, and Theresa, bubbly and gregarious, leave Ireland in the 1950’s in search of a better life in America. They arrive in Boston where Nora weighs the advantages of marrying a man she doesn’t love, and Theresa embraces all the new sights and sounds of her new home. In a very short time, Thesesa finds herself seventeen and pregnant. It is Nora, who with the help of her fiancé, arrives at a plan that will save the situation: She will raise Theresa’s son as her own. Yet these two young girls could never entertain the far reaching ramifications this decision will bring to their lives, and so many others. Fifty years later, the long estranged Nora, a widowed mother of four and Theresa, a cloistered nun, are brought together again to face the detritus of that long ago decision. That is the story, but it is the individual characters that make this tale so compelling. This is definitely one not to miss.”
DJ Jazzy Patty McC is here from The State Up North with a health update, and the final musings. What’s good Pats? “Due to a cat injury last week I was unable to type, but fear not, all is well and this week I’m back! I would be remiss not to mention the sad passing of a musical great who influenced so many musicians that it’s impossible to list them all here. He was one of the Father’s of Rock n’ Roll and his gift of musical genius will live with us forever. This week, I’m celebrating the life of Chuck Berry. Musical genius deserves their own playlist and this one is sure to please. Rest in peace, Mr. Berry and thank you for all the rockin’ tunes.”