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It's the Bears Edition

Greetings and welcome to the Bears! Edition of You Are What You Read.

With tomorrow being Bastille Day and France facing off against Croatia on Sunday morning for the World Cup, it would appear that it’s all about France this weekend. And while I love most things France, I have to say I am rooting for Croatia this time around. France won back in 1998 and Croatia never has. Who doesn’t love an underdog? Game goes off on Sunday morning at 11 if such things interest you.

Meanwhile, on this side of the world, am I alone in noticing that Bears have been all over the news? There was the bear who, apparently after deciding it was high time to live his best life, made himself at home in a hot tub in Cali (of course, California) and helped himself to a margarita. And as one does after a hot tub and a little something-something, the bear took a little nap. This bear is decidedly in the running for Summer of 2018 Icon. You can read about that on NPR.

THEN there was the family in Woodbridge who saw that their horses were spooked in the paddock. Apparently the steeds get freaked over turkey sightings and when the husband went out to chase the turkeys away and calm the horses he discovered a bear taking a dip in the trough. You can read about that on UPI.

How can we forget the poor woman in Atlanta who is tragic not only because she has to live in Atlanta (don’t get me started) but thought she was being clever in leaving her windows rolled down to help with the unrelenting summer heat. When she returned, a bear had not only gotten in her van, but was helping itself to her lunch (a sandwich, cookie and chips). This bear also decided to put the cherry on the cake of this poor woman’s day by also destroying her child’s car seat and tearing up some paper work. The New York Post has a nice piece on that.

And what about the bear that decided to check into North Star Lodge in Killington Vermont. It was filmed sauntering the hallways for about 5 minutes. Maybe it was looking for that oh-so elusive ice machine? I always have a hard time finding the ice machine so I can relate.

There was the bear who decided a midnight Walmart run may be a good use of his time in Ohio, the bear who visited a zoo in Idaho and hung with the cougars for a while, the bear who took five on the roof of a theater in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, the bear who stole donuts from kids in North Carolina, and of course the bear who climbed two stories to torment one family’s dogs in Colorado.

All of this makes me wonder? Is torturing domesticated animals sport for bears? Do they say to each other, “Hey Boo-Boo let’s go poke the (insert domesticated animal here)?" You know! In the same way we say, “Let’s go poke the bear?” Curiouser and curiouser.

People! What. Is. Happening? Have there always been this many bears? Or are they just coming out of the Woods to participate in our lives. I am not crazy about this idea. Just seems like that could end badly. And not for the bears either.

If you should come in contact with a bear the National Park Service has some advice for you that you can read about. Some of it is sound. Some of it involves pepper spray and weaponry. As for myself, I am very happy that I live in an urban setting thank you very much. Because, let’s face it. If a bear is walking down the streets of the biggest city in Connecticut, than that city has way bigger problems then having a mayor that has done time.

This week we have a case where love really is blind, more France, some Ohio (OH-IO), goats, and a belated coming-of-age.

Let us begin!

The Amazing Amanda is ready for some light reading which means checking out a new romance author. "**_Fortune Favors the Wicked by Theresa Romain is available as an audiobook Hoopla, which makes it great for summer travel. What makes this book stand out from your sea of historical romances is that the hero is blind and the heroine is a retired courtesan. They run into each while pursuing a fortune which was stolen from the Royal Mint. However, what they uncover is learning what it means to live after life turned out not quite the way you had planned. It's an easy, fast read, and you'll weep over the dog. 'Seeing' the world through Benedict's eyes is a new experience for a sighted reader. You'll enjoy his witty observations and Charlotte's tough-as-nails retorts. The background story of what's going on with Benedict's runaway younger sister has me reaching for the next book. Surely, we'll find out what happened with her and the scholarly Lord..."

Pat T has just finished You Me Everything, by Catherine Isaac. “Single mother Jess and her ten-year-old son, William, live a simple life in a small English town near Jess' parents. William’s father, Adam, abandoned them when William was born. When Jess' mother becomes terminally ill, she encourages Jess to get in touch with Adam as she feels William should have a relationship with his dad. Reluctantly Jess agrees, and they travel to France where Adam has successfully restored a castle into a lovely resort. Their time together is filled with surprises, disappointments, misunderstandings and ultimately recognition of the power of family, relationships and love. The cover is very inviting and the story is even more so!”

Kaitlin from the Rock is here! Hello Kaitlin! “Hellllooo! I just finished Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng. I LOVED it. It's about a town called Shaker Heights in Ohio, where everything is perfectly laid out and planned. The Richardson’s and their four children have a perfect life, in their perfect home. Everything is perfect, until Mia, a nomadic artist, and her daughter Pearl come to town and unwittingly shakes things up. The story takes place in the 1990s, so to me, it felt somewhat nostalgic (the movie 'Edward Scissorhands' comes to mind)."

Jeanne is back to doing two things at once. I find this oddly comforting. “The thing about memoirs is that you don’t get to ask questions and learn more details of the subject’s backstory. You learn what the author wants to reveal. In some cases y,ou may get too much information as in the many chapters about kidding (goats procreating and giving birth) in Flat Broke with Two Goats: A Memoir by Jennifer McGaha. There is a lot of information on the care of mommy, daddy and baby goats. McGaha’s story is one of ‘how did this happen to me, am I responsible for my downfall and how can I get out of this?’ The memoir is well-constructed and witty and engagingly narrated by Pam Ward.

I also read There Are No Grown-Ups: A Midlife Coming-of-Age Story by Pamela Druckerman, a journalist whose op-ed articles have appeared in many of the world’s preeminent newspapers and magazines. In this new memoir, she writes her own coming-of-age story, but starts as she approaches 40. Druckerman writes candidly about body image, relationships, even fashion and flirting. She bemoans aging and each chapter reveals her humorous commentary on ‘You know you are 40 when…’ She has been living in Paris with her English husband and three French kiddos for more than ten years, so she often compares life in France to life in the U.S. with funny anecdotes and warnings. Good for some chuckles.”

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