Showing posts with label Bookery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bookery. Show all posts

Friday, May 31, 2024

it's going down at the (book) club

Pic: Today my bookclub people were so delighted with the verdict finding Trump guilty on all 34 felony counts--JS brought a grocery store cake whose icing read "34 Convictions" and CD had a bottle of wine whose label had been altered to say "34 Crimes."

(We were discussing The Bee Sting--I could have talked about it for another 24 hours. Our next book is Percival Everett's James--the Huck Finn re-vision.)

Bonus: My WTF dream in which I was upset because in addition to my real life kids, I had twins who were killed in a bus accident. I didn't seem to be grieving them, I was upset because (a) I hadn't put their names on the Father's Day T-shirt I had made for A (IRL, I've put Scout's name on it, of course) and (b) I couldn't remember the name of the second twin. In the dream, I went round and round wondering if it was "Collin" or "Mike" or "Asa--" all real life twins I know. I was so relieved to wake up and remember I never did have twins.

Friday, February 23, 2024

other lives

I've been immersing myself in a ton of fiction lately--anything to take my mind off the news. It has been pretty eclectic. I started the week with a reread of Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49--I have a faint memory of reading it for an undergrad American Litt. class. I wonder if I skimmed it, and how many of the references I got back then. It's stuck in my memory as a book with several weird sexual situations. 

I've since moved on to what I took to be a romance set in Havana (free on my Kindle). I thought I'd be irritated with its anti-revolutionary stance since the first chapter was about some Batista cronies fleeing, but it actually goes back and forth in time and among various classes quite well. 

Next up is going to be Curtis Sittenfeld's Romantic Comedy, which I found at the thrift store for a dollar and forty-nine cents when I went looking for old vases. I've always enjoyed Sittenfeld but recently she mentioned someone I know in her acknowledgments and that has cemented her standing in my reading lists forever.

I'm also watching shows I used to watch in the 90s (Frasier, Felicity); they're kind of calming and help me fall asleep. 

Pic: I was looking forward to taking pictures of the moon this evening, but it's suddenly quite cloudy.

Here's a picture of a squirrel looking straight at me instead. 

Saturday, November 25, 2023

"Oops, I did it again!"

I just finished Deepa Varadarajan's Late Bloomers the book Nicole inadvertently recommended. It's not terrific, but it is about South Indians in the U.S., and I kept reading out of curiosity.  It's about people in their 50s dating other people after having been married to each other for 30+ years.

Coincidentally, an older colleague of Big A's is going through a divorce at 60+ and I was surprised to hear Big A say that perhaps after 60 people should just stay put in their relationships. I find that disturbing--surely people should be free to start over at any point in their lives? Why should someone live another 30 potential years with someone they don't like?

And then, oops! Straight on the heels of finishing one book about South Indians, I started Abraham Verghese's Covenant of Water and am loving the intensely South Indian location and poetics of it all. There was a moment where a character helps a vendor lift the wicker basket off their head and land it on the ground--and that gesture seemed to tug at some memory of seeing that... in a movie? My grandmother's house? I think the writing is beautiful and the story compelling... but honestly, maybe I like it so much because there are flashes of the city I grew up in? And there's an elephant! What more could I want?

Pic: Big A, Huck (lounging near me), and Max (longing for me). 

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

book talk

to move out of no and never
look up to the untold 

It feels as if we've already 
lived forever

made the eternal arguments 
a hundredfold 

friend, tether me with books
cover me with pages

mix me in the breathlessness
of these mistakes

turn me to light and lightness
learn me to be courageous 
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Pic: Books for reading groups at work this term. The first discussion was today at the President's house. Usually, a book that describes students as "consumers" would make me ditch it, but I had to read it so I did. Small colleges like ours are likely to go the way of the afternoon newspaper (i.e. into oblivion) if we don't innovate. Fair. We'll need to do that, however, without losing our idealistic core--our conviction that education impacts and improves lives and that learning to learn is the best form of future-proofing for our kids. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

great starts

My friend Oindrila Mukherjee's novel "The Dream Builders" was launched today. Here she is with her fabulous book and a cake version of it too. After the launch, reading, Q&A, book signing, and helping with clear up, we hung out with tapas and wine, celebrating until late with her local and Atlanta friends. 

I got home after midnight, and hung out with Scout and Huck for a while (they were the only ones up), too tired to actually go to bed. It's after 1:30 now, so I really should get up and go to bed as I'll have to wake up at 5/5:30 to help Nu get to school...

The first day of classes went well. For the first time in a while I don't have the same students in more than one class, so it felt very liberating to make the same silly icebreaker jokes without feeling like I'm repeating myself. Ha. 

(Oh... and I was one of the few people who was masked at the book launch. One of the guests who'd come from Atlanta, and WHO WORKS AT THE CDC, said they put away their mask because no one else was wearing one, but now that I was masking they felt more comfortable...  then they pulled their K-95 with a flourish and wore it. What the what?!?!)

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

storyteller

I wake wanting to be
inside the side 
you are on 
                 to step outside my body 
                                   threading through
                                   discarded stories                your departures guiding me
                                                                               through volcanic swirls
                                                                               so swaha / shanti
                                    I'm ready to swallow fire 
                                    unwrap smoke shapes
                                    hold revelation

when you nod, mouth "now"
I'll know how right away
to rehearse my life 

Sunday, November 27, 2022

reading weekend

I'd saved a couple of books for the long weekend and they were amazing. I'd actually preordered Preeta Samarasan's Tale of the Dreamer's Son-- I was that excited for it. But I saved it to be my reward for after NWSA and Thanksgiving were accomplished. 

At 492 pages Tale of the Dreamer's Son didn't feel long enough, I wanted to keep reading it. I fell in love with P.S.'s first book Evening is the Whole Day, met her at a conference years ago, and then we became friends on "the socials." She thinks Nu is an amazing artist and that Scout and Huck are treasures (all true) and I've loved her quirky and irreverent takes on parenting, her parents, classical music, the odd short story or essay, dead celebrity heartthrobs (Kafka! Chopin!) etc. This book--which has been a long time coming--is nothing like any of that... it's twisted and suspenseful... political gothic. I was sad when it ended.

My other read was Brian Doyle's One Long River of Song, which continuously broke me in so many beautiful ways. It was a book club pick--definitely not something I'd have picked for myself. And kids, that is why I should be in more book clubs.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

what was I thinking?

I wanted to (re)read some Mary Stewart, who's been a comfort read since my teens, and picked Wildfire at Midnight, which was my first Mary Stewart and a book I'd originally picked somewhat serendipitously from the untouched hardback section in the Holy Angels Convent library. I was so taken by it, I retold it frame-by-frame to my sister and cousins at our sleepover later that week.

Anyway... So I had very good reasons to pick Wildfire... And yes, the language and descriptions were just as flawless and the murder mystery just as intriguing. But of course the historical moment is a key player too--the conquest of Everest by Tenzing and Hillary and... the coronation of QEII.

I guess subliminal colonialism is a thing.

Pic: Reading my Mary Stewart compendium with Scout and Huck.

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

404

 


Full day: 10+ hours of teaching and grading and meetings and approx. 2 hours of commuting...

And it's now 3:18 am and I can't stop reading Anthony Doerr's Cloud Cuckoo Land.

Help.

(I liked his All the Light We Cannot See too although its very eurocentric depiction of WWII irked me. This one, OMG, is incredibly lush and includes wide swathes of humanity and historical times.)

Thursday, August 12, 2021

of darker days



> Torrential rains last night and then a pretty innocent-looking morning. Yet at my all-kids-pre-breakfast cuddle/huddle, At remarked on how it already looked darker at our regular wake up time.

*

< Started Ayad Akhtar's Homeland Elegies. FML, I didn't expect so much of that first chapter to be about Trumpfzzzz. It has been such a relief not to have to deal with that din on the daily.


Sunday, December 22, 2019

"Yes or no or maybe"


Big A set the kids to deep clean the bookshelves in their rooms, and Dori Chaconas's Momma, Will You? didn't make the cut. (The last time we did bedroom library evals, I convinced manipulated Nu into keeping it on a shelf of keepsakes.) But this lovely, lovely book that reminds me of the heft of a baby in my lap and a super cuddler by my side will now live in my upstairs library for ever.

For ever ever.

Because my human kids are eight years apart, this was a book I read to too-old-At and too-young-Nu, but they too still remember the refrain of "Yes or no or maybe;" the sometimes silly requests of the kids ("Momma will you wash the pig?/ Yes, or no or maybe?/In the tub! He's not too big./ Wash him with our baby."); and the always lovely and wise responses of the Momma: ("No, we will not catch a wren/ for wild things should fly free./ But I will sing a song for you,/And you sing one for me.")

I'm fairly certain I got this book from the Beavercreek Goodwill in 2008 or so, but I am so happy to see that it's still in print and seems to be universally appreciated. 

Thursday, December 19, 2019

First!

I got to bookclub first, with my signed copy of Rainbow Rowell's sweet debut Eleanor and Park for the book exchange. (Reusing book, bag, and tissue paper here. Hola!)

Half-an hour later, the place was all raucous exuberance, with discussions hilariously veering off course. The book was Tayari Jones's An American Marriage and the loudest, longest discussion SOMEHOW became: which famous prisoner would you write to?

Saturday, December 07, 2019

10,000 Words

It feels like I said everything that needed to be said multiple times with my nearest ones, and I need a break from thinking and talking about the same thing.

Early morning walk with L; Lunch buffet at Saffron today with L&T and EM and Nu and Big A; baklava from Shatila via Sultan's; and the short story volume from N.K.Jemisin for book club tomorrow.

I'm calling the day officially closed for further business.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Here

No weekend walking club, didn't make it to The Overstory bookclub, but--I cleaned the driveway, grocery shopped, planted the indoor hyacinths (I just press them into pots with other things around the house and someday will get a SURPRISE burst of color and fragrance), chatted about all the things with all the people, and ended up with  dinner at The People's Kitchen (Big A's Boss Day pick) just as the sun was setting over the capitol.

Kind of a lovely day, actually.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Yes



Noobs and I finally made it to the bookstore after panning to for literal days, and I'm beyond excited to start this book.

And also, how awesome is that bookmark (and the kind bookstore person who just gave it to me)?!













Thursday, May 30, 2019

Some Books

MIL's book (illustrations by her, words by SIL when she was six) is out in print. I love it and we ordered a bunch to give to friends with kids. LMK, if you'd like a copy!











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Sunday, January 13, 2019

Empowered Sunday

Image result for obama becoming


I started Michelle Obama's Becoming today for bookclub on Thursday, wasn't sure what to expect, but it's been lovely so far. I read some passages aloud to Nu, and we both chortled at the precise same place when she described her brother's tics.

And then J texted me to say that although I'd missed going out with the group that had gone to see On the Basis of Sex with the group on Thursday, I SHOULD TAKE NU TO SEE IT RIGHTAWAY.  So Nu and I started making plans. And then we wanted Big A to come with us. He wasn't going to come, but Nu and I were all: women and other minority-centered stories aren't just for women and the minorities they represent, it's important for white dudes to see others at the center of the story too. And so, he came. Let's hope he picked up lots of tips from Martin Ginsberg. Ha.


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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Better late...

Woke up this morning happy from impending Thanksgiving, and plan to go through these two that I stashed away last month after work today (teaching day, so it's possible that I might just take a nap instead).

And I should probably stop picking these up, our menu is pretty much settled at this point.

(Except I'm changing the brown-butter pumpkin gravy--which only I love--into a brown-butter pumpkin soup with pepitas and sour cream that shall be everyone's first course. Baahhahhhaha.)

Update: I will not be able to get to the extra recipes and pictures today. But... those two meetings after classes paid off, as it sounds like my workplace bully will be asked to attend mediation with me. So that's one big thing to be thankful for today.






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Sunday, September 30, 2018

Still Got it, Y'all


It's been so long since I competed in something... And it felt good to win. I signed up for the U.N. quiz, got into first place by question #3 and then the pressure was ON. Nu was tickled that people were whispering "Who's Dora" as the Kahoot quiz went on. Nerdhood is a lifelong condition.








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hanging in there/hanging by a thread: a week of random things I thought about with A in the hospital

Wednesday, July 10:  Big A's healthcare team doesn't have a clear way forward, so neither do we. But I found the buttons to move his...