Thankful for AC! Even today, with less sun, a slight breeze, and considerably lower temps, walking 2.5 miles and re-entering a cooled house is to feel next-level gratitude. Woosh!
Our garbage-picking days are mostly behind us, but a reno around the corner on Cypress Street is spitting up some irresistible items. Took two mirrors last week and, get this, a child-sized upholstered chair.
Would its diminutive proportions accommodate me? Would it feel comfy? Yes and yes! K is fixing the broken leg and then I’ll put it upstairs for zoom calls and writing.
Have any of you read Lessons in Chemistry? My comments, below, will be deleted at week’s end because I don’t generally like to leave negative reviews online.
But boy oh boy. Giving the dog a point of view? Sloppy and silly. Other points of view sliding around willy-nilly? Again sloppy. Making your precocious kindergarten character’s reading materials be utterly, laughably incredible? And then there’s how this is a book about a pioneer in a TV cooking show and no mention is made of Julia Child in the acknowledgments (which ran to four pages or more).
Having said that, I get the appeal. It’s a page-turner and the heroine is an unyielding, outspoken resister of cultural norms in all the best possible ways. Think: Katharine Hepburn.
And of course, I have to applaud the author because this debut was published when she was 65.
From the other end of the age spectrum comes the impressive Nightcrawling, also a debut, written by a 21-year-old. A gritty coming of age story about a teenaged girl whose parents are unavailable and whose older brother abandons her (essentially), so what does she do to meet the rent? She turns tricks. Turns out, a cluster of disgusting and corrupt cops start using her services and she becomes embroiled in the exposee of their criminality. The plot was good, as was character development, but what really stunned me were some of her unusual and starkly original use of the senses to describe ordinary parts of life.
If you’re looking for short and sadly sweet, I recommend Irish author Claire Keegan. I read both Foster and Small Things Like These. These are short enough to be considered novellas and read like long short stories, really. Lovely language, poignant plot lines, and goddamn the Catholic Church.
I’ll save the biography and my favorite book pictured, The Sweetness of Water, for another time or, knowing how things go, maybe not another time.