Book Confessions…

September 19, 2012 § 17 Comments

I want to read but it’s just not something you do in the middle of the day at your desk.
I want to read but instead decide to sleep on the plane.
I want to read but waiting ’til bedtime (11-ish) just doesn’t work out always when Morpheus comes flapping around doing his go-to-sleep-now thing.
I want to read but sometimes it’s just not polite, even if the conversation is boring, to pick up a book and begin.

I crave reading like I crave chocolate, or quiet time or a ride in the countryside.

Instead of reading right now, though, I’ll herein spill some book truths, confessions if you will..and you might want to pipe up on some of it..

FREEDOM by Jonathan Franzen. More than 15 months since I started it, I still haven’t finished it. The suburban angst and the “drifting”around of characters is disturbing (and truthful) to me and not the escapism I’m likely to seek after a 10-hour work day.
But the writing is fabulous, full of writing language and human insight.
Plus, Franzen is from here, from Webster Groves.
Plus, I have it on my Nook.

I am only now reading THE BOOK THIEF.
I am reading it because I think I should. (I wrote that line 4 days ago.) But now, more than halfway through it, I’m liking it. There is some sharp and excellent writing in it.
It’s not (just) for young adults.

I am only 4 pages in to THE HUNGER GAMES. I am not yet addicted. I haven’t touched it in four months. I thought I’d be done with it by now, talking about it at the water cooler, yapping about the movie, but no. It’s still hovering near the TBR stack. Along with its two successors. Blech.

As for some of the hefty classics including  ANNA KARENINA, EAST OF EDEN, CUTTING FOR STONE, MIDDLESEX, HUCKLEBERRY FINN, DANTE’S INFERNO, THE ODYSSEY, ULYSSES, CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, IN COLD BLOOD, and ON THE ROAD to name a few, I haven’t read ém and I don’t know if I will. Maybe with the change of the season… Though I’d say my heart’s not in reading them, I realize I might fall in love with them. That’s nice, to be on the precipice of (book) love, non?

I am hellbent to read the books that are in the house. However, I find my buy-books addiction leaking into the purchase of magazines instead. My habit has morphed.

The bottom line, though: if I’m reading, I’m not writing.

summer…drinks

September 17, 2012 § 3 Comments

Little Archie comes creeping, creeping on little fingered paws. She’s come nearly every morning (that Í’ve been looking) for a drink, taking the same path, taking the same pauses midway.

She’s a third gen nearby-tree squirrel as far as I can tell and she often travels alone tho’ I think she has two brothers. Very wary and very fleet, she is. This birdbath (or was it really for holding seeds? We don’t know)…anyway, this birdbath used to be Huck’s outdoor drinking bowl in the summer. So he thought. He lapped up the water whether it was hot or cold, fresh from the hose. Which is partly why we are not annoyed or astounded that Archie sips here. Huck wouldn’t have cared. We are tickled to see a critter braving the wall and sitting up to put her paws on the side of the bowl to drink.

Then she scampers off to eat her fill of sunflower hulls and hominies.

Summer…

September 15, 2012 § 3 Comments

Summer is stories around the crackling campfire.
One’s imagination is fueled by the story that fills up all the quiet beyond the firelight.

Summer has been…hot

September 14, 2012 § 11 Comments

It was so hot in the midst of summer that…flowers melted.

 

Summer at the circus…

September 12, 2012 § 7 Comments

Circus Flora plays almost solely to St. Louis crowds. We caught the last show on the last day. It was hot and the circus acts were hotter. Enthralling. No, not the usual word to describe a circus, much less a one huge-tent, one ring, Euro-style circus that annually write scripts to pull all their acts together and marry costumes from one scene to another.

Before the show began under the big top, though, this little performer warmed up by having an icee while stealing floor space near the Snake Man. He might have been her father.

She would come out in the third act, holding hands with the 2-year-old son of Nino, the circus’s feature clown.

Little Pinky here has circus in her aspect and old soul in her face.

 

 

 

 

There is always pie…

September 10, 2012 § 21 Comments

This summer, there was pie. And funny little tablescapes. Apple pie, cherry pie, French silk pie, peach pie…
Sometimes there pie was for breakfast, which seems like the only breakfast entry that could possibly rival a delicious bit of  bacon, one egg cooked just so and a lovely piece of French bread with sweet butter.
Such late night thoughts…

(what’s in the little white dish? Why, raw sugar of course, to sprinkle on top of the pie when it’s hot from the oven…)

What’s your favorite breakfast?

Summer…coffee…really? yes!

September 9, 2012 § 15 Comments

My Dad used to drink coffee even in the heat of the upstate New York summer (temperatures then and there averaged around 73 degrees farenheit).
“Why?”I once asked him, thinking that classic Coke was the only thirst quencher during the heat of an Adirondack summer.
He explained that though it might make him sweat, any resultant sweat would actually cool him down, especially when a foothills breeze kicked up.

He might have answered my young-pup self, stating that he just plain loved coffee.
Becuase he did.
Also, in the ’60s, it was promorted as “think drink.” I liked that idea and years later, while at college, I found coffee-and-a-cigarette to be just the morning eye-opener. (OK, not for long on the cigarettes…sometime after studying in France, I gave them up, not enjoying the feeling of an army walking across my chest when waking.)

I did not give up coffee. It’s like I inherited the coffee gene from my Dad (impossible, he was my step-dad) and I consider it a luxury, as dessert, as a meal (sometimes at work, yeah, I know what you’re going to say) and as a date with HM, whether we’re cafe-ing or sitting in the living room, talking, reading and sipping.

Here’s a favorite place in St. Louis that you just might want to try out. They serve free trade coffee and somehow brew it strong without that miserable burned acid kick that so many places proudly brew. When in town, give it a whirl. It’s Shaw’s. Shaw’s Coffee LTD is privately owned, publicly popular!

Summer…

September 8, 2012 § 6 Comments

There’s so much to tell you…

 

“weather in a word…”

May 3, 2012 § 9 Comments

On the last day of our Gulf vacay, this sign was just outside a lunch cafe.

Funny how even a grey weather day on a vacay stint just doesn’t matter. 
You have, by now, relearned livingwithin Nature, embraced by it, wrapped up in the balm of walking around in the air, have learned how to be beyond the office walls, and you’ve rediscovered the relativity of time without a clock, including all the things you can do or not do within a day that doesn’t involve desks, meetings or email.

In fact, you’re likely to tilt your head skyward, close your eyes, open your mouth and taste the rain. 

 

 

Books read on vacay: 
Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani.  I like her books (see her THE SHOEMAKER’S WIFE on the bestseller list!) for their mix of Italian language, growing up Italian in NYC and the occasional inclusion of fictional relatives in Italy. It recalls hours and hours at my mother-in-law’s kitchen table in Brooklyn.
The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell  is a decent read with inspirational value, some strong recommendations and one or two esoteric exercises.  Yes, read it. Even if you’re not a writer. But if you’re reading this, you  probably are.
And then there are the magazines but much reading time was replaced by “friend” time because we holidayed with best friends and I cannot tell you how luxurious it is to drop in (a few floors down) for coffee with a BFF at the beginning of a day.

Do we not have something of the same luxury wtih our blog friends? Indeed!

Extremes…it all will make you laugh out loud…

April 11, 2012 § 10 Comments

THE TITLE OF THIS COVER:  “CARRY-ON LUGGAGE”

It’s true. In order to avoid baggage fees, people carry their own weight in “stuff”, all jammed into one or two pieces, onto the plane. You can’t blame them. It’s worth the try, unless you’re in the last group to board in which case finding space to stash your stuff is challenging…you can just fuggedaboutit.

I cannot bear dragging things around, either. The thinner and lighter, the better. There have been moments when I’d gladly disown my own purse (ok, it’s rather large) when running through Chicago’s interminable terminals.

It’s truth that makes us laugh, oddly.  So this cover on The New Yorker, April 16, had me LOL-ing.