Tuesday, January 26, 2016

First Chapter...

First Paragraph Tuesday Intros

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt

My father and mother should have stayed in New York where they met and married and where I was born. Instead, they returned to Ireland when I was four, my brother, Malachy, three, the twins, Oliver and Eugene, barely one, and my sister, Margaret, dead and gone.
When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all. It was,  of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.

I am already hooked. This book has been on my TBR forever and now it satisfies the autobiography requirement in the PopSugar Reading Challenge 2016.

I'm sad to say I heard that Abe Vigoda really died today. He was an old favorite from Barney Miller, a 70's sitcom. His death has been reported so many times that he had a Twitter feed that simply said "I'm alive." Every day....RIP Mr. Vigoda.
My twelve year old granddaughter is wearing my sister-in-laws aunts wedding dress from the 1930s. It fit her perfectly.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Reflections on the way life used to be...

I am musing on aging today. With much trauma. It really bothers me when people who were part of the boomer generation take their last bow, literally. That Eagle, Leslie Gore, Ann Meara, Maureen O'Hara, Natalie Cole. These are a few of the people I listened to on the radio and whose records I bought. I watched them in movies and on TV. They are gone and they are around my age. I feel like they were a part of my life. The Beach Boys 50th anniversary is this year. They look older than they did when I was in high school. AARP magazine covers are being taken over by the new 50 year olds. Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that, now...or something like that.( Bob Dylan MyBack Pages) He, B.D., was on the cover of AARP not so long ago. I have to think of something to blog for my 65th year. That birthday is not too far off.

I am listening to The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson. It is a devastating story. North Korean humans and dogs do not have it easy...
Saw Dirty Grandpa with my hubby. He loved it. I think it was just  slapstick.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Tuesday Intro...The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros-The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie

Too hot to sleep so I walked down to the Third Avenue 7-11 for a Creamsicle and the company of a graveyard-shift cashier. I know that game. I worked graveyard for a Seattle 7-11 and got robbed once too often. The last time the bastard locked me in the cooler. He even took my money and my basketball shoes.

I read Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian as an "Indigenous Culture" book for the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge. I was so moved by the story of Arnold Spirit, a courageous kid from the Rez. I am pushing for every one I know to read this book.
The paragraph I posted is the first of just one of the stories in Alexie's collection of stories.

                                                             No more training wheels

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Making a list on the porch...

                                          Look closely and you will see angels in the snow!

Today was a football on TV Sunday. I don't really watch it but it is a perfect excuse to veg on the couch and pour over lists of books on my computer. 100 Best Books of the Decade So Far, 100 Books to Read before you Die, 20 Books to Read in 2016. I could go on and on. There are so many lists. After much hard work on the couch with blankets and pillows and blueberry cheese cake bars and one cup of coffee, I have chose the books I want to read in 2016 or at least before I die.

White Teeth by Zadie Smith, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, The Corrections by Jonathon Franzen, The Known World by Jones, Gilead by Robinson, My Brilliant Friend, The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck, Beloved by Toni Morrison, The Outsiders, The Things They Carried, The Secret History by Donna Tartt, The Epicures Lament by Kate Christensen and The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

These books turned up on many lists and recommendations. I just finished reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. This book deserved every award it was given. It is so affecting emotionally. I am now listening to Drown by the same author. Fresh, lewd, direct, sly, sweet and honest, the words used to describe Diaz's voice by a reviewer are just right.
I am also reading Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee. I'll let you know how that works out...

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday Intro...

Meet Me in Venice by Suzanne Ma

Never in her life had she been so determined to accomplish something. Anything, really. In China, things were easy. But here, in Italy, nothing was.

She had been working in the bar for less than a week when the skin on her hands started to peel. Little bits of skin, translucent and pink, flaked off like Parmesan cheese. Then the cracks appeared. Tiny fissures ruptured at the joints and split her knuckles open. She started to bleed. Everyone told Ye Pei it was normal.

I am going to read this. It is amazing to me the hardship and pain immigrants are willing to endure to find a better life.

Monday, January 4, 2016

First read of 2016...

My first book of 2016 is Meet Me in Venice by Suzanne Ma. It was recommended by and given to me by my niece in Vancouver. 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Happy New Year...

Snow fell the night before the Texans left. A lot of snow. So sledding, a smart dog and whip cream in the face game...

Quick bookish update. I read 79 books in 2015. My 2016 goal is 80 books. I pushed myself to read 79. A few of my favorites were: To Kill A Mockingbird, Pride and Prejudice, 11/22/63, The Lowland, Wonder, The Kite Runner, The Martian, The Green Mile, Just Kids, Funny Girl, Written in My Own Heart's Blood, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, Landline, All the Light We Cannot See.
I can only hope to find such excellent reading material for this coming year.

The holiday season started on December 7 this year for us in da U.P. We have had a houseful of grandchildren, children and friends. The last bunch, our oldest daughter and her sweet family just left this morning. Life is going to be quiet for me after the fun and excitement the kids bring with them on their visits from the south. We all played the card game Golf many times. War with Papa, Sorry and Spoons. We watched movies, ate cookies and went sledding. I took many pictures. Our time together was so much fun. I'm gonna miss them...
In the words of Theodore Giesel, Dr. Seuss, "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."