- Although Christos Tsiolkas’s novel The Slap did not work for me, I still had a nice time communicating back and forth with Bill @ Australian Legend. It was our first buddy read, but alas. Once a book makes me feel like I’m “being pursued by penises,” I have to DNF. You can read my thoughts on Bill’s blog! Check out his thoughts, too. I wrote a bit more on Goodreads as well.
- The spouse and I received our absentee ballots for the General Election on November 3rd. It worked! — I wasn’t sure because Indiana has been awfully flip-floppy and unclear about mail-in voting. We filled out our ballots this morning; never before have I voted straight party, but I did. I filled in that box that said “DEMOCRAT” and instantly started sobbing.
- It’s getting nippy outside, and Kitty is never cuter than when she’s curled up and frigid. I’m still sitting outside as much as possible, although the ol’ hoodie has come out of the front closet.
- My mom and I are reading Joanne Harris’s quartet of books about Vianne Rocher, and I’m having fun breaking it down with her. We’re almost done with the first novel, the famous Chocolat, and there are so many scandals alluded to that we’re puzzling out that I never noticed the first time I read. When we’re done, I’m going to have the spouse rig up something so we can watch the movie with Juliette Binoche, Dame Judy Dench, and Lena Olin.
- Speaking of the spouse, I’m reading The Honk and Holler Opening Soon by Billie Letts to Nick. We ended on a particularly dramatic chapter on Thursday night, and I asked if he was okay with just one chapter per usual. He said yes, but when he woke me up at 11:00PM to ask me to read one more chapter or he would be sad the whole next day, I got the feeling he might be invested in the characters.
- Typically, over the summer my husband and I head to Silver Beach several times per month. It’s a great place to walk around, put your tootsies in Lake Michigan, and get ice cream. Due to COVID-19 and all those horrible beach pictures of people crowding together, we didn’t go all summer. Last weekend was pretty chilly, so I seized on the weather, hoping the beach would be less crowded. It wasn’t too bad, though we still felt uncomfortable without masks as we walked around. We found our own spot to sit and watch the waves.
- My nieces stayed the weekend with mom again. They’re really into cooking shows, so they watched us over Google Hangouts as we made Skillet Zucchini and Sausage.
THIS WEEK’S BLOG POSTS
Emily @ Literary Elephant and I read Gutshot by Amelia Gray. If you have a squeamish nature, this collection is not for you. If you like no-nonsense stories, it’s also not for you! If you have a flighty imagination, you’ll likely appreciate Gutshot. For instance, Bill @ Australian Legend sent me a photo of a dingo that sat outside his truck, obviously wanting food. Instantly, my brain adopted this creature, named it Bingo the Dingo and put a red bandanna around its neck, then imagined us riding around in a caramel-colored El Camino, drinking a Slurpee out of the same cup with no lid, and eating Hostess Cupcakes while we scoped out interesting looking people who were hitchhiking and would tell us their cool life stories, like how they just got out prison, but no worries, Bingo the Dingo would keep them in line if they were creeps. I mean, he’s a dingo for cryin’ out loud. What I mean to say, is if your brain works like mine, Gutshot is for you.
So many bad things have happened, and are happening, in the United States during my life that I find I’m forgetting some of them for running out of storage space. Valarie Kaur, in her book See No Stranger, weaves her own experiences as a Sikh woman who grew up on a farm that’s been in her family for 100 years with 9/11, patriotism, and anti-Muslim (or anyone who “looks” Muslim) terror attacks. Kaur recounts her physical and mental health issues, relationship navigating, and education in what amounts to a fully-developed, beautiful nonfiction work.
NEXT WEEK’S BLOG POSTS
Judy’s just turned fifty. Her husband copes with his chronic anxiety by working a low-stress job and smoking pot. They’ve separated but can’t afford to get divorced. Both feel their thirteen-year-old son doesn’t “like” them anymore, and Judy’s career has stalled. This is when she takes up wearing the family dog in a baby sling — and wears it everywhere. Check out my audio book review of Separation Anxiety by Laura Zigman on Tuesday.
A collection of short stories, Sabrina and Corina by author Kali Fajardo-Anstine shares the most lowly aspects of the lives of women: being beaten, getting wasted, sleeping around, abandoning children, and sexism that demands Latina women find the whitest man they can who has money and get married. I read this one for a book club. Review on Thursday.
BOOKS ADDED TO THE TBR PILE
I *may* have gone on a wee shopping spree with the Press 53 five-book bundle and Stacey Levine’s books. Levine is doing a Zoom reading at the University of Notre Dame that I’m going to attend. The last one was with Stephen Graham Jones, and while it was nice, not a single ND student actually turned on their camera. It was just my face, Jones’s, and two faculty’s — and about fifteen black boxes.