The absolutely highlight for me this week was an evening with Terry McMillan, which the county library hosted via Zoom. I’d listened to her novel Who Asked You? and enjoyed myself, so I decided to ask Biscuit if we could read a book I own, I Almost Forgot About You, to coincide with McMillan’s virtual visit. An author visit always makes me excited about their work, which is likely why I own so many books I got at readings (and, erm, have never read).
McMillan struggled with Zoom like any lovely senior citizen, but then next thing you know she was talking about drugs, so she was a total treat. She read from her newest novel, It’s Not All Downhill from Here, which I then immediately downloaded on audiobook and started listening to the next day. That was a bit of a mistake; you can’t read two McMillan books at the same time because she tends to write about four female friends, and I don’t need to mix up my audiobooks and Biscuit book club books. Now I’m cramming the audiobook so I can get back to the book club book.
Anyway, near the end of the talk the audience asked McMillan how she’d been doing with the pandemic, and she is pissed. All the people who won’t take it seriously would do well to avoid Terry McMillan. She also hollered at her girlfriends who said they won’t take the vaccine because they don’t know what’s in it, and McMillan said, “Yeah, but you’ll do some coke!” Both McMillan and her characters are hilarious, and if you haven’t read her work, I would suggest getting at least one title.
And can I just say, as someone who taught rhetoric for eleven years, the fact that people now think they have to learn and understand (using Google, no less) the chemical composition of a vaccine before they put it in their bodies hurts my brain so hard. I’d be happy to talk about why in the comments, but the main answer is “ethos.”
THIS WEEK’S BLOG POSTS
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah is a tough one to recommend because the novel really manipulates the reader’s emotions, but it’s also compelling. At over fifteen audiobook hours, it was quite a long listen, too. Not sure if it’s right for your personal tastes? Check out what folks said on Goodreads to get some more information. I hear Hannah can be loved or hated due to her tendency to write emotionally.
Intrigues by Mercedes Lackey stirred up some good conversation among my co-host (Jackie @ Death by Tsundoku), our participant who has read previous Valdemar books (Kim @ Traveling in Books), and me. I’d love to hear more about your thoughts on the treatment of teen friendship and how it always tends to survive rough patches in fiction — something I think should not be the norm.
NEXT WEEK’S BLOG POSTS
Much like Terry McMillan’s book It’s Not All Downhill from Here, Charlotte Wood’s novel The Weekend has four elderly female friends in their 60s and 70s. Black Americans, Australians — seems like old ladies all get on each other’s nerves. When folks have been friends for decades, it shows. I’ll share with you my thoughts on The Weekend, which was another Biscuit book club pick, on Tuesday.
On Thursday I will introduce you to the writer Mary Saracino, another Pearlsong Press author. Saracino’s novel The Singing of Swans was a 19th Annual Lambda Literary Awards finalist in the Spirituality Category.
BOOKS ADDED TO THE TBR PILE