We call this November in the Southwest.
I have two books to recommend to you today. I’ve been gripping the raft of transporting books lately because my own mind is full of sharks and sneaker waves. My symptoms are flaring up and as I told the kids at our family meeting last Sunday, there are two things I’m working very hard on right now, one of which is this auto-immune condition. To work very hard and feel worse is bringing up a fair amount of cursing, crying, and spending money formerly alloted to beer and pastries on various healers. And reading.
I’ve changed my Pandora shuffle to all women (emmy lou, gillian welch, joni, lucinda, be good tanyas) partially because Rose recently remarked, most of the singers are men, and also because the women do “melancholy poet” so well. When I explained to Rose what was behind my puffy red eyes this morning, she said, “That sounds really hard, Mama. I’d be frustrated too if that were happening to me.” Her unprompted and sincere empathy may be the very definition of silver lining.
But the books! I’m so grateful for the medicine of stories, in which no one is appraising the latest batch of bone broth for jiggly clumps of gelatin, nor trying to coax bereft children back into their own lives.
The Rules of Civility was so beautifully written, so light and smooth, reading it was like watching the effortless gliding of professional ice skaters. The book takes place in Manhattan in the late 1930′s and is about luck, fate, love and class (I stole that from the Chicago Tribune review, but it’s 100% true).
Here’s a gorgeous line from Rules of Civility:
“The little planes no longer circled the Empire State Building, but it was still a view that practically conjugated hope: I have hoped; I am hoping; I will hope.”
The second book recommendation is the first book I’ve ever read by Nick Hornby, who has written a trillion best sellers, and only just last week my friend Kati mentions he’s one of her favorite writers, which is like after spending approximately 324 hours with a particular friend, having her just casually mention she’s descended from unicorns. Which is to say, the man can write like a mofo. I’m reading Juliet, Naked, which is about tracking down the meaning of our lives, how people join together and move apart, the courage to do your art, and people who have a particular fondness (cough*obsession*cough) for certain musical artists (If the shoe fits, Kristi…). It’s probably about even more, but I’m not quite done yet.
Finally, Dan and the kids like to take early morning Sunday drives in the winter, which may be a euphemism for “looking for roadkill.” Appropriately, they’ve made badges to make everything more official.
True badges, with mounted safety pins on the back; Rose’s yet to come.
Also, taking book and female singer suggestions.