One of my all time favorite 10,000 Maniacs songs is “The Painted Desert” off the album, Our Time in Eden. If you have never heard it, the premise is simple. A couple is trying to have a long distance relationship. Or…one of them is anyway…While one is off in the Southwest, the other waits patiently for the time when he? she? can join the other. But, soon the patience tarnishes and the one left behind find themselves pleading, “I wanted to be there by May at the latest time. Isn’t that the plan we had or have you changed your mind? I haven’t heard a word from you since Phoenix or Tuscon. April is over. Can you tell how long before I can be there?” The underlying poison is that the partner has moved on and the answer to the question is “never.” How ironic.
Having said all that, April IS over. As far as the run is concerned, I begrudgingly ran a half mara and a 10k and despite not training for either, I am pleased with both races.
And I read a fair amount of books:
- Amber Beach by Elizabeth Lowell
- Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
- The Corner: a Year in the life of an Inner-City Neighborhood by David Simon and Edward Burns
- The Evolution of Everyday Objects by Henry Petroski
- Bogey Man by George Plimpton
- To the Is-Land: an Autobiography by Janet Frame
- Charmed by Nora Roberts
- The Venus Throw by Steven Saylor
- “Unexplorer” by Edna St. Vincent Millay
- “Travel” by Edna St. Vincent Millay
- “Wild Geese” by Edna St. Vincent Millay
- New and Collected Poetry by Czeslaw Milosz
- Deeply Grateful and Entirely Unsatisfied by Amanda Happe
Yes, it is now April 4th and I am just getting to this. April is slowly becoming one of those coulda, woulda months. I was supposed to run nine miles on Sunday. Instead, I had Easter dinner with the family and chilled out. I could have run on Monday but it snowed and I had Cairo. Coulda, shoulda, woulda, didn’t. April is supposed to he a half marathon (and you can see how well the training is going) and a 10k one week later. Here are the books:
- Amber Beach by Elizabeth Lowell – in honor of Lowell’s birth month being in April.
- Zeitoun by Dave Eggers – in honor of April being the month Louisiana was founded.
- Bogey Man by George Plimpton – in honor of the PGA tour.
- Corner by David Simon – in honor of Maryland becoming a state in April.
- Evolution of Useful Things by Henry Petroski – in honor of April being Math, Science, and Technology month.
- Venus Throw by Steven Saylor – to continue the series started in March for Saylor’s birth month.
- Charmed by Nora Roberts – to continue the series started in February for Valentine’s Day.
- New and Collected Poetry by Czeslaw Milosz – to continue honoring Poetry Month
- A Few Figs From Thistles by Edna St. Vincent Millay – see above.
- “Wild Geese” by Edna St. Vincent Millay – see above.
If there is time:
- To the Is-Land by Janet Frame – in honor of Anzac Day in New Zealand.
- Jargoon Pard by Andre Norton (I had to request this one through interlibrary loan so I’m not sure it will be read in time to be in the April category.
The only run I have planned for March is St. Patrick’s Day. No surprise there. Here are the books planned for March:
- The Good Son by Michael Gruber (AB) – in honor of the start of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
- White Man’s Grave by Richard Dooling – In honor of Dooling’s birthplace (Nebraska) becoming a state in March.
- Roman Blood by Stephen Saylor – in honor of Saylor’s birth month in March.
- All the Way Home by David Giffels – in honor of Ohio becoming a state in March.
- Coast of Incense by Freya Stark – to continue the series started in January for Stark’s birth month. This will end the autobiography.
- Entranced by Nora Roberts (EB) – to continue the Donovan Legacy started in February in honor of Valentine’s Day.
- Infinite Hope by Anthony Graves
- New and Collected Poems by Czeslaw Milosz – in honor of National Poetry Month.
If there is time:
- Slide Rule: the Autobiography of an Engineer by Nevil Shute – in honor of the birth month of William Oughtred
- Which Witch? by Andre Norton – to remember Norton (who died in the month of March).
- Cards of Identity by Nigel Dennis in honor of Reading Month.
I have been seeing a chiropractor for over a month and have all but stopped running. At first, I admit, this bothered me to no end. Now, I’m okay with it for all the books I have been reading. And speaking of books, here is February’s plan for The Books:
- The Almond Picker by Simonetta Agnello ~ in honor of Almond Blossom festival in Sicily.
- The Color of Money by Walter Tevis ~ in honor of Tevis’s birth month.
- Dead Room Farce by Simon Brett ~ in honor of February being Theater month.
- City of Falling Angels by John Berendt~ in honor of February being the month of the Venice Carnival (AB/print).
- Full Steam Ahead: the Race to Build a Transcontinental Railroad by Rhoda Blumberg~ in honor of February being Train Month.
- Beyond Euphrates by Freya Stark ~ in honor of Freya’s birthday in January.
- Ready, Player One by Ernest Cline ~ because a friend recommended it (E-book).
There might be room for more titles, considering Dead Room Farce and Full Steam Ahead are barely 200 pages apiece. We’ll see…
The one good thing about July is that I am starting to train for a half mara in October. I am praying this gets me out of my funk…
Here are the books:
- The Eagle Has Landed by Jack Higgins ~ in honor of Higgins’s birth month
- Anna and Her Daughters by DE Stevenson ~ in honor of July being Ice Cream Month (this is further explained in the book review).
- Hawthorne: a Life by Brenda Wineapple ~ in honor of Hawthorne’s birth month
- Pacific Lady by Sharon Adams ~ in honor of July being Ocean Month
- Henry James: the Middle Years by Leon Edel (didn’t finish in June) ~ to continue the series started in April in honor of James’s birth month.
- A Moment of War by Laurie Lee ~ to continue the series started in honor of April’s Madrid festival.
Early Review for LibraryThing:
- The World Broke in Two: Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, D. H. Lawrence, E. M. Forster, and the Year That Change Literature by Bill Goldstein
I see June as jumping over spring. We went from low 50 degree temps to mid 90s overnight. Not sure what to make of this abbreviated spring. I’m not sure what to make of myself either. I all but stopped running (eleven miles for the entire month). Even when I was home on Monhegan I didn’t lace up. My only saving grace is I’m to start training for a half in July. Sigh…
Here are the books:
- American Pastoral by Philip Roth ~ in honor of Father’s Day (AB)
- Under the Gypsy Moon ~ by Lawrence Thornton
- The Key to Rebecca by Ken Follett
- Death, Taxes and Leaky Waders by John Gierach
- Provence by Ford Madox Ford (DNF)
Series Continuations –
- Cider with Rosie (illustrated) by Laurie Lee
- Henry James: the Middle Year by Leon Edel (not finished yet)
For the Early Review program for LibraryThing:
- Upstream: Searching for Wild Salmon, From River to Table by Langdon Cook
- The World Broke in Two by Brian Goldstein (not finished yet)
Here are the short stories –
- “Artie Glick in a Family Way” by Joseph Epstein
- “Executor” by Joseph Epstein
- “Mendocino” by Ann Packer
- “Babies” by Ann Packer
- “General Markman’s Last Stand” by Tom Paine
- “The Spoon Children” by Tom Paine
- “Someone to Watch Over Me” by Richard Bausch
- “Aren’t You Happy for Me?” by Richard Bausch
Here’s the singular thing I love, love, love about March: the St. Patrick’s Day Road Race in Holyoke, MA. I adore running this race. Runner’s World magazine has mentioned it more than once, calling it the mini Boston Marathon for it’s toughness. I PR’ed this year! But what I am more excited about is that this time I was only five seconds away from breaking an hour. Unlike last year (1:07:and something seconds) I was 1 hour and a measly four seconds. But, enough about running! Here are the books finished for March, 2017:
- Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote (AB +EB)*
- Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel (AB + print)
- Falling Angels by Barbara Gowdy*
- Treachery in the Yard by Adimchinma Ibe*
- Breaks of the Game by David Halberstam (DNF)
- Big Empty edited by Ladette Randolph and Nina Shevchuk-Murray (EB)
- No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin (AB)
- Red Bones by Ann Cleeves
- Hall of a Thousand Columns by Tim Mackintosh-Smith (DNF)
- Endymion by Dan Simmons
Early Review “won”:
- Ma Speaks Up by Marianne Leone (received and finished)
- My Life with Bob by Pamela Paul (This has arrived & I have started it)
*Short enough to read in one day.