June Jumping

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:

Fiction –

  • 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

Nonfiction –

  • 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

“Babies”

Packer, Ann. “Babies.” Mendocino and Other Stories. New York: Vintage Contemporaries, 2003.

Reason read: June is short story month.

“Babies” in the epitome of pregnant woman syndrome. Women who worry they might be pregnant as well as women who yearn to become a mother see pregnant women everywhere. It becomes a taunt; a nagging. This is what happens to the lead character in “Babies.” Everywhere she looks, women are getting pregnant and she can’t even get a date. Try as she likes, she can’t share in their joy event when three women she works with are with child all at the same time.

Telling quote, “I want to have a baby, but I can’t think of having a husband” (p 54). In this day and age this thinking is becoming (or already is?) the norm.

Author fact: Packer is a past recipient of a James Michener award.

BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter “Good Things Come in Small Packages” (p 102).


“Mendocino”

Packer, Ann. “Mendocino.” Mendocino and Other Stories. New York: Vintage Contemporaries, 2003.

Reason read: June is short story month

In the title story Bliss is visiting her brother on the ten year anniversary of their father’s suicide. Instead of finding an ally to her grief, Bliss is shocked to learn Gerald found happiness in an unlikely place: the cozy life he has built with his girlfriend, Marisa. Everything about Gerald’s new perspective rubs Bliss the wrong way until she realizes it’s not about her father anymore.

Author fact: Ann Packer also wrote A Dive From Clausen’s Pier which I’ve already read.

Book trivia: Mendocino is comprised of ten stories.

BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Good Things Come in Small Packages” (p 102).


June Jitterbugs

May was a month of real struggle. Suicides, known and unknown, sucked the life out of my psyche and I had a hard time staying afloat myself. I became obsessed with the sinking of the Lusitania and devoured every documentary I could find. Yet, I was unsure of my own mind’s footing; enough so I couldn’t trust me or myself to stand at Monhegan’s cliff edge. A first for me. Upon returning home I found myself amazed to be so relieved at being landlocked once again.

Here are the books I have planned for June:

Fiction:

  • Under the Gypsy Moon by Lawrence Thornton
  • Key to Rebecca by Ken Follett
  • American Pastoral by Philip Roth (AB)

Nonfiction:

  • Provence: by Ford Madox Ford
  • Another Lousy Day in Paradise by John Gierach ~ June is Fishing Month

Short Stories (June is Short Story Month):

  • “Artie Glick in a Family Way” by Joseph Epstein
  • “The Executor” by Joseph Epstein
  • “Mendocino” by Ann Packer
  • “Babies” by Ann Packer
  • “The Spoon Children” by Tom Paine
  • “Gentleman Markman’s Last Stand” by Tom Paine

Series Continuations:

  • Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee
  • Henry James: the Middle Years by Leon Edel

Early Review for LibraryThing (maybe – I haven’t received it yet):

  • Upstream by Langdon Cook