August Behind Me

August was…the final push to move back into the new library space. People who used to work there won’t recognize it. August was also the finishing of the deck and patio. It looks awesome. Sidelined by injury I only ran 60.86 miles this month. But. But! But, here are the books:

  • Anarchy and Old Dogs by Colin Cotterill
  • Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell (AB)
  • Lost City of Z by David Grann
  • The High and the Mighty by Ernest Gann
  • If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin
  • Children in the Woods by Frederick Busch
  • Flora’s Suitcase by Dalia Rabinovich
  • ADDED: Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
  • ADDED: Dorothy Gutzeit: Be True and Serve by Dorothy Gutzeit (ER)

My favorite was Dogs of Riga followed by Anarchy and Old Dogs.


Flora’s Suitcase

Rabinovich, Dalia. Flora’s Suitcase. New York: HarperFlamingo, 1998.

Reason read: Columbia gained its independence in August.

Confessional: this is one of the few times I actually like magical realism. It works for Flora’s Suitcase. Flora is a woman trying to make a new life for herself and her family in Columbia. Originally from Cincinnati, Flora, her husband, David and newborn son, Sol emigrate to David’s homeland. Flora is caught between the traditions of her Jewish American upbringing and the spicy, colorful ones of her new family – David’s three all-knowing, overbearing sisters and their families. Add the escalating attentions of the male members of the family, an ever-growing brood of her own, and a bevy of inept maids and Flora’s life is pure chaos. She keeps a suitcase packed, ready to escape back to Cincinnati but somehow never seems to make it out the door.

Quotes that made me think. “Had Flora known that a mango sealed her fate, she would have lunged toward her husband and pushed him overboard” (p 4).

Author fact: Rabinovich was born in Columbia but lives in New York.

Book trivia: the cover for Flora’s Suitcase is at once arresting and at length interesting. Flora? sits off kilter on a windowsill with a closed suitcase at her feet. A parrot sits on the suitcase while another swoops in from above. Are they the reason she looks about ready to topple out the open window? She leans at an awkward angle with a hand in the air as if to say, Catch me!

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter obviously called “Hail, Columbia” (p 91).


August Ahead

My obsession with moving rocks has come to an end now that the big boys are playing in the backyard. This hopefully means I’ll scale back to just two fanatical activities: running and reading. Or reading and running. I wonder who will win out? I am in the last month of training before the half marathon, but here are the books planned for August:

  • Anarchy and Old Dogs by Colin Cotterill – to continue the series started in May in honor of Laos Rocket Day. I have been able to read other books in the series in one to two days.
  • Dogs of Riga by Henning Mankell – in honor of July being one of the best times to visit Sweden (listening as an audio book).
  • Lost City of Z: a tale of deadly obsession in the Amazon by David Grann in honor of August being the driest month in the Amazon.
  • The High and the Mighty by Ernest Gann in honor of August being Aviation month.
  • If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin in honor of Baldwin’s birth month (print & AB).
  • Children in the Woods by Frederick Busch in honor of Busch’s birth month (short stories).
  • Flora’s Suitcase by Dalia Rabinovich in honor of Columbia’s independence.

PS – on the eve of posting this I ran 7.93 miles. Why the .93? My calf/Achilles started to give me grief so I had to stop. Now I wonder if the running has a chance to catch the books?