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

“The Executor”

Epstein, Joseph. “The Executor.” Fabulous Small Jews: Stories. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2003.

Reason read: June is Short Story Month

I think “The Executor” was my favorite story from Fabulous Small Jews. It was short, simple, and direct…but with a twist. Kenneth Hopkins is a Princeton student with a Jewish poet for a mentor. His time with Professor Bertram is profound, but not as life altering as his meeting with Mrs. Bertram. But, their meeting isn’t what you think.

Author fact: according to the dust jacket, Epstein has been a lecturer in English and writing at Northeastern. Another fact: I am reading a compilation of essays also written by Epstein called Plausible Prejudices.

Book trivia: There are eighteen stories in Fabulous Small Jews. I am only reading two.

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


“Artie Glick in a Family Way”

Epstein, Joseph. “Artie Glick in a Family Way”. The Hudson Review. Winter 1998; 50; 4; p545.

Reason read: June is Short Story Month.

In a nutshell: This is about a man who, at at fifty-seven, finally grows some you-know-whats and becomes an adult. After growing up in the shadow of a difficult father only to have him die in surgery, Artie substitutes this father for a just as difficult therapist. Twice a week for fourteen years Dr. Lieberman has been milking Artie’s feelings of inadequacy; for Artie was never good enough for his dad. Let’s count the ways in his dad’s eyes: he doesn’t have business sense. He has already failed at marriage once. He has never started a family. It is only after Glick’s girlfriend announces she is pregnant does Artie finally realize he could have a much different life.

Author fact: Epstein won the National Humanities Medal in 2003.

Book trivia: Fabulous Small Jews also contains the short story, “The Executor” (also on my list).

Nancy said: nothing specific about “Artie”.

BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the obvious 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