March of the Books

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*

Nonfiction:

  • 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)

Series continuations:

  • 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.


Like Water for Chocolate

Esquivel, Laura. Like Water for Chocolate. Read by Kate Reading. Westminster, MD: Books on Tape, 1994.

Reason read: March is supposedly the best time to visit Mexico. Better go do it before there’s a wall between us!

Confessional: this is a reread. I already read it back in the 90s when it was first published. It’s such a short story I felt like reading it again.

In a word, sensuous. But, keep reading and other words will pop out: passionate, exotic, magical, romantic, mystical. The Boston Globe called it “deceptively simple” and I couldn’t agree more. The words flow off the page and into your brain effortlessly and yet they have the power to stick with you. [Case in point: Gertrudis catching fire and running naked through the yard only to be swept up by a man on horseback is a scene I have never forgotten.] But, to the plot: Tita is the youngest daughter and, by family tradition, must devote her life to caring for her mother for her entire life. She cannot wed, she cannot leave the home. Ever. Even when the love of Tita’s life proposes marriage she cannot accept. Instead she is forced to become the family cook, spending her days preparing meals for the rest of the family, including Tita’s true love who has married her sister. It onl;y gets more intriguing from there.

Lines to quote: whenever I listen to an audio book there often isn’t a good opportunity to find quotes. It’s rare that I’ll even remember the line later. Even rarer that I’ll find the page it was on. However, I liked this line so much I got the print version just so I could quote it properly. “Unquestionably, when it came to dividing, dismantling, dismembering, desolating, detaching, dispossessing, destroying, or dominating, Mama Elana was a pro” (p 97).

Author fact: Esquivel was a screenwriter first.

Book trivia: I think everyone has seen Like Water for Chocolate, the movie.

Nancy said: Nancy said Like Water for Chocolate was “charming.” (p 153).

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “Mexican Fiction” (p 153).


Spring Forward

I’m really looking forward to spring. The chance to run outside (sorry, New Guinea) & a little more green in my life. Here are the books planned:

Fiction:

  • Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel ~ in honor of the best time to visit Mexico (AB). I think this will only take a few days to read so I’m adding:
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote (AB) as a backup ~ in honor of the Oscars (even though they just happened, embarrassingly so).
  • Falling Angels by Barbara Gowdy ~ in honor of the time Niagara Falls stopped flowing, and,
  • Treachery in the Yard by Adimchinma Ibe ~ in honor of Nigeria’s president as of 2015.

Both of these fictions are short-short so I should be able to read them in a day or two each.

Nonfiction:

  • Breaks in the Game by David Halberstam ~ in honor of March Madness (basketball)
  • The Big Empty edited by Ladette Randolph ~ in honor of Nebraska becoming a state in March.

Series Continuations:

  • Red Bones by Ann Cleeves ~ to continue the series started in January in honor of Up Helly Aa.
  • Endymion by Dan Simmons ~ to continue the series started in January in honor of Science Fiction month. This sucker is 600 pages long. Not sure I’ll finish it in time…
  • Hall of a Thousand Columns by Tim Mackintosh-Smith ~ to continue the series started in February in honor of Exploration month. This is an ILL and it hasn’t arrived yet, so I’m not sure I will finish it in time.

Early Review for LibraryThing:

  • Ma Speaks Up by Marianne Leonne ~ maybe. I “won” it in February but it hasn’t arrived yet.
  • EDITED to ADD: I just got word I also “won” My Life with Bob by Pamela Paul. It isn’t expected to arrive for awhile so this is really an April book.