A Fresh Start for June

May is ending with disappointment. The caboose of the story (instead of the whole train) is that due to work obligations Kisa & I were not able to make it to Maine for a long weekend over the holiday. As a result I had to burn two vacation days at home. June will be a better month. But, to be fair – May wasn’t so shabby for books:

  • Brilliant Orange by David Winner
  • Bold Spirit by Linda Hunt
  • Jordan by E. Borgia
  • One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandre Solzhenitsyn
  • Coroner’s Lunch by Colin Cotterill
  • The Chosen by Chaim Potok
  • Map of Another Town by MFK Fisher
  • All the Rage by Martin Moran (ER)


  • Arab and Jew by David Shipler
  • Perks of Being a Wallflower by¬† David Chbosky


  • Master of the Senate by Robert Caro

For JUNE, here are the books & why:

  1. Yocandra in the Paradise of Nada by Zoe Valdes in honor of Caribbean Heritage Month
  2. Thirty-Three Teeth by Colin Cotterill to continue the series started in May
  3. Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich in honor of her birth month
  4. The Millstone by Margaret Drabble in honor of family month
  5. A Bridge Too Far by Cornelius Ryan in honor of World War II (D-Day)

June is National Short Story Month:

  • from Birds of America by Lorrie Moore:
    • Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens
    • People Like That are the Only People Here: Canonical Babbling in Peed Onk
  • from Lucky Girls by Nell Freudenberger:
    • The Orphan
    • Outside the Eastern Gate
  • from Nine Stories by JD Salinger:
    • A Perfect Day for a Bananafish
    • For Esme: with Love & Squalor

All the Rage

Moran, Martin. All the Rage: a Quest. New York: Beacon Press, 2016

Reason read: Early Review for LibraryThing

Wow. Am I glad I requested this book and actually received it. Wow. I’m glad I read it, too. There are layers and layers to All the Rage. You could call them onion-like because some layers will make you cry but there is more than just sadness: humor, beauty, sarcasm, wit, and yes, rage. Moran finds his mad. I read this from the perspective of not knowing Martin’s story. I didn’t read his 2005 memoir, knew nothing of the play and missed the headlines concerning him entirely.

It is one thing to come to terms with being a victim of any kind of abuse but it’s another to sort out the myriad of feelings connected to and as a result of that abuse during and more so, afterwards. If your abuse is a secret, you live in constant fear of being found out. If you are “out” you are constantly bombarded with doubts that you are dealing with it appropriately. That is exactly what Moran addresses in All the Rage. When people learn of the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of an adult they all want to know why he isn’t more angry. Where is his outrage? Where is his fury? Moving back and forth from memory to present day Moran is able to piece together his coping mechanisms and to see how every emotion is part of the process.

Beautiful lines, “The vague smell of medical sadness hung in the air, the business of staying alive a little longer” (p 125).

Author fact: Broadway doesn’t comes to Western Massachusetts very often (unless you consider Tanglewood an equivalent), so I was unaware of Moran’s talent as an actor. I think I liked it better that way because I wasn’t distracted by celebrity status and could just concentrate on the writing.

Book trivia: Read the praise for All the Rage on the back cover and you still won’t know what the book is about. The only thing you will know is that you want to read it. Now.


May I Read

I never recapped April nor predicted May. For the first time ever, April books are still being read. To be fair, the Lyndon Johnson series started in February so technically these leftovers are not specific either April nor May.

April was an oddball month in that my reading was all on the fly. I trained for another half marathon and that took a lot of my time. Not nearly as much as the full mara, but still…

Here are the Challenge books finished in April:

  • King Lear – Shakespeare (not scheduled)
  • Guernica – Van Hensbergen (not scheduled)
  • Grand Tour – Tim Moore
  • Green Thoughts – Eleanor Perenyi
  • Alice in Sunderland – Bryan Talbot
  • Considerable Town – M F K Fisher
  • Don’t Eat This Book – Morgan Spurlock

Here are the just for fun books:

  • Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work – John Gottman
  • Spark Joy – Marie Kondo (not scheduled)

Here’s what on tap for May:

For the Early Review program through LibraryThing:

  • All the Rage by Martin Moran

To celebrate May:

  • Brilliant Orange: the Neurotic Genius of Dutch Soccer by David Winner ~ in honor of the tulip festival in Holland
  • Bold Spirit: Helga Estby’s Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America by Linda Lawrence Hunt ~ in honor of Just ‘Cause and their 60-mile walk (although this year it’s in June).
  • Jordan: Past & Present: Petra, Jerash & Amman by E. Borgia ~ in honor of Jordan gaining independence in the month of May
  • One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandre Solzhenitsyn ~ in honor of Russia’s Victory Day (may 9th, 1945)
  • Coroner’s Lunch by Colin Cotterill ~ to celebrate Laos Rocket Day (already read – this took me less than a day)
  • Chosen, the by Chaim Potok ~ in honor of Jewish American Heritage Month (AB – already read)
  • Map of Another Town by MFK Fisher ~ to finished the Two Towns book started in April
  • Master of the Senate by Robert Caro ~ to finished the series started in February in honor of Presidents’ Day.