September ’10 was…

Sorry – forgot to post this!
September. As the song goes, “wake me when September ends” (thanks, Green Day). I got married in September just so I would have one happy memory (my wedding was freakin’ awesome). It is the one good thing to look forward to celebrating each year. Except this year. Considering how bad this September has been I am amazed I even remembered I got married in this damned month. Between Indiana being sick dying (on our anniversary no less), the anniversary of my father’s passing (18 years), my grandfather still being in hospice and my other insane family issues I can’t sleep straight. I don’t know when I’ll find mind rest again. But, here are the books that kept me somewhat sane:

  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carre ~ I feel bad not being able to finish (or even like) this book. For years I’ve wondered about it.
  • Moo by Jane Smiley ~ was this ever a movie? I still can’t get over how caustic it was!
  • Wild Life by Molly Gloss ~ this should have been a movie, too!
  • Between Parent and Child by Haim Ginott ~ just told my mom about this book last night. Something I would reread if I had children.
  • Where Bigfoot Walks: Crossing the Dark Divide by Robert Michael Pyle ~ this had me believing…for a minute.
  • The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty ~ my biggest head-scratcher this month. Seems like I have read this before somewhere.
  • The Clock Winder by Anne Tyler ~ it is interesting the way people have influence over others without wanting (or even trying). I read this in four days time.
  • The Heartbreak Hotel by Anne Rivers Siddon ~ a little redundant but I read this in honor of back to school month and because I had it ready on a shelf.
  • Report From Ground Zero by Dennis Smith ~ because I haven’t been sad enough

For LibraryThing’s Early Review Program:

  • Play Their Hearts Out: A Coach, His Star Recruit, and the Youth Basketball Machine by George Dohrmann ~ this was intense!

I was supposed to get another book but I haven’t seen it yet. I am not going to even mention the title in case it never arrives. Even if it does comes I won’t be reading it in September.

For fun (started):

  • The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver ~ my husband bought this for me as an anniversary present because he knows I love, love, love Ms. Kingsolver’s work. And to think I didn’t get him anything. I did end up making one of this favorite meals for the very first time, chicken pot pie.

Moo

Smiley, Jane. Moo. New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1996.

Moo had its moments of being incredibly bogged down, sluggish even. I found myself getting bored with the wordiness of some of the chapters, as if there were too many subplots.

Moo is an agriculture university somewhere in the midwest (my guess would be Iowa). Characters range from four in-coming freshmen girls to administrative bigwigs and everyone in between. Moo is a satire that is incredibly silly in places. Superficial relationships collide and somehow become meaningful. What makes the story so interesting is the drama, the scandals, and mischief the campus seems to promote. Everyone has a secret. Everyone has someone they would either like to kill or screw. The word everyone uses to describe Moo is “wicked” and it fits.

Favorite lines: “Diane wondered if Mrs. Johnson had understood that was making her pregnant” (p 12), and Under her own version of Ivar’s signature, Mrs. Walker had, over the years, authorized the library to buy as many available databases as they could. She had actually transferred funds out of the athletic budget into the library from time to time…” (p140). Don’t I wish!

BookLust Twist: From Book Lust in the chapter called, “Academia: the Joke” (p 3) and again in the chapter called, “Growing Writers: (p 107).


Way Nicer Everything

When we checked into the Long Beach motel the first thing I noticed were the signs everywhere alerting us to the fact that the management doesn’t care about our belongings. “Not responsible for lost or stolen personal items” was posted in at least three different places in our room. It made me think the maids had sticky fingers, a habit of “accidentally” walking away with things. This was the hotel “management’s” way of shrugging it off. The attitude didn’t give me a warm and fuzzy feeling about being a guest. Neither did their attitude about their treadmill, but that’s another blog. It’s ironic that this is where we left behind our camera charger & cell phone charger. Like they said (more than once): not responsible!

Then, there was something about the Mission Valley hotel in San Diego that rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe it was the broken phone when we first arrived. Maybe it was the lack of elbow room. But, but, but I’m betting it was the rude sign we encountered in the bathroom. I don’t know why I couldn’t see this as humorous. Instead of getting a chuckle out of it I felt accosted, confronted, accused of something I wouldn’t even think of doing. Sarcasm was in the ink of that sign.

Rude

When we finally got to Ontario we discovered way nicer everything. Larger pool with lax hours of operations (when we asked, the desk manager said it closed “around 10pm..ish”). Free breakfast. Nice huge room with flat screen tv. Way bigger bathroom. More luxurious toiletries. Best of all. No rude signs. Nothing warning us the maids steal. Nothing asking us not to, either.