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

“Spoon Children”

Paine, Tom. “The Spoon Children.” Scar Vegas and Other Stories.New York: Harcourt, Inc., 2000.

Reason read: June is Short Story Month

Tom Paine has this ability to climb inside a character and absorb its persona so well you could swear he’s writing based on an intimate memory of his own. The people you meet in “The Spoon Children” are so believable and memorable you want to know what happens to them long after the story ends. You also have to wonder if the story isn’t a little autobiographical in the process. No wonder critics call him a ventriloquist.

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


“General Markman’s Last Stand”

Paine, Tom. “General Markman’s Last Stand.” Scar Vegas and Other Stories.New York: Hartcourt, Inc., 2000.

Reason read: June is Short Story Month

Right off the bat I have to tell you “General Markman’s Last Stand” is a devastating story, devastating but (and this is a big but), not without hope. General Markman is about to retire from his Marine Corps command only on his final day he makes a career-ending move. As a man haunted by debilitating Vietnam War flashbacks he has to chose between his secrets and his future.

The first powerful sentence says it all but reveals nothing, “The general’s panties were too tight” (p 18).

Author fact: According to the dust jacket for Scar Vegas Tom Paine is a Princeton graduate. So is my grandfather.

Book trivia: Scar Vegas is comprised of ten stories. I am also reading “The Spoon Children.”

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