Anthony Trollope by James Pope-Hennessey

This is a biography of Anthony Trollope. I love Trollope’s books. Amazingly enough, reading this biography of him didn’t lessen my opinion of him, even though he turned out to be not what I expected. Not that there was any scandal in his life, but he just wasn’t the nice guy in the upper crust of Victorian society that I thought he was. He was a postal worker who wrote books in the hours before going to work. He was also very hard to get along with because he was opinionated, loud, and overbearing. Well, at least I can still read his novels without thinking about his mistress (he didn’t have one) or his alcoholism (didn’t have that either.)

Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading by Maureen Corrigan

Read this one this weekend. I really liked her voice, even if I zoned out sometimes on what she was saying. Her experience is so completely different from mine that I couldn’t always grasp what she was getting at. She was raised Irish Catholic in a tiny apartment in Queens by working class parents.

She talks about the female adventure story. I can totally get into this, although I don’t particularly care for the way it is done a lot. The female adventure is the opposite of the male adventure. The typical male adventure story usually includes some problem that requires physical endurance to overcome. Female adventure stories require internal fortitude and patience. Such everyday things as raising children alone, raising a handicapped child, caring for a dying parent. These sorts of things that tend to fall to the lot of women. I like that these events have a name. It lends importance to what we as women are expected to do in the natural course of our lives.

She also talks about how there are very few books that discuss work as she knew it growing up. Semi- or un-skilled labor. It is rarely a topic of books.

She also discusses the Catholic experience in books. She remembers the books she had to read as a child that depicted how a good Catholic would behave. Service without complaint, basically.

I did have one minor qualm with the book. In one of the chapters, she states that the third Bennett daughter, Lydia, in Pride and Prejudice, marries a scoundrel. That would be wrong. Lydia did marry a scoundrel, but she was the fifth Bennett daughter. I don’t know how this got missed in copyediting. Doesn’t everybody know this stuff?

A funny thing happened at the library this weekend.

OK. Not really that funny. Maybe just disquietening.

A patron laid something on the desk in front of the 23 year old circ clerk and said, “I found this in your parking lot.” It was a .44 bullet. The reloaded kind. Unfired. I suggested she call the police to see if they needed to know about it. She balked, so I suggested she call the director. The director said to call the police who said they would send an officer out to pick it up.

Said officer showed up about 30 minutes later. Picked up the bullet. Said, “Hmmm. That’s wierd. Hey, you got any good books to check out?” We directed him to the new releases shelf. He hung around there for about 10 minutes while we admired his gun and the other patrons avoided the new releases shelf. Pretty soon Officer Hottie checked out 3 books and left. Apparently, he didn’t feel the need to take a statement. Just the bullet. It was a large bullet. Kind of gave me the willies.

Who leaves a large bullet in the library parking lot? What was he loading? What was he shooting? What was he smoking? Alas, these questions will go unanswered.

But Mom! Everybody’s doing it.

So I guess I will, too. Here is a list (one of the many) of the best 100 books of all time by Time. I’ve starred the ones I’ve read. The ^ indicates ones on my shelf that I haven’t gotten around to, yet.

* Beowulf
* Achebe, Chinua – Things Fall Apart
Agee, James – A Death in the Family
*Austen, Jane – Pride and Prejudice
Baldwin, James – Go Tell it on the Mountain
Beckett, Samuel – Waiting for Godot
Bellow, Saul – The Adventures of Augie Marsh
*Bronte, Charlotte – Jane Eyre
* Bronte, Emily – Wuthering Heights
Camus, Albert – The Stranger Continue reading

Brothel in Pimlico by Roy Brooks

I’m feeling much better, now. Crazy medicine cocktail/shooter seems to have worked. I probably would have slept all night except that my daughter got up because her unnecessary band-aid came off in her sleep and she had to have another.

Anyway, I read Brothel in Pimlico while I was ailing. If we had real estate agents who wrote ads this way, now, I bet my house would not still be on the market after a year. He was an estate agent in London in the 60′s and his ads were hysterical. He told you upfront if the house was dirty or in bad repair, usually by describing someone falling through a staircase. He commented on the owners’ circumstances and included descriptions of what class of people would feel most comfortable in the neighborhood. I loved his comments on decor: tasteful, modern, hideous. He said one property would be alright “if you tart it up a bit.”

This was perfect getting-back-on-my-feet material since it wasn’t large and only required short bursts of mental energy and focus.

Too sick to read!

I finished Pride and Prejudice the other night. It’s my favorite book in the world, so I won’t bother to review it for you. It’s awesome. ‘Nuff said.

I have the chest cold from hell. I have a horrible sounding cough, my head hurts, my eyes burn, and I’ve completely lost my voice.

Probably, spending the night in a hotel wit 4 teenage girls and getting 3 hours of sleep didn’t make it any better, though. When I mention I did that, people think I’m either a) crazy b) a saint or c) both. I had a great time, but we had to be at the church at 7:30 to get ready to dance in service, so we were toast.

So sad.

I’m being a lazy reader. I don’t think I’m going to meet my 4 books a month quota for October. Here it is, the 14th and I’ve only read one book. It’s not like I don’t have several in the works. That’s the problem. I’m reading so many, I can’t spend any quality time with any of them. There is a rather large stack of books I’ve started and not finished on my bedside table. They are looking rather dejected. sigh

Tragedy!

Apparently, Tommy Lee of Motley Crue was injured in a pyrotechnic mishap at a concert in Wyoming. He’s been released, and the Crue is not cancelling any shows.

My boy Vince was injured in Atlanta some weeks ago. What the hell is going on with these guys?

The Book of Joe by Jonathan Tropper

Finally, I finished another book. It seems like it’s been forever. Oh, well, that’s because I didn’t write about Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. I finished that last week. Oops!

The Book of JoeAnyway, I read The Book Of Joe for book club. I was pleasantly surprised. I really like the voice of Joe, the main character. Here’s the premise: Something really ugly happened to one of his friends his senior year in high school. After graduation, Joe left town and hasn’t been back for 17 years. In the interval, he wrote a “novel” about the incident and took some poetic license with the facts. Apparently, this rubbed some people at home the wrong way. He goes back to town when his father suffers a stroke and has to deal with the town’s anger.

Joe sounds like a grown-up Holden Caulfield with a snappier withering remark gene. He is hilarious.

There were a couple of items that seemed like they were ripped straight from other media. For example, at one point, someone says someone else was toilet trained at gun point. This would be a line from Rennaissance Man with Danny Devito and Gregory Hines (sigh). In another scene, high-school-Joe and his friend Wayne break into the high school and climb out on the roof to smoke cigarettes. Now, only I would know this, but in an episode of the first season of 21 Jumpstreet, Johnny Depp (sigh) and another kid break into the high school and climb onto the roof to smoke cigarettes. Maybe this is coincidence. Who knows. Just thought it was interesting.

The ending seemed unfinished. It seemed like there was more to the story, but either a) there was a page limit or b) there is a sequel. It just sort of stopped. Unfinished business and all that. I will be very unhappy if there isn’t a sequel. I really liked this one and I want to know how it really ends.

Meme from Brandy

Love this! Go to Google and type in “(your name) Needs”. These are the highlights of my results.

1. Adrienne needs a jobby! (done that)
2. Adrienne needs to go! (not immediately, but thanks)
3. Adrienne needs to sing louder. (this is one I don’t get too often)
4. Adrienne NEEDS to get a life. (Ha!)
5. Adrienne needs new boots. (so prophetic)

Continue reading

Love Love Love the new job.

If for no other reason than that I get to overhear conversations like this one:

Little Kid at the reference computer: What’s the title of Mother Goose?
Her friend: Mother Goose.
Little Kid: Yeah, what’s the title?
Friend: That is the title.
Little Kid: No, the real title.

I’m really going to like this job.

I must be going crazy.

You know how I always say I can only read one book at a time? And if I’m reading more than one, it’s a sign that there is stress in my life? I think I’m in a fair way to have a stroke.

I am currently reading:

St. Augustine’s Confessions
The Way We Live Now – Anthony Trollope
a biography of Anthony Trollope
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon – Rebecca West
In Fact: Essays of Writers and Writing – Thomas Mallon
Blink – Malcolm Gladwell
A Light in the Window – Jan Karon
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

That last one is a comfort book. I read it when I’m stressed out. Yikes!

In other (possibly related) news. My dancers at the church are dancing in 2 weeks. I went to rehearsal tonight really nervous about how they would do, but with some concentrated repetition, they got the kinks worked out, and I think we’ll do fine.

Also, I myself am dancing in church next Sunday. It’s just some choreography to a call and response Lord’s Prayer, but I don’t get many opportunities to perform at my church. I’m just the behind-the-scenes gal for the teen dancers.

Hmmm. Perhaps herein lies the source of my stress?