Friday, March 28, 2008

An Update from My Mom

Hello Dear Readers,

Well, it snowed big fat wet clumps this morning, but I swear to you spring is here. The first crocus buds in my front yard blossomed into flowers yesterday, and whether they freeze to death or not we saw them, and knew. Spring.

Meredith is leaving us in a couple of weeks to follow her dreams in Germany, Caitlin is leaving us in a couple more weeks to follow her post-college destiny, and Jillian is leaving us in a couple of months for post-graduate-degree success in a foreign land, exact plans TBA. Sara will be graduating with another advanced degree soon after, and one of my housemates should earn her Masters in just over a year. With all of these wonderful people using the skills learned here in the Pioneer Valley to carve their destinies out of the smoke and sand, I'm feeling restless and shamefully unscientific for a so-called scientist. For this reason, I've been studying more than usual, and I've been enjoying it far more than in the past but it hasn't left a lot of time to read the type of book you might like to hear about (but let me tell you, 'Modern Physics, Vol II' has some pretty gripping parts). For this reason, I will instead summarize some recent book reviews from my mom. Hope they're accurate:

The Feasting Season - Nancy Coon, Algonquin Books, 7/07
My mother thought that this was a really enjoyable read, part travelogue and part food novel with a sprinkle of romance. Meg, our heroine, is in a somewhat unsatisfying domestic situation when she lands an assignment writing a guidebook about France. She is assigned a smokin' French photographer as a collaborator, and they argue and eat and fall in love and it is quite fun to read about. Now my mother gravitates toward darker novels, she was quite impressed by American Pastoral (Philip Roth) for example, so Coon's tale must have the depth to keep her attention. You should probably read it for yourself and find out.

The Secret Between Us - Barbara Delinsky, Doubleday, 1/08
This one earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly, but my mom found it sadly predictable. She said that it had some elements which could have been put together well (mother and daughter are in a car accident together, mother pretends to have been the driver in order to take the blame, both proceed to have issues, and a variety of interesting issues are explored) but Delinsky just couldn't make them work. Bummer.

Ok, so I did pick up an ARC of Madness: A Bipolar Life (Marya Hornbacher, Houghton Mifflin, 6/08) yesterday to give away or something (surely not to interrupt my seriously studious studying) and found it completely gripping and kind of triggering. I was a couple pages in before I realized what I was doing, and now I think I might have to read it before giving it away. Regarding the triggering aspect, I want to read this one in it's entirety to get to the satisfying conclusion where you believe that everything is going to be ok, but I'm a bit worried that this isn't that sort of book, and there will be no reassuring denouement, only a harsh clarity like neon lights, and I'll end up wishing I hadn't put myself through the journey. I'll let y'all know if I get to reading it.

Anyway, take care everyone!

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