Saturday, May 11, 2013

May 11: Great Month, Favorite Number!

Well, it's not so sunny today, which is too bad only because it's Prom! If not for that auspicious date, I'd be rooting for more rain than we're already getting. But: our bulb garden, freshly restocked last fall, is doing us proud. Yay!

So much going on and so much to reflect on and feel glad about. Various friends are in bad straits and need love, support, and healing thoughts; various fun/momentous events are approaching (Prom, the Solutions Fair, L's return, Nate's AP test, a day long visit to Searsport High School, my 50th b'day; my advisees'/beloved students' graduation, my retreat at Pilgrim Lodge!); it's the time of the school year when we are almost as consumed with thoughts of next year as we are with finishing out this year in a blaze of growth and learning, which means it's exhausting and exciting in equal measure. I am way behind in posting the books I've read, but I am determined to at least discuss Michael Chabon (we share  an exact birthday, so his b'day is approaching as well)'s Telegraph Avenue, which has held me transfixed for about 6 weeks and which I just finished. IT IS AMAZING! AMAZING, I SAY!

And we are soon off to get N's flowers for Prom and to clean the house a bit. And maybe take a nap and a run. . . . Life is full, sweet, and fast-moving.

Telegraph Avenue, by Michael Chabon; audiobook read by Clarke Peters.

I love Michael Chabon's writing, and Telegraph Avenue merely fueled my opinion. Clarke Peters's top-notch delivery probably helped, but I frequently wished I had a paper copy of the text handy so I could share a particularly gorgeous excerpt with a friend, a student, or simply save it to reread and marvel over. The story is a daring and original amalgam of coming of age/revery/adventure/American classic/marriage hand book. . .  Wow. The chapters told from the point of view of the 14 year old boys in which the moms are the enemies in their role-playing-samurai games are hysterical; even many of Chabon's throw away lines are remarkable for their original but effective writing. My one quibble, as with Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, is that Chabon's detailed descriptive eye falls on everything--and I don't really want/need to know the ins and outs (unfortunately, that is often literally true) of the characters' sexual activities. Personally, I am a believer in keeping certain parts of life private; practically, this kind of painstaking description makes it that much harder to use his novels in a high school classroom, which I'd love to do.

So: highly, highly recommended. Terrific reading and a terrific novel, but the subject matter can definitely veer into the R rated at times.

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