The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Wow. The first third of this book is written in almost flawlessly beautiful prose. After that, the plot gets a tad loose and the sustained brilliance gets muted, but I *loved* this book. Harbach captures a sense of sprawling greatness that somehow echoes Melville; his characters are human and sympathetic (though I have to say I found his women a bit indistinct, and the whole sex thing--really? necessary? realistic? Hmmmmm.), and the whole book remains securely in my head, despite the three busy weeks that have intervened. I have marked numerous passages, but am too lazy to get up and dig up the book right now--still: read the book. Enjoy it. Wow.
The Lilac Bus by Maeve Binchy
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
So, trying to recover from my "book hangover" after Art of Fielding, I dug up this little gem (free book bin at church). I enjoyed the first bit okay, though it was the predictable varied narrator schtick that Binchy has done to death; then, without a clear indication that this was a NEW STORY AND NOT MERELY A NEW CHAPTER, the book went onto another track. I read on, thinking it was another switched narrator. . . . but my! what a boring story. . . . and then ANOTHER. . . whereupon I figured out that my edition had four or so stories wedged into the same edition, and yes, indeed, the varied stories of the Lilac Bus riders had merged into the story of the lyin' cheatin' husband and whatever the heck else.
Sorry, Maeve Binchy: when your story-lines are so muddled that a professional reader can be led wrong like that, you have some issues--and a low rating on the story.
A Blunt Instrument by Georgette Heyer
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This isn't the edition that I got for 25 cents at our Library book sale; it was a book on tape (yes, on tape!) from the mid-80's, and I kept listening to it mostly to see if indeed I had figured it out in the first fifteen minutes (ie, 1/2 way through the first chapter)--and I had, though it took Heyer until the 12 side of the tape to reveal that fact. Yikes. Also, the main ? character was so annoying that I wished someone would kill him--I think she was aiming for likably zany, but she missed that and hit annoyingly annoying square on.
So: for 25 cents, not so bad, but certainly NOT a relisten!
How to Be Single by Liz Tuccillo
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Oh, the nefarious misleadingness of lovely cover art! I WANT that dress, and I'd LOVE that weather, so I bought this book (second hand for 50 cents, hooray) and . . . .
IT IS TERRIBLE!
The book doesn't even deserve to be an article in Cosmo: it's dumb. Women are single for many reasons.
It can be hard to be single. It can also be hard to be married. Some men are dumb. Some women are dumb. People in different countries are different in some ways, but, essentially, people are similar. Some are married. Some are single. Some get divorced. Women are single for many reasons. . . . .REPEAT.
'Nuff said. Now, get me a nice photo and we're all set.
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Wow, this has been a month! I just got back from a terrific two day conference on Professional Learning Communities at the Samoset with the newly-formed 9th grade team: what an inspiring, hopeful, fun, exciting, scary, fun, exciting. . . time! We did a lot of bonding, and learned a lot, and I don't think I've ever faced such a clearly delineated challenge with so much support in my entire professional life.
And, we had another snow day (this makes 6: hello, June 25!), followed today by warmth and rain, which has me feeling springy and happy. Tomorrow is Nate's big show choir day, and Sunday I will take Pelle to Augusta to catch the bus and Camilla and I will shop for a prom dress for her. Such firsts.
In the mean time, I am probably heading to bed soon. It was a great experience, but, man, am I tired!