The election is over. Thank goodness!!!!! Randal and I waited in line for about 45 minutes to cast our votes. Pretty much everyone I know voted and were proud to wear their “I voted” stickers. But I think if we’d taken all of the money spent on this election by both parties and used it to solve some of the needs of the country, we all would have benefited greatly. More so than listening to all of the hoo-ha that all of the candidates had to spout out. They each should have been given X amount of $$$ and that’s that. They should have had more debates with each debate having one question only. AND THEY ACTUALLY HAD TO ANSWER IT. It’s no surprise that I’m happy as I’m an admitted liberal Democrat. I like Public Television and so do the millions of people who watch Downton Abbey. And who in his right mind would close Planned Parenthood? Good grief! But that’s enough of that and if things don’t improve, I get some of the blame.
Randal and I will be heading back to Turkey November 14th. Yikes, so soon! It will be terribly hard to say good-bye. And yet, it will be nice to see our Marmaris friends again. We’re already signed up for the Thanksgiving Dinner at Pineapple Restaurant. And Gwen, volunteer “activities director” at the marina, has rounded up some folks who would be in an art group. We’re packing warmer clothes than we’ve needed in past years.
I promised some folks a list of the books I collected this trip, so here it is. If anyone reads any of them, let me know what you think. I’m including both the old Word format for those who have problems with docx documents.
Books bought Fall 2012
I’m Off Then: My Journey Along the Camino De Santiago by Hape Kerkeling
This is the non-fiction book I’m reading now. Hape Kerkeling is a German comedienne who is touted as a cross between Bill Bryson and Paulo Coelho. The Camino De Santiago is a 100 mile hiking/walking trail through Spain that I’d like to so part of some day.
Blue Arabesque: A search for the Sublime by Patricia Hampl
“Blue Arabesque is not only an anecdotal history of this painting (Matisse) and its famous maker, it is also the history of one woman’s relationship to the act of seeing.” LA Times
Instead of a Letter: a memoir by Diana Athill
(Recommended by Nancy Pearl, Librarian and book person for NPR.)
The Guardian, Friday 4 January 2008 “Recalling her life as one of the 20th century’s most acclaimed editors, Diana Athill, who has just turned 90, was a pioneer of the confessional memoir.”
“Brevity, accuracy, lucidity – "the writing shouldn’t come between the reader and what’s being described. It should be as transparent as possible" – these virtues Athill applied to "Instead of a Letter", which she wrote in an intense rush when she was 43. In writing it she found her voice. In attempting to "get to the bottom of things, so I understood them better", in thinking bravely and unself-pityingly about premarital sex, and abortion, and depression, she inadvertently pioneered a kind of confessional memoir that would not, properly, take hold for another 30 years, and even then often would not match her.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/jan/05/fiction
The Leopard Hat: A Daughter’s Story by Valerie Steiker
“Valerie Steiker’s Belgian Jewish mother, Gisèle—who, as a child in Antwerp, was hidden from the Nazis—wasn’t a typical American mom. She spoke with throaty Belgian Rs and wore only high heels. Before her marriage, she had studied acting with Lee Strasburg and been a model in Mexico. With her vitality and elegance, she created a joyous childhood for Valerie and her sister. Together they tangoed through their vibrant Manhattan apartment, took in great art, and shared “women’s hidden secrets.” Gisèle’s premature death left Valerie (at the time a junior at Harvard) unmoored, but in grieving and in finding her own path to womanhood, Valerie would ultimately grow to understand Gisèle more profoundly than she ever had as a child. Beautifully evocative of a glamourous and now-vanished world, The Leopard Hat is an extraordinary memoir about the warm and indelible bond between mother and daughter.” http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Leopard_Hat.html?id=tkZGT5ZywiQC
The Know-It-All: One Man’s Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A.J. Jacob
(He reads the entire Britannica and shares what he learns.) http://www.ajjacobs.com/books/kia.asp
Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice by Janet Malcolm
“How had the pair of elderly Jewish lesbians survived the Nazis?” Janet Malcolm asks at the beginning of this extraordinary work of literary biography…” Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas
Tout Sweet: Hanging Up My High Heels for a New Life in France: A Memoir by Karen Wheeler
In the same vein as Eat Pray Love.
Warm Springs:Traces of a childhood at FDR’s Polio Haven by Susan Richards Shreeve
“During Shreve’s two-year stay, the Salk vaccine would be discovered, ensuring that she would be among the last Americans to have suffered childhood polio.”
“In 1950, just after her 11th birthday, Susan Richards Shreve was sent to FDR’s polio rehabilitation hospital for a series of surgeries and physical therapies to reconstruct her disease-damaged right side. In Warm Springs: Traces of a Childhood at FDR’s Polio Haven (Houghton Mifflin), Shreve works strands of memory the way, all those years ago, she must have worked her dormant muscles—coaxing them back to life. There is her first love, Joey Buckley, paralyzed from the waist down and determined to play football for the University of Alabama, and her first brush with Catholicism, ignited by the electric charm of the resident Irish priest and by the possibility of "a God like the wind, with sufficient force to lift a small girl into the air until she was weightless." Also, the dawning realization of how hard she strove to hide her sadness from her fragile mother, and the even more powerful recognition "in the empty vat of my chest [of] something like substance, as if I were in the process of becoming someone familiar, my own best friend traveling always at my side." Part memoir, part confession, part meditation on both polio and the president who made it a national cause, Warm Springs unflinchingly illuminates an iconic moment in American history and the ageless psychic corridors of denial, disappointment, and hope.”
Read more: http://www.oprah.com/
The Guyund: a Scottish journal by Belinda Rathbone
“It is difficult to remain unseduced by this winsome account of a misalliance between a New England woman of literary taste and architectural sophistication and a frugal Scottish laird in his dilapidated ancestral home.”
http://www.nytimes.com/ is a follow-up to the book.
Kaddish by Leon Wieseltier
“Beside his father’s grave, a diligent but doubting son begins the mourner’s Kaddish and realizes he needs to know more about the prayer……to recite three times daily for a year…”
http://www.robertfulford.com/Wieseltier.html has a good review.
Etchings in an Hourglass by Kate Simon
In the 1980s, Kate Simon published three volumes of memoirs of her remarkable life as an immigrant, Yiddish leftist, bohemian, travel writer, and sexual adventurer. Told from a uniquely ironic and feminist perspective, these volumes together form what Doris Grumbach in the New York Times Book Review called “a classic of autobiography.” http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/simon-kate
ONE drawing A DAY by Veronica Lawlor
Because I now have “an art group” back at the marina I got this book of art exercises.
http://onedrawingaday.com/ is the website that goes along with the book.
The five people you meet in heaven by Mitch Albom
Dervishes by Beth Helms (set in 1975 Ankara, Turkey.
Halide’s Gift by Frances Kazan (Set in Constantinople, now Istanbul, in the last days of the Ottoman
Annie Freeman’s Fabulous Traveling Funeral by Kris Radish …..just for fun!
Fatal fixer-upper, mortar and Murder, plaster and Poison, spackled and Spooked by Jennie Bentley
All fun mysteries revolving around home renovation ….for fun and maybe I’ll learn something.
And on my Kindle..
Miss Hargreaves by Frank Barker ( fiction also recommended by Nancy Pearl.)
http://nancypearlbooks.wordpress.com/2010/06/24/miss-hargreaves/ is her review.
World War One: History in an Hour by Rupert Colley www.historyinanhour.com
32 other titles are on my Kindle, most of them unread so far.
While here in the U.S. I’ve hardly read anything; no time!
The fiction book I’m reading now is Educating Waverly by Laura Kalpakian. I’d seen it in a bookstore but came home and checked it out from my library.
I have read…..
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
“Elizabeth Strout’s most recent work, Olive Kitteridge, a novel in stories, won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize, was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and was a New York Times Bestseller. She is the author of two previous novels, Abide With Me, a national bestseller, and Amy and Isabelle, also a New York Times Bestseller.” http://elizabethstrout.com/books/olive-kitteridge/ I found it a bit too long, but I prefer non-fiction in general.
Growing up on the chocolate diet: A memoir with recipes by Lora Brody
She lives in Newton, MA and is a huge Red Sox fan as well as cookbook writer. http://lorabrodywritingonair.blogspot.com/
A dog named Slugger: the true story of a service dog that changed my life by Leigh Brill www.leighbrill.com
It’s a lovely story. My friend Sarah has a great service dog named Drake. I get to take him for walks when he’s off duty.
In the car while driving to Massachusetts and back we listened to three audio books. All were well done and entertaining though we did skip some of the 19 CDs of Birds Without Wings. The descriptions of the battles of WWI were just too graphic. But it was interesting for us as we know something of Turkey and will spend more time there. De Bernieres is able to make some profound statements about human behavior with wry humor which added to the impact of his thoughts.
The Best Advice I Ever Got by Katie Couric, read by Katie Couric and several “readers.” It was well done, made us think, and actually was quite entertaining. It and made me like Couric more than I had in the past.
“In this inspiring book, Katie Couric distills the ingenious, hard-won insights of such leaders and visionaries as Maya Angelou, Jimmy Carter, Michael J. Fox, and Ken Burns, who offer advice about life, success, and happiness—how to take chances, follow one’s passions, overcome adversity and inertia, commit to something greater than ourselves, and more. Along the way, Katie Couric reflects on her own life, and on the shared wisdom, and occasional missteps, that have guided her from her early days as a desk assistant at ABC to her groundbreaking work as a broadcast journalist.” http://www.randomhouse.com/book/212421/the-best-advice-i-ever-got-by-katie-couric
Birds Without Wings by Louis De Bernieres set in Turkey and recommended by our friend Elizabeth of the sailing yacht Labarque. It was also well done and the reader was very entertaining.
“Our man in Boston talks with author Louis de Bernières about his most recent book, Birds Without Wings, during a fascinating discussion about the Ottoman Empire, how good people go astray in crowds, and the richness of Arab proverbs.” http://www.themorningnews.org/article/birnbaum-v.-louis-de-bernires
Jewish Short Stories from Eastern Europe & Beyond 10-CD set bought at the Yiddish Book Center
The series includes about 13 hours of stories by such great Jewish writers as Sholom Aleichem, I.L. Peretz, Isaac Babel and Isaac Bashevis Singer read by Leonard Nimoy, Elliot Gould, Jerry Stiller, Alan Alda, Rhea Perlman, Walter Matthau, Lauren Bacall among others.
(When we were kids my sister and I went to Camp Tikvah. On Friday afternoons the Rabbi would gather everyone together and we would sing songs and he would tell stories. I still remember those stories and now I know where they came from.)