• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies Sometimes I think a meteor could strike the earth and wipe out mankind with the exception of my mother’s Bridge club — Roz, Bea, Bette, Rhoda, and Jackie — five Jewish octogenarians who continue to gather for lunch and Bridge on Mondays as they have for over fifty years. When I set out to learn about the women behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, and most of all the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
  • Archives

What Part of Party Don’t You Understand

Holiday weekend reading bag. I have two manuscripts that clients have completed (go clients! it’s your birthday), a sample chapter from a proposal in progress, a new proposal, and if at all possible, I’d like to finish the memoir on my bedside table even though I hate the big fat boot on the cover. What are you going to read this weekend? I hope you get a little time off. One last drink of summer. Love, Betsy

43 Responses

  1. i’ve got paul auster latest to finish, but i fear i am going to be distracted youtube’ing clint’s speech all weekend.

  2. I’m going to read Writer’s Digest, Publisher’s Weekly, and work on my column.
    Betsy, today a stranger walked up to me and recognized me from the picture accompanying my column. She said it was the first thing she read when she opened the paper and that she loved it. I was overcome…for a few minutes anyway…because tomorrow she’ll probably line her birdcage with it. Just had to share.
    Have a wonderful last couple of days of summer, lord knows you deserve it.
    Love to you too.

  3. Amor Towles RULES OF CIVILITY, Gillian Flynn SHARP OBJECTS, Maeve Binchy (RIP Maeve) EVENING CLASS, Rohinton Mistry A FINE BALANCE, and right now I’m smack in the middle of Benjamin Black’s THE SILVER SWAN.

    I love the boot. When I walk into the bookstore, it’s the first thing I see. Cheers to Cheryl. And happy reading, everybody….

  4. I’m marinating in the dark stuff at the moment: Joyce Carol Oates. Up next is The Female of the Species. (Oh those precocious girls!)

    • I quit MUD WOMAN last night. I was halfway through, and I generally like her a lot, plus I was by myself at the farmhouse, doors and windows open to a beautiful night, the perfect scenario for reading, and … I … just … couldn’t … finish … it.

      Felt lousy for JCO.

  5. Ah, Betsy, working over Labor Day. I’m not surprised. In fact, I’m delighted. Leaders must set the example.

    I’ll be finishing up my month-long Hemingway reading extravaganza. I decided a month ago that I hadn’t read enough of his work and there was no excuse for that. In four short yet long weeks, while also maintaining my plate-spinning pace on all other aspects of my life, I’ve read ten of his books, seven of them for the first time.

    I haven’t quite finished the tenth: The Finca Vigia Edition of his “complete” short stories. But I have only 60 pages to go. My God but it’s been a lot of Hemingway. I’m glad I waited so long. I don’t think I’d’ve been able to tolerate the onslaught at a younger age. And I’m grateful I’ll never have to do it again. When he’s good he’s good, but… my God, it’s been a lot of Hemingway. Internet research, too, including reading a few of his pieces for the Toronto Star when he was 21. Some of my circuits have fused…

    And next comes Gore Vidal’s “Creation.” I haven’t read enough of his work, either, but life is short and after “Creation” it will be on to other authors of other works.

  6. CLOUD ATLAS, David Mitchell
    FAIR MAIDEN, Joyce Carol Oates
    BROWN, Richard Rodriguez
    VAISNAVA INDIA, Geary Sheridan, which I scored from a friend who sells rare vinyl records. He happened upon a going-out-of-business bookseller and found a pristine copy of the this seminal work. At 759 pages and weighing over thirteen pounds, the book was never intended for a retail market:

    “Instead, Mr. Sheridan, acting through the Vedic Heritage Foundation, embarked on a truly massive giveaway. Of the 3,000 original copies, private high schools, colleges, and university libraries received some 900. Public libraries all across the United States received 1,786 copies (and it was in one of these that this reviewer first came across the book and realized its importance). Another 100 books were sent to India, 45 of which went to institutions of higher learning and prestigious Vaisnava temples. One hundred and eighty were sold to the public; 20 copies were given to the “Traveling Ratha-Yatra Festival of India,” a annual Hare Krishna event; these copies were in turn given to donors. Ten copies went to top people in the Motion Picture Industry as a thank-you for having taken interest in a film project entitled “Krsna Book.” Pope John Paul II got a copy. A smattering went to personal friends. And when all was said and done the Vedic Heritage Foundation was left with only a few books.”—from a reader review.

    The printing bill alone was $387,000. I got my copy for sixty bucks. Gonna be a great weekend.

  7. When I finish Gone Girl it will be either David Eagleman’s, Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain, Jonah Leher’s Imagine, although it will probably make me really sad, (why Jonah? why!), or Karen Walker’s The Age of Miracles. Such a delicious, decadent feeling to have a stack of books on the table vying for my attention and love. I feel rich with all these potential new discoveries. Life is good.

    Way to go, Miss Wry! Thank you for sharing. I hope everyone has a lovely non-laborious Labor Day weekend.

  8. Four critiques for the LitReactor horror contest I completely forgot that I said I’d do.

    Having a garage sale tomorrow because I forgot how much I hate having garage sales until it was too late (all the crap’s in my driveway so it better not rain).

    Just like Teri, I have Gillian Flynn’s SHARP OBJECTS at the top of the stack.

    Putting my kitchen back together after three months of disassemblage.

    Oh, and the author of the boot memoir is coming over to my house on Monday for a cocktail or two and a long-awaiting catch-up, so if you have anything you want me to pass along (any of you) feel free to get in touch.

  9. The boot on that book gets me every time too…I’m not sure why. I have a wonderful four day weekend to do some reading. I’m still into memoirs and think I’ll be here awhile. Just finished “What Remains” by Carole Radziwill and just started “Fairy Tale Interrupted” by RoseMarie Terenzio. (Both deal with the life and death of JFK, Jr. and one also about his family members.) Actually just blogged about these two books tonight!

    (What Remains is Inspiration: http://livingawritinglife.blogspot.com/)

    Happy reading to you all as the summer wraps up!

  10. I think I’ll just immerse myself in the National Enquirer’s cover story entitled “Sex Tape Shocker” which by the way will be the name of my next band. I did however enjoy the memoir with the big fat ugly boot on the cover immensely…

  11. Lois-Ann Yamanaka’s Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers–we’re off to the Big Island of Hawaii for our anniversary so it’s guide books and a local writer. I’ll finish Light in August on the plane.

  12. No holiday here in Finland. I am hosting 18 people in my 818 sq ft apartment though. The oven fits one 9×13 pan at a time, there’s barely a place to sit, and my knives, pans, and other cooking toys are back in the US. But hey, it is what it is. It’s meant in good will and hopefully someone will have fun. I just finished The Sense of an Ending, and haven’t decided on what’s next. Maybe some non fiction. Maybe a boot.

  13. The 2009 Pushcart Prizes anthology I picked up used last weekend, maybe a few more chapters of Rabbit, Run. Oh, and well, my sister just sent me Shark Attack!, (c) 1974. I suppose I added that exclamation point myself.

  14. I’m reading David Lodge’s Small World, a book of low cost I picked up on Charing Cross Road in London two weeks ago. It’s funny stuff, sharp wit, cheering you up when the summer ends.

  15. Have just printed out corrections of my short story collection, so revisions outside under the grapevines with a red pen. Then solid and demanding Patrick White’s Voss in the evenings or spare moments.

  16. Not much reading here. Preparartions for Isaac put me behind schedule, so there’s a column to write and at least two chapters to rewrite.

    If there’s any time, Gunter Grass and The Flounder are waiting.

  17. I’m finishing up The Sea, The Sea and was excited that the library called to say my book was in (Styron’s As I Lay Down in Darkness…shoot, is it Lie? Even here I can’t remember the rules of that damn word), but it just occured to me that it may be Diary of a Wimpy Kid for my son. Good for him, bummer for me.
    Now I need to figure out something fantastic to read.

    • You lay something down: “As I lay me down to sleep,” just as you would lay down a book, a sword– a piece of cheese, even. On the other hand, you lie down, just as do all creatures with legs: “I’m going to lie down, because I’m tired;” or “Did you see that giraffe lie down just now?”

    • I have The Sea on my tbr too, partly because of one of your blog posts!

  18. Funny you should ask. It’s a reading blitz at the beach for me, as I ignore visiting family & friends.

    I just finished THE DOVE KEEPERS & YOU DESERVE NOTHING. Loved both.

    I will finish Vivian’s LE ROAD TRIP, which I’m savoring. Thanks, Viv!

    I’m 3/4’s through WHAT HAPPENED TO SOPHIE WILDER.

    Then it’s on to GONE GIRL.

    It’s never like this for me. Today, I love my life!

  19. I always flip flop between reading for improvement or reading for pleasure. Depending on how the writing goes today will dictate which one I suppose.

    For pleasure, I just finished KILLING LINCOLN and GOODBYE TO THE BUTTERMILK SKY. Now I’m on to THE AGE OF MIRACLES, and next will be EMMA AND ME, or THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS. I’ve got FIFTY SHADES (1st one) yet, I continue to push it to the bottom of the pile…

  20. Love right back atcha Ms. Betsy. You rock. As for reading I’ll be on my Kindle finishing up the latest Crais then on to others waiting for me there. Oh, yeah, a Kindle convert. Never thought it woulda or coulda been so.

  21. I’m going to read a Western. I’ve been disappointed that an agent turned out to be questionable. He’s being investigated by the State of Florida. My daughter says, “Falling down is part of LIFE. . . Getting back up is LIVING.

    Webb

  22. i’ve got a pile of lit mags i want to take a look through. magazine reading on the long weekend is my thing.

  23. Trying to finish Mailer’s “Miami and the Siege of Chicago” before the DNC rolls into Charlotte next week. As a local and lifelong political junkie (launched onto the campaign trail as a kid by my mother when she managed McGovern’s campaign for the state of NC) I should be excited about what’s coming. But it feels cataclysmic, like a tidal wave. (Doesn’t help getting a play-by-play from my ER husband on the worse-case-scenarios they’re being prepped for.) What I want to read is the David Foster Wallace biography sitting on my bedside table, “Every Love Story is a Ghost Story,” so I can revisit a world in which he lives. But I’m saving that for after the onslaught. Heading downtown now to move boxes at the DNC headquarters (and smile at the protesters wielding billboard-sized posters of aborted fetuses.)

  24. Have a wonderful weekend Betsy et al! I’ve just finished a draft of one piece of We Are a Famous Love Story, bringing the count to three pieces and 25,000 words so I’ll be working on finding what’s next in the ashes. After that I’ve got The Elegance of the Hedgehog to finish and Book of My Mother to start. With a trip in to work for some fun and games with spreadsheets. Maybe a martini or two with friends thrown in the mix somewhere along with the farmers market and who knows, the unexpected.

    • I loved THE ELEGANCE OF THE HEDGEHOG. It’s a little tough to get into, but well worth the effort. You feel smart when you’re done. Enjoy!

      • I’m about 200 plus pages into it. I like the concierge way better than the child. Not sure when my patience with precocious child narrators began to wan but I’m very aware of its slimness now. But I’m enjoying the book in its totality.

  25. I’m reading Liza Klaussmann’s Tigers in Red Weather. Next up I have two choices: Rachel Maddow’s Drift or Jean Zimmerman’s The Orphan Master. I’m leaning toward fiction. Reality blows.

  26. Why, I’m catching up on blog posts.

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