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    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.
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Yesterday Don’t Matter if It’s Gone



I’m going on vacation next week and the contemplation of what books to bring begins. I don’t use a Kindle or anything like that, so the selection of 4-5 books is a high wire act. There’s airplane reading, sitting in a London Park reading, reading on trains, in cafes, in bed. There’s the pull toward classics, the curiosity of the contemporary, the prize winners. I want to read Kay Redfield Jamison’s book on Lowell, but it’s a big boy. I’m also halfway through a couple of books, do I bring or leave them behind with their pouty faces?

Any recommendations?

17 Responses

  1. 1. This Side of Brightness, by Colum McCann. 2. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Sloot 3. The Given Day, by Dennis LeHane 4. Duel: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr and The Future of America, by Thomas Fleming


    Sent from my iPhone


  2. I second “The Immortal Life if Henrietta Lacks” and add “Difficult Women” by Roxanne Gay.

  3. “Wait Till You See Me Dance,” by Deb Olin Unferth.

  4. I’m contemplating the same thing. Heading back to Paris next week and all I’ve got is Nutshell & some old NY’ers for the plane. After clearing security, I do love perusing the airport bookstores for some impulse shopping.

    Bon Voyage!

  5. As to the partially finished books – it depends on how fast you read. If you’ll zip through them, I’d leave them behind. They’ll only take up the space of two “whole” books which = more to read.

    I just got Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. I like to get the Pulitzer’s (although I haven’t touched Goldfinch yet, or All The Light We Cannot See) just to see what it’s all about. I read several reviews where folks were ranting about how “he doesn’t get to change history.” That made me even more curious.

    • As a humble reader, I’ve always felt the author gets to do whatever he or she wants. They are the gods of their novels. I saw him speak last fall at the Bookmarks Festival in Winston-Salem, NC. I love his writing. UR was brilliant. I finished it in two days. Hope you like it!

      • Me too! (about liking it) I am open-minded, and always reserve any opinions until I’ve read for myself. Those statements were curious for sure. Anyway – I was at Bookmarks Festival myself this past January. What a great event for authors and readers. I hope to go to the next one.

  6. Gerrit Crouse wrote:

    “The Place You Love is Gone: Progress Hits Home” by Melissa Holbrook Pierson (NY: WW Norton, 2006).

    “Collected Papers on Schizophrenia & Related Subjects” by Harold Searles (Madison, CT: International Universitiers Press, 1965). Preface by Robert P Knight. I’m not kidding.

    “Micro-Cosmos: Four Billion Years of Microbial Evolution” by Lynn Margulis & Dorian Sagan, Foreword by Lewis Thomas” (NY: Summit,

  7. I have just discovered Penelope Fitzgerald (how could I have missed this award winner?) in a collection of three novels. I am reading ” The Book Shop” first. Next, “The Blue Flower” which won the National Book Critics Circle Award. She also won the Booker Prize for “Offshore”.in 1979.

  8. One old, one new, one fiction, one memoir; both compelling books about passion for life, and love:

    “Call Me By Your Nam,” by Andre Aciman
    ‘Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage,” by Dani Shapiro

  9. “Lincoln in the Bardo” by George Saunders.
    Anything by Carl Hiassen.
    Relax. Have fun!

  10. The most compelling book I’ve read lately is Little Boy Lost by Marghanita Laski. Ostensibly about a man searching for his infant son in Paris in the years after WWII, but more deeply about duty, responsibility, honor, self-indulgence, and many issues that Europe struggled with at the time. Also, the last sentence will rend your heart!

  11. Also, An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine. A novel for novel lovers.

  12. Let’s make it two votes for “Lincoln in the Bardo.”
    Have a fantastic vacation, Betsy!

  13. Hourglass
    The Stars are Fire
    Rabbit Cake
    The Barrowfields
    Our Short History
    One of the Boys
    The Rules Do Not Apply
    All Grown Up
    We Were the Lucky Ones
    The Fortunate Ones

    Ok, enough. Have a lovely trip.

  14. Nothing. Give your eyes a rest. As boring as that sounds.

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