• Bridge Ladies

    Bridge Ladies When I set out to learn about my mother's bridge club, the Jewish octogenarians behind the matching outfits and accessories, I never expected to fall in love with them. This is the story of the ladies, their game, their gen, and the ragged path that led me back to my mother.
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Chapter Two I Think I Fell in Love With You


This is what I’m reading for pleasure.  What about you?

27 Responses

  1. On Beauty, Zadie Smith. Killer.

  2. I’m (re)reading Another Bullshit Night in Suck City right now, but I have that Bonnaffons’ book on my nightstand. Have you read her short story “Horse” from Wrong Heaven? I’ve listened to this audio version of it This American Life recorded multiple times over the years (in the car, on walks, it’s like I’m studying it): https://www.thisamericanlife.org/631/so-a-monkey-and-a-horse-walk-into-a-bar/act-two-0

    Stay well Betsy, it’s been so good to see you in my inbox recently.

  3. Anand Giridharadas’s – Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World– because we sure as shit need to. Stay well.

  4. Madness Treads Lightly by Polina Dashkova

  5. The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher. An old friend. Also a nonfiction book on Audible called The Almost Nearly Perfect People by Michael Booth.

  6. I’m reading Witch Hairs: Mirth, Miracles, Mayhem and Music, by Dixie Gamble.

  7. What a perfect book for these times. My mom got me a signed copy from a reading in Concord, MA, back in the 90’s. Gotta dig it out.

    • To Averil. Sorry.

    • My copy has a letter from the St. Martin’s pasted to the flowery first page, dated August 13, 1990. The letter thanks Ms. Barcus for pointing out an error on page 200 of SEPTEMBER (another wonderful book by the author), and asking her to “please accept this copy of THE SHELL SEEKERS, with our thanks.” Signed by Tom Dunne.

      My copy of SEPTEMBER is not a first edition, which has always driven me crazy because I really want to know what the error was.

      Anyway, you’re right. It’s a good book to be reading at any time, but especially now.

      • I loved September, too. My mom said she was a gracious, quiet woman signing her books. She said she seemed uneasy with all the attention and would do better in a Cornwall cottage. Julie Andrews would have played her in a movie! I’ll check to see if I have a first edition and if so, I’ll get back to you.

      • I loved September, too. My mom said she was a gracious, quiet woman signing her books. She said she seemed uneasy with all the attention and would do better in a Cornwall cottage. Julie Andrews would have played her in a movie! I’ll check to see if I have a first edition and if so, I’ll get back to you.

        • My hardcover copy of SEPTEMBER is not labeled a 1st edition, but it’s old and dated 1990. I couldn’t find a typo anywhere, which is a mystery to solve during this lockdown time. Rosamund would have like all this!

          • The plot thickens! Maybe it’s not a typo but a continuity or historical error; the letter doesn’t say.

            Love imagining Julie Andrews as Rosamunde! That fits my mental image perfectly.

  8. Currently I’m reading Haunting Paris by Mamta Chaudhry.
    Next: Last Night in Montreal by Emily St. John Mandel. I have her new book, too.

  9. I’m in the middle of Savage Gods by Paul Kingsnorth. A writer in a crisis about writing. What’s not to love?

  10. BINA by anakana schofield. what a rip!


  11. Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. I read the Nickel Boys and just wanted to read more.

  12. I’m making my way through four volumes from the Library of America — collected writings of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Alexander Hamilton. That’s listing them in their birth order. Franklin was old enough to be Washington’s father, almost old enough to be Jefferson’s grandfather, and definitely old enough the be Hamilton’s grandfather. And hey, don’t get me wrong — Ben got around, but he wasn’t actually ancestor to the other three.

    I’m reading them chronologically, switching from volume to volume as the years go by. Presently I’ve reached 1782. The war is almost over (but of course they don’t know that yet).

    The temperaments the four men show in their writings are notable. Franklin is open, curious, generous, humorous, and genuinely appreciative. Washington is serious — I don’t think I’ve detected a shred of humor in his writings — and focused on his duty to family, household, army, and country. Jefferson is a bit of a self-dramatizer and can be sneaky and duplicitous; of the four, I think he is the one I would trust the least (a little bit too similar to myself, I suspect). Hamilton is ambitious and proud — very proud, very ambitious, both traits seeming to point to an underlying insecurity. His pride will, as we know, be his fatal fault.

    There is much to learn from their writings, and much to note. I’m glad I’ve lived long enough and become mature enough to finally read these books (they’ve been on my shelf for over twenty years). I come across passages that I believe bear repeating. For instance, from my readings this morning, there is the following:

    “Like Nero and all other tyrants, while they lived, he indeed has his flatterers, his addressers, his applauders. Pensions, places, and hope of preferment, can bribe even bishops to approve his conduct: but, when those fulsome, purchased addresses and panegyrics are sunk and lost in oblivion or contempt, impartial history will step forth, speak honest truth, and rank him among public calamities. The only difference will be, that plagues, pestilences, and famines are of this world, and arise from the nature of things: but voluntary malice, mischief, and murder are all from Hell: and this King will, therefore, stand foremost in the list of diabolical, bloody, and execrable tyrants.” — John Paul Jones, as quoted by Benjamin Franklin, April 1782.

    Let those who have eyes see, and let those who have ears hear.

  13. My Dark Vanessa; Amy and Isabelle; (following the thread of nymphets and older men); Writers and Lovers; just ordered The Golden Notebook

  14. How is My Dark Vanessa?

  15. I’m reading The Good Guy by Dean Koontz. It’s one of my favorites of his, and (maybe not so coincidentally), is set completely on our everyday plane of existence (one character’s psyche isn’t, but that just makes things interesting)

    This story has become comfort reading to me; though it’s underlying premise has become even more frighteningly realistic, it ends with hope. There are good guys out there.

  16. I just finished reading Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje. A wonderful book!

  17. Bingeing on Anne Perry novels, so I don’t have to think.

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