• 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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Whistle Blowing Through my Brain

I’ve hit the halfway point in War & Peace. I would like it be among a few artifacts in my casket including my say no evil plastic monkey, my great grandmother’s gold pocket watch, and my iPhone. I’m not sure which will come first, the end of W&P or my demise. I’m surprised that I prefer the war parts to the parlor parts. It’s in war, I suppose, where true character is revealed. I’m already plotting my next classic. I figure I have twenty good reading years left if I’m lucky and I want to make them count.

Any recommendations?

14 Responses

  1. The Way to the Lantern Loved it!

  2. I tackled War and Peace a bi like I tackled Shakespeare. Endured, rather than enjoyed. I’m too old for that kind of shit now. Reading is what I do. Douglas Stuart gets lots of kudos for telling a different version of Glasgow. But Ralph Glasser, Growing Up in The Gorbals, he’s the real deal. And a delight to read.

  3. Not sure what you like, but I loved The Nickel Boys. Also The Quickening if you’re into “prairie gothic.” (someone else made that up, but it it’s an apt description of the story.

  4. After War and Peace, try Jesus’ Son by Denis Johnson. It’s brief and it’s good.

    I’m dealing with my 2nd bout of covid and the Denis Johnson book was something I could actually focus on. I’m doing alright, nearing the final days of my isolation. Cough and fever are gone and today I took the dog for a walk without having to stop and catch my breath too often. My wife was sick and shared it with me. The illness I mean, not the book; she wouldn’t like Jesus’ Son and she didn’t like covid either.

    • Don’t know where you live Mike but I just saw an amazing production of a Denis Johnson play called Des Moines in Brooklyn. I didn’t even know he wrote plays but this is one of six.

      • I didn’t know that either, but I’m not surprised.

        I’m 300 miles from Brooklyn, but if I hear of a production closer,I’ll check it out. Thanks for the information!

  5. I just finished and am devastated by the new translation of Colette’s Cheri and The End of Cheri

  6. I’m reading A Diary of a Misfit right now, and it is both a writing lesson and a kick in the guts.

  7. “Cradle of the Deep,” my favorite book in every decade since I discovered it in a (maybe the) second-hand bookstore in Birmingham, Ala., as a teenager. I’ll email you an essay I wrote about it.
    Martha Moffett

  8. I am not as well versed in the classics as I suppose I should be, but I would recommend “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” to cleanse your palate before going on to another 19th century work. You’ve probably already read it, but it’s always worth another read.

  9. “Any recommendations?”

    A few years ago, I was having lunch with a couple of the attorneys I worked for. We were talking books. One of them asked me for books to recommend for the other to read. I demurred.

    Which is BS. I’ve never been demure in my life. I told him, “I can’t recommend any book for someone to read unless I know them pretty well, know what they like to read, and know what they’ve already read. What might seem worthwhile to me is not necessarily what will seem worthwhile to another.”

    So, sorry, Betsy, you’re on your own. It’s not like there’s any shortage of good books to read.

  10. Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage, of which I read about 1/3 and picked it up years later without skipping a beat. I still remember the story. Maybe start with the shorter version, the short story “Rain,” which takes maybe an hour. Also read War and Peace over many years. Cannot remember a thing.

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