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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Recent reading

I've been here all along. I just haven't been blogging. Truthfully, not posting hasn't been problematic. I get a great deal of e-mail via the online groups to which I belong. I'm on Facebook and Linked In, though I don't often post to them, either.

In March I presented the program for the Clara Cummings Book Club, a Waukegan-based group. Preparing for that consumed my reading time for a good six weeks. I can't devote an entire book review to just one book. (I tried that once, long ago, and it was a disaster.) Instead I talk about a half dozen or more. The "spring selections" were:
* Bold Spirit: Helga Estby's Walk Across Victorian America, by Linda Lawrence Hunt
* The Women, by T. C. Boyle
* American Wife, by Curtis Sittenfeld
* Emily Post, by Laura Claridge
* The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shafer and Annie Barrows
* I Feel Bad About My Neck, by Nora Ephron (no website)
* Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog, by Kitty Burns Florey
* Script and Scribble, by Kitty Burns Florey

Also in March I was the speaker at meetings for two different P.E.O. chapters. I planned to show the film Let's Face It ( and lead a discussion of this thought-provoking film. On three previous occasions the DVD has not played properly, and I suspected that might happen again so I took the CCBC books and bibliography with me. I was glad I did -- at one house the DVD would not play. At the other it did. Go figure!

More mileage yet: I gave the book talk for the Prime Timers, a lunch group at Grace Missionary Church. And, a finale for the season: I'm on the program for the AAUW-Illinois state convention in Decatur next week.

Meanwhile, I've added two more books to the stack, courtesy of reader's advisor extraordinaire Nancy Pearl. The author is Stephanie Kallos. Nancy recommended her second novel, Sing Them Home. I listened to it and loved it, so I got the audio edition of her first novel, Broken for You. Wonderful! I compare her to Anne Tyler.

.....Now I'm reading Driftless, by David Rhodes. It is set in rural southwestern Wisconsin (the driftless region, which was not scoured by the glaciers). He writes like Wendell Berry or the best of Jon Hassler: such exquisite prose that it hurts to read it.

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