Saturday, December 22, 2012

A month in a minute

Since my last post (is it POSSIBLE that was a month ago?? Father time you are a sneaky sneaky bastard!) I have finished some eclectic and disparate choices!

I finished Clara and Mr. Tiffany. I think maybe now with some distance, I'd give it a 3.5/5 maybe a 3.75/5. Well written, the story, to my liking, didn't quite hold out for the length. She was an amazing lady!

This is NOT what I expected in the least! I found this book overwhelmingly depressing! I know it makes the list of a lot of people's 'all time favorite' and while it was marvelous in the writing, voice, and Smith's nearly shocking ability to evoke time and place, the depression factor will keep me from loving it.

This is a particularly interesting (out of print) book to me. It was written by a local in in 1963. It was written about the town I live in and the characters are composites of the people from here. The landscape is the same, the events are 'similar' and on it's publication there was much much scuttlebut about this book here in town. It was briefly banned from our local library then added back but only one copy and kept behind the desk on the adult only request only allocation. (crazy right???) The writing was good and it was a finalist for the Pulitzer. Scholl did tend to try to pack too many 'truths' if you will, into one novel. And while it certainly didn't come off preachy or parabolic, it did come off a bit disjointed and scattered.  It has since drifted off in obscurity. Scholl himself was quite a character in our town. As the town 'creative type' he was a notorious drinker and was known to tie one on and try to direct traffic at our downtown main street intersection until the cops came along and took him home.. not to jail, just home. ;) It was a different guard even then.

The choice this month for Pink Drinks On A Thursday Evening book club is The Christmas Box. This was a sweet book and had a poignant meaning and a bit of a preachy lesson. I almost feel like it should be called The Parable of the Christmas Box. It didn't affect me deeply but I was moved by the ending and did enjoy the reading. I'm at a bit of a loss on how to handle people who believe writers like this are 'just the best writers out there!' But then again, mainstream, best sellers are rarely 'literary' either. I guess I'm a snob. rats. Sure didn't mean to be!! :(

And I am finishing up (to feed my inner snob-lover)
I'm almost done. This was a Fireside book club selection and I didn't get done in time for our discussion which was doubly sad because we Skyped with Nick Dybek! Which was amazing!!
He was gracious and fun! Great sense of humor and spoke wonderfully not only about his work but also about his life and his time in Iowa (which is where we are based) at the Iowa Writers Workshop. I have a blog post planned with a discussion JUST on Iowa Writers Workshoppers! Know any??

Oh and please note the stunning fireplace (which was lit) it is original to the building built in 1904.  (there are two of fireplaces actually) It is a Carnegie Library and has been meticulously maintained. It is my favorite place here and I believe we now have a library director who can do it the justice it deserves! Way to go Elena! :)

but I digress...

I am also finishing up
This book is so that popular unique way... if that can actually make sense, that I'm having a hard time finding a way to describe how I feel about it. It deserves more than 'enjoy', 'like', 'great', 'involving', a want a more unique way to say it :) I'll come up with something when I'm done...

And maybe I'll even post it here in a more timely manner. I miss you guys too much when so much time passes!!


  1. Hmmm. I didn't get a chance to read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn when my book club read it. I was still going to try to read it, but I don't know if I want to now, lol. Especially since I read somewhere that the average person only reads 1000-2000 books in their lifetime. Even though this number seems high, it's not that high when you think about it and makes me want to be more picky about the books I do read, lol.

    PS--I hope you have a great holiday season! :D

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