Books Magazine

A Bit of Catch-up

By Bluestalking @Bluestalking

Oh, for more time in the day. Whine! Have been rather a busy bee lately, starting and getting involved in so many books it has to be a criminal offense, or at least an offense. I finished Jim Crace's latest Harvest, which was phenomenal, no surprise. That's for review over at I'm reading two for book club discussion there, as well:

Zeldafitzgerald QuietcainZ: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler

Not one I'd ordinarily choose; I'm not one for fictional memoirs, not when the real nonfiction exists. I don't enjoy when an author gives his/her spin on the truth.

But this one's interesting, it its way, considering the genre. I didn't know an awful lot about the Fitzgeralds, aside from the fact they were a somewhat flamboyant couple.

There's much more to be known aside from


And Quiet by Susan Cain.

It could be my autobiography or perhaps an extended essay.

I assert more than half of conversation is meaningless drivel. SHUT UP, ALREADY!

Some of us are very sensitive to the non-stop chatter. Ever stop to think not everyone cares? That's what social media is for! Say it there and I have the choice of reading or not, without enduring it blared in my ear. Especially these days, with cell phones so ubiquitous.

I can't believe the amount of highly personal yapping people do on their phones. Do they think because we can't hear the person on the other end we aren't quite sure what they're talking about?

And, you people who talk on the phone while on the toilet... On behalf of the human race I wish there were some way you could be electrocuted using an electronic device while relieving yourelf, toilets flushing all around you. The thing is, should I decide to make a passive-aggressive comment about your idiocy you wouldn't even hear, so wrapped up you are in that conversation that just couldn't wait five minutes. Where's the satisfaction in that?


Finished Gillespie and I by Jane Harris, too. WOWZERS. Want to talk creepy? Unreliable narrators?


It's so brilliant! So, so brilliant. Lonely spinster Harriet Baxter latches on to the Gillespies: a couple both of artistic talent and their two daughters and becomes the sort of bug that crawls under your skin and sucks the life out of you. All the while she gives the appearance of being the sweetest middle-aged lady who's just lonely and enjoys your company.

Shortly after she arrives on the scene, in a "coincidental" meeting, the older of the two Gillespie daughters begins behaving outrageously. Among other things, she draws lewd sketches on the wall, steals things, breaks her sister's potted plant and tries to set things on fire. And then the younger daughter goes missing, turning this formerly happy family into an unrecognizable, miserable threesome who can't stand each other. Wish I could tell you more but I really can't. Everything's so inter-woven, so flawlessly written telling you one thing could be telling you too much. Read it and you'll understand.


Finally, for this round, a joint effort involving Umberto Eco and Jean-Claude Carrière, a very intelligent and deeply thought out discussion on why new electronic media will never replace the book and all the cogent arguments why this would be disastrous.

Writing is gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous, so much so I had the library copy checked out but saw early on I needed my own copy. This one's a re-reader:

"... how do we select for the generations to come? And who will do the selection? ... How to filter when, as you say, our computers simply provide everything, without the slightest hierarchy, selection or structure? ... how do we build a collective memory in these conditions, knowing as we do that this memory is a matter of choices, preferences, rejections and omissions both intentional and accidental? And knowing also that the memory of our descendants won't necessarily work in the same way as ours. What will a clone's memory be like?"

- Jean-Claude Carrière

 In the book chat queue:

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Antonia Lively Breaks the Silence by David Samuel Levinson

Fault Lines by Nancy Huston

Three Graves Full by Jamie Mason

The Art of Procrastination by John Perry

The Memory of Love by Linda Olsson


Plus whatever I'm forgetting.


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