New Yorker Books: 12 November 2007

It’s been a very, very full and happy day. 4:43 PM, just back from Marina Food, great Asian supermarket in Foster City, where self ended up purchasing: a package of ox-tails for kare-kare ($12!! Isn’t that, like, so expensive for something considered to be a cheaper cut of meat?), cans of mandarin oranges (for Asian salad), and cans of coconut milk (for when she happens to feel like making curry).

Now, self’s ensconced on living room couch, watching re-runs of CSI: Miami and perusing Nov. 12 issue of The New Yorker. The Books section has a review of Clarence Thomas’ memoir, My Grandfather’s Son, and asks the question: Why is Clarence Thomas so angry?

Self is intrigued enough by the question to read a little bit, but loses interest soon after reading the following lines:

In his book, Thomas is clear about whom he blames for the pain of his confirmation hearings, when he had to defend himself against Anita Hill’s accusations. “In one climactic swipe of calumny,” Thomas writes, “America’s elites were arrogantly wreaking havoc on everything my grandparents had worked for and all I’d accomplished in forty-three years of struggle.”

Oh, poor baby. Next !!!

Self finds rather more appealing fare in the “Briefly Noted” section, where she finds three books (out of four reviewed) that she would really like to read:

Tom Perrotta’s The Abstinence Teacher

    Review begins: “Perrotta has made himself a specialist in suburban angst, peopling his novels with lonely daydreamers who are sexually dissatisfied and certain that their best days are over.” After such an opening, how can self resist?

Orlando Figes’ The Whisperers

    Review begins: “In this extraordinary study of a generation, Figes details the consequences of Stalin’s ideological campaign to reorganize the self as rigidly as he reorganized the streets of Moscow.” Fascinating, simply fascinating.

Brock Clarke’s An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England (Whacha say, dear blog readers — isn’t that a great title???)

    Review begins: “Sam Pulsifer, the bumbling narrator of this shambling, self-consciously comic novel, served ten years in prison after two people died when he accidentally burned down Emily Dickinson’s house.” ##@@!! More, more!

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