Sunday Morning, Groggy

This morning, dogs pitched self out of bed at 8 a.m.  Ordinarily, that wouldn’t be so bad but self only managed to get to sleep at 3:30 a.m.

Must have been all the excitement over Stanford beating USC at home —  by one point! Then came celebratory beer, and, a little past 1 a.m., self plunked down her credit card to join the American Horticultural Society.

Say what?

Now, self can hardly see straight.  Yet her wandering fingers reach over for yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. Where was she?  Oh, right, she was reading the Book Reviews.  Here are a few of the books that self deems particularly interesting :

1.   From the Jaws of Death, edited by Brogan Steele

    “A storm batters a fishing boat off the coast of Alaska, and the crew members abandon ship to take their chances floating in the ocean, some with nothing but the clothes they were wearing.”  Sold!

2.   Walter Mondale’s The Good Fight

    “If merit badges were given for earnestness, Walter Mondale’s badges would stretch to the moon, as we are reminded in this deeply earnest recounting of his four decades in public life.”

3.   John Julis Norwich’s memoir, Trying to Please

    “The French general Jean de Lattre de Tassigny gave him a tour of the front in early 1945 and quizzed the 15-year-old on the fagging system at Eton, with thoughts of implementing it on his staff.”

4.   Five Books on “Extreme Book-Collecting”:

  • Nicholas A. Basbanes’ A Gentle Madness
  • Larry McMurtry’s Books: A Memoir
  • A Passion for Books, a collection of essays on book collecting, edited by Harold Rabinowitz and Rob Kaplan:  “One of the finest essays here is Clifton Fadiman’s Pillow Books, in which he discusses the type of books people read at bedtime —  those for staying awake and those for their soporific effects.”
  • Edwin Wolf II’s Rosenbach : “Called a baby biblimoniac as a child, he acquired his first book at auction, the fable Reynard the Fox, at age 11.”
  • Rick Gekoski’s Tolkien’s Gown:  “In this engrossing mix of history, literary criticism and gossip, he describes how James Joyce expressed surprise when reviewers didn’t find Ulysses funny, and how Graham Greene, while drinking vodka in a hotel room with Gekoski, proclaimed that Henry James was funny.”

5.   Steven R. Weisman’s Daniel Patrick Moynihan:  A Portrait in Letters of an American Visionary

    “He  put extraordinary energy into overwhelming the world, often straining to make it embrace the persona he had created for himself.”

Wow, those all sound like great books!

Just for the heck of it, self is going to add one more book to her “To Read” list:

    Cherie Blair’s memoir about what it’s like to be Mrs. Tony Blair, Speaking for Myself

She read a little about Mrs. Blair today, in a back issue (July 5, 2010) of The New Yorker. She was in New York to try and pitch the creation of an “International Widows Day” to the United Nations.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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