To Read (Five Summers From Now, Probably)

Here are self’s selections from the big, fat New York Times Book Review Summer Reading issue.  It’s sad, really, but self only came up with a handful of books.  She decided that, given the snail’s pace at which she’s been reading lately, from now on she has to exercise maximum discretion in adding books to her reading list:

two by Patricia Highsmith:  People Who Knock on the Door and Deep Water (recommended by Alexander McCall Smith)

Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe (Self finds the title exceedingly corny, but this one was recommended by Joy Williams)

Lady at the O. K. Corral:  The True Story of Josephine Marcus Earp, by Ann Kirschner (reviewed by Sara Wheeler, who says the book “deftly conjures the thrill and squalor of frontier boomtowns and mining camps.”  Sold!)

two new mysteries:  The Square of Revenge, by Belgian author Pieter Aspe, and The Body in the Piazza, by Katherine Hall Page (reviewed by Marilyn Stasio)

three classic travel books:  Their Heads Are Green and Their Hands are Blue, by Paul Bowles; Falconry in the Valley of the Indus, by Richard Burton; and The Sheltering Sky, by Paul Bowles (mentioned by Chris Wallace in the end-paper essay, “Literary Excursions,” about “the adventure-memoirists of earlier generations.”)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Things To Do During the (Current) BART Strike

It is now four days into the BART strike.

You can document the misery, like so.

You can fix fabulous and healthy meals, again like so.

Stay healthy, my friends!

And be resourceful!

(Spoken like a person with a car.  Self knows, she knows.  Thoughts of Ronald Reagan and the air controllers strike intrude at odd moments.  And Margaret Thatcher and the miners)

Stay tuned.

Memories of: The Guardian, Friday, June 29, 2012

A year ago, self was just winding up a writer’s residency in Hawthornden, 45 minutes by bus from Edinburgh.

The Guardian pull-out section that day had this as the cover article:


How Matthew McConaughey reinvented himself

Yes, it seems the folks at The Guardian were extremely involved in examining Matthew McConaughey’s chest.  Inside, a photo of bare-chested McConaughey in a scene from Magic Mike.  OMG, one day that photo will be iconic:  McConaughey’s outstretched arm, the cowboy hat, the ornately carved belt, and The Feature itself:  the supremely well-articulated chest.

Anyhoo, perhaps because self couldn’t get over the fact that she was reading such an article in Scotland, of all places, while in the company of very serious writers, she slipped the pull-out into her suitcase.  And forgot all about it until —  TODAY!

The sidebar to the article in The Guardian is a list called “Himbos Go Arthouse:  The Hunks Who Got Serious”

Of course, the first name on the list is George Clooney.  It cites two early movies: Red Surf and Sunset Beat.  Somehow, he overcame those rough beginnings to become a “heavyweight A-lister.”

The next name is Brad Pitt.  “Catnip for the Diet Coke crowd,” The Guardian calls him.  He “still hasn’t removed the himbo yoke, but he wears it with cred.”

Third is James Franco.  The Guardian calls him “hipster himbo numero uno.”

Fourth is Brendan Fraser.  The Guardian says:  “lunkish jock . . . mum-bait in The Mummy and George of the Jungle.”

Yesterday, self and Niece G text-ed each other about possibly seeing a movie together before Niece heads back to New York.  Niece tells self she just saw a Wikileaks documentary.  Self responds:  “How about White House Down?  Chan is The Man!”  Niece G’s response:  “Tita!”


Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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