I’m going back to Irving


My all time favourite novelist, John Irving.

It’s weird,

I am surrounded by books.

In my apartment,


in the bookstore,

I am a member,

in good standing,

of  la Bibliotheque Nationale,

and yet,

I can’t seem to find,

anything I feel like reading!!


very weird.


I have decided to re-read,

John Irving.

I love Irving,

the plaid clad,

intense eyed man,

in his thirties,

intellectual yet,


a sensitive writer,


also a man’s man.

He wrote such strange plots,

about such strange,

and lovable characters.

The middle Irving is,

the man of ideas,

deeply interested,


moral dilemnas,

the great questions,

about faith,

and love,


the difference between,

right and wrong.

His hair has grown gray,


the intensity,

and vigor,

are still there.

The first Irving novel,

I ever read was,

The World According To Garp,

I’ve re-read it a few times,


I haven’t in about five years,

I’ve grown a lot,

in five years,

I wonder if I will love it as much.

So, my plan is to read his novels,

in the order,

in which I first did.



The Hotel New Hampshire,

The Cider House Rules,

will be the first three,

I figure one a month.

October: Garp,

November: Hotel,

December: Cider House,

and then we’ll see in January,


I’m not quite sure,

which I read next,

and there are two,

I’ve never read,

Son Of The Circus,


The Water Method Man.

I’d love it if some of you,

would join me.

For some,

it could be,


a brilliant writer,

and for others,


an old friend.

Think about it.

Let me know.

You know where to find me:-)

Later girls,



Giovanni’s Room

Something strange,

is falling,

from the sky,

not really,


not really,



textured rain?

The Canadiens,

won on Tuesday,


one of our best forwards,

was seriously injured,

the way he was hit,

he could have been,


ugly stuff,

there are limits,

the league should do,


before someone dies.

I hate that,

it’s a contact sport,

not shuffleboard but,

this is insane,

it also gives Hockey,

a reputation,

as a barbaric sport.

It’s not,

it is,

an exciting, fast,


Our national pastime.

Been, an odd,

kind of week,

I’m tired and manic,



I’ve been thinking about,

Giovanni’s Room.


when reading great works,

of literature,

what I call literature,

with a capital L,

I’m not sure,

I understand,

all that is being,


and I don’t think,

it is necessarily,


To me,

Giovanni’s Room,

is about coming to terms,

with loving,

someone of your own sex,

and how difficult,

that can be.

No matter that we live in a more accepting era, it is still difficult and sometimes heart wrenching, the pressure to conform is still massive.


the protagonist,

has experimented with,


from a young age.

Still a boy,

when he has a romance,

with Joey,


he turns on Joey,

sees him as weak,

and bullies him.

It’s actually easier,

for him,

to be cruel,

than to accept,

that he is gay.

Says a lot,

about what we teach,


David moves to Paris,

to get away from,

his life,

his family.

He meets Hella,

a young American woman,

she is smart,




Hella, goes to Spain,


to decide,

if she wants to be with David.

While, she is away,

he meets Giovanni,

and lives with him,

in his room.

David loves Giovanni,


he is incapable of,

that love,

or so ,

he thinks.


comes back and decides,

to marry David,


to her a woman,

only becomes,

a woman,

through the eyes,

of a man.

Says a lot,


what we teach girls.

Do we really think, it’s all that different today? Is De Beauvoir’s line about not being born a woman but, becoming one, a thing of the past? I wonder? 

This is a novel about,




and ultimately,


Hard to take,

for the rawness,

and honesty,

of it’s emotion.

I’m still amazed that,

Baldwin had,

to guts,

to say,

these things in 1956.

This is not a feel good book.

There is no happy ending.

But, David does find,


This novel,

as do all works,

of naked truth,

shook me to my core.

I will never forget it.

Later girls,


*I hope I didn’t give too much away*

The Price Of Salt-An Appreciation

Today was a magnificent day,

in Montreal,

sunny and clear, clear skies,

The Habs won,

sales were good,

and my hormones are in their good stage.

Fist Pump:-)

Even Though,

I was busy,

which is,

let me be perfectly clear,

a good thing,

I managed to finish,

The Price Of Salt by Patricia Highsmith.

A good book,

a damn good book.

I don’t really do reviews,

as you know,

more appreciations,

both Amy and Cass,

of Amy Reads and Bonjour, Cass respectively,

will be reviewing,

they are on my blog roll and I’ll let you know when they post,

I read this book as part of the GLBTQ Challenge,

I’ve been wanting to read this book for years.

It was published in 1952 by The Naiad Press,

a legendary lesbian publishing company.

Highsmith published this book under a,

nom de plume, Claire Morgan.

A beautifully written novel,

and since Highsmith,

went on to be a queen of the noir genre,

you feel the tension,

you know,

the does she, doesn’t she tension.

real erotic tension,

that’s what I felt.

A sexy and serious novel,

about love.

If you are looking for,

some explicit love scenes,

keep looking,

this is a novel about being in love,

for the first time.

How wonderful it is,

how scary it is.

Therese Belivet,

is a young aspiring set designer,

she meets Carol Aird,

a thirty something married woman.

For Therese it is immediate,

love at first sight.

The recognition of Carol,


exactly who she needs.

Therese is a wonderfully innocent character,

so young,

not naive, not blind,

a little scared but,


Carol is a cool customer,

or so we think,

at first,

a sophisticated older woman.

Therese is under her spell from the beginning,

The dusky and faint smell of her perfume came to Therese again, a smell suggestive of dark green silk, that was her alone, like the smell of a special flower. Therese leaned closer towards it, looking down at her glass. She wanted to thrust the table aside and spring into her arms, to bury her nose in the green and gold scarf that was tied close to her neck.

This is their first date,

second meeting,

the kid

has got it,


Takes a good writer to get,

your blood pumping with so little,

the use of language is amazing.

Carol is confident but,

far from aggressive,

she let’s Therese decide.

These women want and love each other.

It was brave to write this in 1952,

the love that dare not speak it’s name era.

A very satisfying read,

there is tension,




but, ultimately,

there is hope of,


being worth the sacrifices,

being worth transcending,

what others think.

It’s about finding and fighting for what you need.

Very good.

Well worth any one’s time.

I still haven’t absorbed it all.

I hope I gave you a taste for it.

Later girls,


Do you believe in love at first sight?

 Love- in a world where carpenters get resurected,—-Anything is possible–Eleanor of Aquitaine.

I posted this quote before,

it can stand repeating.

I am reading The Price Of Salt,

it is fabulous,

so far,

I am about one hundred pages in.

The first twenty pages or so,

are work,


on page twenty eight, 

you get this:

Their eyes met at the same instant. Therese glancing up from a box she was opening, and the woman just turning her head so she looked directly at Therese. She was tall and fair, her long figure graceful in the fur coat that she held open with a hand on her waist. Her eyes were grey, colourless, yet dominant as light or fire, and caught by them, Therese could not look away.

In the words of,

the immortal Jackie Gleason,

and a way we go!!

Highsmith had me,

I needed to know,

what would happen.

I’m not finished,

probably tomorrow,

if I decide,

I want to sleep tonight:-)

The reason I mention it is,

I want to ask you all,

 a question,

Do you believe in love at first sight?

In the true spirit of sisterhood,

I’ll tell you what I think.

I believe,

I sure do,


not a doubt in my mind.

This perhaps strikes you as,

being in contradiction with,

that stuff I wrote,

 months ago,

about kindness,

being more important than looks.

I’ll tell you girls,

I stand behind both,


Kindness is more important than looks,


and in the long run.

But, Love at first sight,

isn’t about looks,

it’s about,


Of course,

you should be weary of me,

discussing chemistry,

I never took high school chemistry,


my love life is hapless,


my credentials as a hopeless romantic?


I believe in a stranger across a crowded room,

some enchanted evening:-)

who in fact isn’t a stranger,


the ONE.

It’s never happened to me,

it may never happen to me,


I believe it can.

Later girls,


Wrap up for 2010

I have been going over what I read for 2010.

I was under the impression,

 that I had read much less than 2009.

Not really.

2009: 58 books

2010: 54 books

Not much of a difference.

If you consider that 2010 had the following factors going against it,

1-Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics,

two weeks spent in front of the television.

2-My mom’s heart attack,

non stop worrying and no concentration.

3-The summer of hell,

‘nough said.

4-The Habs making it to the Stanley Cup semi-finals,

first time in 15 years.

That makes for several weeks of no reading,

well not much reading,

 I always read.

I started my reading year with,

 Last Night In Twisted River,

 John Irving, my man.

I will be ending it with,

 Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh.

Rich and full.

I am shocked to see,

 I have read 1 French Language book,

only one.

It was a decent one but,

by no means a masterpiece,

L’Élégance Du Hérrison by Muriel Barbery.

I must do better in 2011!

I read 12 mysteries in 2010,

I used to read 30-40 a year,


quality more than quantity.

As far as Male/Female author ratio is concerned,

22 were by male authors,

that leaves 32 for the women.

The author I read most this year,

Somerset Maugham, 4 books.

The author I discovered this year and will be reading more of,

Andrea Levy.

Non-fiction reading not much,

7 books,

mostly literary memoirs and collections of letters.

I like fiction.

I didn’t count rereads but,

there must be 4-5.

I also didn’t count the 4 novels I read in manuscript form,

they are by a good friend of mine,

I’ll tell you about them when they come out,

if she wants me to.

So for 2011,

 I will be participating in The GLBT Q Reading Challenge,

 ( I also added the Q, following the example of Amy, it is as it should be)

here is the list of books I will be reading:

The Price Of Salt by Patricia Highsmith

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

Maurice by E.M Forster

Normal by Amy Bloom

The Gilda Stories by Jewel Gomez

The sixth is to be determined.

Any suggestions?

Also I would like to read Thomas Wolfe’s,

 Look Homeward, Angel and Of Time And The River,

Big, thick, Southern fiction.

Since I was a child,

 I have been attracted to the  tragic destiny of Wolfe.

This year I try,


I’m hoping Cass doesn’t make us read our Bunker List,

I may never be heard from again:-)

I will let her reveal the said Bunker list when she sees fit but,

let me tell you it’s a doozy.

More French language books, GLBTQ, and some dense Southern Literature,

so goes the objective for 2011.

Let’s see how well I do.

I wish you all a Healthy and Happy New Year celebration.

Grab your girl/guy or whoever and tell them you love them.

Because the world needs more love and more readers:-)

Later girls