Let it be resolved….

It’s a beautiful,

sunny day,

blue sky,

cold crisp.

Winter.

Mom and I went,

to see,

Tintin,

yesterday,

and then,

had some,

take out Chinese.

A nice way,

to spend,

the first day,

of 2012.

I don’t make,

New Year’s,

resolutions,

well, not for a few years, anyway!

I don’t like,

feeling,

like a failure,

<wink>

That doesn’t mean,

I don’t look,

at the coming year,

with hope,

and resolve,

to be a better,

person,

friend,

girlfriend,

daughter,

role model,

citizen,

bookseller,

lover,

writer,

all the parts,

that are,

me.

Last year,

I took up,

a reading challenge,

and.

it didn’t go,

as I expected,

but,

the two books,

I read as part,

of the challenge,

Giovanni’s Room,

and,

The Price Of Salt,

were both,

excellent and brave,

both written in the fifties,

at a time,

when being,

out and proud,

was,

rare.

My favourite book,

of 2011,

was,

Parnassus On Wheels,

a book about the love of books,

and finding,

the one you are meant,

to be with,

it’s never too late.

To change your life,

to follow ,

your heart,

your dreams,

well worth,

anyone’s time.

The author who,

I ‘discovered’¬†this year,

Wallace Stegner,

powerful prose,

real insight,

wisdom,

I will be reading,

more of his work.

I still am,

way behind as far as,

French language books,

are concerned,

my Christmas presents,

will help that,

I received two,

Jacques Poulin books,

from my aunt.

Poulin,

is a Quebecois writer,

that I like,

very much,

a proud defender of the,

French language,

the French fact in,

North America,

His love of books,

Hemingway,

Cats,

Hockey,

and the Road,

make him a good fit,

common interests,

obsessions.

He is available,

in English translation,

his Volkwagen Blues,

is a beautiful book,

a road novel,

very Quebecois,

and yet,

universal.

This year,

I want to be open,

to new and old,

to read some of the novels,

I’ve always wanted to read,

to leave room for,

‘coup de coeur’.

Seems,

to be pretty much what,

I always do,

read,

because I love to read,

because I must read.

Let it be resolved…

that I keep on reading.

ūüôā

Later girls,

BB

 

 

Wallace Stegner’s The Spectator Bird

‚ÄúWe write to make sense of it all.‚Ä̬†¬†¬† ‚Äē¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Wallace Stegner

Wallace Stegner, was an American writer, 1909-1993.

I have just finished,

The Spectator Bird,

a beautiful novel,

about aging,

about the choices,

we make,

about the choices,

we don’t make,

deceptively simple,

full of truths,

I’m so glad I read it.

From the back blurb:

Joe Allston is a retired literary agent who is, in his own words, “just killing time until time gets around to killing me” His parents and his only son¬† are long dead, leaving him with neither ancestors nor descendants, tradition nor ties. … A postcard from a friend causes Allston to return to the journals of a trip he had taken years before, a journey to his mother’s birthplace, where he’d sought a link with his past.

Stegner is a master craftsman,

a plot that appears simple,

is in fact,

complex,

indeed intricate,

a lot like peoples lives.

Joe, who appears ordinary,

and somewhat passive,

a spectator bird,

is really a man of great feeling,

who has known,

love and heartbreak,

and has made a choice.

The characters are well drawn,

the settings are well drawn,

you feel the cold and damp,

of Copenhagen,

smell the mustiness of the castles,

feel the California wind,

roaring,

and the rain,

pounding down.

Both urbane and naturalistic.

When he wrote this novel,

Wallace Stegner was an old man,

it bears witness to years,

of living,

of craft,

the wisdom,

the truth,

the longing,

and the love.

A book I will not soon forget.

I want to read more of his work,

and after reading this,

I understand why,

Stegner is reffered to as,

The Dean Of Western Writers.

If you are looking for a dense,

yet,

remarkably short novel,

214 pages,

a satisfying, meaty read,

that will provide a perspective,

on,

aging and how we remember,

about raging, quietly,

against the dying of the light,

Stegner is your man.

Later girls,

BB

 

 

 

I’m going back to Irving

 

My all time favourite novelist, John Irving.

It’s weird,

I am surrounded by books.

In my apartment,

obviously,

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!!

Weird,

very weird.

So,

I have decided to re-read,

John Irving.

I love Irving,

the plaid clad,

intense eyed man,

in his thirties,

intellectual yet,

earthy,

a sensitive writer,

and,

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,

in,

moral dilemnas,

the great questions,

about faith,

and love,

and,

the difference between,

right and wrong.

His hair has grown gray,

but,

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,

but,

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.

So,

Garp,

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,

because,

I’m not quite sure,

which I read next,

and there are two,

I’ve never read,

Son Of The Circus,

and,

The Water Method Man.

I’d love it if some of you,

would join me.

For some,

it could be,

discovering,

a brilliant writer,

and for others,

revisiting,

an old friend.

Think about it.

Let me know.

You know where to find me:-)

Later girls,

BB

 

Reading books, makes you better.

There are many ways,

that reading,

and books,

make you,

better.

They make you,

feel,

better,

they can provide,

escape,

laughter,

a balm,

on an aching heart.

They make you,

better,

smarter,

they are a means,

of knowledge acquisition,

about,

places,

history,

pracical things.

How to repair a bike,

how to cook a chicken,

how to give pleasure,

how to defend yourself,

how to boot your immune system,

how to polish your boots.

Books,

can compensate,

for the mentors,

you never had.

But,

mostly,

I think,

books,

make you a better,

person.

Learning about the world,

past and present,

‘seeing’ the world,

through the eyes of others,

be they real or fictional,

expands,

your emotional horizons,

takes you out of your,

‘normal’ world,

world view,

comfort zone,

puts,

you in contact,

with people very different,

from yourself,

all over the world,

throughout history,

and in galaxies,

far, far away.

Understanding,

compassion,

empathy,

and ultimately,

‘discovering’,

that people are,

more similar,

than different:-)

That’s how I see,

Have a great day:-)

Later girls,

BB

* Post inspired by a picture on bookshelfporn.com*

Jackie Kennedy, what would she say today?

It’s a cool cloudy,

morning.

I expect it will be,

a cool cloudy day,

no,

those aren’t,

crystal ball,

predictions,

it’s what the folks,

at Environment Canada,

are predicting.

Those kind of conditions,

usually,

translate into,

quiet days,

at the bookstore,

but,

no matter,

I’ll have time to read,

I’m still plowing,

my way,

through Janet Flanner,

it’s good,

just,

heavy,

for carrying back,

and,

forth,

I also have the Hemingway,

on fishing,

but,

yesterday,

I read an,

Anne Lamott,

I got from,

the library,

Plan B: Further Reflections On Faith,

she is one,

terrific non-fiction,

writer,

she was a columnist,

at Salon.com,

for a time,

and I’m not,

surprised.

Her writings are full,

of joy,

and truth,

irreverence,

and,

reflection,

on faith,

motherhood,

the joys and tribulations,

dealing with and,

caring for,

aging parents,

the challenges of,

a post-menopause,

body.

I started reading,

Lamott,

with her book,

on writing,

Bird By Bird,

and honestly,

I can’t recomend,

her non-fiction,

enough,

she makes me laugh,

and,

tear up,

wonderful stuff.

Last night,

mom and I,

watched,

this Diane Sawyer,

special,

on the recently,

released,

Jacqueline Kennedy,

tapes.

These are eight hours,

of tapes she,

made,

three months,

after President Kennedy’s assassination.

An oral history,

of their time,

in the White House.

The Sawyer special,

also,

included,

an interview with,

Caroline Kennedy,

the last member of,

the John F Kennedy clan.

An interesting program,

mom and I,

are Kennedy groupies,

we both have read many books,

on this American family,

they had a special,

destiny,

it seems,

blessed with drive, talent, charm,

and cursed,

with horror and tragedy,

a fascinating family.

The Jackie tapes,

were not,

edited,

this is to,

Caroline’s credit,

she let her mother’s words stand,

some of her observations,

are very astute,

and,

touching,

some of them are cringe worthy,

we have collectively,

come a long way,

since 1963,

I’m pretty sure,

Jackie herself would,

have freaked at some,

of the things,

she said,

about marriage,

the place of women,

in politics,

in marriage,

and,

more,

it is in many ways,

a perfect illustration,

of,

‘Autre Temps, Autre Moeurs’

Later girls,

BB

My friend, the writer

Ladies,

it’s a beautiful day,

and,

I’m feeling,

amazing,

I’m not sure,

why,

combination of factors,

I guess,

life is good:-)

I feel healthy,

happy,

and,

good,

it’s the fall,

I love the fall:-)

One big thing,

that has me,

feeling,

hyped and proud,

my friend,

the busy writer,

Mel Bossa,

has another book,

just released,

a paranormal thriller,

I don’t normally go,

for that genre,

but,

Mel’s book,

Suite Nineteen,

is dark and edgy,

and thought provoking.

Well written,

engaging,

with explorations,

of,

the nature of,

good and evil,

the redemptive powers of love.

But,

you don’t have to take,

my word for it,

check out this review,

on book wenches,

a blog,

that has style and content,

http://www.bookwenches.com/september11reviews.htm.

also,

check out the details and,

order it at,

http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/products.php?product=Suite-Nineteen-%252d-by-Mel-Bossa

Well,

I’m busy today,

places to go,

people to see,

but,

I had to tell you all about,

this,

because,

it’s worthy of mention.

Mel,

has a long and,

promising career,

ahead of her,

she’s already doing great!!

Did I mention I’m proud:-)

Later girls,

BB

 

 

monday morning musings

It’s a cloudy,

blustery day,

perfect day,

for laundry,

on the,

clothesline,

fluttering away,

being infused with,

oxygen.

Mom’s been washing,

since early,

she has a method,

and,

it’s best,

not to interfere:-)

Unfortunately,

we couldn’t make,

the play last night,

it poured,

buckets.

Stayed home,

and,

watched,

John Adams.

Couldn’t possibly,

say enough,

good things,

about that series,

if you are interested,

in history,

in politics,

in people,

who bring real change,

to the world,

it’s a series for you.

One of the things,

I liked most about it,

is the depiction,

of the deep,

love and friendship,

of John and Abigail Adams,

partners,

lovers,

friends,

they depended,

on each other,

who wouldn’t want,

an Abigail,

as an advisor,

a strong shoulder,

an attentive ear,

a love unconditional,

inspiring:-)

I went to,

the library,

yesterday,

and took,

out a volume,

of Janet Flanner’s,

Paris Journals,

it covers the years,

1944 to 1965,

many writers,

refer to Flanner,

as an inspiration,

and someone,

to read,

I like memoirs,

and journals,

these are more,

columns,

she wrote for,

The New Yorker,

for many years,

I love,

The New Yorker,

you all know that:-)

Big book,

will take a while,

I’ll keep you,

posted on my progress,

through it.

Some,

very sad news,

this morning,

the leader of,

The New Democratic Party,

and Official Leader of the Opposition,

Jack Layton,

died at his home,

last night,

he was a nice man,

who brought,

hope and optimism,

to the often,

tired,

democratic process,

our country will miss,

his voice,

his charm,

his enthusiasm,

Godspeed Jack.

Later girls,

BB

 

 

 

On voting and Thoreau

The day,

is trying to decide,

blue,

or,

gray,

anybody’s guess,

as to the outcome,

Will the south rise again?

<wink>

I’ve been reading,

Civil Disobedience,

by Henry David Thoreau,

it’s very good,

clear,

conscise,

strong,

and very opinionated,

as to the role,

of government.

You have to wonder,

what Homeland security,

would think of it,

today,

might be considered,

seditious,

no-

it would be,

considered,

seditious.

Easy to understand,

how this work,

had a such,

an influence,

on both Gandhi,

and,

Martin Luther King.

I was raised to believe,

in democracy,

the rule of the majority,

the rule of law.

I still believe,

that the majority,

by this, I don’t mean the forty percent of the sixty percent who vote and most times elect our governments, I mean a real majority.

will,

most times,

make the right decision,

what can I say I’m an optimist:-)

it may not have been,

my decision,

but,

it will be for the greater good.

But,

as things stand,

in our current ‘democracies’

people don’t vote,

and I’ve gotten,

to the point,

where I wonder,

if,

maybe they aren’t,

right,

in doing so,

or rather not,

doing so.

We vote,

our choices are,

to be brutally honest,

pathetic,

and we do this,

why?

In order to say,

we do our part,

but, do we?

Isn’t voting for people,

and parties for whom,

we have so little respect,

just another form,

of,

apathy.

All voting is a sort of gaming, like checkers or backgammon, with a slight moral tinge to it, a playing with right, and wrong, with moral questions; and betting naturally accompanies it. The character of the voters is not staked. I cast my vote, perchance, as I think right, but, I am not vitally¬†concerned that that right shall prevail. I am willing to leave it to the majority. It’s obligation, therefore, never exceeds that of expediency.¬† Civil Disobedience-Henry David Thoreau

Maybe,

anarchy,

is the answer.

Not looting and destruction,

Anarchy.

Food for thought.

Let me chew some more.

Later girls,

BB

 

Small reflections on short stories

It’s a lovely day,

out there,

blue sky,

light,

clouds of white,

postcard stuff:-)

Yesterday,

was one of those,

days of penance,

type days,

every weirdo,

you could think,

of,

was in,

tough one,

in spite of that,

I’m in a good mood.

Slept in this morning,

haven’t slept this well,

in weeks,

literally.

I picked up some,

very interesting,

short story collections,

for the bookstore,

Eleven Kinds Of Loneliness,

by Richard Yates,

Cathedral by Raymond Carver,

and,

The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway.

I have a customer,

who is a freak,

for top of the line,

short story collections,

these qualify,

she probably has,

the Hemingway,

no matter,

it’s bound to interest,

someone.

I read a few of,

the Yates stories,

I particularly liked,

Builders,

about a writer,

and the taxi driver,

who hires him,

to write up,

his experiences as,

a hack.

He’s dark,

Yates,

in a subtle way,

more,

charcoal,

than black,

I read one of his novels,

last year,

Revolutionary Road,

didn’t like it so much,

couldn’t relate to the characters.

I liked the stories better.

Carver,

I’ve read,

he’s very sparse,

writes about,

ordinary people,

nobody,

really writes about,

people who seem,

uninteresting,

but,

everyone is,

if you dig,

enough.

I have tons of novels,

laying around,

waiting to be read,

but,

right now,

I need short,

it’s my,

Summer attention span,

sort of adolescent,

not in it’s interests,

more in it’s ability,

to concentrate.

I’m still mulling over,

that essence of butchness thing.

Soon,

I guess?

Going for some,

brewskies,

tonight,

at my friends,

busy writer,

and,

perfect guy:-)

Later girls,

BB

The Swing Shift

A light gray,

sort a day,

today,

the curtains are,

fluttering,

a nice little breeze.

I have been,

busy,

and pre-occupied,

over the last few days,

much to do,

not much,

interesting,

been worried,

about a friend,

hopefully,

I’m worrying,

for nothing,

that happens,

a lot.

The ole butch,

is a worrier.

I’m almost finished,

the Anne Lamott,

,you girls,

should read her,

true, funny and poignant.

She is,

a very honest writer.

A few times,

I thought to myself,

wow, she said that about,

herself,

amazing.

You read some of,

her observations,

about herself,

her neurosis,

her weaknesses,

and fears,

and you can’t help,

but,

shake your head,

in agreement,

and think to yourself,

yep, I do that:-)

A couple of passages,

really struck,

me,

for their self-awareness,

their observation,

and the quirky,

unique way she,

has of describing things.

In one of the essays,

Shadows,

she writes about,

being lost with,

a strange driver,

the guy is acting,

oddly to say the least,

and she starts thinking,

¬†¬†¬†” helphelphelphelp” I prayed again, but instead of feeling Jesus beside me, I could sense only the lunatic employees of the swing shift. This is the commitee inside me that is sometimes dumb and dangerous with bad judgement, and often obsessed with thoughts of personal greatness or impending doom. Like, for instance, the unbearable truth that all the people you love most will die, maybe in painful circumstances, and soon, probably next week

Now,

who amongst us,

doesn’t feel,

the influence,

of the lunatic employees,

of the swing shift,

inside our heads,

on a regular basis,

brilliant:-)

Also,

her observations,

on how,

often the best,

of us,

the smartest,

the funniest,

the kindest,

end up,

with,

a husband,

wife,

partner,

or,

mate,

who isn’t worthy,

to drink,

our bathwater,

because we are,

settling,

and lets,

face it,

it’s not easy,

to find someone,

when,

you are,

older,

heavy,

funny looking etc.

Lamott,

is a breath of fresh air,

I love this book,

she is an astute,

observer,

of human nature,

and,

life in the 21 st century.

Well,

gotta go to work,

Later girls,

BB