The love of reading

Well you’re not gonna believe this but,

 it’s actually cool.

I didn’t want to disappoint my loyal readers by not starting with the weather.

 Canuck oblige 🙂

So, I was reading A guy’s moleskin notebook (links mattsviews),

 which I discovered thanks to The Lesbrary (also in links),

 and he participates in these, I guess you would call them blog prompters.

 Musings on Mondays and booking through Thursday, stuff like that.

I don’t really want to tie myself down to formulas,

“I gotta be free, I gotta be me”

But,

I like the idea of an occasional jump start.

So, this week the topic is what book started you on your love of reading.

Obviously, I am paraphrasing.

It got me thinking,

 what book do I recall reading as a child, awoke the reader in me?

The truth?

I’m not sure.

I do however ,

remember my mother bringing home a new copy of 

 The Diary Of Anne Frank.

It changed me.

I don’t recall how old I was, still a child, that I know.

I couldn’t believe how cruel people could be.

I believe, that book unleashed a thirst,

 that to this day has not been quenched.

When I was twelve, thirteen I started reading biographies, mostly of famous women.

Eleanor Roosevelt, Marie Curie, Margaret Mead but  also,

 movie stars like Katharine Hepburn and Shelley Winters.

I hardly read biographies any more,

I prefer memoirs, parts of a person’s life from their own very subjective point of view.

Not so interested in the minute details of their childhood.

I like fiction the best.

I have traveled all over the world and through history as well, via fiction.

I’m grateful to my mother for being a reader and for telling me early on,

“When you read you are never bored”

Ain’t it the truth.

Well girls off to read.

Later

BB

Of longing for cool weather, hockey and vacation

The heat is making me crazy.

Aside from a few days of cool and clement weather,

 it has been sticky and humid since June,

and if it hasn’t, it sure feels that way!

Not only is it hot but, it’s so bloody noisy.

I live in the city, inner city,

 where people have postage stamp size yards and yet,

 they seem to spend every morning from April to October mowing them.

What’s up with that?

Way back when we didn’t have air conditioning,

 my ex and I would rent movies that took place in winter,

Russian front type of stuff.

This year I thought maybe if I read about hockey it might cool me down,

 so far,

not working.

I’m reading a biography of Patrick Roy,

 who in my humble opinion is the greatest goaltender ever to play the game.

Of course, you could argue for the great Tretiak or Ken Dryden

 but, I’m sticking with Roy, a never say die,  kinda of competitor.

I’m sorry,

 I’m pretty sure most of you couldn’t care less about hockey.

I can’t help talking about it once in a while, it’s in my DNA.

Many people in Montreal refer to our love of hockey and allegiance to our team ,

the Canadiens,

 as a religion.

Since I don’t believe in organised religion, or rather,

 I believe that religion is responsible for so much evil in the world,

I prefer to think of hockey as being part of my genetic makeup.

I’m reading The Narrow Corner, should finish it by the weekend.

I like it very much.

I’ve been thinking of taking a few days off,

 in late September maybe go to Toronto.

I’ m embarrassed to say I have never been to Toronto.

I’d really like to go to New York but, I don’t have a passeport and you need one now.

Toronto has that newish art museum,

designed by Frank Gehry,

that I would really like to see and of course, bookstores.

I’m going to try to convince a friend to go with me,

 and if I can’t,

 I’ll go solo.

Later girls

BB

Visit to the library

Sunday was my visit to the library.

I wasn’t so lucky with my last batch but,

 honestly,

 that might have been my state of mind.

My mood has improved lately,

 I’m trying to relax and not take things so seriously.

It’s a work in progress.

I couldn’t get into the Somerset Maugham so,

 you gotta know I was in a weird place,

I love Maugham.

Also I found the Muriel Spark trite,

I’m telling you,

 bad mood.

I’ll take them both back out this winter,

 when hopefully I will have clearer perspective.

Took out another Maugham this time around, The Narrow Corner.

A book I have been wanting to read for a while,

 Small Island by Andrea Levy,

 I have heard good things.

A Quebecois book by one of our best authors, Victor-Lévy Beaulieu.

He is a fantastic writer who would undoubtedly be more famous if he was French or American.

 Lastly, Les Laisons Dangereuses which I have been wanting to read for years.

Still have waiting in my pile a book a friend gave me and a loan by another friend.

Will update soon.

I think I’ll start with The Narrow Corner.

Later girls and as always thanks for being there.

BB

When is a writer a writer?

Good morning, girls.

I’m really happy about the cool, dry, weather,

 I slept very well.

I went out  last night to have a few pitchers of beer with a friend of mine.

I really enjoy our exchanges and conversations.

 Sometimes they can be quite intense,

 sometimes on the borderline of rocky,

 other times over the edge.

We battle back from those,

because,

 I believe,

 there is genuine respect and affection.

I’m really trying to be smoother in my dealings with friends,

I acknowledge that I’m sometimes hard to take.

Mea culpa.

So, we talked about many things.

A lot, about my dismal love life,

 and my bruised and battered ego.

But, what I wanted to talk to you guys about,

 was the notion of a writer.

Here’s what I mean.

To me, a writer has always been, someone who writes,

with the intention near or far,

 of  being published,

or at least in this brave new world,

read.

My friend doesn’t see it that way,

I don’t want to misinterpret what she said,

and I hope she will let me know if I do,

but basically, she said that many of us are writers,

when we really care about words and books,

 we are,

 on a certain level writers.

Please forgive my simplification, I was inebriated at the time.

The idea struck me as highly original,

my friend is highly original,

I’ve been thinking about it  since,

I’m not sure whether I agree or disagree but,

 I think it’s food for thought.

Are those of us who blog about this and that writers?

If you keep a journal are you a writer?

Do fumblings, mumblings and ramblings about books, the weather and the state of your angst riddled life qualify?

I don’t know.

What do you guys think?

Another thing she mentioned,

apparently 40% of all people who read 50 books or more a year,

 are writers.

Since, neither of us are the New York Times don’t expect a source,

remember,

 I mentioned about,

 the beer.

I’m going chew on this some more.

Have a wonderful day

I want to thank all of you for reading and comenting on this blog,

it means a lot to me.

Apparently I am both a  heart on my sleeve and guarded kinda of a girl,

 which I believe to be an acurate and astute description.

So to my friends, I say thanks for putting up with me,

 it can’t always be easy.

BB

Full moon ramblings on beer, the bionic woman and rejection

The humidity is back.

Ugh!

I can’t sleep I’m so tense and honestly, I”m exhausted.

The pipe problem is fixed.  Hallelujah.

A minimum of damage,

 it’s a little bit smelly but, everybody says they can’t smell it.

I am known for my bionic nose,

remember Jamie Summers, the bionic woman,

 very hot, especially when she moved her hair to engage the bionic hearing.

Sorry, sex on the brain, this too shall pass.

Quiet week not much going on, except on thursday going out,

 for I hope, multiple brewskies with a friend.

It’s called drowning you sorrows. Good company, sparkling conversation and beer.

Can’t finish anything,

 I got a woman on the brain.

 Rejection sucks, but, hey,

 I still got my health,

 and friends.

Sorry girls, full moon talking.

 I think I’ll take a break.

Later girls

BB

Of pipes and books

I’m feeling nervous and jittery.

My crazy landlord is taking down a portion of one of the walls at the bookstore.

Another damn pipe needs to be changed, he says this is the last one.

 It was inevitable old building ,old walls, old pipes.

I suppose the changing is better than leaks, I’ve dealt with that before, as well.

He just called me to give me an update,

says everything is under control.

That kind of statement always makes me nervous.

 I’m trying to deal with it!

There is still a whole bunch of shit I’m trying to deal with.

I don’t think I’ve felt this low and angry since my ex moved out all those years ago.

I wasn’t angry at her. I was angry at me and my failure.

Even when things are done with respect, friendship and civility.

Break ups, parting of the ways, taking things to their inevitable and rightful conclusions,

are still bloody hard.

I’ve been lucky to have books to take things off my mind and business has been decent,

although now, with the severed wall who knows.

Yeah, Yeah I’m thinking positive.

So, I tried to read this book The Blindfold by Siri Hustedt on recommendation of a customer.

He described it as early Paul Auster.

I used to really like Paul Auster Moon Palace and The Master Of Illusions were amongst my favourites,

 the last 3 I have read I have been bitterly disappointed in,

 I think I’m going to give him up.

 That’s just me,

 the man has legions of fans.

Back to The Blindfold, I don’t think so, this author happens to be Auster’s wife,

 it seems too polished, to purposely deep for my taste,

 maybe I’m just being negative.

I did give it a chance, I read more than a third.

I can’t get into the Muriel Spark I got from the library last week, either.

Yesterday, this freaky local poet type came into the store to sell me books.

I don’t need any books I have tons, everywhere.

 Of course, no matter what you have you never seem to have enough as a bookseller,

 or a reader.

Anyway, this Hippie type, he’s nice and he always has interesting books,

 happened to have a nice copy of  On Beauty

by Zadie Smith, which I have been wanting to read for a while,

 I loved  White Teeth.

Among his books he had a copy of Mr. Muo’s Travelling Couch  by Dai Sijie.

That really got my blood pumping.

 I read Sijie’s Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, last year.

I loved it.

 It is funny and deep and about difficult, trying times,

The Chinese cultural revolution.

It is about how books can keep you going even in the most terrible, dark times.

A philosophy I agree with. If Mr Muo is half as funny or touching, I feel I will be a happy camper.

well girls,

have a good one,

 keep your fingers crossed about the pipe and the wall.

BB

Aquamarine

OK,  you must read this book.

 It is one of the most original books I have ever read.

I want to thank a good friend for giving it to me, more on that later.

Jesse, is a former Olympic swimmer,

 she won a silver medal in Mexico City in the ’68 games.

The novel is short, 197 pages, and is divided into 5 parts.

A  prologue that shows what happened at the games and why Jesse “lost” the race,

an epilogue which I won’t go into for fear of spoiling anything,

 and 3 distinct lives for Jesse.

Each life is different and yet all are plausible, believable and Jesse is very much the same girl.

 In the first,  Jesse is married to Neal and living minutes away from where she grew up,

 helping to run his family’s business.

In the second, she is a college professor and “married” to an attractive New York actress.

 In the third, she is a divorced single mother raising two teenagers and running a business.

All these Jesses are possible depending on certain decisions.

 Go to college or not , love women or love men, have children or not.

Jesse in each case, has the same past, the same memories and yet her lives are different.

It’s all about roads taken,

 or not.

I don’t know if I am being clear, and honestly I don’t want to give too much away.

I also don’t want to be simplistic but, I think books mean different things to different people.

This is a terrific book.

 Believable characters.

 Nothing is false or contrived.

A must read.

I could not recommend it more highly.

Aside from being a good read it makes you think about your life, your choices.

I will most definitely read it again,

 and seek out more books by Carol Anshaw,

 a name to remember.

The friend who gave it to me has given me  a few  books lately,

 that have brought me  joy as well as  insight.

 Thank you.

 Sharing books we love with people is a beautiful gift.

That is one of the reasons I really enjoy blogging,

 that and the whining.

Sharing my non expert opinion about books that touched me, somehow.

Later girls

Take care

BB

Of lakes and pools and beautiful women

I had a great day.

 All my customers, without exception, were in a great mood and complimentary.

The AC after a cleaning, seems OK– fingers firmly crossed that it lasts through the summer.

My landlord, a nice guy but, usually the clueless type,

 said I looked rested and that my new glasses made me look

five years younger.

Let me say it again,

 I had a good day,

 must be a new moon or something.  🙂

Lately, I have been reading books that all seem to have been written for the mood I’m in,

 or in that in some way, reflect my vision of life,

 it’s  eery.

Julie and Julia as mentioned was recommended by my ex,

 and you know it really made me feel better about my job and stuff.

Last night I started a book that I already feel is amazing and I’m only 75 pages in,

Aquamarine by Carol Anshaw. This  book  is good, better than good.

It’s about how life can take you in different directions  depending on your choices.

The main character, Jesse, is a former olympic swimmer,

she won a silver medal in  Mexico City 1968.

She should have won the gold but, she lost focus because of a beautiful Australian rival.

It’s about how different your life is depending on where you live and who you love.

Basically.

Interesting and intriguing.

I often think about the choices I have made or have avoided making, and how my life could be different.

Plus I have had lakes and pools and childhood memories and beautiful women on the brain lately.

Somehow it seems fitting that I should be reading this now.

I’ll let you know what I think, probably tomorrow.

Later girls

BB

Julie and Julia, will make you feel better about your life

The heat has  finally broken.

Now, we have grey, heavy, humidity but, in all that, there is,

 air.

It’s a well known fact that Canadians are obsessed with the weather.

 All Canadians. French, English, Native and after a few months, New Canadians. 

Three great unifiers from coast to coast to coast-

 talking about the weather, beer, and hockey.

I, myself,  have spent hours discussing this year’s weather compared to last year’s,

 and why my beloved  Montreal Canadiens should or should not trade a particular player.

 Beer is not my big thing , although when I need to tie one on, that is where I turn,

left over from my college days, when beer was a cheap way to get drunk,

 and to have the courage to try to get laid.

I feel a beer binge coming on!

As you all know, I have been feeling crappy and a little bit down on myself  lately.

I have been giving long thought to my future and what I should do and what  I really want.

Woe is me.

I gotta tell I’m not one of those  in the now  people.

 If I was, maybe I would be happier,

 maybe.

I’m not unhappy, I’m dissatisfied.

 So I figured I’d read a book about trying to get your life out of a rut.

I saw the movie and loved it.

 My ex highly recommended it and since she doesn’t usually read that kind of stuff,

she likes these political or adventure thrillers or what I refer to as guy books,

 I figured I’d give it a try.

So I read, Julie and Julia.

Well, you know what it’s fun.

 A funny well written walk through our overindulgent, over educated, over angsted world.

 It made me feel better,

 I’m not the only one who’s obsessed with  the minutia of my life and who searches desperately for meaning.

A good book. Occasionally gross, funny, modern.

Not a great work of literature but, not an insult to your intelligence.

I was watching television last night,

 and happened on a seminar given by a psychiatrist,

 he said something that really freaked me out.

 It is estimated that in the next 20 years,

 the disease that will be second only to cardio-vascular disease in the number of sufererers on the planet is—-

 Depression.

Talk about a kick in the ass.

So whatever helps all of us keep the black dogs at bay is good.

Romance novels,

 blogging,

 working your way through a cookbook,

reading about working your way through a cookbook,

 quitting your job,

 bungeejumping,

 whatever,

short of murder or hurting those you love,

 go for it.

Beer anyone?

Duck en croute anyone?

Later girls

BB

Isabelle the first and hopefully not the last

The summer heat has been upon us for a while and it has been exhausting.

  When I was a little kid I used to go to summer camp for a few weeks every summer,

 this went on for 3 or 4 years.

For an only child this was not the easiest of experiences , but, it was far from traumatic.

I remember swimming in those cold Laurentian lakes,

 wouldn’t that be fabulous in 45 degree weather?

Singing songs by the campfire and a beautiful camp counselor whose name was, Isabelle.

In my memory, Isabelle has long, almost straw coloured hair, she wears a red t-shirt and cutoff  jean shorts.

She  smelled vaguely of shampoo and a bug spray and tucked us in at night.

Luminous, perfection— captured in memory.

I must have been 8 or 9 and I remember her being the first woman I wanted to be close to.

It was love.

I know, I know– what the hell do you know about love at 8?

Well, I knew from that day forward that women were it for me.

I doubt that Isabelle was even a lesbian,

 I wasn’t,

 I was a kid but,

 I knew that my eventual love would come in the shape of a woman.

Maybe not that clearly but, I knew.

I also remember noticing that she didn’t wear a bra under her t-shirt,

 so obviously my thoughts were not all chaste. 🙂

She liked me and I must have looked at her with stars in my eyes.

I know I’m rambling. It’s the heat.

The reason I’m telling you all this is that last night I had dinner with friends.

 We had a great time.

Good food, good company and I remembered that I can be and have, fun.

I lose that occasionally, this I blame on hormones, and an all work no play kind of life.

So, here’s to fun and not taking things too seriously,

 and perhaps recapturing the feel of a cold mountain lake , the warmth and smell of a bonfire and

the wonder of an Isabelle.

I know a girl, she has brown eyes and perfect lips and she looks at me and,

 I feel special, I am special.

Perhaps that is enough.

Later girls

have some fun

BB