Thursday, May 15, 2008

So Much Politics, So Little Time!

Those of you who know me well understand that I'm a political news junky and, oh my, has this been a couple of fantastic weeks for the likes of me and my ilk!! Last night, just as I was settling down to finally finish Tom Perotta's The Abstinence Teacher, Don called to tell me to quick turn on the news. Sure enough, there was John Edwards being called up to the stage in Grand Rapids to proclaim his long-awaited endorsement for my Barack. Commercials kept interrupting so I ran to the computer and CNN live.
Then my sister called and by the sound of the message she left me I knew she wasn't aware of the latest news so I called her back and we talked for an hour and guys, that's why I still haven't finished Perotta's book. I'm so close to the end and I keep waiting for the awful thing to happen like it did in Little Children but, who knows, maybe this is a kinder, gentler Perotta. This book can make you mightly angry though if you're one who believes in separation of church and state - you know, just a minor part of our constitution. If you don't know what it's about, way too simply put, there's a battle going on in a small New England town, between the Christian Right and Ruth, the likeable single mom who's the health and sex education teacher. Of course, it's much more complicated than that. One character of interest is recovering alcoholic Tim, who was down as low as one can go until he found the fellowship of the Tabernacle Church. Now an accepted member of the community, middle school soccer coach and parent trying to make amends to a pre-teen daughter, he struggles every day to "overcome his demons" but recognizes that he's probably traded one crutch for another.

Meanwhile, Don's prophecy has come true! I returned my second book review to Library Journal and by the time I hit the "send" button, a third book was in my mailbox! Goldengrove by one of my favorite writers, Francine Prose, was excellent so I marvel at how difficult it is to write a review of something you really like as opposed to something you can trash! I dare not tell you what the book is about until the review is printed but then, you could go to the new issue of Booklist and find it there. Last Saturday, while I was obsessing over the review, I happened to see my book in the starred section of Booklist and had to quickly turn the page and deliberately avoid what was written there so as not be influenced. Eek.

At home I'll be starting Tessa Hadley's The Master Bedroom next and I'll admit that I'm actually listening to The Appeal in my car. It's pretty bad so far - typical Grisham - I had hoped that the reviews were correct and that he had raised the level of discourse on legal thrillers a bit but so far I'm not seeing any evidence of that. In fact, so far it seems like full out plagiarism of the excellent Jonathan Harr book about a small town lawyer taking a corporate polluter to court, A Civil Action. It'll be hard to hang in if it doesn't get better soon because I also have Stephen Colbert's I Am America, and so can You, waiting to be heard and I trust Kathleen who told me it's hilarious!

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