Thursday, October 01, 2020

September 2020 Reads


The Memory Police, Yoko Ogawa-*

The Teagirl of Hummingbird Lane, Lisa See

The Oral History of the Office, Andrew Greene

The Redhead by the Side of the Road, Anne Tyler

Seinfeldia,  Jennifer Armstrong

The Housekeeper and the Professor, Yoko Ogawa

This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, Ann Patchett

Meet Me at the Museum, Ann Youngson

This is the longest list of books I have read in a while. No crime books unless you count THE MEMORY POLICE. More than half of these were audiobooks, which I borrowed from the library.  Walking, cooking and cleaning allows me to get through them quickly. A certain kind of book works best on audio for me-one with a very clear plot and not too many characters. If the writing is very descriptive, it's not a good fit for me because I will miss too much. Two of these books, I read while eating--you do that when you are alone. (the office book and the Seinfeld book). I probably wouldn't have finished TEAGIRL but it was for my book group. My favorite was Ann Patchett's essays although I liked most of them quite a bit. 

How was your September reading?


Sunday, September 27, 2020

Hey, Big Spender 



Still Here

Still trying to solve my vertigo problems. The ENT doctor scheduled me for a ENG, which flashes lights and other stuff to see how the eyes and ears react. Also checked my hearing which is okay except for high pitched sounds. I guess that is pretty usual at my age. But I still have three MRI/MRAs to do also to find out whether an anomaly in my brain needs correcting. An interventional radiologist will look at them. Never heard of this specialty before. They fix things using minimally invasive techniques. 

Truly horrible week with Trump proposing the most right-wing person yet for SCOTUS.The Republicans seem to have no sense that court packing is not a good idea. Or fair. This woman seems to be close to a cultist.

Enjoyed ENOLA HOLMES on Netflix. It may not please Holmes purists but it was a lot of fun. Still enjoying BORGEN. Dismayed to find, after enjoying the first season of THE SPLIT, that the second is only available on PRIME as a rental. 

Book-wise reading LAB GIRL and MEET ME AT THE MUSEUM, a debut novel by a 70 year old author, Anne Youngson. Josh and family took me out to dinner (outside) last night and friends had me over to dinner (outside) on Friday. As I say repeatedly, although the last few years have been crushingly hard, I am so lucky in my friends and family. 

Remember when we all traveled....This was Sienna, Italy and my friends, the Wolmans about eight years ago. Still hard not to type "our"

What about you?

Friday, September 25, 2020





A Japanese housekeeper with a ten-year old boy takes a job cleaning and cooking for a mathematician whose memory is only good for 80 minutes. This is a dear book. It reminded me a lot of The Elegance of the Hedgehog. The story concerns how she circumnavigates this dilemma, the relationship between the housekeeper's son and the professor, the beauty of math, and Japanese baseball. There were a few surprises and some failures for me although I liked the book very much. The housekeeper becomes fairly skilled in math over the course of the book and yet at its end she is still keeping house. The book suggests there might have been some sort of relationship between the professor and his sister-in-law yet never really pursues it. And thirdly, the professor seems to  have little interest in the housekeeper, only her son, which seems strange. Perhaps some of this was lost in translation. Her more recent book The Memory Police was definitely a big leap forward both in concept and in writing. But this was very enjoyable in its own way. There is a film version of this but I can't find out where to stream it so I guess it is lost to us in that format.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Just Watch

 is a very useful app for telling you where a movie or show is playing, both for streaming or for pay.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Still Here

Really like The Housekeeper and the Professor. It's the same author who wrote The Memory Police. Borgen is very good but I am using the dubbed version. It is just easier for me not to have to read subtitles right now and the dubbing is excellent. Also enjoying The Split on Hulu.

VanDerValk was good but not at all like I remember Love in Amsterdam. It's a lot edgier than the typical fare on Masterpiece. Always enjoyed Nicholas Freeling.

Watched MISMATCHED on You Tube last Sunday Night. I don't get as much out of it as I should because I don't get to see that many Broadway shows. It was fun though seeing some live performances. The idea is the performers sing songs they wouldn't normally sing in a musical. Mostly men sing songs women sang and vice-versa. 

I Know Where I Am Going,  is such an unusual film I won't bother describing it but it's on Criterion if you want to dabble with true originality. 

Boy, Schitts's Creek really cleaned up on the Emmy's.  Such a contrast between Succession about a family that is all bad and Schitts Creek about a family who learned to be good.

What about you, guys?

Friday, September 18, 2020



This 2013 collection of around 20 essays written over many years for many different publications is a pleasure to read. Patchett writes of her childhood, her sad first marriage, her much better second one, her father, a cop, who helps her train for entrance into the LA police (for the purposes of a story), her love for a dog, learning opera for BEL CANTO, her relationship with the cancer-disfigured friend written about in TRUTH AND BEAUTY, Clemson University's reaction to that book when she came for a reading, an RV road trip with her second husband, and most of all her development as a writer. I listened to Ann Patchett read her book and that probably enhanced my enjoyment. I think Patchett could make any subject interesting. What a gift.