Saturday, September 16, 2006

In the valley of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

My husband quotes this aphorism at me often (although usually in French). Then, this morning, my friend L quoted it at me. And suddenly I realized – perhaps they are perfect for each other.

Well, except for the fact that L can’t stand H.

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I read Perishable yesterday. OH. MY. GOD, it was TERRIBLE. (Ha, ha, Perishable was terrible. Nothing like some pseudo-alliteration to make me happy…what is that called, when sounds in the middle of the word are alike? Hmmm, Badger, my rhetorically gifted friend?)
Anyhoo – it was a godawful book with pathetic characters and sloppy, superficial writing. I know some of you hated The Glass Castle but that was ten gazillion times better than this dreck. There was no character development, no conclusion, no personal or emotional growth – it was just this dashed-off piece – not entirely sure it was all true either – touching on different BORING aspects of a very dysfunctional family life. There was no exploration or explanation of events, people, histories, which in my oh-so-humble opinion might be the only good reason for a public autopsy of your family’s fucked-up-edness. It was really bad. Are you getting that I disliked it?

Broken for You is a title of such profound religious significance that I almost couldn’t bring myself to read the book. Also, there’s the little issue of the Oprah-book-club-reminiscent cover art (it was a Today Show Book Club selection). However, I am about a hundred pages in, and it’s good, if oddly diffident.

I just requested from the library Peter Carey’s Theft: A Love Story. My dear friend, the Rogue Librarian, was bemoaning the dearth of sympathetic readers with whom he could discuss books. I pointed out that that, my sweet ones, was the beauty of this thing we call the Internet. How many of you have I actually met? One, and Blackbird might be the only one of you all who claims to not read. And yet with how many of you do I discuss books and book lists and how many of you throw recommendations my way or in no uncertain terms order me to read something? Um, just about all of you. So, for Bentley, I am going to read Theft very soon. Because that’s the kind of friend I am. I will read a novel for a friend on the other side of the world, but I am not going to read Maurice and his Frigging Educated Rats for my husband. Because, um, that’s the kind of wife I am?

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I was reading Badger's lovely blog today and apropos of her decision that the parent of a bipolar child should NOT read Sophie's Choice, I have to say, neither should a pregnant woman. Herewith, my list of books you should NOT read while gestating:
Sophie's Choice - William Styron
The Fifth Child - Doris Lessing
The Deep End of the Ocean - Jacquelyn Mitchard
Rosemary's Baby - Ira Levin

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Last night Terzo slept through the night. He does this off and on, with no regularity. But yesterday we put him to bed at seven, and he slept till 430. Yay, Terzo! Yay, me getting some sleep! Boo, my across-the-street neighbors who chose yesterday to have a party with a real live live band playing very loudly (heck of a drummer, btw) until 4 a.m. I am old and cranky and I called the cops. But the 911 dispatcher called back to see if they’d turned down the music, because apparently 911 was insanely busy and I said not to worry about it. Then the racket woke up H and he went over and asked them to crank it back a bit. I wanted to knock on the other neighbor’s door and say, “Look, I just called the cops on them and they’re WHITE” because she swears the only reason we call the cops about loud music is because said people playing their music waaaayyy too loudly are black. Patently untrue. I don’t care if you’re blue, green, purple, black, white, or striped. I DO care if you are DEAF. Have some consideration for your neighbors and turn that noise DOWN. ESPECIALLY if it’s past midnight. Or I will encourage my shrieking, chattering children to play outside at 730 am the next morning, and see how YOU like THAT.

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Terzo's first birthday is fast approaching and the first party is always a biggie, with all the aunts and uncles and cousins and friends.
The older boys are insisting on a themed party. So Cars The Movie it is. Invitations went out yesterday, let the planning begin. Ka-chow!

10 comments:

Badger said...

You should also not ever read The Boy On The Bus while pregnant, especially if you know you're having a boy, or if you already have at least one boy.

No idea on the pseudo-illiteration thing. Poppy might know.

jess said...

I would add Midwives to the list (although I can't say I've ever read it pregnant, never having been pregnant). And definitely not the Fifth Child, ugh, that would be nightmare inducing.

Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

Oh, oh, OH! Pick me! Pick me! I finished Theft this afternoon, thanks to horrible sinuses that took me off child duty and sent me to bed.

Very good, even vintage Carey it is. I can see why his ex-wife is so angry as it seems the most autobiographical so far, although from all the fuss she's been making I'd expected there to be more detail about the "alimony whore" as the character is known in the book. I'm not game to risk a spoiler but look forward to your response. (and must visit the rogue librarian myself!)

As for Sophie's Choice? I read it 20 years ago and find I still tear up thinking about the choosing, much more now that I have my own children...

Gina said...

Add We Need to Talk About Kevin to that No Read List (like No Fly Zone). Yikes.

Katya said...

Terzo is going to be one? Weren't you just pregnant? I swear that you were.

I couldn't read any horror novels when I was pregnent. I'm not usually scared by them, but they all scared me when I was pregnant with the girl.

Rogue Librarian said...

Being male I can’t relate to the “reading while pregnant” thing. However, I will say this. When I was much younger I went on very long Boat trip from the north east cost of the US down to Mexico. Very small sail boat I shared with two other cats, and after a few weeks on the water life can take on a somewhat surreal edge. During that trip I read Heart of Darkness and I can say even today… that was a mistake. I was WAY over invested in the story and I dreamt of NOTHING but that river in the Congo. It was just freaky after a while. After that I just stuck to Spenser mysteries. Though Heart of Darkness is still in my top ten.

I’m reading Theft now along with Shantaram which I have been reading forever as it is a thousand pages long. I’ll be curious to hear what people think.

I’m reading Theft now along with Shantaram which I have been reading forever as it is a thousand pages long. I’ll be curious to hear what people think.

Gina said...

RL: I like reading "location appropriate" books, but I can't imagine reading Heart of Darkness on the trip you took! It's disturbing reading on land.

I read Jane Eyre and David Copperfield in London, which was lovely. If I'm going to be haunted or disturbed, though, I think I'd need to be at home. Then again, maybe I'd be okay reading Crime & Punishment in Russia . . . Maybe it's just the idea of being trapped on a boat that would ruin things for me.

Aili said...

Assonance is the word you're looking for, I think. I can't resist de-lurking to be a show off. Also, I'm six months pregnant and can hardly even read the list of books not to read, and am seriously avoiding looking up the one I don't recognize. I always enjoy your posts.

Joke said...

Either this is a l-o-o-o-o-ong valley, or the one-eyed man is not so hot in the King-as-guide Dept.

-J.

Anonymous said...

The pseudoalliteration thing is rhyme. Perishable rhymes with terrible.

Assonance is when two vowel sounds are repeated, there's constants in there too plus it's the end section of both words which share similarities. Definitely rhyme.

I actually found this page by googleing the word pseudoalliteration to see what would come up, so forgive me for not commenting on the rest of the blog!