Tuesday, December 28, 2010

umbrellas and books

Sunrise is at 7:57 today and sunset will be at 4:25.

Gray, not raining. Yet. Debris, open bins, buckets are strewn all over the yard. Must have been quite a wind at some point. There is a chance we may have some snow tonight, half an inch at most, they say. I say, "Bring it on." I have my new boots, I have warm clothes, I have already broken bones that will be stronger for having gone through the last snow. I will take the bus (whenever it comes) and I will pack my bag with water, snacks, and a few good books. Oh, and the new umbrella my niece and nephew gave me because they wanted me visible while I walk.

I am tempted to figure out how to rig little Christmas lights in it so I can read in the dark in the rain and the teensy bit of snow we may still get. They will have to be the kind of lights that we put outdoors, huh? Can't you see it now? The myth and legend that will rise up out of this pale, glowing, happy, polka-dotted woman-height circle floating through the town, like a baby UFO trying to get off the ground. I could put tinsel on the ribs and it would look like a jellyfish! Pretty.

I am looking forward to getting the brace off my right arm (I broke two small bones in my wrist, one under the thumb -cracked it-and one just over the pointy wrist bone -chipped it). It isn't so much that it's a hindrance -it is- but that I have so much I want to do! I want to weed the pathways, I really want to clean the windows in here, I want to use both hands to hold a book (carpal tunnel problems in my left hand have accelerated greatly), I want to finish the quilt I was in the middle of when I got sick but before I fell in the snow. I want to get back to body equality: my left side is killing me! I have to use that side for everything and it hurts! It feels like the nerves are all exposed and being dragged along sharp bones. January 11! More X-rays and FREEDOM! I am actually looking forward to having a hot flash just to cool that arm off! Finally!

I am in the middle of Drinking: A Love Story, by Caroline Knapp. It is a beautifully written book about a woman and her lifelong affair with alcohol. It's hard to read all at once so I come to it a chapter at a time. I was introduced to this book when I read Let's Take the Long Way Home, by Gail Caldwell.

Started Corvus: A Life with Birds, by Esther Woolfson, and I just so enjoy it. It is the true story of a woman and her crow. Very nice and makes my blood pressure lower just by picking it up. Thanks to Constance P for lending it to me.

Just loved this new book called A Tale Dark and Grimm, a retelling of the Grimm's fairy tales where Hansel and Gretel are the main characters. Very clever, funny, bloody, and could be a really good re-introduction to the original tales most moms are afraid to share with their kids. In this particular retelling, Hansel and Gretel are the children of a king and an queen who are the victims of a dark fate. When they do a horrible thing to the kids to right a wrong, the twins run away from home and into the woods and adventures filled with the Devil, witches, the fates disguised as crows, and quests destined to lead them home again. It is a good addition to the other Grimm tales out there now, like Cornelia Funke's Reckless, Polly Shulman's Grimm Legacy, The Sisters Grimm, by Michael Buckley, and Sisters Red, by Jackson Pearce. Tale Dark and Grimm is good for ages 10 and up, available now.

Ahh, Sarah Dessen. Don't you just love her books? I will put everything else down to read her books next. They are such fabulous stories about people, mostly girls, who are in the middle of becoming young adults. They are simple life stories wrapped around girls who are very likable, very much like the rest of us: confused, changeable, sometimes unhappy, just trying to figure out how to grow up. She adds music to the mix and I love that a lot of her characters need or want jobs and that those jobs often take place in restaurants or around food.

Her newest book, What Happened to Goodbye, is about a girl with divorced parents. She lives with her dad, following him from town to town as he works to save failing restaurants, and assumes a new identity in each one. The current town is filled with likable people and a quirky boy next door, and, for the first time in years, she uses her real name. Ooh, it is so good! Unfortunately, you will have to wait until May to buy it (you can order it from Third Place Books, now, if you call us!). Thank you, Colleen, for sharing the ARC and thanks to Rene H for then sharing it with me. Age 12 and up. (Penguin, due May, 2011.)

Hmm. Half the books I've read or been in the middle of reading are grown-up books! Huzzah!

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