Monday, June 09, 2008

Monday Mishmash: Book Lust and Daisy Goes Under the Knife!

Monday again! How's yours? Mine's moving along at a steady clip so far.

While I should've been revising my paper for the upcoming conference, I spent yesterday reading Green, Greener, Greenest. It is super fantastic, and I can't wait to review it for you all! If you're even the slightest bit interested in environmental issues, I think you'd adore it. Very clever and informative.

I'm poised and ready to stimulate the economy. My stimulus check arrived today, and that biatch is going in the bank. I might spend it on something fun, but I haven't decided what that might be just yet. *coughKindlecough* Probably not a Kindle, but it's tempting!

I'm lusting after a slew of new-to-me books. I updated my iPod with all of the podcasts I'm behind on, and I spent my commute today listening to The Bat Segundo Show. Among the interviews I've heard today, Cynthia Ozick, Tobias Wolff, and Sloane Crosley. The books I want:

Dictation: A Quartet, by Ozick. She's one of those authors that's been on my TBR for a long time now. I have copies of The Shawl and Heir to the Glimmering World thanks to the recommendation of a professor in graduate school. He's the same one that got me hooked on Philip Roth, so I can pretty well trust his judgement without too many questions. From listening to the Bat Segundo podcast I learned that Ozick has a really slow, torturous writing process. She will not move on to a sentence until the previous one is absolutely perfect. Obviously we all write sentence by sentence, but most of us draft, too. I can't imagine working that slowly and laboriously through the process. Holy crap. Can't wait to read Dictation and the other two on my shelves.

Blurb: Cynthia Ozick's new work of fiction brings together four long stories that showcase this incomparable writer's sly humor and piercing insight into the human heart. Each starts in the comic mode, with heroes who suffer from willful self-deceit. These not-so-innocents proceed from self-deception to deceiving others, who do not take it lightly. Revenge is the consequence — and for the reader, a delicious, if dark, recognition of emotional truth.

Our Story Begins: Selected Stories, by Tobias Wolff. Wolff is one of those names I know, but I haven't read a single thing he's written. After listening to the interview, I think I'm game. It sounds like his stories are right up my alley.

Blurb: His first two books, In the Garden of the North American Martyrs and Back in the World were a powerful demonstration of how the short story can "provoke our amazed appreciation," as The New York Times Book Review wrote then. In the years since, he's written a third collection, The Night in Question as well as a pair of genre-defining memoirs (This Boy's Life and In Pharaoh's Army), the novella The Barracks Thief and, most recently, a novel, Old School. Now he returns with fresh revelations — about biding one's time, or experiencing first love, or burying one's mother — that come to a variety of characters in circumstances at once everyday and extraordinary: a retired Marine enrolled in college while her son trains for Iraq, a lawyer taking a difficult deposition, an American in Rome indulging the Gypsy who's picked his pocket. In these stories, as with his earlier, much-anthologized work, he once again proves himself, according to the Los Angeles Times, "a writer of the highest order: part storyteller, part philosopher, someone deeply engaged in asking hard questions that take a lifetime to resolve."

I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays, by Sloane Crosley. I think I've actually requested this one from the publisher before, but I'm not surprised that I haven't received a copy given all the boatloads of good press it's gotten. I'm sure they don't need another fantabulous review. However, I shall have my hands on it! It's on sale at Powell's, so this little baby is mine. It's been far too long since I read a kickass essay collection, so I have high hopes for this one.

Blurb: Wry, hilarious, and profoundly genuine, this debut collection of literary essays is a celebration of fallibility and haplessness in all their glory. From despoiling an exhibit at the Natural History Museum to provoking the ire of her first boss to siccing the cops on her mysterious neighbor, Crosley can do no right despite the best of intentions-or perhaps because of them. Together, these essays create a startlingly funny and revealing portrait of a complex and utterly recognizable character that's aiming for the stars but hits the ceiling, and the inimitable city that has helped shape who she is. I Was Told There'd Be Cake introduces a strikingly original voice, chronicling the struggles and unexpected beauty of modern urban life.

On a totally unrelated note, I drop Daisy off to be "fixed" tomorrow at 8am. I hate to! She's going to board for a few days after the surgery while I'm in Illinois and B is out of town. I hate to leave her, but you can bet your butt I'll be callin' to check on my baby. I would've added pics, but my stupid memory card reader isn't working. Wish her (and me) luck!


  1. Good luck to the whole family especially Daisy. Ouch! Safe travels.

  2. Daisy will be back bouncing around in no time. Hopefully she won't have to wear one of those cones. Our puppy did for a while, and he looked so darn pathetic!

  3. I had so much fun reading Ozick's The Puttermesser Papers years ago! It was funny (a simple description enough) and so intelligently-written (because there were times I get stumped, hahaha). In the end of it all it was a joy to read.

    That being said I haven't opened my copy of Heir to the Glimmering World. Hahaha! Maybe I should start reading that as well :)

    Hope Daisy recuperates well. Such a cute dog!

  4. Best of luck for you and Daisy!

  5. Oooh, a Kindle sounds like a great way to spend a portion of your stimulus check! I have yet to hear anything negative about them. If you do, wanna click through and order off my blog? I get a whopping $40 for each purchase. :)

    Best of luck to Miss Daisy. I'm sure she'll be up to speed by the time you return from your trip. It didn't take Annie long at all and she was over 3 when we had her fixed.

  6. I thought about the Kindle, too. I'm sure I'll give in eventually.

    Hugs to Daisy! (And you, of course!)

  7. Good luck little Daisy! Be sure to pamper her like crazy Mama.

    I've debating that Kindle too, but I'm just not sure I can give up ink and paper. It's just part of the whole experience for me. It just doesn't...feel...right to change.

  8. Ouch! That's the only thing I can think of to say where Daisy's concerned. My friend's dog, Muffin was similarly 'altered' last month and came through it OK.

  9. Aw, here is hoping Daisy heals quickly. And now I want to read "I was told there'd be cake" - I'm going through a nonfiction craze right now...

  10. LUCK LUCK LUCK to you and little Daisy! She'll be just fine but it's SO SAD, I hated getting Nola fixed and was so glad that Lucy was already fixed when we adopted her.

    Our stimulus check arrived yesterday too! It went right into the bank before I let the hubby get his hands on it. We'll need it if we ever get our house renovated and it won't see the light of day if the hubby gets it cashed!

    Have a great trip Andi! Can't wait to hear all about it, and about how Daisy is recovering.

  11. I haven't read anything by Ozick, either. I have wanted to read Heir to the Glimmering World but just haven't gotten around to it. Good Luck to Daisy (and you!).

  12. Thanks, Kristy! I'm gonna call about her in a bit. I'm playig worried mama today!

    Kim, I know that's right. Probably bouncing too much!

    LH, I hear nothing but great things about The Puttermesser Papers. Glad to hear you enjoyed it, too. I'm looking so forward to Ozick.

    Thanks, Nymeth!

    LOL, Les, I'm gonna play with Susan's Kindle at the conference. That should be enough to sell me on the idea. hehe Unfortunately, while I would love to click through your site, I'll probably click through Estella's existing Associate link. That way I get some of my money back for shipping books and stuff. hehe I've got a plan to stick it to the man I guess you could say.

    Thanks, Lezlie! I've heard nothing but good things about the Kindle. Part of me (the rational part) says to wait until an improved 2nd generation comes out, but it sounds like it won't be any time soon.

    Heather, I know what you mean. But when I start packing books for my flights to conferences and stuff, the Kindle starts feeling "righter." lol I'll let ya know how it goes when I get to fiddle with Susan's.

    Thanks, Ann! I'm sure she'll be fine, I just have to worry a bit in the meantime.

    Me too, Courtney. Can't get enough non-fic. I Was Told There'd Be Cake is on sale at ($9.80). I already have one in my cart.

    Enjoy that stimulus check, Funky! And I hated leaving Daisy this morning. She was SO EXCITED to ride in the car this morning, even excited to go to the vet, UNTIL she discovered that she was staying and I was going. She was ultra pissed then.

  13. Thanks, Lisa! I think I might give Heir to the Glimmering World a go soon. I'll keep ya posted.

  14. Very clever!! I thought I could have my husband order books through my site, but they must track the purchases via our credit card because I don't get anything from those purchases. And we only have the one credit card. I've found a way around that though, too. I have my sister-in-law (who lives nearby and works with me) order my stuff and then I pay her back. Really helps when I know I'm going to order a big-ticket item! :)

  15. Whoa, Amazon is too smart for their own good if they're tracking the credit card info to keep you from getting money back on your own books. Another reason I don't like them nearly as much as I used to!

  16. Best of luck to you on your trip and Daisy on her's. She'll be fine :)

  17. If you're interested in reading more Tobias Wolff, you may want to check out "Old School." It's a relatively short book, but it's written beautifully. It many ways it's a celebration on both writing and reading.

  18. Thank, Ex! Daisy is doing great and I'm really glad to be home.

    Thanks, JS! Old School sounds right up my alley. I'll add it to my wishlist.


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