Friday, November 30, 2018

Can You Believe We Are Almost Through Another Year???????????????????

                                           Tomorrow is December 1, which means countdown not only till Christmas, but the end of 2018.  In a way, November is a beginning for me; it is my birth month, and I turned 64 on the 18th, so it is an odd time of year, for me.

                                              We saw "A Chorus Line" at City Center, only to discover we had seen a total of three productions of it in this year.  I made it through another Musical Theater Week.  We--David and I--had a lovely dinner at Positano, and I did my book assessments.  Still working on that 100 plus reading record, though.

                                              All in all, November was a good month.   My first one without my father, so that was sad.   The rest was blessed, by the presence of David and my animal friends.

                                               See you in December, dolls!  Here comes the Holiday madness!!!!!!!!!

Deep Inside The Earth, A Lost Civilization A Million Years Old!!!!!!!!!!! But Can "The Mole People" Actually Live Beneath Manhattan?????????????

                                        Forget all those urban legends about alligators in the sewers, or oversized--I mean REALLY oversized--rats, living in the subway tunnels.  What I want to know is could The Mole People adapt to Manhattan????????????

                                         Featured in the 1956 film of the same title, in the best Universal make-up of the day, these were actually the mutant slaves of the white Central Casting actors who ran the civilization.  Right off, there is a problem.  Slavery in Manhattan?  Today?  No way!  There would be an uprising by The Mole People, and I would support it!

                                          I don't remember if there is a revolt in the film--there should be; if not, maybe this film should be remade.  Of course, time is taken out for a Mole Person or two to menace lovely, nubile, Universal female contract players, but that is just standard.

                                           The truth is, without attitude, The Mole People are not ready for Manhattan. Which is why the film was shot in California.

                                             Maybe a visit to some of Manhattan's darkened, below level shopping areas, would give The Mole People that needed attitude.

                                               Get a better wardrobe, slap those Central Cast actors silly, and take over the civilization, like they should!

                                                I mean, if The Muppets could take Manhattan, why not The Mole People??????????????????

To Offset The Times--Because My List Is Better--Here Are The Five Best Works Of Fiction In 2018!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                OK, you've seen The Times, and what they wrought.  Now it is time to see what I chose.  I am amazed two of them also made The Times, so, either, I am starting to think like them, or they have carefully read my blog posts.  Maybe a bit of both.  In any case, here are my choices

                                 1.  "Lost Empress," by Sergio De La Pava
This was, indisputably, The Book Of The Year," as far as I am concerned.  I began this sweeping work, combining such disparate and uninteresting things to me as minor league football and the Mob, but I was swept away by the story and characters.  Informative, suspenseful, and a total surprise, it took elements of fiction I am not generally interested in, and through skillful writing, turned it into the surprise act of the year.  I cannot urge you enough to read it, but do!  I knew, when I read it, I had found the Book Of The Year!

2. "Where The Crawdads Sing," by  Delia Owens

This was my personal favorite of the year.  Possessing the lyricism that Daisy Johnson's "Everything Under" lacked, the descriptive world of Kya, The Marsh Girl, and the mysteries, especially one, surrounding her, come vividly to life.  Like the best of Southern Gothic, it had gorgeous writing, and heart and soul.  I loved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3. "There There," by Tommy Orange
                                              In my original post, I compared the structure of this book to Robert Altman's 1975 masterwork, "Nashville," wherein a disparate group of people descend en masse upon what is supposed to be a festive event, but where a terrible agenda awaits them.  The crossing back of perps and victims, the depiction of the California American Indian community in Oakland, and the tightly structured style of first timer Orange, makes this novel stand out.  And I cannot wait for more novels from him to come!

                                                                                4. "Washington Black," by Edi Edugyan
It took me by surprise.  As I said, it is a brilliant social treatise, but a stunning literary amalgamation of Jules Verne, Herman Melville, and Joseph Conrad.  Edugyan puts her own social stamp onto things, but her sweeping epic treatment of the story took my breath away. If there was a runner up for Book Of The Year, this would have been it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5. "Circe," by Madeline Miller
"Circe," by Madeline Miller--Miss Miller does what Miss Johnson could not.  She brings a flesh and blood reality and bitchiness to the Gods, incorporating them into the story of Circe, a witch, who is exiled to an island.  Circe becomes more alive and sympathetic than the actual mythologists have rendered her.  Miller achieved the same sort of success with "The Song Of Achilles," and I cannot wait to read that one.  "Circe" will leave you enthralled.  One of those books, that, again, took me by surprise.

So, those are MY selections, so New York Times, put that in your pipe and smoke it!  I stand by what I have chosen, and I hope you enjoy some of these that you may not have already read.

Oh, but don't, for a minute, thinks the reading stops here!  I have till the end of the year to beat my record of 115 books, read last year, and I have a few more notables and new things to get through.

The reading goes on and on!   Because I love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love to you, too, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A First, This Year, For "The New York Times Ten Best Books Of 2018."

                              Or, really, five, since all I concern myself with is fiction.

                               The first is that, for the first time ever, I have already read all their fiction picks.

                               Another surprise is that two of them would end up on my list.

                               But let us deal with this one first!

                               1."Asymmetry," by Lisa Halliday
From the moment it appeared, I knew it would make it.  An edgy tale of a book editor, Alice, who has a relationship with a Roth like writer intermingled with timely products was just too  prescient for the paper to ignore.  Some went crazy over it; not I.

2.  "The Great Believers," by Rebecca Makkai--People either love it, or hate it.  I loved the story of the AIDS crisis in Chicago, but not its intermingling with the 2015 Paris attacks, where a mother goes in search of her estranged daughter, and all this goes years back to Chicago. I felt is the Chicago story had been stuck to, instead of writing two novels that don't gel. then "The Great Believers" would deserve a place on the list.  But not the way it turned out.

         3.    "The Perfect Nanny," by Leila Slimani--Leilia who??????????  Hey, Times, you have GOT to be kidding me.  This book, a transplanted to Paris account of the Yoselyn Ortega case, on New York's Upper West Side, was an entertaining enough thriller, with the year's most chilling final sentence, but a Ten Best???????????  No way!  Gag me with a spoon, darlings, what kind of panel chose this list??????????????????

4.  There There," by Tommy Orange--A debut that succeeds.  The tale of an Oakland CA, American tribal Indian community descending on an annual festival called a "powwow," and the tragic, horrific consequences is well written, excitingly paced, and disturbing,  as reflective of our times.  I was happy to see this one on here.
5."Washington Black," by Esi Edugyan
Picaresque, socially aware, and full of adventure, I was so captivated by this work, I am glad it landed on the list. I began with small expectations, but came away glowing!
So, that is The Times Ten Best List.  Fortunately, I can move on from it.  But for those who need suggestions, happy reading!  Now, we will come to my list!

And wait till you see THAT, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This Is Johnson's First Novel, But I Want To Read Her Short Story Collection, "Fen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                         The underwater world described by Daisy Johnson in "Everything Under" is wonderfully detailed and haunting.  The story of Gretel, a girl searching for the mother who abandoned her, laced with a gender updating of 'Oedipus' is less successful.  This book swept me away with its gorgeous prose, not its narrative.  Maybe this writer is better at the short story.  If I do read "Fen," I will let you know.

                                        Absorbing, though not as good as "Circe," by Madeline Miller, which is the better Greek mythology treatment novel, "Everything Under" has caught on due to its strong sense of language.  If Johnson had devoted as much to the narrative as the language, she might have had a hit on her hand.

                                          What she ends up with is a nice try.

                                            Yet, this books makes for me, the tenth book read on "The New York Times !00 Most Notable Books Of 2018."

                                                How the hell did it make it?

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Breaking Some Book Traditions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         Supposedly, girls, tomorrow will be the day The New York Times announces its "Ten Best Books Of 2018."  This will include five works of fiction, five of non-fiction,  I am only concerned with fiction here--that's just me, darlings!!!!!!!--so this is the post where I name what I think The Times will choose.  Not what they should, but what they will.

                                          Tradition has it that I follow with my list of what I feel should be on the list; in other words, MY list.  The problem is I don't feel read enough.  Last year, I made the mistake of posting what I thought before having a chance to read "Pachinko," by Min Jin Lee, and what a mistake that was.  This year, I am in the same position, not having yet read the new Haruki Murakami, "Killing Commendatore.

                                           I am a fast reader, but not THAT fast.  And I read the entire text; I do not just skim, and make judgments.

                                              So, here is what I have decided.

                                              Today, I will post what I think The Times will.

                                               Tomorrow, I will compare the actual list, and, depending on how that peeves me, I will publish my list then, or wait till having read Murakami.

                                                 So, what will The Times post for fiction, tomorrow? Here is what I think--
                                                 1."Asymmetry," by Lisa Halliday
So many people went wild over this, and it is just edgy enough for The Times. Should it be listed, I will have to think about reading it again.  But only THINK!  Remember, I reread "White Teeth," which turned out to be a waste of time.

"Cherry," by Nico Walker.  Drugs, imprisonment, edgy and pretentious. Just the kind of fiction The Times dotes on.
3. "Friday Black," by Nana Kwame and Adjei-Brenyah--The Times will not let the list go by without a short story collection, and this is the one. Haunting and edgy enough to grab The Times, a debut writer--or writers???--and enough to even entice me!!!!!!!!!!!

The Two Rachels--Hey, one of them has to go somewhere.  My guess it will be Rachel Cusk, with "Kudos."  It seems as though every other volume in her trilogy made it, so this should be a fait accompli.  Kushner could score with "The Men's Room," but is it bracing enough to out do "The Flame Throwers?"  And both are critics' darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                                          5. Two More Critics Darlings--I am certain the final volume of "My Struggle" will make it.  The others have, and The Times, especially, is touting Karl Ove Knausgaard as some sort of latter day Proust.  Yeah, right!  Gag me with a spoon!  Even if on the list, I refuse to read it.  I wasted enough time with the Neapolitan Novels by Ferrante, which had their moments. But six volumes of a Scandanvian narcissist?  No way!

                                             The one upset might be "Lake Success," by Gary Shteyngart.  Another critics' darling, who cannot seem to do wrong in the eyes of The Times, so this could be a dark horse!

                            Time will tell.  We will talk about it tomorrow, girls, And I am thinking of posting my list on here, in tandem with "The Times," to compare them with my brilliance, and because, good or bad, I will not get around, now, at least, to finishing "Killing Commendatore" till next year!!!!!!!!

                               Happy Reading, Everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!                         

You Are Hereby Ordered To SUBMIT To The Holiday Season!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 What better way to usher in the Holiday Season than with a sadistic nun?

                                  Actually, this gem of a still comes from a Swedish 1922 film, a semi-documentary on witchcraft, called "Haxan."  I urge you to watch it, but it might be difficult.  The images are gorgeous, but the pace is tedious,   This was not made at Universal!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   I call the nun Sister Submissa.  She DEMANDS you venture to the mall at the most crowded time on a Saturday, try and crash a church Nativity line, demand to take a picture of the Metropolitan Museum Of Art Christmas Tree, and push skaters out of the way on the Rockefeller rink.  You know, all that stuff that inflicts torture and suffering during the Holiday season.  And this nun is ready, whip in hand!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    You just gotta love it, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Nothing works better than a nun!!!!!!!!!!

                                    Happy Holidays,--and that's an ORDER--darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OK, Tana! I Get You Wanted To Try Something Different!!!!!!!!! But, Honey, You're Not Donna Tartt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        Ever since Donna Tartt wrote "The Secret History," back in 1992, many authors have wanted to do their own versions thereof.  Only to find Tartt cannot be topped, let alone equaled.  I am sad to say Tana French's latest book, "The Witch Elm," succumbs to this, and even sadder it made the "100 Notable Books List Of 2018," meaning it has a shot--though not much--on the "Ten Best List," supposedly to be announced tomorrow.

                                        I have always loved Tana French, so with it being on the list, and so promising, I settled in for what I thought would be an enthralling read.  French's previous works have always been.  But, here she is going for something very literary, and while she gets the Gothic estate, childhood rivalries turning into adult ones, and the mystery, right, the entire thing is so overwritten and unnecessarily verbose it takes twice as long to tell the story.  If told in half the time, she might have turned out a book worthy to be listed.  But she made the writer's mistake that length means literary, and, as Gershwin said, "it ain't necessarily so."

                                         The Big Reveal is so long, it had me thinking back to the John Galt speech chapter, in Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged,"   That ran for 70 pages; this does not, only it feels like it. Should this story be dramatized, the actress playing the character narrating will have one of filmdom's longest monologues, or it will be the lengthiest flashback in film history.

                                            What's sad is French's cleverness and skill with surprise, irony and twisted plot turns is still in evidence.  But it is saturated in overly descriptive prose that does not have the Gothic lyricism  of someone like Tartt, or, even Daphne Du Maurier.  I kept waiting for the pace to speed up, but it did not.

                                             Dedicated French fans will read it, and be disappointed. So, I am warning those ahead of time.  Others, coming to this, I doubt will finish it.  I hope French has gotten what she wanted to out of her system, and gets back to the pulse pounding thrillers that made her a genre favorite.

                                                Chalk this one up to experience. The next one SHOULD be a literary event!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                By the way, this is the ninth book on the "100 Most Notable Books Of 2018 List" I have read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

"Goody Goody For You! Goody Goody For Me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                              This song popped into my head because, on the bus trip back from Longwood Gardens, music was played, and up came Teresa Brewer singing the song.  Which always propels me back to that final shot of Shelley Winters, in 1971's "What's The Matter With Helen?" playing "Goody Goody" frantically, in a state of madness on the piano.

                               I loved Teresa Brewer's rendition, but could not find it anywhere.  So, I will try and give you Shelley's, and that nightmarish sequence.

                                 Here it is!  "And I hope you're satisfied, you rascals, you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I Feel Sorry For "King Kong" In The Broadway Curtain Call!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              I firmly believe everyone should see the 1933 classic once. It is a masterpiece of filmmaking, entertainment and artistry.  But I have to confess, I can only watch the film up to a certain point now, and that is when Kong, atop the Empire State Building, places Ann Darrow, safely on the ledge, knowing what is in store for him.  I cannot take seeing this poor creature die.  It just breaks my heart.

                                Well, now, God help us, there is a Broadway musical of "King Kong," and  I am amazed it is still running.  The score is crap, the actors scurry about like frightened mice, and when King Kong comes out to take his well deserved final bow, well, the poor thing looks so unhappy.  And who can blame him? He's got sense!  He knows he is in a clunker!  I hope he is being paid handsomely!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    This has to be one of the saddest curtain calls I have ever seen!!!!!!!!!!

                                     Just take a look!  Call Animal Activists immediately!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Marriage Talk, Part Three!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         Hi, girls, and boys, especially gay men!  Time for another marriage session. Today, the most outrageous points of Nos. 42 through 73 will be covered, finishing the section on "How To Let Him Know You Are There," then continuing with "How To Look Good To Him," then segueing into "How To Land Him."  Blast off, dolls; this should be fun.

                                           So--Here we are still in "How To Let Him Know You Are There!"

                                            44. Learn How To Bake Tasty Apple Pies.  Bring One In To The Office, And Let The Eligible Bachelors Taste It.--Great idea!  The only problem is how to keep the pie away from the marital slobs, because, believe me, those pigs will dig into anything not cooked by their wives, whose culinary limits bore them already.  If you can regulate the crowd, you might stand a chance.  Only, don't count on it!

                                             46.  If There Is A Wallflower Among The Men, Why Not Cultivate Him?
For All You Know, He May Be A Diamond In The Rough!--Paddy Chayefsky's "Marty" makes this a possibility.  But, these days, if he is living with his parents, and has no outside interests, forget it!  He isn't gay, he is just insular! Romantic partners are just too outside for him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                              OK, Now we come to the section, entitled "How To Look Good To Him!"  This should be a riot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                               49. Get Better Looking Glasses--Men Still Make Passes At Girls Who Wear Glasses--Or Try Contact Lenses--The thing here, is to get rid of those spinster looking orbs. And you all know what I mean!  You don't want to get mistaken for a librarian!  Think "Citizen Kane."  Unless she was lesbian, which was a strong possibility, that woman never stood a chance!

                                                52. Wear High Heels Most Of The Time--They're Sexier!--This is a premise handed down from the dance world--abusive feet lead to sex appeal.  Risk pain for gain!  Darlings, this is one step short from the Pearl S. Buck notion of Chinese wives tying their feet together, and walking behind their man.  If you want marriage, a la "The Good Earth," or "Flower Drum Song," then fine.  But think before you let those feet take over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                54.  Tell Him He's Handsome!--Even if he is not, lie, Lie, LIE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Remember, your goal is a ring and that house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                 55. Take Good Care Of You Health.  Men Don't Like Girls Who Are Ill!--Sure it is romantic in "La Boheme," but there is always a curtain call!!!!   Men can't take care of themselves when they are ill, so girls have to be their healthiest.  Have a child, then get up and make the guy a sandwich!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                  59. Watch Your Vocabulary!--Don't appear to be smarter than he!   Spring it on him after the wedding, but, before do the "Who, me?" bit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                   64. Buy A Full Length Mirror, And Take A Good Look At Yourself Before Greeting Him!--This has nothing to do with being the Wicked Queen from "Snow White!"  It has to do with maintaining your appearance.  Jennifer Jones was known to do this throughout her party evenings, and changed outfits, even, and look where it got her!  Even without Jones' looks, success can come from mirror watching.  Narcissism never hurt anyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                     66. Get That Fresh Scrubbed Look, By Scrubbing--Moisturize, Deodorize, Accessorize!  That has been my mantra since puberty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It finally worked for me, and, darlings, it will work for you!

                                                     69.  Use The Ash Tray. Don't Crush Out Cigarettes In Coffee Cups!--This could get you mistaken as a Girl From The Wrong Side Of The Tracks, and then your chances are nil. Take a cue from Linda Darnell in "A Letter To Three Lives," who WAS from the Wrong Side Of The Tracks, yet knew all the rules for proper behavior!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                     71.  Stick To Your Moral Standards!--Which means, have some!  As the song says, "Good girls do just what Mama says, when Mama's not around!"

                                                       Now, we get to "How To Land Him!"

                                                     73. Show Him You Can Have Fun On A Cheap Date--But Don't Overdo It!-This means, don't let him think a quick meal at Burger King will land him in your panties!!!!!!!!!!  No way, Jose!  Insist on a table clothed place one cut above a diner, and nothing further than hugging and French kissing!

                                                       That wraps it up, for today. Now, a psychological evaluation.  Is THIS what you really want????????????
                               Because if you follow these steps, this is what you will get!  So, go  for it!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 26, 2018

Let's Ease Into The Holidays, With Some Pre-Christmas Levity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   And, what us girls need right now, especially all you singles, is the Gay Rights Anthem, "It's Raining Men!!!!!!!!!!!!"   May you get soaking wet for the Holidays. I may go out later, and do the same thing, myself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    How I have always wanted that heart shaped bed in my room!  Imagine sleeping on that each night, with the one I love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      So, go wild, girls, before the Holidays weigh us down into sobriety!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        "The street's the place to go . And God bless Mother Nature!"


Oh, My God! Darlings, Is New Jersey A State Of Prostitutes??????????????????????

                                           I am telling you, when we pulled into the Woodrow Wilson service area for a rest stop, and saw all the assembled trucks gathered, some of them rocking back and forth with sheer abandon, I knew this spot was alive with prostitution.  Service stops on the Jersey turnpike are famous for them, and there was even one waiting outside the Men's Room I came out of.

                                            Meanwhile, inside was the greatest assemblage I have ever seen of American trash.  It was a like a massive cattle call of auditionees for "Judge Judy."  I wouldn't be a bit surprised.

                                             But, as all my girls on here know, if it is one thing I have, it is a maternal heart, room enough in it for all God's creatures.  That is why, before The New York Times starts its Neediest Cases Funds, I am asking all on here to help support a prostitute.
                               This may have looked elegant, back in the day, but it really wasn't.  These girls have a pretty hard time of it, working 24/7.  No holidays for them, and some have kids!  So, before dissing these Ho's, think about what they put themselves through, and the sleazy things they have to sell themselves to, in order to provide self support.  I am telling you, it is a crying shame.

                                  Now, you don't have to patronize a prostitute.  But if you see one wandering out of a truck, or prowling around searching for one, approach her with some kind words, a cup of hot coffee, and at least twenty bucks.  It could make a difference in her evening.

                                    Remember, Melina Mercouri worked "Never On Sunday."  These girls don't have that luxury.

                                      Extend Christmas wishes to those in  need.  And don't blame it entirely on Jersey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Girls, I Am Telling You, It Was A Fantasy High!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                Yesterday, David and I boarded another L and M Bus Tour, this time traveling to Longwood Gardens, in Kennett Square, PA, not that far from where my sister, nephew and his wife and family live.  I have heard of this place for years, how magical it is at Christmas, but even with my sister living near there for decades, I never got there.

                                   She always said how immense it was, but I was not prepared for the enormity of the place.  Forget the Cloisters, honey, forget the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, this place stretches as far as the imagination can go.  There is no way to see its entirety in one day, which makes it a natural for return visits.

                                     And if you are prone to sensory overload, watch out.  Because all the indoor conservatories and atriums, plus outside walkways are strewn with colorful floral displays, from child decorated Christmas trees, to those fashioned out of books reconfigured and shaped into designs fitting into the structure of a Christmas tree, and a waterfall show with Christmas music that has to be seen, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Simply amazing!

                                     It was, for me, like living out my movie fantasies.  At one point, I felt I was Judy Garland, as Dorothy, stepping out into the Technicolor floral and fauna that was Munchkinland.  At another point, I thought I was in "The Sound Of Music" gardens, where some of the "Do-Re-Mi" sequences were shot.  There were even a series of steps, where I tried to do that part of the number, but, well, it almost ended up in me having an accident, were I not so balanced enough.  I have got to work on my leaps.  It's like, with age, I lost the ability to leap.

                                       The place is open until ten, each night, and, as we gathered on the bus to leave for home, around 5PM, people were pouring into the place, like it was midday.  I guess the advantage of living nearby is to go at pitch darkness to get the full impact of the lighting displays.

                                        Longwood Gardens must have an enormous staff, to be able to do all the creative work it does, season to season.  I did not see Santa, but I heard there were period dress carolers singing, a sing-a-long I wanted to go to, but missed, and a delightful model train set.

                                         Darlings, it is every secular Christmas fantasy one could hope for!  Don't wait for a bus tour!  Go, and just spend a day, or evening here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It's like being in "The Nutcracker," where dreams really come true!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, November 23, 2018

What I Have To Read From "The New York Times Most Notable Books Of 2018 List!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                     According to my sources, Thursday, November 29, is when The Times will announce its Ten Best.  There is no way I can read all I must by then, but I will do my best. And, then we shall see what they chose, as oppose to I, and how much, or not, we match.

                                       But, returning to the larger list, here is what I have GOT to read!
Oh, my God, do I have to!  I know Michelle Obama loved it, but I have heard it referred to as accelerated chick lit!  So, what gives?  Only way one to find out. And since it made the 100 List, I WILL be reading it.

I have been seeing this all year on book store tables, and wondered what the hell it was.  Drugs, prison, violence--do I need this in my life?  It is just edgy enough The Times may put it on their list, so I had better read it.

                                                 All I will say is I have heard good things from those I respect.  It is short enough, so it is worth a shot!

I have it here, waiting to be read.  Daisy, WHO?????????  I never even heard of it, till it made the list, but now everyone is talking about how good it is!  I cannot afford to ignore it!


Another book I did not hear about, till this week!  It just came out weeks ago!  And in paper!  But it is generating buzz.  The Times always tries to get in a short story collection, and these sound edgy enough that it just may make it.  We shall see!  But I plan to read it!

Winner of the National Book Award, this book grabs me with its dog angle, but not with its suicidal aspects.  Will I conquer my fear, and read it?  Probably, though making the Top Five List could help!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saga, saga, saga!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Big, sprawling and generational is how this novel has been described. And I cannot resist this type of fiction.  So count me in, for reading this one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is another one I am ambivalent about.  I read her first one, "Outline, and was not transfixed by that.  But, as each keeps turning up on the Ten Best List, I think I will  be obligated to read the entire trilogy.  But not till this volume comes out in paper.  The other two are waiting!!!!!!!!!!!
                                Another important writer I go hot and cold on.  Have not heard a word, so I am holding my breath.  The way I feel, if I get to it, fine. If not, I will live.

"Macbeth?"  By Jo Nesbo?  Are you kidding me?
Only if, darlings, only if!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not to be confused with "The Women's Room," by Marilyn French.  It is waiting on my shelf, and I have heard it called Dickensian, so I hold out hope.  But if it is as all over the place like "The Flame Throwers," that finishes me with Miss Kushner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Really?  REALLY?  Do I have to?  Because that means I will have to read the other five. Please, do NOT let this end up on the Ten Best.  But what do you bet it does, darlings?  If so, I am screwed!!!!!!!!!!!!

Same as above.  Only if it makes the Ten Best. And that is a MAYBE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Another title staring at me from tables all year. It has been awhile since I read this author, so Top Five or not, it may be time to give this one a try!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is all enough to intrigue me, darlings!  Count me in!!!!!!!!!!


Oh, my God!  Richard Powers!  I love him!  "The Time Of Our Singing" was a favorite of mine. That this book made the 100 List is signal enough I have GOT to read it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Who could ever forget "We Need To Talk About Kevin?"  And the structure of this book sounds intriguing. Another I have had my eye on, wondering, but now it has made the 100 List, it bears checking out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


A book about Hollywood is enough for me.  I have heard good things, but others got in the way.  Now, I will have to take a look at it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Exactly the kind of liberal laced, exotically set work of fiction I crave!  Glad it turned up here, or I might not have known about it!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The cover frightens me; it reminds me of  "A Brief History Of Seven Killings," which I could not even get through.  But this is a series of interconnected short stories set in India, and I LOVE Indian fiction.  So, my eye is on it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This last title is what I intend to begin reading, as soon as I am off here, and can find some time. I love Tana French, and her Dublin Irish detective fiction, but this is a departure, involving an art gallery publicist, and an unsolved murder that haunts his family.  Sounds like things are in a place for a fun, literate read!  Let it carry me away, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As you can see, dolls, the cart is full!  If I get through even half of these, I will be doing good.  But stay tuned, because I will be making, over the next couple of days, what I think The Times will pick, and what I think SHOULD be picked!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whom to listen to?  You decide, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!