This and That/Here and There

My two weeks off from blogging extended into much longer than two weeks, primarily because I couldn’t remember how to “get back on the pony!”  With the assistance and kindness of my former student/”grandson”, Andrew, I am back.

I have read many books in my “absence”.  For starters, The Art of Grace, by Sarah Kaufman,was an excellent, engaging non-fiction read which kept me wanting to turn the page or start the next chapter throughout.

One of the best reads during my hiatus was In the Shadow of the Banyan a novel by Vaddey Ratner.  It was recommended by a book club friend and was as good as she described. It was horrible and yet beautiful, at the same time,thanks in part to the author’s wonderful writing.  I knew nothing of Cambodia during its civil wars and horror during the years 1975-1979 but had a connection to them in that I was teaching 7th graders who were refugees brought to Alvin by a local church.  Since they spoke no English and I spoke no Cambodian, it made for some interesting “aha-teaching experiences”.  The takeaway of the book, the indomitable human spirit ,was so uplifting that this reader came away moved and encouraged rather than sad and depressed.

Two others out of the dozen or more books that I finished were Bill Bryson’s The Road to Little Dribbling (“Adventures of an American in Britain”), a NY Times bestseller, and Ann Tyler’s A Spool of Blue Thread . The former I read along with my brother in Virginia in a two-person book club.  He sent the book,printed in large print (which added to my reading pleasure). Ann Tyler is one of my favorite authors, and I believe I may have read everything she has written. I’ll just comment that she lived up to the high expectations I always have for her novels–a great read . Whenever I read in the newspaper she has a book coming out, I drop everything and read her latest.

So much for my reading here of late. What recommendations do you have to add to my lengthy To-Read-When-I-Can- Work-It-In-List?

 

 

 

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Author: Rae Longest

This year, I will have been a member of AAUW (American Association of University Women) for fifty years, a life time member (which means my fellow AAUW members will begin to pay my annual dues. (ha ha) In the 80's we began a book group to share our love of reading, books,and fellowship with other women and girls who loved the same. We resurrected the group on-line in September of 2015 and went on from there (See "Introduction",first blog). This is my first experience at blogging or publishing anything and is becomes more fun with each blog posted. I am currently teaching as an adjunct at The University of Houston Clear Lake. This makes my 27th year there after three years at Alvin Community College and an almost-twenty year career as a classroom teacher with Alvin Independent School District. Reading and writing are "in my blood" just like teaching is. I hope you enjoy the blog.

5 thoughts on “This and That/Here and There”

  1. Right now I am enjoying “Flight Behavior” by Barbara Kingsolver. I’ve made a list of the books you mention here for summer reading pleasure.

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    1. I just discovered something! (As you see I am self-taught in this blogger thingy and on the computer as well. Ha Ha). I had read and appreciated your comment but didn’t know I could reply to it. Wow!
      So…
      I hope to review a few more books soon (like today, now that you have encouraged me to tell you about books you might also might enjoy. As a “coming soon…” note I am just now finishing the last book in Cronin’s trilogy called “The City of Mirrors” (end of the story begun in Passages and continued in “The Twelve”.The best part is you can “plug in” to the trilogy anywhere along the way. My girlfriend and I bought a pre-publication copy and I am finishing it before her son leaves for summer study in Argentina, when she will read it herself. It is a powerful book, but not for everybody! Cronin’s next step is to teach at Rice and it will be interesting to see what comes out of that. He has two gentle, beautiful books I recommend to everyone I can get to read them, “Mary and O’Neil” and “Summer Guest”. You’d never know this is the same man who has made his name on apocalypse and vampires! Both are good investments of your reading time.

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  2. Anne Tyler is a personal favorite of mine. I may have read everything she’s written, too. While a couple of her early novels were a little weak (A Slipping Down Life), I’ve adored several of her books (Accidental Tourist).

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    1. I remember reading her all the way back into the 70’s when her Patchwork Planet made me understand the hippie lifestyle/attitude and not be so judgmental and up tight about it. Now at the late age of 71, I would hardly describe myself as a hippie, but the label of “free spirit” might be creeping into the way I “label” myself. Ha ha!

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