Saturday, January 14, 2017

What to do?

It is early, rainy, cold and deary.  Typical January.  Six am and I am the only one awake.

I was going to go buy groceries yesterday but it was so foggy, I reneged and bought a few things at the dollar general.  I could be to the store and back almost before anyone wakes.

Then I could read another book.  I have read a few this month that I really liked.  I just finished one, The Red Parts by Maggie  Nelson.  I thought it was a book about her Aunt's murder and the trial, decades later, of the Aunt's accused murderer.  It turned out to be more of a book about the author. I cannot recommend this book to anyone, as it would not fit most people's taste.  I did not especially like the book, but I did read most of it. There was not really that much of a story to the book.  It told about  her aunt but not really much about the trial.  I was impressed that the Aunt's family, including her father were not bent on revenge.  The father of the Aunt is quoted as saying he would so much rather have his daughter's killer say to him that he did it and go free than  to have an innocent man convicted of her murder.  Still, I cannot recommend this book to anyone.  If you want to read, and are out of material, give it a try. Do not buy it.

Then I read a book by Tony Danza, the actor about his year of teaching a sophomore English class in a large Pennsylvania school.  He was doing this for a reality show.  The show was cancelled, but he continued to the end of the year.  He is a good teacher, a good writer, and a good person. Well, I cannot be sure of the good writer.  He may have had help with that, and he had help with the teacher part, but at the end, did very well as a teacher.  I can recommend this book to both my living sisters.  My dead sister would say the whole thing was a put up job.  That might be, but it was a good read.

Now I am reading, West with the Night, by Beryl Markham. I recommend Sister Betty buy this book and when she is through reading it, give it to her sister.  Sister will keep until she dies and pass it to Emmy and Hannah in her will.

Beryl, 1902-1986 was one of the first African bush pilots.  Her stories are wonderfully written, the material foreign and interesting.  But it is the writing itself that is so  memorial.  Ernest Hemingway said:
...She has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer. I felt that I was simply a carpenter with words, picking up whatever was furnished on the job and nailing them together and sometimes making an okay pig pen.

I googled her and found speculation that she had a husband ghost writer on the book.  She never wrote anything else exciting.  And, as I read the book, I have to keep reminding myself the author is a  she.  I read another review that said this same thing.  Matters not to the reader who the writer might be.  What is writ is what is read.  What is writ in this book is marvelously writ.

Here are a few quotes I have writ from the book.

Smothering reason with a wish.
Much of Kenya's future was already the past of other places.
Death will have his moment of respect however he comes anlong, and no matter on what living thing he lays his hand.
If a man has any greatness in him, it comes to light not in one flamboyant hour, but in the ledger of his daily work.
What a child does not know and does not want to know of race and colour and class he learns sure enough as he grows to see each man flipped inexplicably into some predestined groove like a penny or a sovereign in a banker's rack.

And there is a wonderful passage about destiny
“I am incapable of a profound remark on the workings of Destiny. It seems to get up early and go to bed very late, and it acts most generously toward the people who nudge it off the road whenever they meet it.”

I think now I will go for groceries and finish this book tonight.


Sister--Three said...

Ordered the book. Can't wait to get it.West with the Night, by Beryl Markham

Sister--Helen said...

I am so glad sister stopped reading long enough to make an excellent supper...fried pork chop mashed potatoes spinish and black eye was so good...dee and I loved it

Sister--Three said...

Like a good neighbor...