At cards on Monday, Nancy wheedled from me that I do remember how to read and in the last six months read Lunch at the Piccadilly, because I saw its cover and waited weeks for it to come to the Peninsula library. The book is a tiny slice of life in your hand. Before you die, you will know this book. The slice of life will not be augmented or diminished, but you will have read a book.
I have taken to spending the last hour of drowsing in the morning in recreating the books lost in the Red Bus. I started with Middlemarch, which I recall as an absolute favorite. I cannot remember a single name. But I remember the younger sister called her older sister ‘Doty’, and I have built the action and the plot rather comprehensively. I may move on to Far from the Madding Crowd, or Stone Soup. I wonder if I will ever tackle Henry James, who started this. I suppose when I remember a title, I could start.
Nancy brought me her copy of the current book, A Long Way Home. The club meeting begins in forty five minutes. I want to go. The discussion lasts exactly one hour, according to my sponsor, and then everyone eats wonderful treats. But, at the end of the hour, I must drive fast to the high school to get Laura, then drive fast to downtown Akron for her appointment with her counselor, then fast back to the high school for band practice.
Scheduling therapy every Wednesday all summer has been great. Of course, I forgot school and band and life as I scheduled out through October. But, we’re tough. It will be part of what we remember about this year, “the year Grandma double booked Wednesdays.”
I’ve read book clubs have multiplied since the last election began; fueled, of course, by women. The more books women read and discuss, the more dissension is fomented, apparently. I’ve been opinionated all these years without a club.
The room was packed, about 25 of us for A Long Way Home. I introduced myself as someone who has lived here thirty years and is finally showing up. Then I settled back to listen. On the whole the women considered it a book of inspiration; a five year old pulling out street smarts that kept him alive until rescued to an orphanage. I look at how books are written, as well as the subject. So, I sat back and listened, on the whole.
I found the story of the five year old boy well presented. But the story of the adult boy, and especially the interminable Google Earth search for his home needed a major rewrite. I suggested, to a horror struck crowd, this part of the book does not advance the story. I was countered with “Well, it took him a long time to trace all those railroad lines,” and so forth. My argument fell on deaf ears, but not deaf lips.
For next month we are reading Behind her eyes. I’ll try. Remember, I didn’t make it through Lord of the Flies then, and probably could not, now. Which paragraph does not advance this story? Janie knows, I’m sure.
My Uncle Hank. Mom took this picture about 1935.