Friday, September 28, 2012

Unexpected News, Part II

As you may guess, my world was rocked by the news earlier this week that a friend had been murdered. I have been, for the past few days, a very difficult person to live with.  I have not been very nice to certain sales clerks.  I almost punched the lady who cut me off in the grocery store line.  I yelled at my kids.  Pity the lady at the bank that told me I couldn't meet with a personal banker without an appointment despite the fact that my debit card was mal-functioning and refusing to give me MY money (only because of one very astute branch manager am I still with that bank).  I couldn't focus.

Let me tell you, that is not the way Pat would have wanted to see me.  I knew that, but I could not figure this out.  Why was I so upset?  I mean beyond the grief of losing a friend ... what was wrong?

Last night figured it out.  I am scared. How can this kind of violence enter into MY life?

I don't have friends who get murdered.  I know people die.  But they have heart attacks.  They have cancer.  They are in car accidents.  They do NOT get shot in the head with a rifle at close range on their own property by a crazy neighbor while his wife and daughter are in the house.  

It is too close.  Now it is not some random person in the news.  It is a friend of mine.  And it didn't take much for me to imagine a scenario in which I could have easily been at the house at exactly the same time.  I could have had my kids with me.  I could be gone and my kids could be the ones without a parent.

Let me change that ... I am not scared.  I am TERRIFIED.  And now I am learning to live with a new normal.  This kind of senseless and violent act is closer than I ever imagined.

Because of the circumstances, I have also lost any faith I had in the police department.  As someone said to me the other day ... the police are no longer in the business of crime PREVENTION - they are too worried about how their actions will look to the world around them. THIS crime could have been prevented.  One arrest.  One "yes, I believe he threatened to kill you and your wife, let's take him in for questioning."  Pat would still be with us.  Instead, I now see the police as an after the fact crime mitigation and solving force.

My world has changed.

I liked it the old way.

Not Just Hiking - September 2012

Want to see what I am reading and have read before I post my complete list at the end of the month? Want to know when I read a book or what I am going to read? Check out my Goodreads page. Want to see a list of every physical book in this house? Want to know what my husband read? Want to know what my kids own? Visit LibraryThing.


The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
The first book club book of the year.  I really like the woman who recommended this one, but I have learned that often our reading styles are completely different.  It was not bad, but I am not sure I ever would have read it without it showing up on our book club list.  I guess that would be the purpose of the book club?  What if I only read what I wanted to?  Admittedly, I would have a great list, but I might miss one or two things.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Oh, I can't say anything about this without spoiling it for someone else.  Except that I LOVED it.

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
Lucky, lucky me.  I got to read two wonderful books in a row.  Here was the second story in a row about love and relationships.  However, this one was about three (or four or five) beautiful love stories.  About the different ways of loving people and allowing yourselves to be loved.  It made me laugh and cry.  Another highly recommended book for the TOB.

The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twang Eng
Shortlisted for the Booker ... this book was lyrically beautiful.  About a third of the way through, I thought "this is really well written, but is also really predictable."  By the time I got to the end, I was surprised and delighted by what the author showed me and what he let me figure out for myself.  I loved it.  During a week that I could not keep my mind on anything for longer than a minute, this book managed to keep my attention.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Words I Never Thought I Would Say

On Monday, a friend of mine was murdered.

My already fragile heart has now been smashed into a million pieces.

I spoke to this friend just a few weeks ago.  I told him we missed him.  I thank God for that time.

Please, please ... tell your friends how much they mean to you.  Hug your kids.  Embrace your spouse.  Call you brother or sister or mom or dad.  Send your grandmother a card.

Do it for Pat.

There are no dress rehearsals.

And let me say now ... I don't know you all.  But each of you who leaves a comment often brings a small moment of joy into my day.  Thanks.  

They murderer is in custody and has confessed.  In the state of Texas, this premeditated act should get a life sentence.  It doesn't matter.  It won't bring Pat back to his family.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

More Books

The Booker Prize Shortlist has been announced ...

Tan Twan Eng, The Garden of Evening Mists
Deborah Levy, Swimming Home 
Hilary Mantel, Bring up the Bodies 
Alison Moore, The Lighthouse 
Will Self, Umbrella 
Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis 

I've read the Mantel and wasn't surprised to see it on the list.  I have never heard of the others and will be rushing to the library website after I post to put these on hold.

Last year a shortlisted book won the TOB???

Friday, September 7, 2012

TOB predictions

Too early?  I don't think so.

Loved These ...
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Arcadia by Lauren Groff
A Thousand Cuts by Simon Lelic

Liked this ...
Bringing up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel 

They will have to put this in even though I don't think it is deserving ...
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain

Here We Go Again ... Bleak House Round Two

Back in the Spring I began a read-along of Bleak House.  But I was quickly annoyed by the technical difficulties I encountered ... I couldn't comment or post!  And then a few of the people I was reading with dropped out.  Then I fell behind.  Then I dropped out.

I had the inside scoop that others would be trying this Fall, so I didn't feel like a failure.

Well here we go again.

This time Amy at New Century Reading will be hosting the read-along.  I know I can post on her blog ... and many smart and funny people are already participating.  Yeah, I  can't wait to begin (again).

And I have the brand new Penguin Classics edition to keep me company.  Great suggestion Amy and Girl Detective!