We were in Baltimore last weekend with a million other people for the Yankees-Orioles games, so I skipped last weekend’s Salon. The time that I would have normally been spending in this spot was being spent with Betty at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, which was fascinating. (Don’t miss the dolphin show, if you go.) I’m wishing I was back in Charm City this weekend for the Baltimore Book Festival, though, as it sounds like such a great time. Maybe next year ….
I’m still making my way through The Early Stories of Louisa May Alcott 1852-1860, which has some wonderful gems in it (“The Rival Prima Donnas,” Bertha,” “A New Year’s Blessing”) along with a few that have left me somewhat confused (“Little Genevieve,” “A Lady and a Woman.”) There’s an Amazon review that suggests not starting with this collection if one is interested in reading Louisa May Alcott’s short stories and at this point, I kind of agree. Diehard Alcott fans and those wanting to read her entire body of work will enjoy this, but the casual reader? Not so much, I don’t think.
My current read is John McNally’s After the Workshop, a satirical and humorous look at the post-grad life of an Iowa Writers Workshop writer. (No matter that Jack Hercules Sheahan graduated a mere 12 years ago.) After publishing one short story (“The Self Adhesive Postage Stamp”) in The New Yorker, Jack’s novel-in-progress continues to collect dust while he works as a media escort for writers (mostly of the prima donna variety) visiting Iowa on their book tours.
I’m almost scared to review this one because McNally, through Jack Sheahan, appears to be familiar with book blogs. He (the character of Sheahan) refers to leaving comments on blogs early on in the book, as well as being at Book Expo America. I love that … and fortunately, I don’t think John McNally needs to worry about my review because I am really enjoying After the Workshop so far. It’s a fast and funny read, one that’s keeping me entertained as I wonder who the fictious authors really are (this is kind of like the “You’re So Vain” of the literary world).
Quite the opposite is true of my current audiobook. The only thing I’m wondering about with The Elegance of the Hedgehog is what the hell others have seen in this that I am clearly missing. Seriously, at page 104 and at the beginning of chapter 14, the only reason I’m still listening is because several book bloggers who I respect and have similar tastes as have raved about it (Beth Kephart Books) and warned me about the slow start (thank you Dawn of She is Too Fond of Books). But I’ve gotta say I’m starting to lose my patience. Reading portions of it in addition to listening to it on audio isn’t helping. I’m hoping this one turns around soon before I take delight in the thud it will make as I throw it back into the library’s book drop.
So, at the end of the week, we have a very mixed bag of reading here. What about you?
copyright 2010, Melissa (Betty and Boo’s Mommy, The Betty and Boo Chronicles) If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.