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Just something pleasant to look at.


It's time, it has finally been released. I have, once again, completely absorbed myself into Karl Ove Knausgaard's My Struggle ... this time we are up to Book Four. I may come out a changed man – all who know me are hoping –but I do find them so very  captivating. See you on the other side.



                                 us  We make such a nice couple.


Just a thought, just a  suggestion ... whenever you can not explain anything, try the following phrase.
It must be the asparagus.
   small BLUE It works for me. You're welcome.



The National Book Critics Circle Award winners

Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award: Toni Morrison

Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

The Essential Ellen Willis by Ellen Willis, edited by Nona Willis Aronowitz

Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast

Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh by John Lahr

The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation by David Brion Davis

Lila by Marilynne Robinson

Story Prize
Elizabeth McCracken wins for Thunderstruck

   Another day in the East Bay, and I found myself in another bookstore. Today it was the Books Inc. down on 4th Street in Berkeley ... which will be closing at the end of February and reopening in March on Shattuck Avenue, in the old Black Oak Books space. So, there I was looking for some more fiction and I came away with The Transcriptionist by Amy Rowland ... which shows great promise.
   The following is a glimpse into how my mind works. The title caught my eye, I check out the blurbs and back cover, where I learn that the storyline is a flash to the past, the main character works for a newspaper and creates a written transcript using tapes and phone calls from reporters on the phone. But the sample that got my wallet out was the following:

   She walks to the window, where the sudden opening of the blinds startles the pigeon.
   "Jump," she says. She struggles to raise the window so that the bird can hear her better. Stuck. She bangs it with her hand. Finally it opens and she leans out. "Jump! You're a bird. Go on."
   He puts his claw down in defiance and looks at her with pigeon eyes.
   "It's not lice, is it, pigeon? A case of OCD, maybe?"

And I was sold.

I had a little time for book browsing in the rich stacks of Moe's Books, and I came away with a couple of good finds. First, I didn't even know it was out, but I'm now the proud owner of a quality book from Counterpoint Press - Our Only World, a collection of ten essays by the always thought-provoking Wendell Berry. I find myself already half way through the Berry essays, and I love the way this man's mind works, even when I don't at first agree with him, his writing is so kind and intelligent that I love to go along with him for the ride. He has lot to say, is very opinionated, but he's always a gentleman and will takes you through the logical steps of his thought process.  
   Up second, was an unknown find by Percival Everett, Virgil Russell. Its covers haven't been opened yet, and it remains an unknown element in my traveling library.


Literary Cups Again at Chipotle
Eight months after author Jonathan Safran Foer turned his mid-burrito boredom into a series of stories for Chipotle cups and to-go bags (by the likes of himself, Toni Morrison, Michael Lewis, and George Saunders), he’s at it again. The fast-casual burrito chain on Tuesday announced a new slate of authors for its beverage cups and packaging. Augusten Burroughs (Running with Scissors), Julia Alvarez (In the Time of Butterflies), Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist), and Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible) are among the new additions.


loving words
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