Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Little Ray of Sunshine

I've been reading up a storm, and mostly away from home ... so blogging has been difficult. Someone recommended A Little Ray of Sunshine by Lani Diane Rich, which they called a smart, funny chick-litty type of book. I haven't checked it out yet. Chick Lit usually lets me down, but I've been told this one won't.

I've been reading a huge mix of things and am enjoying re-reading The Wind in the Willows which is marvelous.

Reading labels. This one was interesting, but American Absinthe? Really?

Interesting article on cruelty. It reminds me of a short story I read where this kind nurse (who imagines she has monumental healing and mystical powers) often feels depleted after being so wonderful, and to regain some energy (or her edge) does little cruel things to people that she usually fawns over. It gave her a little kick, like a sip of champagne to cause a little pain. I wish I could find the short story anthology it was in. It was a weird story, and twisted.


Anonymous said...

Check out the ingredients in that Absinthe- not sure I would want to consume wormwood.

Good to see you back!

tut-tut said...

I'm telling you--The Thin Place. Even the dogs' thoughts are rendered.

tut-tut said...

Junot Diaz is a hoot in person, by the way.

Tom said...

Absinthe is making a comeback, as it is produced in a safer way these days. I like it because it tastes a bit like black licorice...yum.

tut-tut said...

That Walking in Britain book is giving me ideas . . .

R.L. Bourges said...

Chick-Lit - maybe it's the label that turns me off? It makes the writing sound vapid. Oh you know, chicks trying to do lit. Maybe there's really interesting material there if I forget about the label? Let us know what you think of this one.

The Wind in the Willows - just typing out the name makes me happy. I can see the illustrations. An all-time fave.

Tom is right - they've found that the real problem with absinthe was the way it was prepared and the quantity of wormwood used (+, I suppose, if you drank it from dawn to dawn or not.) That label isn't terribly attractive though. Reminds me of St. George Sherry which was sold by the gallon up in Canada - bleh.

The research on evil - true, true, true. Hardwired in the system. Just as empathy is. Different parts of the brain but both very real. Maybe the whole basis of the us vs them business? Whether we acknowledge it or not, violence just grabs our attention, no matter what. Just as sex does. But just as laughter does, too.

The part about violence is a disturbing realization which is probably why we don't like thinking about it. Yet, it doesn't simply go away if we don't. That story you mention about the nurse is a good example - and not just a story, unfortunately. We are complicated pieces of work, us humans.

( But I admit I'd rather be reading The Wind in the Willows than thinking about evil right now.) :-)

best, A R.

JGH said...

The cruelty article has me thinking about the James Bond movie I saw over the weekend - man he is really a sadist! Good movie, though.

(Chick lit is my guilty pleasure!esp. Bridget Jones)

Deborah Godin said...

re Absinthelabel - "patient experimentation in herbal didstillation" - ?? Sounds like something that could get you sent to the principal's office fer sure.

e said...

Hi Avid,

Some Chick Lit isn't bad, let me know what you think of the Rich book. Absinthe? Yuck! Now reading this label, I understand why I couldn't stand it in my youth!

Hope you have a good week!

Barbara said...

Speaking of cruelty, have you seen "The Changeling" with Angelina Jolie? It's based on a true story in the 1930's in LA, which portrays a very corrupt police department and a psycho who preys on young children. It is cruelty in its worst form!

lettuce said...

i've never tried absinthe

want to - esp. now i know it tastes like liquorice!

My Classic Fiction Book List -Partial List

  • Austen, Jane: (Complete Works)
  • Balzac: Cousin Bette/ Eugenie Grandet / Cousin Pons
  • Best Russian Short Stories
  • Boyle, TC: Short Works
  • Brennan, Maeve : Short Works, 1 Novella
  • Bronte, Emily, Ann, Jane (Complete Works)
  • Brookner, Anita ( Complete Works)
  • Cather, Willa (Complete Works)
  • Chekov: Short Works
  • David Copperfield (Dickens)
  • Dickens:A Tale of Two Cities
  • Dickens:Great Expectations
  • Dickens:Nicholas Nickelby
  • Dickens:Our Mutual Friend
  • Dickens:The Old Curiosity Shop
  • Doyle, Roddy (some novels, memoir)
  • Drabble, Margaret (4 Novels)
  • Drieser, Theodore (Complete Works)
  • Fitzgerald, F.Scott (Most Novels & short works)
  • Hardy, Thomas (Complete Works)
  • Hemingway, Short stories
  • Hemingway: The Old Man in the Sea
  • Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises
  • Hugo: Les Miserables/Hunchback Of ND
  • James, Henry: Daisy Miller
  • James, Henry: In The Cage
  • James, Henry: Portrait of a Lady
  • James, Henry: The Golden Bowl
  • James, Henry: What Maisy Knew
  • James, Henry: Wings of a Dove
  • James, Henry:The Ambassadors
  • James, Henry; The Bostonians
  • Kerouac: Dharma Bums
  • Kerouac: On The Road
  • Kerouac: The Subterraneans
  • Kerouac: Tristessa
  • Lardner,Ring:Short Works
  • Larsen: Quicksand
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Arrowsmith
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Free Air
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Main Street
  • Lewis, Sinclair: The Job
  • MacGill, Patrick (Complete works)
  • Mackin, Walter (novels)
  • Maupassant: Short Works, novels
  • McGahern, John (novels of)
  • McNulty, John (Short Works)
  • Norris, Frank: McTeague
  • O'Brien, Edna (3 Novels)
  • O'Donnell, Paeder : Novels of
  • O. Henry
  • Potok, Chaim (4 novels/1 non fiction)
  • Salinger, JD : Nine Stories
  • Salinger: Franny & Zooey
  • Salinger: Raise High the Roofbeams
  • Salinger: The Catcher in the Rye
  • Sinclair, Lewis: Dodsworth
  • Sinclair, Lewis: Elmer Gantry
  • Sinclair, Upton: King Coal
  • Sinclair, Upton: The Jungle
  • Steinbeck, John: Sweet Thursday
  • Steinbeck: Winter of our Discontent
  • Steinbeck: Cannery Row
  • Steinbeck: East of Eden
  • Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath
  • Theroux, Paul (3 Novels )
  • Toibin, Colm: (Novels of)
  • Tolstoy: Anna Karenina
  • Tolstoy: Short Works
  • Turgenev (2 novels)
  • Twain: T Sawyer, Life on the Mississippi
  • Vonnegut: Early Works (1950s-60s)
  • Wharton, Edith: Novels of/Short Stories
  • Women & Fiction (Edit. Cahill)
  • Zola, Emile ( 10 novels)