Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday Salon: College regression weekend

I'm sure it doesn't surprise anyone to hear that I was a total nerd in college. Who actually reads for their classes anyway? Um. Me, that's who. But having married a frat boy, I am occasionally called on to host college regression weekends. Since I went to school with all these crazy guys myself, this is not really a hardship (it's fairly hysterical watching thirty somethings turn into stupid 18 year olds again), other than in terms of the beating that my kitchen takes. And figuring out how to squeeze all that beer in amongst actual foodstuff in the refrigerator is like a geometry problem and should keep my brain agile and Alzheimer's free for many a year, right? This weekend was one of those regression weekends and so my Sunday Salon post may be a bit incoherent from lack of sleep or completely scattered as I run between the computer and the dishwasher in an effort to make some dent in the mess. (And I shudder to think what the recycling guys will think of us tomorrow when they get a look at the 3, yes three, more than overflowing bins we'll be putting out, especially if they notice the Beast Light cans with the shotgunning holes punched in them--told you it was a real regression sort of weekend!)

But before total chaos reigned, I got in some good reading. I read The One True Ocean by Sarah Beth Martin and Cordelia Underwood: Or the Marvelous Beginnings of the Moosepath League by Van Reid. Interestingly enough, both were set in Maine, just about 100 years apart. They are about as different as books can get though I'd recommend both. I also visited with Elisabeth [sic] and Fitzwilliam Darcy in The Bar Sinister but before I got too into it, I was waylaid by Nick Hornby's final collection of essays for The Believer magazine called Shakespeare Wrote for Money, which is as wonderful as his previous two collections, especially for the clinically bookish. The fact that each month he almost always acquires more than he reads and that his books bought list never matches his books read list all that well has earned him my undying love. I love knowing I'm not alone! I'm not finished with the book yet, despite the short length, because reading and trying to prevent D. from repeating *all* of his dumber college antics are completely incompatible. (Obviously I didn't win when the guys decided that buying Beast Light would be funny--at least until they all tasted it again, at which point it was consigned to my fridge to be used as dirty dish water at some later date--but they could have gone so much crazier that having The Beast take up precious fridge space in perpetuity is merely a minor inconvenience.) I will be diving back into the Hornby book shortly once the health department backs down from declaring the kitchen a toxic disaster area because the best way to consign such wackiness to peaceful oblivion is, of course, to settle in with a marvelous book. (And for the record, from here on out I will completely deny anything that anyone, including my pesky kids, claim happened this weekend.)

I am shamefully behind on my reviews yet again and hope to start catching up on them this week although I have to do car stuff and DMV stuff, which may suck all spare time from the space-time continuum. After a nice contribution to the charity of my choice (aka the State of MI), I now have a duplicate title to my car, which will enable me to get plates down here in the sunny south. Will be interesting to no longer be a "furriner." It'll probably mean no one will ever let me merge timidly onto the highway ever again, assuming incorrectly that I must be one of the many transplanted New Yorkers who have brought their regrettable and slightly aggressive driving skills with them down to these more temperate zones. In any case, the books awaiting review currently include:

The River of Doubt: Theordore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey by Candice Millard (non-fic: history/bio)
Laughter on the Stairs by Bevereley Nichols (non-fic: memoir/gardening)
My Fallen Angel by Pamela Britton (historical romance)
Welcome to the Departure Lounge by Meg Federico (non-fic: memoir/aging)
Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliott (kiddie fiction)
A Final Arc of Sky by Jennifer Culkin (non-fic: memoir/medical)
A Pigeon and a Boy by Meir Shalev (fiction)
Jantsen's Gift by Pam Cope (non-fic: memoir)
Mastering the Marquess by Vanessa Kelly (historical romance)
The One True Ocean by Sarah Beth Martin (fiction)
Cordelia Underwood by Van Reid (historical fiction)

Feel free to ask me about any of these to poke me to write the reviews faster! I have about 12 more books lined up to read by the end of this month but I suspect that definitely isn't going to happen, further lost weekends notwithstanding, so I'll have to carry them over into next month. Hate not reaching my ridiculously unattainable goals! And finally, don't forget that I have a massive book giveaway going on right now with more to come in May.


  1. I've had Cordelia Underwood on my to-read radar for a long time - I need to get to it soon.

    Sounds like a crazy weekend! Glad you survived intact. :)

  2. I've lived in the South since 1994 and am still a furriner so don't get your hopes up! (And I can even say "y'all" with a straight face)


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