Friday, November 07, 2014

What I've Been Reading--and Thinking

It's tempting to blame my recent blogging lapse on writer's block, but that would be a lie. The truth is I've been heeding that old adage: "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." Half of my friends and family are Republicans, and I didn't want to offend any of them by ranting about what I really think about the Grand Old Party and its billionaire backers who are itching to get their hands more deeply into the pockets of America's senior citizens than the hands of the Nigerian email scammers we've all been warned about will ever go. The difference is that the billionaires will rob us a few dollars at a time, controlling Congress to tweak one bill here and another one there in favor of corporate earnings, until the middle class is nothing but a thing remembered from the olden days. 

I remember when it didn't cost $13 to buy enough ground beef for a meatloaf like the one I made last night. Food prices are astonishingly high. And I laugh when I hear newscasters rejoicing because the price of gasoline has dropped pennies below $3 a gallon. That's still way too expensive, people! It's as though everybody who's bought gas in recent years has been held up at the pumps by an armed robber who took all the money out of their wallets, and it's happened so many times they've begun to expect it. In fact, the holdups are still happening, only now the robber is allowing each victim to keep, say, a $10 bill, so the gas customers are smiling and the news reporters are positively gleeful. Personally, I'd say the news about gas prices is better than it has been but still isn't up to the standard of good. 

Anyway, you can see that it doesn't take much thinking about this for me to start ranting, which I had not intended to do today. I've avoided ranting for the past couple of weeks by escaping into books, specifically these:

Black Butterflies
by Sara Alexi

Deadly Offerings
by Alexa Grace

The Saints Go Dying
by Erik Hanberg

Ava's Man
by Rick Bragg

Surviving Goodbye
by Morgan Parker

by Dana Marton

Prince Edward
by Dennis McFarland

by JD Nixon

Gone Girl
by Gillian Flynn

Dark Places
by Gillian Flynn

Sharp Objects
by Gillian Flynn

Courting Cate
by Leslie Gould

To read a description and reviews of any of these books,
click on its image above.

My favorites in this batch were Rick Bragg's biography of his grandfather, Ava's Man; Dennis McFarland's Prince Edward, a true-to-life novel about the integration of schools in Prince Edward County, Virginia; and the three chilling novels by Gillian Flynn: Gone Girl, Dark Places, and Sharp Objects. Those were excellent reads; the others were all pretty good. (I also attempted to read a couple of real clunkers that, as a favor to you, I have not included in the list above.)

Okay. I thought a reading list would be a good way to ease back into blogging and leave political vitriol behind. That plan seems to have been only partially successful, though I do feel more peaceful at the end of this post than I did at the beginning of it. Now I'll go make an expensive meatloaf sandwich and read a book while I eat it. Tomorrow I'll try to muster up a Saturday Song Selection video, possibly one with a pleasant story to go along with it, and maybe I can get back to regular posting after that. If not, I'll blame it on writer's block. 


  1. Interesting idea to get involved in books rather than dwell on the dismal political scene. I think I am going to do a lot of reading in the next two years!

    1. Meryl, reading has always been one of my favorite methods of escaping a harsh reality. The next two years might turn out to be good ones for the publishing industry.

  2. It nearly killed me, but I resisted blogging (ranting) all through the campaign season. I finally wrote one today, and it felt good to get it out of my system. I haven't said everything I wanted to, but I figure I'll have plenty of blog-fodder for the next two years, if I can stand to keep it up.

    1. Betty, you're one of the best ranters I know. Always glad to see you express your opinion, then usually wish I'd had the gumption to write what you did myself.


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