Checked Out: Week 16

terry-mcmillan-who-asked-youI spent the better part of the past two and a half weeks reading two amazing books, and now that I’ve finished both of them it’s almost like I’m starting over again from scratch. You know that feeling, when you’ve been holding your breath for so long that you forgot you were holding it, but then you let it go in a whoosh and you’re light headed for a moment because of it? That’s me right now.

So I wandered into the library yesterday with a vague idea of the kind of book I wanted to read next, and I got what’s probably the opposite of that book, the new novel by Terry McMillan. I haven’t read her brand of fiction in ages (since I somehow got through How Stella Got Her Groove Back without throwing up), but I saw this book on the new fiction shelf and decided to give her another shot. We’ll see how it goes. Now, here’s what I’ve Checked In:

  • Killing Floor, by Lee Child
  • U2 By U2, by U2 with Neil McCormick
  • Little Bee, by Chris Cleave
  • Frozen, by Kate Watterson

Okay, so I didn’t just wander into the library yesterday. I was there returning the above books, but I was also there to see my wife (who is a librarian). It’s interesting that she mentioned to me that a patron asked her what plays would be good for a book club to read. It reminded me that it has been a very long time since I read a play (not counting Romeo & Juliet, of course), and maybe I’ll find a new one in the near future to check out. Anyway, here’s what I have Checked Out this week…

  1. Who Asked You?, by Terry McMillan
  2. I’m Still Scrambling, by Randall Cunningham
  3. The Sound of Things Falling, by Juan Gabriel Vasquez
  4. Saving Fish From Drowning, by Amy Tan

Now, just because they’re checked out doesn’t mean I’m reading them all at the same time. The Sound of Things Falling is actually my book club’s next selection, so I might take a while reading that one for the June discussion group. I’m excited to check it out because it was originally written in Spanish, but we are reading the English translation. I’d be very interested to see what got lost in that translation, so I will be reading critiques of the work as well.

nfl_u_cunningham_400I just started the new Terry McMillan novel today, and it is reminiscent of her book Disappearing Acts so far, in that all the characters appear to be black and speak with the certain vernacular. She did the same thing in Waiting to Exhale as well, and at times I think it’s accurate and at others a bit superfluous. So far in this book (I’ve 10 pages in) I think it fits the mood of the story.

Randall Cunningham used to be the quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles when I was a kid, and he was the first football player I remember idolizing. I looked up to him because he was so athletic, he could  pass and run the football, and he was black. There’s something to be said for black role models for a black kid growing up in the ghetto of Southwest Philly. So, I’m finally going to read his autobiography. Perhaps it will even bring back some memories for me.

Happy reading this week!

Sam

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