click for link to Dubliners by James Joyce
JUST FINISHED Dubliners – my first James Joyce. 15 short pieces. Fabulous character studies!  Not stories so much as snapshots. I kept wanting to know what happened next. Ahhh, that’s a well-drawn character.

click for link to Dana Gioia's 99 Poems
HAVE STARTED Dana Gioia’s 99 Poems: New and Selected. What I love about having a book of poetry within reach is it’s like having a candy dish around. I don’t have candy dishes around, but it’s what I imagine it’s like. When I’m not quite up to a full chapter of a book or don’t have much time, I can pick up a book of poetry and have a little something.

Just before noon I often hear a voice
Cool and insistent, whispering in my head
It is the better man I might have been,
Who chronicles the life I’ve never led. . .

Oh my my my. Is that not great?

We sometimes have nice little conversations here at dusk on the porch, reflecting on a poem. Or baseball. Or movies. Or West Wing…. a regular Chatauqua, I tell you. (Okay, I should have started this paragraph with “In my fantasy life….”. Wally called it poetic license.)

click for link to Don J Snyder's %22Of Time and Memory%22
PAID 10 CENTS + SHIPPING for Don J. Snyder’s Of Time and Memory. A grown man goes looking for the story his mother, who died shortly after he was born. Truth: I purchased this book based on one sentence I heard that I thought was so wonderful, I just had to read the whole book. I wasn’t even off the first page before I was lingering over phrases and rereading sentences so marvelous I couldn’t hurry past.

I began searching for her because my father, her husband of less than ten months, is an old man facing his own end…….I am telling her story now for my father, an old man who was the boy who loved her. And for her, the girl who was my mother. And for you if you are in love, or out of it, or trying to stay in love with the person you have pledged yourself to.

* * *

– Always great book recommendations at Christie Purifoy’s These Farmhouse Bookshelves.
Deidra Riggs’ ONE: Unity in a Divided World is available for pre-order now. Read an excerpt.


When I Read a Good Story

WHEN I READ a good story
I am glad the writer wrote it
and didn’t leave it half-finished somewhere.

Just started this:

A Separate Peace


Upon Finishing “The Road to Character” by David Brooks

click for link to book at Amazon

The achievement machine rewards you if you can demonstrate superiority – if with a thousand little gestures, conversational types and styles of dress you can demonstrate you are a bit smarter, hipper, more accomplished, sophisticated, famous, plugged in and fashion-forward than people around you. (p. 253)

When I read this about living in a meritocracy,
where value is measured by one’s talents and achievements,
and self-esteem is based on the approval of others

I think of the friend
to whom
nothing comes as news.
Whatever it is,
she already knows it
or saw it coming.

Note to self: Avoid this behavior.