Thursday, May 13, 2021

Hey, April Part One

 1. Eat a Peach - David Chang. Memoir.

2. Who Were The Beatles? - Geoff Edgers. Biography.

3. Who Were The Brothers Grimm? - Avery Reed. Biography.

4. Eleanor - David Michaelis. Biography.

5. Who Was Levi Strauss? - Ellen Lebrecque. Biography.

6. Who Was Julia Child? - Geoff Edgers. Biography.

7. Who Was Milton Bradley? - Kirsten Anderson. Biography.

8. The Pull of the Stars - Emma Donoghue. Novel.


I really didn't enjoy Eat a Peach. David Chang's authorial voice was turned up to 11, and things were lost or discordant or distorted. Very few of those precise and evocative descriptions of food that you usually see in food memoirs. Props to Chang for making the reader feel the clanging and banging in his head, and I am very glad that he got help. I wish I had liked Eat a Peach. Now I feel guilty. Don't let me put you off reading it.

Confession time: You know how Pawn Stars runs allll day and alll night on Mondays on The History Channel? If I'm off work, I'll spend hours in front of the television, patiently waiting for a glimpse of my newest bookworm crush, Rebecca Romney to appear and help Rick and Chumlee and the rest of the gang figure out the correct value of a book. My admiration for Rebecca seems to know no bounds; I follow her on Twitter and I rented the documentary The Booksellers so I could bask in her reassurance that bookselling is alive and well and thriving. (There were a bunch of old farts who were grimly steadfast in their conviction that bookselling is on life support. Team Rebecca!) In one of the many ways that Rebecca uses her powers for bookworm good, she and and her bookselling partner Heather O'Donnell (Honey & Wax Booksellers) established an annual prize for American women book collectors age 30 and younger. The smaller the focus, the quirkier the collection, the better Rebecca and Heather like it. One of this year's honorable mentions has a collection of Beatlemania. She said that she got interested in The Fab Four after she read Who Were The Beatles? Wow! So there they were, several of my passions colliding at once: Rebecca Romney, the Who Was...? series, beguiling "odd shelves", as the late Larry McMurtry called very specific book collections, and the Beatles. The magic of inter-library loan yielded a copy, I read it and loved it. Who Were The Beatles? is staunchly on my favorites list in this series.

I've always been charmed at the idea of the Grimm brothers traveling through Germany and getting people to tell them stories. It reminds me of A.P. Carter of The Carter Family traveling through the mountains in Virginia and getting people to sing old ballads and other songs. I also love it that the Grimms were linguists. Another winner in the Who Was...? series.

I want to talk about Eleanor and The Pull of the Stars so badly, but I'm fading, (actually, I may have broken something with that Rebecca paragraph!) and morning comes early. April will have to be in two parts.


Sam said...

Rebecca Romney is definitely one of the best things about Pawn Stars. I always enjoyed her appearances on the show, and the respect she was given. She is brilliant, and I find her optimism about bookselling to be inspiring. Listening to her talk about a book just makes me feel good. It's that simple.

Ruthiella said...

Yours is one of the few negative reviews of Eat A Peach that I've read. I don't really know who he is, since I don't watch T.V. so will skip it anyway.