Tuesday’s tiny review: Louise Erdrich’s The Round House

The Round House book jacket

If you ever read the “By the Book” section of the New York Times Sunday Book Review, you’d know that when the interviewee is asked, “Who are your favorite authors?”, it’s not uncommon to see Louise Erdrich’s name on the list – and yet none of her novels were on my shelf.  It’s a terrible oversight on my part (among many) that I was anxious to remedy.  The Round House was her latest, had received the National Book Award for Fiction (2012), and so I picked it up and finished it last week.  Here’s … [Read more...]

Tuesday’s tiny review: SOMEONE by Alice McDermott

Someone Alice McDermott

Perfectly titled, this novel covers the life and times of Marie, a ‘someone’, an ‘anyone’, not necessarily special.  In fact, Marie’s ordinary journey, rendered in scattered 1st person chronology, and beautifully wrought by McDermott, pulls us in because of its parochial spirit. The setting is Brooklyn, not to be confused with ‘the city’ of Manhattan, that other place where Marie, her parents, and her pre- and post-seminarian brother do not live.  Her beloved father exits the subway every … [Read more...]

Friday’s 5 things: aging, dogs, Eggers, the anniversary, and a pirate movie

A Hologram for the King

- Most of you know (broken record) that I’ve been injured, which is to say I’ve barely run in the past three months.  There’s been weight gain, general weepiness, and a semi-conscious retreat from life.  Alternate exercise has caused pain also.  First, I thought it was simply a chiropractic issue and after Dr. Greg adjusted me, all would be well.  After two visits, I felt better but only by half.  I continued to rest and stretch a bit and finally went to the doctor, telling him I thought it was … [Read more...]

Yosemite is closed

Yosemite closed by government shutdown

I’d like to touch upon a few subjects today. - ŸIs there anything left to say about the government shutdown? Probably not but I’m going to step into it anyway. Just one paragraph: 20th century British ambassador to the U.S., James Bryce, suggested that our national parks were “the best idea America ever had.” They are, in truth, pretty awesome. I’ve been to several and, as I like to say, “they never disappoint." As we all know – unless you live under a rock, probably not one in Yosemite – … [Read more...]

It’s Wednesday, what are you reading? (Kingsolver, Aciman, Gaiman, DeLillo…)

The Poisonwood Bible book

Have you ever been so disgusted with yourself you wanted to vomit? Like you’d rather not be in the same room with your bad ass (or big ass, depending) but wherever you go, there you are? No?  Really? Never? Well, screw you. You’re not my friend. And I’d like to explain my disgust but then I’ll just feel more of it. “Oh, c’mon Jo. Please? Please tell us why.” Well, crap, okay but in a nutshell. I’m injured. I’ve been injured on and off for the last ten years but nutshell: I’ve had … [Read more...]

Weekend review: The Interestings, Macklemore, and that Man of Steel


How ‘bout an attempt at some weekly reviews?  I have opinions.  Why not share them?   Movies: “Man of Steel”: Really Jo?  It came out last weekend.  It’s yesterday’s news. In the future, I’ll try to review movies before you have a chance to spend your money on a ticket.  I’m not sure how I’ll do that but I think you’re worth it, so I’m going to try.  Without further ado… This latest version of the Superman saga is, in the words of Goldie, one of the worst movies ever made – … [Read more...]