Louise Erdrich - Sunday, January 31, 2010
Our first book and supper club selection was Too Much Happiness, by Alice Munro. I chose the book because I am a great admirer of Alice Munro and because I love short stories. She never lets me down. Mordant, ordinary, strange, funny, offhandedly sublime. The two nights of book club discussion were so much better than I'd feared (as an introvert). The people who came were tremendous and they had loads to say so I didn't have to carry the conversation at all. Elation! And I must say that the dinner by Kenwood Cafe was utterly delicious and left me warm and happy. But was there too much happiness? Well, the title is found in the last story of the book -- possibly the last words of a female mathematics genius. Too much happiness, indeed.
Yet my distress over my addiction continues, and I seek some affirmation that will free me from the endless Aubrey/Maturin series of sea novels about The British Navy, a series well known as the tar baby of narrative (too much boredom? Alas, no, vertiginous sea battles! Utterly compelling characters, both male and female) I've known relationships to founder on these rocks. Marriages to beat against the lee shore of these novels and succumb. Once you've started, with Master and Commander (forget the movie), you'll be keel hauled right in and there goes your winter. You'll be a victim of narrative.
Coming up in May: the publication of Mohamed's Ghosts, by the young old-school prize-winning journalist Stephan Salisbury. His book is about all of us -- victims of narrative following 9/11. He cared to think about what was happening to the ordinary people who belong to a mosque, struggle to be American and to follow their beliefs as well. This is a wrenching and outrageous story of our own shadow country conjured out of fear.
If I can unstick myself from Patrick O'Brian I will let you know how I did it. I'm going to check out a 12 step sea novel program . . .
The Wealth of Nature Alan Weisman President Obama Collective Denial Gail Caldwell Easter Island bill mckibben ireland The Resilient Gardener Jim Harrison Green Team Botany trees 2666 solstice, Thomas King The Transition Handbook Master Butchers Singing Club Too Much Happiness coyote Native Arts National Book Award incarnation Population favorite tree how good looking you are customers germany Afghanistan Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive favorite dog This Green World Tree Houses gardens Islam William Trevor Keeping Heart on Pine Ridge Michael Jackson Kabul Wastepaper japan Greenland Chitra Divakaruni joy Small Bookstores as Commons Zombies Keepers of the Trees Peak Oil Czech Writer Nemesis Climate Change fresh water Kate DiCamillo Peak Water Louise Catalyst Wendy Makoons Geniusz Philip Roth Magers and Quinn More Remarkable Trees city of books euphoria post holiday Anton Treuer mississippi The Blue Sky Poetry leaves and snow Minnesota Canada State Troopers Gryphon Press Too Loud A Solitude Unnatural Disasters friends plants Vic Glover Hillary Clinton thank you friends Alice Munro Mankato Powwow green peculiar touches of green and gold British Navy aquifer Fireworks france Kenwood Gardens The Farmer's Daughter book and dinner club Stephen Salisbury H2Oil language revitalization local economy post holiday reads ependent Nero Anishinabe The Royal Prussian Library photography The Ojibwe Dartmouth Pembina Book Review Bleak House Interview the most romantic city in the world anniversary Native People health care reform Rare Books Empire of the Summer Moon Ojibwemowin devoted customers show your love 350.org Up Late Again The Game of Silence Milkweed Press Dogs Bill Moyers Journal Let's Take the Long Way Home Love Tar Sands gratitude Keystone XL Emily Johnson Victory Gardens Beth Dooley adventure sweden Aza The Porcupine Year graphix ptsd The Birchbark House buffalo neighborhood Brown Dog Mohamed's Ghosts boarding school Chickadee Guthrie Theater Women and Trees Aubrey/Maturin S.C. Gwynne spring Hilary Mantel World on the Edge Video cafe closing pilgrims italy monkey in a dryer Wolf Hall Makoons Anishinabemowin china E.L. Doctorow Birchbark Books knowledge twins The Round House School Gardens Remarkable Trees thanks Light in August Education Patrick O'Brian cafe support Bohumil Hrabal favorite book Gary Clement Minneapolis NACDI:All My Relations Ha Jin Crushing Books birchbark house series Ice Ojibwe tree books north dakota Roberto Bolano