Weekended and 75 Update

So, clearly Hemingway the Self-Narrating Cat with the Fists of Fury deserved his own entry. But it was a good weekend, relaxing, out at my folks’ place. Highlights included:

– Watching five teenagers half-heartedly sign along to a song at my nephews’ church ("Upward"?) basketball game. One of the boys had greasy hair and was just precise enough with his gestures. I sort of loved him for about a minute. (Yes, you read that right — apparently learning sign language for song lyrics is now de rigeur… or something.)

– Realizing how many people were actually keeping score of the scoreless basketball game. (Also, my nephew was the MVP, if they had officially been keeping score anyway.) Also, it’s utterly ridiculous to tape the knee of an eight-year-old! (As the opposing team did.)

– Getting my ass kicked at Texas Holdem (please do not come out of the spamwork) by my eight-year-old nephew. Though I managed to hang in there and make a comeback. Bonus: Christopher going "all in" with his chips against said eight-year-old.

– Eating cornbread and other junk.

– Seeing the horses that live with the school bus. (I must take the camera next time.)

– Approving MySpace friends(!), my grandmother’s one-liners, and other things I’m forgetting.

I also got some reading done, more Fountain Award stories and finished a book or two. I may as well commit a 75 books update. Thumbnails, just as the other day.

7. Mothers and Other Monsters by Maureen McHugh. This was actually a reread (of course), for an interview with Maureen I’m working on. I finished the last story the same day this bad news came (though I have no doubt it will all come out okay in the wash, as my grandmother would say). Suffice to say that this collection is wonderful and beautiful and all of the other good things anyone has ever said about it. You should really check it out if you haven’t; if you have, check it out again. It rewards revisiting.

8. The Best People in the World by Justin Tussing. The first section of this novel is the best, as pretty much everyone seems to agree, but I enjoyed the whole thing. It’s an easy novel, in that the secrets are right out in the open for anyone who keeps reading, but the writing is quite beautiful and somehow it all adds up in the end. I actually loved the miracle hunters best, and wish they had a novel of their very own instead of just a few bits in this one. (Truly hideous cover design, btw; I believe it’s meant to invoke another wunderkind’s covers, but it doesn’t — nor does the book, actually.)

9. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. Man, did I love this novel. If I told you what it was actually about, you might get the wrong idea and assume it’s hopelessly sappy. So I won’t. On the safer what it’s about, non-italicized version, it’s the story of 19-year-old Ed Kennedy receiving a series of mysterious Aces, each with instructions of a sort to figure out a message for the indicated party and deliver it. These messages directly impacted people’s lives; the stakes are high. Ed’s voice is hilarious and true. It seems to me there isn’t a false step anywhere in this book. Highly recommended. I wish I had time to do a whole post on this one. (Note: You can buy it at Amazon paired up with the fabulous Black Glass, assuming for some reason that escapes me you don’t already have a copy.)

5 thoughts on “Weekended and 75 Update”

  1. Ohhh, I adored I Am The Messenger. The veryvery end didn’t quite work for me (I didn’t _care_ why any of this stuff was happening; I didn’t need an explanation), but everything else? Oh, boy. All the love in the world.

  2. Hey Hannah: I agree with you on the explanation not being necessary. I would have been fine without one too, but at least it brought things nicely back to the (excellent) opening. I felt neutral on it. But yes, yes, yes: what a lovely book. I’m curious about his others now.

  3. Oh, man. There’s nothing more humiliating than getting your ass kicked at poker by an eight year old. But I will say that it builds tremendous character!

  4. my teenage stepsisters kill me at every game — poker, cribbage, scrabble, boggle, and pretty much everything else i’ve ever played with them. it’s embarassing, but sure makes me improve!
    congratulations on the addition to your household..

  5. I gave in and ordered the Tussing book from Amazon the other day, I am trying not to accumulate new books b/c I’m moving in May but I couldn’t resist. I am heartened to hear you liked it. That cat you’ve got is ADORABLE, I am especially fond of black or black-and-white cats…

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