Thursday, April 25, 2013

What Reading Can Teach You

The rain was my nemesis last Thursday.  Instead of going to Newberry to discuss "Nemesis" by Philip Roth, I was in a cab trying to get home from the airport while Chicago was being flooded.  A wild ride.  I also had an extra night in Minneapolis thanks to United cancelling my Wednesday flight.
I don't know much about polio.  It was eradicated by the time I was born.  I have a scar on my upper arm either from a polio vaccine or TB - I would have to ask my mom.  I have a family-in-law member who had polio and he never talks about it.  At a family event this past weekend I heard some snippets about when he was afflicted and it sounds so scary.  Not knowing what caused it, how you caught it, how it might spread. 

I wish this book was under 200 pages so we could read it for the Novella group.  There are so many themes to discuss.  Guilt, abandonment, loss and God are featured throughout the book.  Also stubbornness and how people make decisions thinking they are sparing others but they are really being selfish. 

If you have not read Roth and are interested in his books I would suggest this one.  Especially to provide insight into a time and disease that people of my age, and younger, know very little about it.  Another reason why reading is so important - you can read fiction to find out about historical events.   

Of course my trip to Minneapolis had to include a visit to Once Upon a Crime.  I love that store!  I love Pat!  She is so great.  She refuses to have a computer in the store - if you ask her a question and the original computer (her brain!) doesn't know the answer, maybe another customer can help you out.  Or maybe you fall into another book all together.  She makes great suggestions.  I picked up four books.  Two mysteries set in Berlin, one Pat suggested from a Chicago author about Iran and a sillier one about an author who writes about mystery writers.   So much fun.  Plus Pat suggested a local liquor store where I picked up a four-pack of Surly.  Sorry TSA if you are reading this, but the Surly made it home fine over state lines. 
Since I was stuck in Minneapolis an extra night I decided to make the most of it.  I had eaten at Black Sheep Pizza already.  I pretend I'm looking at the menu but I've been there 3x and have had the same thing every time. (Small pizza with 1/2 Chicken and Peppers and 1/2 tomato & oregano plus a Surly). The host there suggested the Bachelor Farmer if I returned to Minneapolis.  Little did I know then that I would be back so soon!  So I went there on Wednesday night and sat at the bar and had one of the best meals I have ever eaten.  Technology was bad that night because I kept texting P. the courses I was eating and that was just plain mean. 
So keep reading!  Keep seeking out local bookstores and restaurants!  And if it's flooding stay on dry land with a good book. 

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