3. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant by Roz Chast
Wonderful, wonderful graphic memoir by the brilliant comic artist about her elderly parents ends. Sounds sad, and it is in parts, but it's also hilariously funny, especially if you know from old Jews in denial. I am exactly Chast''s age, and her parents had the same difficult attitude (and the same hoarding tendencies) as mine, and boy, did I relate. Love it, loved it!
4. Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
Brilliant writer and physician Gawande on the American approach to death, which is, as we all know, seriously screwed up. Should be read by everyone over a certain age.
5. The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
Had to get over my reluctance to read anything from the Eat, Pray, Love machine, but this was a wonderful, thick, juicy novel about an eighteenth-nineteenth century female botanist from Philadelphia. A really terrific read.
6. Dora Bruder by Patrick Modiano
Read for book group. By the Nobel Prize-winning French author. A slender, strange novel of a man's search for a girl he never knew. A Holocaust novel, a book about memory, about lives touching lives...interesting and unusual.
7. A bunch of plays, read for acting class: Doubt by John Patrick Shanley, 'Night Mother by Marsha Norman, The Children's Hour by Lillian Hellman, Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz, August: Osage County by Tracy Letts. All of them very moving. Have seen them all (Children's Hour only as a movie) except "Night Mother, which was the most devastating, a story of a woman who has decided that life is no longer worth living. The entire play is her last couple of hours, as she explains her decision to her mother, and they argue about the value of her life.
8. Home by Marilynne Robinson. Home takes place at the same time as Gilead, which I had read a couple of years ago, but in a different household. It tells the story of a wayward son's return home. I love Robinson's simple, poetic language. Her books are almost hypnotic. And beautiful.
9. Lila by Marilynne Robinson. The third of the Gilead (the name of the town) novels, this one is about the woman married to the main character in Gilead, a strange woman who in the prior book we learn little about. Also beautiful.
More to come...still playing catch-up...