Thursday, January 22, 2009

Out the door, no room for more

After getting a look at my messy bookshelves I decided it was time for a bit more culling.

Martyrs' Davy by Michael Kelly
An alphabetical life by Wendy Werris
A new prescription for women's health by Bernadine Healy
Abraham by Bruce Feiler
Working men by Michael Dorris (d. 1997)
Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor
Cloud Chamber by Michael Dorris
The Crown of Columbus by Michael Dorris
A heart a cross and a flag by Peggy Noonan
This Week's short short stories by Stewart Beach, c1947
A book of the short story by E. A. Cross, c1934
Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder.

I suppose you can tell I loved Michael Dorris' writing. Never did believe the tales told about him after his suicide and he wasn't around to defend himself. Supposedly he was part native American, but it's hard to prove--anyone can say it. But he did adopt 3 native American children, all of whom had some problems with alcoholic birth mothers as I recall. Euro-Americans are so guilt ridden they often elevate people of native parentage to a special status. Still, I liked his writing, and he believed so passionately that he could make a difference in the life of a damaged child. Call it suicide, but I'd call it a broken heart.

And Peggy Noonan. Flippity flop, where to hop? Where will her garden grow next? Not on my bookshelves.

I've pretty much cleaned out most of my short story books, both the how-to's and the collections thereof. In the 90s I had a lot of fun writing short stories, so I liked to read other authors to see how they managed to pack a punch in a few pages. The short stories of 40-50 years ago were much better than today, but no one writes that way any more.

Bernadine Healy was head of the College of Medicine for awhile at Ohio State when I was still working. She was attractive and on TV a lot. Went on to NIH. Appears in articles from time to time.

Michael Kelly (1957-2003) was the journalist and editor (The Atlantic) the libs loved to hate because he reported on the Iraq war. Then he was killed and they were so angry because he deprived them of their favorite target. Such hysteria. As bad as BDS. May have been the start of that when they had to move on to a new host for their parasitic behavior. I don't think I ever even cracked this one open.

I think I picked up the Wendy Werris book because she used to work for Pickwick, and so did I. She has a blog that she writes in about twice a year. Tsk, tsk.

The Bruce Feiler book was for our book club. I think I missed that meeting.

Dear old Garrison Keillor. I loved to listen to his old radio show. He's wandered a bit. That movie, "Prairie Home Companion" he did a few years ago was good--sort of recaptured the feel. Some of the performers had been at Lakeside.

Sophie's world came highly recommended, and I bought it intending to read, but could never get into it. The blurb says "a wondrous journey of intellect and imagination that will make you look at life through the eyes of a child again." I suspect it was too late.

I'm trying to decide if I want to get rid of The Norton Anthology of American Literature, 2 (very fat) vol., 3rd ed. You can probably get them for $2 or so--so cheap you could start a fire with them. However, because editors keep revising what is "American" you almost want to hang on to them. This edition is from the late 80s. When I pulled it off the shelf I took some time to read Anne Bradstreet's poetry about her children leaving the nest. She may have been the first to think of it as "empty nest syndrome." It's a terribly painful time. I'm sure she causes a lot of conflicted feelings among feminists--I mean, she's our earliest published woman poet, but she's so. . . so. . . womanly.