This book got better and better so that by page 300 I couldn’t wait to turn the page. It played out in my mind like a movie – more focused on plot twists than in depth character development. There are two heroes – Blomkvist the polyanna reporter and Salander the social outcast rogue investigator. I wasn’t prepared for the sadism since I didn’t read any reviews. So be warned – it is gross in places. Which of course makes it even more scintillating. Once the main conflict resolves the story line fizzles out to a rather unsatisfying ending. Still it was remarkably entertaining. I’ll give it a B+.
China in the 1970s was not a particularly joyous place. At least not for the parents of Gu Shan who begin the day (and the novel) girding themselves for her execution. I decide to read this book because it and the author (Yiyun Li) have been given good reviews. There are substories within the main story – a cast of odd characters including an unfortunate 12 year old girl who when in utero, was the recipient of a brutal beating by Gu Shan (a political dissenter). The girl is twisted physically, though quite astute. There is a little boy and his pup, a street sweeping couple that rescued discarded girl infants, a radio announcer and her besotted husband. Alas, there is no happy ending for anyone. But it did transport me to a world of deprivation and unfairness that helps put life in better perspective. I’ll give it a B.
Sometimes in opening statement, I will “be” anything from an inanimate object to a character in the case. The main question I hear is – how can you do that without seeming “too over the top?”
This novel by Garth Stein, is moderated by a dog named Enzo. It is not a children’s story. Enzo tells the very human tale of a young man and his family. Not once do you feel that Enzo is a gimmick. I’ll give it a B.
At the last minute the sun makes an appearance so I run out the doors of the Davenport Hotel and head towards the river. Spokane has the wonderful “Centennial Trail” that winds its way from the city through Gonzaga to the out and beyond. As I jog into the country (well, it is country-like in places) I feel like little red riding hood venturing into the forest with all its little creatures. I see robins, ducks, and these critters that look like big fat giant squirrels with tails like bottle brushes. I have no idea what they are. I’m sweaty and happy as I head back through Gonzaga, looking at the swollen river and bopping to my music. Out of the corner of my eye I see a large gaggle of geese on the lawn complete with a crowd of gosslings. Oh how beautiful, I think. I am one with nature! At which point, a bit of something catches my attention. It is the biggest goose of all, running flat out towards me with its beak open (apparently yelling at me but my music has drowned it out). It is so close I can see down its throat. Its eyes are sparkling with total hostility. I am fueled with fear and bolt away from that mean goose. I haven’t run that fast since, well, I don’t think since ever.
I spend more time in my office (awake) than any other room in the world. I have two computers, one of which is currently playing ’70s funk music. There is cool artwork on the walls and I will find myself fixating on different colors or shapes throughout the day. I have no paper files hogging space so my few books can breath alongside pictures of my girls and Ed. There are two bronze busts of Brandeis which were gifts from my trial lawyers association, and two plaques but otherwise the rest of the certificates are buried somewhere. I have a palm tree that has lived with me since I joined this firm in 2004 and usually there’s an orchid perched on the corner above one of the monitors. There’s also a little bin of doggie toys and the bones up high on a shelf. There are a few things that I could use to make this room complete: 1) a treadmill with place for a computer so I could type and surf while walking or I could go for a run late at night – now that would be excellent; 2) a stair stepper; 3) a big bean bag – I used to have a small purple one but it was made for an infant; 4) sliding panels that I could open on each of my walls so I could talk to Kevin and Mimy without having to pound on the walls or buzz them; 5) a 60″ computer monitor/LCD screen built into the wall. I might have to move a picture but it would be worth it; 6) a silent refrigerator – that way I wouldn’t have to share with everyone – very selfish and not green I know – I probably can abandon this; 7) a scanner that works – I got a cheap one and it lasted about a month; 8) tons of candles – apparently we can’t have any candles due to fire hazard which is unfortunate because it’s hard to set a “mood” with fluorescent lights; 9) a small locker for my work out clothes which are currently on the floor; and 10) a walk in closet would be nice.