Saturday, May 30, 2009

So you ask: What's new?...

One of the good (bad?!) things about having a dentist who is Greek-American: When he starts shaking his head and mumbling under his breath, you have no idea what he's saying. (Frankly, I'm going with *good*. I think I'd really rather not know.)

This has been an interesting last couple of weeks. Full of waiting, and thinking, and deciding, and a little more waiting. In the meantime, I finally managed to finish Labyrinth by Kate Mosse. My thoughts? Don't read it. I'm glad I stuck with it enough to finish, because although the first two-thirds seemed like a waste of time, it turned into a half-way decent book in the last third. She finally lost the awkwardness of trying to mix old-fashioned colloquial language and modern colloquial, which was just that - awkward with a hint of trying too hard. Which actually is how I would describe the writing at the beginning of pretty much every chapter for the first two-thirds... After she got into the flow of a certain storyline, the writing was okay, but until then there was awkwardness and entirely too much detail that had no bearing on the story whatsoever. And, you know, if I was a little more caught up on my French (ha.), I would have gotten more out of it, but as it stands, I wasn't impressed. Or better, I was disappointed. I usually tend to enjoy your more gothic-style books. I think I should've paid attention when I asked the waitress from Chez Pierre what she thought about the book when she read it, and her response was, "Um, well... There was an interesting twist ending!" Yeah, there was. Which I figured out about 100 pages before I was supposed to. Disappointed.

After all that, I started reading a book I had picked up from the library and had been anxiously waiting to read (kind of my "prize" for finishing the other one) - Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea. I adored this book. Maybe because I was so happy to be done with the other one, but I don't think so. It is a fiction book, told in the setting of Saudi girl writing an email every week to a group of Internet subscribers. In the emails, she tells the stories of 4 of her friends, and their trials of life and love in the city of Riyadh (with a little Chicago, London and Khobar thrown in). I couldn't put this book down, especially the last night, which should have been two. While this story is told in the confines of what most would seem an incredibly restrictive society, there is an undercurrent to the story that is wholly universal - especially in regard to making life decisions because it's what is expected of us, rather than what is in our deepest heart of hearts.

Last weekend I was given the address for the website of the McHenry Conservation District, which basically has taken all the unused areas in the county and turned them into parks with trails and fishing and such. So last Friday, after leaving work just a tad early, I decided to stop by one not far removed from my way home. I really enjoyed it, save for the mosquitos that are now starting to make their appearance. I took a little "hike," around a lake and through the woods a bit. I was very appreciative that the trail was well-mown, because of course, I hadn't planned on walking through a park when I left for work and had not dressed my feet appropriately. Anyway, it was a nice little diversion, and I discovered something I don't think I'd seen before: purple honeysuckle. And lots of pink, with some wild sweet william thrown in along the way. I love this time of year.

If only I had known how very dangerous love was, I wouldn't have loved.
If only I had known how very deep the sea was, I wouldn't have set sail.
If only I had known my very own ending, I wouldn't have begun.
-
Nizar Qabbani


2 comments:

Coral said...

Nice post, Buffy! It's like a girl like you or I, not waif-like, good-looking but with a little something to hang on to.

I'm going to have to go read Girls of Ridayh or however you spell that, just as soon as all my books from the library sale and my compulsive library trip are read. *sigh*

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