2008 Read:
-James Patterson - Maximum Ride: School's Out - Forever
-James Patterson - Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment
-Aldous Huxley - Brave New World
-Nick Hornby - A Long Way Down
-Steve Berry - The Templar Legacy
-Peter Shaffer - The Royal Hunt of the Sun
-J.D. Salinger - The Catcher In The Rye
-David Mamet - Glengarry Glen Ross
-Lanford Wilson - Burn This
-Tamora Pierce - Lady Knight
-Tamora Pierce - Squire
-Tamora Pierce - Page
-Tamora Pierce - First Test
-Tamora Pierce - In the Hand of the Goddess
-Tamora Pierce - The Woman Who Rides Like A Man
-Tamora Pierce - Alanna: the First Adventure
-Louis J. Camuti - All My Patients Are Under The Bed
-Bertolt Brecht - The Caucasian Chalk Circle
-James Herriot - The Lord God Made Them All
-James Herriot - All Things Wise And Wonderful
-James Herriot - All Creatures Great And Small
-James Herriot - All Things Bright And Beautiful
-Connie Booth & John Cleese - The Complete Fawlty Towers
-Emily Carr - Klee Wyck
-Emily Carr - The House Of All Sorts
-Elie Wiesel - Night
-Ken Follett - Eye of the Needle
-Ken Follett - Code to Zero
-Leslie McFarlane/"Franklin W. Dixon" - The Hardy Boys: The Missing Chums
-Leslie McFarlane/"Franklin W. Dixon" - The Hardy Boys: The Secret of the Caves
-Leslie McFarlane/"Franklin W. Dixon" - The Hardy Boys: The Tower Treasure
-Leslie McFarlane/"Franklin W. Dixon" - The Hardy Boys: The Mystery of Cabin Island
-Leslie McFarlane/"Franklin W. Dixon" - The Hardy Boys: The Great Airport Mystery
-Leslie McFarlane/"Franklin W. Dixon" - The Hardy Boys: The Disappearing Floor
-Leslie McFarlane/"Franklin W. Dixon" - The Hardy Boys: The Clue of the Broken Blade
-Theresa Tomlinson - The Forest Wife
-Daniel Wallace - Big Fish
-Banana Yoshimoto - Goodbye Tsugumi
-Jane Yolen - Sister Light, Sister Dark
-Jane Yolen - White Jenna
-Banana Yoshimoto - Kitchen
-Edith Wharton - Ethan Frome (*Re-read)
-Robert James Waller - The Bridges of Madison County
-Jose Saramago - The Tale of the Unknown Island
-J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
-Annie Proulx - Brokeback Mountain
-Kurt Vonnegut - Mother Night
-Graham Swift - Shuttlecock
-Rex Pickett - Sideways: The Ultimate Road Trip, The Last Hurrah

Still Reading:
-Thorton Wilder - The Ides of March
-Ayn Rand - Atlas Shrugged (I fully expect this to take a while since I'll read about 100 pages, then realize that a library book is due that I haven't read yet, so I'll read the library book instead.)

-Tennessee Williams - Battle of Angels
-Tennessee Williams - The Glass Menagerie
Down through the ceiling comes a fire siren and people screaming that we're supposed to ignore. Then gunshots and tires squealing, sounds we have to pretend are okay. They don't mean anything. It's just television. An explosion vibrates down from the upstairs. A woman begs someone not to rape her. He's not real. It's just a movie. We're the culture that cried wolf.
Looking at the book, open in her hands, Mona leafs back and forth. She says, "If I just knew what they used as ink, I'd know how to read it."
If it's ammonia or vinegar, she says, you'd boil a red cabbage and daub on some of the broth to turn the ink purple.
If it's semen, you could read it under fluorescent light.
I say, people wrote spells in peter tracks?
"And Mona says, "Only the most powerful type of spells."
If it's written in a clear solution of cornstarch, she could daub on iodine to make the letters stand out.
If it was lemon juice, she says, you'd heat the pages to make the ink turn brown.
"Try tasting it," Helen says, "to see if it's sour."
And Mona slams the book shut. "It's a thousand-year-old witch book bound in mummified skin and probably written in ancient cum." She says to Helen, "You lick it."
There are worse things than finding your wife and child dead. You can watch the world do it. You can watch your wife get old and bored. You can watch your kids discover everything in the world you've tried to save them from. Drugs, divorce, conformity, disease. All the nice clean books, music, television. Distraction.
These people with a dead child, you want to tell them, go ahead. Blame yourself.
There are worse things you can do to the people you love than kill them. The regular way is just to watch the world do it. Just read the newspaper.
"Why don't you just call him and say you want the damn shirt back?" Harriet had asked reasonably.
"He knows I want it back," I said savagely. "I have nothing to say. I don't want to talk to him. Maybe never again. But I want that shirt back."
More time passed - days, another week, and another. By now it was clear that our dissolution had entered the dangerous stage. He continued to call, once a week now. I continued to not return his calls. I was smarting, I was bitter. But I wanted that shirt back. Like most material possessions caught in the breakup crossfire, it had taken on talismanic properties.
"Could he be wearing it?" I asked Marco. "Is that why he hasn't sent it back?" I thought of its stretchy silk fabric, the way it exposed my collarbone, its beautiful russet color, like ripe plums. It seemed a little feminine for Sean.
"Jesus, the shirt, the shirt!" Marco groaned. "Just forget about it! Is that so impossible?"
"Maybe that new girlfriend is wearing it," I mused. "I want my shirt back. It is my Calvin Klein shirt and I paid a lot of money for it and I want it back. Why is he holding it hostage?"
But I knew why, and I had a feeling so did Sean. He and I didn't have any mutual friends, so there was no chance of getting information about the other through that channel. And we didn't work near each other, or live in the same neighborhood. The shirt was the last link. Once it was back in my hands, that was...well, it.



July 2008

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