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Been Reading:

Catching Up

I know it's been a long time, but I've finally managed to take some time to bring you up to date. First of all the fiction I've read: Swamplandia by Karen Russell was a bit of a disappointment. It got many good reviews but somehow it left me feeling blah. It does have a child rape scene which made me uncomfortable and the writing dragged a bit for me.
The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley--I love this series. It is about a precocious ten year old who solves crimes. No it is not a children's book. It is great adult fun solving murders and a bit of wonderful humor tossed in. I highly recommend this series.
Killing Rain and The Last Assasin both by Barry Eisler--Eisler is getting into romance and erotica in these books. Personally I think he spends too much time describing the sex. If I want erotica there is currently plenty out there.
The Shape of Water by Andrea Camilleri-- Good mystery book taking place in Italy. The book certainly does describe the Italian attitudes. I've lived in Italy and the book had me chuckling. The mystery is almost a sideline. This is the first book by Camilleri I've read and I will certainly look for his others.
The Prince by Machiavelli--I'm sure many years ago it was assigned to me in school as a must read, but I've just gotten around to reading the entire book. At my age I'm afraid it's a bit too late to plan on ruling the world. Ah! I could have been a contender.
The Discomfort Zone by Jonathan Franzen-- The memoir offers lots for geeks to relate to. Interesting take on growing up in the 60's and 70's. He suffered angst without any real family disasters. I guess I've read too many of those disaster autobiographies and I 've begun to expect tragedy in them.
The Fall of the Euro by Jens Nordvig and The Default Line by Faisal Islam--Since I live in Europe I'm quite interested in books discussing the European Union. The book I most enjoyed was The Default Line which gave some insights into global spread of inequality. Recently I read an article about a woman working for one of the fast food stores making $8.25 an hour for the past 10 years. She called the McDonald's employee hotline requesting assistance in putting more food on the table and in getting medical care. She was told to apply for SNAP and for Medicaid. No raise in salary was coming even after 10 years. Seems to me the Federal Government is giving welfare to companies that can certainly afford to pay their workers better. Check out youtube--the actual telephone conversation was recorded and uploaded to youtube by the advocacy group Low Pay is not OK.
My husband had the grafted bone removed from his mouth and he is more comfortable. The bone had been pinching his check. Of course now his mouth is a bit sore but in a few more days he should be feeling better. They took another biopsy to make sure there was no additional problem.
As for me--I was rushing to catch a bus and didn't want to stop to put on my backpack so I ended up tripping on the backpack's straps. My husband claimed I flew for six feet before landing first on my cheekbone and then on my forehead. My hands were useless since I was carrying bags. My husband asked whether I was all right. I gave the simple reply, "No." He than encouraged me to stand but I couldn't. Two strangers helped me to my feet and one took my backpack for me. I almost shouted at him to watch out for the straps,but I was in too much of a daze. they sat me down in a seat at the bus terminal and a few minutes later I was covered in vomit. It had fleetingly occured to me to find a restroom but I just couldn't move out of the seat. Husband had to get water and napkins for me to clean up. At this point I didn't think the bus driver would let me on. Instead we headed for Accident and Emergancy at the local hospital. Was there from noon until 8 P.M. Just as well since I needed a rest and they had immediately given me my own trolley. They x-rayed my neck since I was complaining of pain. Also gave me a CTscan of the brain since I had briefly blacked out. I'm proud to announce that my brain is normal, at least the physical condition of it is. I now have paper stitches on my forehead and a dreadful blackeye. The blackeye is getting better. Yesterday I couldn't open the eye but today I can and have a full view of the damage I done did to myself. Sigh. You can bet that I'll finally fix those loose straps. Matter of fact I think I'll do that now.
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