Goats by Mark Jude Poirier and Little Children by Tom Perrotta
I must apologize, gentle readers. While I have kept you in the loop of all the theatre and music that adds joy to my sass, I have been remiss when it comes to books. I have this terrible tendency to procure books much faster than I can read them. It's a good thing I secretly harbor the soul of a technology-phobic old lady and don't trust online shopping. Otherwise, Amazon would be the death of me. But I've made some progress in my backlog, so let's get at least a little bit caught up.
I recently finished Goats, which was recommended to me by Father Sassy when I visited him in Gig Harbor. The family at the center of Goats would make Norman Rockwell roll over in his grave, but these days, all of us recognize it. Teenage Ellis is a freshman at a tony East Coast prep school while his barely functional mother, Wendy, and her stoner boarder known as Goat Man keep the home fires burning in Arizona. Add Ellis' dad, his moronic roommate, Wendy's leech of a boyfriend and yes, some actual goats, and you've got quite the cast of characters. And Poirier's writing is breezy without being pedestrian, making this a very pleasant read. I have since moved on to Little Children, which is lots of fun so far. I'd call this one a really good beach read, even though I am tearing through it in my urban apartment. The action is stuck in a very specific time, but I am enjoying the cultural references. And this tale of thirty-something parents is perfect for anyone, with kids or not, who has woken up and found themselves suddenly and bewilderingly in the midst of adulthood. In other words, it's perfect for me and pretty much all of my friends.
Books definitely make the world happier. And after spending my college years immersed in the greatest hits of the canon, I have no problem reading books that are a little bit fluffy. Of course, the Ivy League literature major in me does have her limits. You will never catch me perusing a copy of The Da Vinci Code. I don't care how many copies it has sold. And after being burned in the late '90's by a couple particularly terrible selections, I now walk right by any contemporary novel bearing Oprah's Book Club seal (she got crafty a few years ago when she began choosing classics). I love that Oprah is getting so many people to read, but in my opinion, Jonathan Franzen was wise to reject membership... or at least that seal.
In other news, several of my co-workers are getting sick, and that fact has me concerned both for their health and, honestly, my own. Viruses rip through my workplace like tornadoes, so once a few of us get sick, we are all susceptible. And I have no time for disease. On Wednesday night Ann Marie and I are going to not one, but two live music shows. And we have corralled Richard, Adam and possibly my co-worker Tom, providing he's not one of the infirm, to come with us. Then Terry and I are reviving our recently dormant margarita Thursday habit. This weekend is Tom, Chris and Nick's annual Memorial Day barbecue. And next week my friend Gry, whom I have not seen or talked to in almost two years, is in town, and I'm taking a small jaunt down to Southern California to meet Nephew Sassy in person. He has no immune system yet, so I can't bring along any germs.
To that end, I am indulging in lots of Airborne and zinc lozenges tonight while I watch the Giants play the Cardinals. My baseball boyfriends Mike Matheny and Omar Vizquel are so far leading the team toward victory, but as we all know, anything can happen.