Sunday, September 14, 2008

Thirty years ago and today

Thirty years ago I lived in Forest Hills, which I didn't know back then was just a tiny slice of Queens, New York, and was very very young and thought to myself, maybe one day I'll go to college. At the time, the only college I knew the name of was Queens College, so I thought, one day I will go to Queens College.

Now it's thirty years later, and every time I walk (run) up the stairs of the E/F station at 71st/Continental to catch the Q64 to Queens College in Flushing to be there in time for my grad classes, I catch sight of the old stomping (and swinging) ground, good old Parker Towers, where I read and cried over Beth in Little Women and created Planet Shazu with friend Judy, and played Julie of the wolves and missed school buses and watched the health nut run around the center smiley-faced fountain and collected lady bugs with my Japanese friends, and walked alone across big bad Yellowstone boulevard to buy my mom some diapers at the Waldbaums which no longer exists. And where in the distant past I dreamed my dreams about college.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Last Hurrah

The fall Oh-Eight semester has begun, and with it, I must turn down the gushing waterfall of books-just-for-fun I've been indulging in over the summer... Not that I won't read for fun, but it will slow to a trickle.

Here are some of the books I've read and truly enjoyed, (or felt conflicted about):-

Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
(not yet released in the U.S., but I was glad to find it in a bookstore in India) Vast saga... I was pulled into the story as if by the inexorable waves of a storm, although at times wished that Mr. Ghosh would have turned down the wall-to-wall vernacular in favor of clean, easy to understand plain English. Which wouldn't have been as colorful, but a whole lot more apprehensible.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
Hands down, this is my favorite book that I read in 2008, so far. No wonder it won a Pulitzer in 2000. About true love between three wonderful (and vastly different) human beings as well as life in World War II era New York. I'm glad read this after moving to NYC.

Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson
Being an avid Anne fan, I couldn't tear my eyes away from the pages of the prequel, and I must admit that it's fairly well-written, and even well done in its meticulous research of the condition of poor rural Canadian women of that era, and yet, the overall effect? Disturbing. And yet fascinating. It's like pinning down a beautiful butterfly to better understand it.
I'd advise true Anne fans to Stay Away. Anne needs no explanation.