I’m still reading a lot of books (though not keeping up with William’s pace), with devoted thanks to the Oaxaca Lending Library. Two that I liked and that are contributing to my picture of Mexico are Stones for Ibarra and Consider This, Senora, both by Harriet Doerr, fiction, but based on her long time in Mexico. I loved both, maybe especially the first, a series of profiles of interesting characters encountered in her remote village, but fit within a nice, and ultimately sad, story arc. I have just finished The Final Solution by Michael Chabon, in time for a book discussion with a Jewish theme, for some reason. It has engaging characters, a nice double plot, long sentences full of dependent clauses, but brevity, and thus was fun to read, because Chabon’s longer works have worn me out in the past.
I usually look up biographies of authors and sometimes contemporary reviews of books read, and both of these authors hold some interest. Doerr started at Smith College, but left, only finishing college 50 years later. Could I do that? Chabon, according to Wikipedia, works from 10 pm to 3 in the morning. Could I do that?*
I’m happy to see over there on the other side of the bed a big fat volume of Oliver Sacks. And also in the non-fiction category, we have The Second Brain, about the alternative nervous system, with more nerve endings/transmitters than the brain-operated central nervous system, governing the gut. I saw a show (60 Minutes?) about this idea a while back and William saw this on the shelves. This book presents the case for the existence of the enteric nervous system as if it’s a new idea, but it made me think that the curanderas in some of the herbal healing books I’ve looked at here have known all about it for centuries. If there are any gastroenterologists or neurologists out there, I’d like to know how you like this concept. You know from previous posts the importance – especially for travelers – of a happy and healthy gut.
Book group people: Purple Hibiscus appears as “in” in the OLL catalog, but sadly is not on the shelves, though I’ve checked repeatedly, like an OCD case. I’ll catch the next one.
*Coincidentally another book on hand in the house is The Insomnia Book.