I was always more of a Beatles gal but would pick this to lead my Rolling Stones list.
Hat Tip: Gojira’s suggestion to watch “Twenty Feet from Stardom”
He’d only ever seen a gun once, a smaller one on the hip of that old deputy, a gun he’d always figured was more for show. He stuffed a fistful of deadly rounds in his pocket, thinking how each one could end an individual life, and understanding why such things were forbidden. Killing a man should be harder than waving a length of pipe in their direction. It should take long enough for one’s conscience to get in the way.
Not as mind-blowing as The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay but then, what is? Gorgeous turns of phrases, as always. I credit Mel Brooks for for most of my familiarity with all the Yiddish strewn about.
She reaches down into her bulging tote bag and pulls out a small plastic box with a hinged lid. It contains a round pill box with a threaded lid from which she tips out a vitamin pill, a fish-oil pill, and the enzyme tablet that lets her stomach digest milk. Inside the hinged plastic box she also carries packets of salt, pepper, horseradish, and hand-wipes, a doll size bottle of Tabasco sauce, chlorine pills for treating drinking water, Pepto-Bismol chews, and God knows what else. If you go to a concert, Bina has opera glasses. If you need to sit on the grass, she whips out a towel. Ant traps, a corkscrew, candles and matches, a dog muzzle, a penknife, a tiny aerosol can of freon, a magnifying glass – Landsman has seen everything come out of that overstuffed cowhide at one time or another.
You have to look to Jews like Bina Gelbfish, Landsman thinks, to explain the wide range and persistence of the race. Jews who carry their homes in an old cowhide bag, on the back of a camel, in the bubble of air at the center of their brains. Jews who land on their feet, hit the ground running, ride out the vicissitudes, and make the best of what falls to hand, from Egypt to Babylon, from Minsk Gubernya to the District of Sitka. Methodical, organized, persistent, resourceful, prepared. Berko is right: Bina would flourish in any precinct house in the world. A mere redrawing of borders, a change in governments, those things can never faze a Jewess with a good supply of hand wipes in her bag.
Nothing better for beach or pool-side reading than a collection of short stories. The sun bakes out any cells that would attempt to read anything longer than a magazine article or short. TP picked up this book from the library during our vacation and I snatched it away from him as I hurled Morrisey’s “autobiography” at his head.
Aside from the book itself, I expressed great glee in finding the previous lender’s receipt hidden inside the book. Hope she enjoyed:
I think we could have been book buddies. But back to blurb business.
Kamara watched Josh slot in a Rugrats DVD and lie down on the couch, a slight child with olive skin and tangled curls. “Half-caste” was what they had called children like him back in Nigeria, and the word had meant an automatic cool, light-skinned good looks, trips abroad to visit white grandparents. Kamara had always resented the glamour of half-castes. But in American, “half-caste” was a bad word.