The Fabulous Sylvester: The Legend, The Music, The Seventies in San Francisco, by Joshua Gamson
The Unofficial Guide to Buying a Home, by Alan Perlis and Beth Bradley
The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro - I have only seen portions of the movie on cable. The book is just as agonizing in terms of the main character having a stick so far up his ass you are squirming in pain.
Bel Canto, Ann Patchett - One of the best books I have ever read. Beautiful. I need to buy a copy so I can read it whenever I want.
Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro - I liked this one, too. Kind of creepy and unsettling. If you liked A Handmaid's Tale, try this one.
Next at bat (not necessarily in this order):
The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clark
Blonde, Joyce Carol Oates
Book reports later, along with "What I Did on My Summer Vacation" essay.
Do you remember that toy, the Inchworm? It was a ride-on toy, bright green, with a huge garish smile and a hat? I had one when I was a kid, and when you would ride on it, you would go forward, but also up and down. Oh my God, I just found a picture:
(I love the Internet.) It was the coolest thing, so I have a bit of an affection for the inchworm.
Not so for Viva.
Lately, Viva has become entranced by picking flowers. We usually pick them up off the ground as we walk to school, so she can give one to her teacher, who she adores. The other day, when we were leaving school, I had parked next to a bush with yellow flowers. Viva, of course, wanted one. I plucked it off and handed it to her, we got into the car and were driving along when suddenly she started screaming in terror. Of course, I was on Beverly Blvd. trying to make a left turn, so I couldn't immediately pull over, but she was screaming about something on her hand. I could tell she wasn't hurt; she was just holding her hand out in front of her and screaming her head off.
Common sense would tell you to shake your hand and the bug would fall off. Not so, Viva.
I made the turn, pulled over, and ran around to the other side of the car, yanked open the door, and grabbed a bright-orange inchworm off her hand. Poor inchworm, it was just hanging out and squiggling around, and then the next thing you know, it was unceremoniously deposited into the gutter (in the admittedly tony neighborhood of Hancock Park, so not a total loss for the inchworm).
Viva was a mess, her face covered in tears and snot. We hugged. "I want FWIES," she said.
Trauma, then junk food. Makes sense to me. McDonald's drive-thru, a buck-oh-eight. I know, my life is just impossibly glamorous.