You just never know what you’re getting in a book, which is part of the pleasure of selecting a new one to read. I know not to judge a book by its cover; beyond that, anything is a guess.
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls came to my attention on a recommended reading list mainly because it was by a new author who seemed to be enjoying its immediate success. I like to discover a writer’s first book then follow their writing careers. This seemed like it would be a quick read and pleasant diversion from what I’ve been reading this summer. Adding to the intrigue, I wondered what a male author could possibly know about a girls’ riding school.
The author, Anton DiSclafani, “obviously” a male, seemed an unlikely person to know anything about a riding camp for girls. Well, Anton DiSclafani grew up in northern Florida, where “she” rode horses, competing nationally. “She” graduated from Emory University, and received “her” MFA from Washington University. “She” currently lives in Saint Louis, where “she” teaches creative writing at Washington University. I was mistaken about the author’s gender identity.
The book was named a most anticipated book for Summer 2013 by The Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly and USA Today and NPR. It was a People summer reads pick and was called “a lush, sexy, evocative debut novel of family secrets and girls’-school rituals, set in the 1930s South”. Not exactly the type of book I usually read.
It brought to mind my early exposure to Evelyn Waugh. I was mistaken there too. I’ve known men named Shirley. Why not Evelyn?
While I was picking up the Riding Camp book, which I had on hold, they told me my two other “hold” books were also making upward moves on the list. I’ve moved to 4th place with the David Sedaris book, “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls”. That man just cracks me up so I’m looking forward to reading his latest book.
After getting on the “list” the day after we discovered who the real author was, I’ve made it to third place in line for “Cookoo’s Calling”, a JK Rawling book that is already in a bidding war for movie rights. The book was released as Robert Galbraith as the author, but it was too good and too complicated to be someone’s first attempt at writing. Some clever fellow did a word arrangement analogy and determined JK Rawling was the author, a fact she reluctantly but quickly admitted was true. It’s all very confusing.
A book I’d highly recommend to any young couple anticipating family is Far from the Tree by Andrew Solomon. “Far From the Tree,” a generous, humane and — in complex and unexpected ways — compassionate book about what it means to be a parent. It’s a must read. It came too late for me, but not for young parents.
A little along the same line as being confused about authors names etc. is my old friend, THE LATE Swedish author and journalist Stieg Larsson. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first book of the Millennium series trilogy, which, when published posthumously in 2005, became a best-seller in Europe and the United States. Since they were published, I’ve read each book of the trilogy 3-4 times and seen the movies equally as many times. The puzzling thing is, it was just announced Larsson has a new book on the market. I want to be first in line to read it….whoever wrote it.
And now, I’m off to read…
Tonight we are going to have some very good entertainment for a change provided by Carolyn Hofer Zimmerman and Leslie Mangrum. Carolyn is an accomplished pianist whom many of you may also know as Dr. Hofer, the Veterans Administration medical internist. She was Brit’s VA doctor. Professor Mangrum is currently Assistant Professor of Music at Kansas Wesleyan University where she maintains a full teaching studio, directs the fall opera, and teaches many classes for voice majors including diction, pedagogy, vocal literature, and acting for singers.
Leslie Mangrum has performed throughout the United Stated in opera, concert, and recital. She has performed at Wichita Grand Opera, Music Academy of the West, Opera in the Ozarks, Music Académie de Villecroze, the Florida State Opera, as well as with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and Salina Symphony. She has performed roles ranging from Handel to Strauss.
Professor Mangrum is equally at home with concert work. She was recently a soloist with the Salina Symphony and has also appeared with the Salina Chorale as the Soprano soloist.
I’m going to be in my element tonight and very much looking forward to their performance.
Thanks for tuning in…