Y'all, I tried to watch the 14th season premiere of ER tonight, and it was such a mistake. I took two years off, and now I only recognize a handful of characters (well, I do recognize John Stamos of course, I just don't know what he's doing on my once-favorite show). Where is Luka? Where is Kerry? Why is Morris still there?
So a recap is not forthcoming, as I was totally lost and gave up 40 minutes in. And I'd review The Office season premiere, which was awesome, but I don't know the show very well, as this was maybe my fifth episode. (Here's my three-word recap: Jim. Pam. Squee.)
But, here are a few books I haven't gotten around to reviewing.
Camilla, by Madeleine L'Engle.
Laurel Leaf | 1982 | 278 pp.
A flimsy novel too deeply situated in the inspirational YA genre to grasp me at this age. I bought it for $2 at a street paperback sale the day after L'Engle died, thinking it a fit way to memorialize a writer that had a huge effect on me as a child with books such as The Small Rain (a fantastic coming-of-age novel much more mature than her YA stuff), A House Like a Lotus, Troubling a Star, and of course A Wrinkle In Time. But there's a reason no one makes us read Camilla in middle school. It deals with the romance between a girl whose parents are just getting divorced and a boy who's always seen his parents as fallible. Camilla learns to accept her parents as human beings who make mistakes, there's some extremely un-subtle God talk typical of L'Engle, she falls in love, and boom, it's over. And... I will probably never think about it again.
Republic of Dreams. Greenwich Village: The American Bohemia, 1910-1960, by Ross Wetzsteon.
Simon & Schuster | 2002 | out of print
Ross Wetzsteon's book, purporting to be a history of Greenwich Village, consists largely of a series of mini-biographies of figures such as Edna St. Vincent Millay, William Carlos Williams, and Thomas Wolfe. These individuals move to the Village, usually with the hope of escaping and upending the conventions of society. Wetzsteon writes with deep affection and a satirical edge; we see that these flamboyant artist types are usually terribly lost, and that their attempts to live and love beyond the boundaries of, for example, monogamy and fiscal responsibility often end unhappily. Nevertheless, because I'm twenty years old, I could feel my soul being called out of my body by the grand dreams of the bohemians. Recommended to anyone who once wanted to be an artist.
Brighton Rock, by Graham Greene.
Penguin Classics | 2004 | 288 pp.
A story about evil, by the master of stories about the soul. I love Graham Greene to death; the sheer power of the end of The End of the Affair (snerk) changed the way I thought about spirituality; but I don't think I even finished the last few pages of this. It's about the covering up of a crime, basically, and the main character is terribly heartless and cruel. But it took a long time to get started and didn't seem to have a clear center. I feel sure that if I sat down and read this through with concentration a second time, I'd get more out of it, so I'd recommend it to other Greene fans who are willing to put in the effort.