Monday, July 14, 2008

TWO REVIEWS FOR THE PRICE OF ONEWithout a computer at home, I


Without a computer at home, I have had quite a bit of time to read. Consequently, I have read two books in the last three days. They were both riveting and difficult to put down. Each introduced me to a different world.

The first was "Free Food for Millionaires," by Min Jin Lee, a young Korean-American writer. This was her first novel, and it has been highly acclaimed. The world it opens up is that of the Korean-American community in New York City, as seen through the eyes of the heroine, Casey. She has been raised a Christian but by adulthood is a closet one, if at all. She lives quite a free lifestyle as she becomes involved with several boyfriends and the high-flying world of investment banking. She is an interesting and strong character -- she loves fashion and especially making hats with her personal flair, although there isn't a strong demand for them. It is a book about love but also about growing up, maturing and forgiveness. Unfortunately, it was a bit on the sensual side for me, but other than that, I enjoyed it a lot.

The second was "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen. It paints a vivid picture of the world of the traveling circus in the Depression Era. It is told from the viewpoint of Jacob Jankowski, both as an elderly man and in his reveries about his youth and the circus years. This one I read today -- I couldn't put it down. Again, there were a few details that were difficult for me to read but they were apparently accurate to the era, according to the research done by the author. I love elephants, so this was a great book for me.

Now I am out of books except for a self-help one, but that might be a good change. ;-)


There is news on my friend, Les, in Australia. He is able to sit up and eat now, although his talking is still garbled. He has a sore, possibly from lying on the floor (they think he might have been there for two days). I don't know what his future has in store. My grandfather had a bad stroke and he fully recovered except for numbness in the tips of his fingers, which frustrated him badly, but my grandmother was there to button his shirts and so forth.


I am doing fairly well. I scared a friend by telling her that I was rinsing out my foot-soaking pan with Clorox water, as she felt that could be harmful to my toe. I told her that I rinsed out well afterwards but she alarmed me enough that I quit using it and am using a bit of alcohol instead. Then the looks of my toe also scared me yesterday so I called the after-hours Urgent Care advice nurse -- I thought it could be infected -- and she called my doctor, who was fortunately on call. He told her that these things almost never got infected so I was most likely fine, and she relayed the message to me. After asking me a few questions and her liking my answers about what was happening, it sounded like things were as they should be and I hung up feeling very relieved and happy. Just tonight, though, another friend who I had told about the Clorox water rinse e-mailed me an article about how even slight contact with broken skin by water containing bleach could be damaging, which has me a bit nervous. I don't think that I have done anything that could permanently harm my foot but I am sure glad I quit using even the well-diluted Clorox rinse on the soaking pan!


It continues to be too warm for me here. I keep waiting for the cool-down they say is coming, but so far it hasn't arrived. I will be glad if and when it does! But it is summer, after all, and so things will generally get worse before they get better. I am a spring and fall person!

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