Saturday, August 28, 2010

H2C versus BOC

Hood to Coast versus Butt on Couch?   

First, a big shout-out to all my buddies who are running the annual Hood to Coast Relay! You know who you are and you know that Old Gal will never join you.

I like sleeping in my bed. At night and every night. Even as a Young Gal it's doubtful I would have willingly snuggled into the corner of a van for 30 winks in the name of teamwork.  These days, thanks to the joys of menopause (night sweats in particular), I crave any and all the sleep I can get.  Still, I salute my running friends who do this relay each and every year, giving it their all.

My less than perky behind will be on the couch.  And, as usual, there will be books nearby.  With that in mind, here is a list of my favorites this month.

Best in Show:  This has to go to Gail Caldwell's lovely memoir, "Let's Take the Long Way Home." Yes, it's about the death of her dear friend, the writer Carolyn Knapp, but it's not all a downer.  The writing along, elegiac and precise, is worth the price of admission.  Warning: if you're a dog lover, double your Kleenex ration.

Best Small Book:  Only have a limited amount of time as fall approaches? Pick up "The Typist" by Michael Knight.  At only 185 pages, it's what's known in some circles as a "quiet" book.  Lovely and simple, it's the story of one man's seemingly placid army service in Japan during the last days of World War II.  This is the first novel of Knight's that I have read but it won't be the last.

Best Writing:  Forgive me, Colm Toibin.  It took me over a year to read your latest amazing novel, "Brooklyn." Yes, I was saving it for who knows what special occasion having savored "The Master" several years ago.  Colm, your ability to describe an era and place - in this case mid-20th century Ireland and Brooklyn, NY - is breath-taking.  Every time I looked up from the pages I felt a moment of disorientation.  And finishing it was like leaving a beloved village.

Best Easy Reading:  If you're in the mood for some escape of the Deep South variety, turn to Beth Hoffman's "Saving CeeCee Honeycutt."  I have to thank my good friend, Ed, for nudging me into reading what I thought would be a light and frothy novel.  True, the story of 12-year-old CeeCee and her rescue by several Southern characters is entertaining and easy on the brain but Hoffman, who has a beautiful website, spins a delightful yarn. 

It's just right for a lazy day off from running, spent reading in the sun.

And if you're a reader who craves thoughtful musings on running, reading and writing on a regular basis please be sure to check out my new friend Shelly's amazing blog.  Like me, be sure to sign up for all of her posts!


  1. Thanks for the plug. I wrote an epistolary post to a young runner/blogger. We broke up. I'm dating you now...

    Kent Haruf and Charles Frazier--hauntingly spare prose. And Harper Lee? Well--I named my dog Scout and if I had a cat it'd be Boo.

    Shelly (

  2. Shelly - So we're an item, babe - it's official. And I had to laugh about your dog's name. See post above yours? That's my daughter, Carol, who has always wanted to name a dog Scout. "TKAM" is her favorite novel.

    Some day I'll tell you my Charles Frazier story. It's priceless. Right now I have succumbed to the buzz and started Franzen's book. Best, Ellison