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auntieannie

auntieannie

Currently reading

Paddy's Lament, Ireland 1846-1847: Prelude to Hatred
Thomas Gallagher
Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One
Jenny K. Blake
When in French: Love in a Second Language
Lauren Collins
Beyond the Job Description: How Managers and Employees Can Navigate the True Demands of the Job
Jesse Sostrin
Vision and Art: The Biology of Seeing
David Hubel, Margaret S. Livingstone
Achieving Your Potential As A Photographer: A Creative Companion and Workbook
Harold Davis
Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age
Sherry Turkle
Picture Perfect Practice: A Self-Training Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Taking World-Class Photographs (Voices That Matter)
Roberto Valenzuela
Man's Search for Meaning
Viktor E. Frankl, Harold S. Kushner
Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection
Jacob Silverman

The Local News

The Local News - Miriam Gershow Wow -- what a great voice, memorable character in Lydia Pasternak. She's 15 at the start of the story, and her brother has gone missing. She's telling the story from 10 years later, but she mostly stays in the moment, with a few asides now and then about perspective that she gained on the moment in the future. Danny Pasternak is a pain--in-the-neck big brother, but he's all she's got and so she runs hot and cold about him. Of course his disappearance makes it all about Danny, all the time. Her parents are more absent for her than they were before, she's getting a lot of unwanted attention at school, the community is mobilized for searches. As time goes on and no leads are found, the family hires a private investigator to move the case forward. Lydia has quite a reaction to the PI, Denis who is much older, obviously a bit of crush, but also a bright mind to engage with, important since she's not spending much time with her geeky close friend David Nelson anymore. David attempted to kiss her and freaked her out. Lydia is spending time with Lola Pepper, a cheerleader and a bit of an empty headed girl, but sweet. Lydia finds Lola comforting, but she can never really buy into Lola's world.Basically the book captures the teenage world remarkably, as well as some of grief, and has some really beautiful sentences."I still lay awake for hours most nights. I fell asleep and woke with the same dull stomachache. There were days I easily mixed up the republics of Malawi and Burundi, or forgot the name of the South African president before Mandela, or grew convinced that Uruguay was spelled with one less u and an additional a. There were other days, though, when the empty room next to mine felt just that, empty, rather than lacking someone, or when the ashtrays got dumped out and the air would smell of something temporary and new like the bananas on the kitchen counter or the pulpy pages of the newspaper, or when an offhand moment on television -- a home video clip of a cat with its head inside a yogurt container, a newscaster flubbing the name of a nearby town (he twice call Farmington Heights Harmington Fights) -- caused more than one of us to chuckle aloud together. And those days were okay. Just fine, really.I still saw Chuck [her inept therapist:]. Our sessions had taken on the tinge of White House press briefings, his goal was to goad me with questions, my goal was to reveal as little as possible while giving the appearance I was saying something."Denis shrugged. Now that he'd made his decision, his face was impassive again, devoid of emotion. Kimberly {his asst}< though< smiled at me in the way I imagined a big sister would, in a way that said both "good for you" and "poor little thing.""But I was a terrible mourner. I tried to make myself cry, going into the half bath and pinching the tender skin on the inside of my arm until a clot of tears built up in my throat, but performance anxiety always stifled me, even behind a closed door, perched along and fully dressed on the edge of the toilet seat. One night, when the rabbi asked me to help set up rows of folding chairs in the living room for his interminable nightly service, I burst into sudden laughter. I recognized the look he gave me then, the prurient curiosity, part gaping, part pitying. It was the same way I looked at the special ed kids as they were wheeled through the halls with their palsied limbs and protective helmets. I was a remedial griever.When shiva finally ended and the house cleared of relatives and neighbors and classmates, the three of us got really sick -- vomiting, swollen glands, cheekbones sensitive to the touch. It was not a fleeting illness; it was entrenched and lingering. . . .We were deeply, undeniably miserable, though being sick was almost a relief for me, the way it finally made me properly wet-faced, broken down, funereal. ...I grew convinced that all we were doing here was waiting, still waiting. I could feel it on a cellular level, the wide-open freefall of possibility still before us. ...It was a really good picture. He looked gentle and almost girlish in his beauty. I sat for long daytime hours in a kitchen chair staring at it, as the soles of my feet and the small of my back ached. I tried to think of times he'd looked like this in real life, so placidly thoughtful. It was there that I would eventually cry, from the exhaustion of a body rigid with constant, thrumming pain and from the guilt that lay beneath my sick. How little I had missed him, and how wrongly (the first dread inklings already beginning to stir) I had envisioned the place we now inhabited. I'd thought we'd be fine here -- swift and gutting pain, yes, but with a wound, at least, to seal -- in the dark, fleeting, and many moments I had dared to hope for this.""I hate summer," Bayard [the strange French exchange student she befriends when she turns away from Lola:] said."Me too," I said, but this was a lie. I had always enjoyed summers, spending past ones teaching myself the tenets of Buddhism, learning conversational Italian, reading the Bronte sisters. It was impossible though to imagine the coming summer. It felt like trying to imagine the solar system beyond ours or what it was like to have Down syndrome. The idea that summer was coming, then fall, then winter, then spring, then summer again brought forth that same sick, illicit feeling."At her hs reunion, 10 yrs later, talking to a woman she barely remembers, after having drank too much: "I tried to explain to this woman -- didn't I have Bardazian with her? I asked, though I didn't wait for an answer -- that it was not that Danny had disappeared entirely from me. It was that he had both receded and embedded himself. He was the watery, oval vaccination mark on my left bicep, the chicken pox scar on my lower back, the penchant for cataloguing world leaders, the fear of wide-open roadways and of dark middle-of-the nights. All of these, the remnants of childhood that, rather than transforming themselves -- as I long imagined would happen through some nameless yet magical process -- into a divergent, distinct adulthood, simply became who I was. I didn't say it like that. I said it in blips and blaps. Jenine played with the snap on her pocketbook, fiddled some with her watch. I had the sense that I should probably stop, but also the sense that maybe I couldn't. . . .""Grief shared was grief diffused. It was nice now to hold hands and look plainly in the face of a girl who had loved him too."