A few quotations from Rainbow in the Cloud by Maya Angelou that I especially liked:
p33 “Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try to understand each other, we may even become friends.”
p43 “When people speak with brutal honesty, what is most remembered is the brutality, not the honesty.”
p56 “In the silence we listen to ourselves. Then we ask questions of ourselves. We describe ourselves to ourselves, and in the quietude we may even hear the voice of God.”
p97 “When I sense myself filling with rage at the absence of a beloved, I try as soon as possible to remember that my concerns and questions, my efforts and answers should be focused on what I did or can learn from my departed love. What legacy was left which can help me in the art of living good life?”
I found this on a sale table at Garden Ridge. I couldn’t resist the huge Big Plans on the cover, along with great art by Lane Smith. I like the idea of a kid having big plans, ready to assert himself into the world. It’s exactly the message I want to be sharing with my kids. We never learn what the big plans are, which I found somewhat disappointing, but perhaps that’s the charm of the story – Simply knowing you want to do something big, even if you aren’t quite sure what it is yet.
Fairy Tales is a collection of Traditional Stories Retold for Gay Men. This book ended up being rather charming. It was nice to re-read these tales, but from a sometimes more modern, but always less gender stereotypical fashion. Out of the 17 different stories, only one or two were clunkers. The rest were cute little reads that made many of the lessons found in each tale more liberal and gay-friendly and suited more to the modern world. I wasn’t expecting much from this book, but was pleasantly surprised to find it great bedtime reading that left me feeling validated and happy at the end of the day.
Conversations and Cosmopolitans is a touching book between mother and son. Robert Rave writes a chapter of various aspects of his life – coming out, friends, trips, and so forth, and his mother, Jane Rave, gives her take on the events afterwards in the Mama Says section. It’s great seeing two perspectives on various events. It makes for a revealing look at how two people view the experiences they share. This book makes for a great example of how a mother and son can open up and really get close to one another, no matter the trials and tribulations they go through.
A “clever” novel that basically consists of many short stories, where each one morphs into the other by following a different character from story to story. The problem with this is that it is often hard to keep track of the characters and the various paths they take. That seems to be part of Jennifer Egan’s point, however. The gaps and missing pieces in a person’s life can be significant, rather than focusing on fixed points and times.
Egan creates several interesting characters, but they don’t get to be developed enough, and left me wanting to know more. The gaps and jumps were frustrating. But her tale is still interesting in that she shows a believable glimpse of what the world might be in a decade or two, and the perils that might arise due to technology and our increasing connectedness, or disconnectedness, depending on how you look at it.
This is a good introductory book to cycling for those looking to get into race shape. The information is generally quite basic and can be repetitive, but Chris Carmichael does a good job of giving a large overview of cycling. Lance Armstrong’s input seems limited to small sidebars, but they are interesting nonetheless.
The best part of this book are the training plans, of course. Carmichael delivers a wide variety of workouts that will help riders with speed, endurance, climbing and sprinting. There are good tips about how to not overtrain, yet still cycle on an almost daily basis.
Overall, while this book is already dated, the training plans are still great and useful. This gives a nice overview of cycling for the rider looking to take the next step from beginning riding
Christopher Buckley writes another nice read about politics and the judiciary in his satiric fashion. Following the trial of First Lady Elizabeth Tyler MacMann and witty lawyer (and former fiance) Boyce Baylor, who is charged to lead her defense, provides a great story. Clever satire drives the entire book and it’s hard to find a stopping point as the court case of the Millennium twists and turns. Buckley’s characters are varied and interesting, working with and against one another in hilarious fashion. At the end of it all, we are shown how truth doesn’t matter in our justice system, just perception. Buckley hits the nail on the head with that message, and conveys it with full mocking scorn and contempt, wrapped up in his smart humor.