A Bit of Book Talk

1. Just finished reading Major Pettigrew's Last Stand - by Helen Simonson. Really enjoyed it and felt a pang when I closed the book for the last time. Wonderful interactions between carefully drawn characters who live across class lines in a small UK village. Simonson's subtle observations and descriptions bring the people, the environment even the terrain to life. Beautifully nuanced language. A FB storyteller friend recommended this book and it was a gift.

2. This month is the 40th anniversary of the publication of Alvin Toffler's Future Shock. I remember reading it in the 1970s and thinking "he must be kidding." He prophetically warned that change was speeding up and that the pace would become dizzying -- in some cases overwhelming. He predicted information over-load.

In an NPR spot about Future Shock the commenter talked about this over-load and how some people swear off the Internet to create a healthy distance from their compulsion "to know."
He added that in his opinion "the value of the book was that it taught people that the best way to deal with the future was to think about it - - don't be taken by surprise."

3. Jim and I stopped at Politics and Prose (DC) - our favorite bookstore - to browse the tables and shelves of temptations. Yes, a new Donna Leon mystery, as always, it is set in Venice. I satisfied myself with a picture - so I would not forget it - - at the library.

We have to walk through the Coffee Shop to get to the parking lot. As I walked past a table where two middle-aged women were chatting over coffee -
" I said I would never sleep with that man - but when it came up --- didn't say no."

Reminded me of film-maker John Waters talking about the value of "accidental dialogue."

Jim was already out the door or I would have taken the near-by seat to accidentally over-hear how this story worked out.

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