Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Monday 27 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Vincent de Paul

Seven books that fell behind my bed

Simcha Fisher - published on 12/12/14

Seven quick takes! I hope you can see the pictures – WordPress is being a bag of butts, and won’t let me upload in the normal way, so I just pasted them in. Here are seven books I either just finished or am in the middle of, perhapsh indefinitely. “Perhapsh” was a typo, but I kind of like it.


Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood by Alexandra Fuller.

I have never read a book like this before. It’s so harrowing and so appealing. A memoir of growing up poor, white, and crazy in Africa in the 70′s and 80′s. It’s like Dostoevsky meets Florence King. I haven’t finished this one yet – had to take a break.


The Most of P.G. Wodehouse

Ah, I forgot I had this book! I was reading stories to the older kids occasionally, and it warmed my heart so much to hear them shouting, “He’s been throwing cats all the evening!” So delightful, so nice, so insane. Must get more P.G. Wodehouse into my life. This particular collection is nearly 700 pages long.


Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

Meh. I wanted to like this book, but I just wasn’t buying it. She would have these wonderful, lyrical passages full of beauty and anguish, and then all of a sudden we’re back to, “Representative Black Man felt this way about his father, and, so you see, that is why he did those things to women. When will white folk see?” I don’t mind beingshown that, but being told that is just odious. I also don’t think she really pulled off the central conceit of the book, the stuff with the children’s rhyme. It was supposed to unify everything, but it felt tacked on. Maybe I’m missing something.


The African Witch by Joyce Cary

I don’t know if I can count this one, since I honestly don’t quite understand the plot. More white people behaving badly in Africa. I loved The Horse’s Mouth (about the artist) so much, maybe I should just go back and read that one again. Charley Is My Darling (about evacuees from London during the war) also broke my heart but landed much more tenderly than I was expecting.


Bob and Ray: Write If You Get Work

Transcripts of their nutty little radio skits from the 40′s and 50′s. Would this be funny to someone who hasn’t heard the audio? I have no idea. Here’s an excerpt of an interview with a P.R. rep from the Oatmeal Institute near Thanksgiving:

Bob: Well, this is an aspic mold, isn’t it, that you brought, and you’re gonna put that on the center of the table and try to  make people think it’s a turkey, or what? Gibbes: No, no, you can’t fool — no, no, no, that’s not the idea at all. No, Bob, you’re pulling my leg. Bob: You mean you bring it out and say, ‘Look at the mold in the shape of a turkey, this is oatmeal’? Gibges: No, you say, ‘I think I’ll slice the oatmeal,’ and that’s it. It’s just that it’s in the shape, you can have it in the shape of anybody. I mean, I just pick a turkey because you have that at Thanksgiving a lot. Bob: What success have you had with orienting the public, or changing the public’s conception of Thanksgiving dinner? Gibbes: I haven’t changed the public’s conception of oatmeal one iota.  


Bossypants by Tina Fey

I bought this at some airport and immediately become the worst seatmate ever. I was laughing so hard I had to put it down before I had to call the flight attendant for terbutaline. It’s not exactly a biography, and some parts were clearly just patched together to get the word count perking along, and she’s, you know, she’s not Mother Teresa. But oh my gosh, funny funny funny.


Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett

Technically I’m not reading this yet, because I haven’t gotten past the first few pages. But I read the first sentence and shouted, “WHAT?!?!” and read it three more times. Here is the first sentence:

I first heard Personville called Poisonville by a red-haired mucker named Hickey Dewey in the Big Ship in Butte.

I wanted to kiss Hammett for going to the trouble. Talk about earning your readership.

So, what are you reading?  Thanks to Kelly of This Ain’t the Lyceum for hosting the link-up!

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
J-P Mauro
Chicago architect models Vatican City from 67,000 LEGO bricks
The Sinai Peninsula and the Dead Sea Rift
J-P Mauro
Experts now believe Sodom was destroyed by a meteor
Philip Kosloski
Why J.R.R. Tolkien loved to attend daily Mass
Bret Thoman, OFS
Exclusive photos: Meet Padre Pio and the place he lived
Giovanna Binci
He’s autistic, she has Down syndrome, and they’re wonderfully hap...
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady saved Padre Pio from a violent demonic attack
Cerith Gardiner
9 Padre Pio quotes for when you’re feeling scared or uncertain
See More