Week 3– wowee– 2 books down the hatch

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This week I finished reading both Denis Johnson’s book of poetry (which I had started Week 1) as well as Notorious RBG, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed. I think as we iterate, I am getting better at my selections. I find myself saying, well maybe yes– I “should” read that, but I don’t feel like it so I’m not going to! The sea of literature is never ending, so I am just going to wade around.

Anywho, the books !

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Denis Johnson died earlier this year, but his writing lives on. Reading The Throne of the Nations Millennium General Assembly literally gave me pause. I had to stop reading on several occasions to catch my breath. Denis Johnson’s writing really speaks to hardship and love and pain– it is very powerful.

Here are a couple lines/stanzas I picked up along the way that I hope make my point:

he will return, wetness/ forever staining through his pants/to watch his seals as they rise

what’s going on; the stars/ evade the oceans, thank goodness,

my wife’s voice yelling from / the window holds the distant echoes/ of a thousland mother in law, all the women,/ all the weight, increasing, of this planet.

I deeply enjoyed this collection and cannot encourage you enough to read it!

Overall rating: 5/5

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When I got this book from Kate, Notorious RBG, I was pretty excited. We talked about how giving book recommendations can sometimes be challenging because you don’t want to give something too long or too meaningless, or too heavy– the Goldilocks conundrum! This was just right.

I sort of guessed the feel of the book– written by a couple of RBG fans, one of whom made the Tumblr where the term RBG was coined. I enjoyed the reference to Notorious BIG, though I didn’t think it really added much value to the book– it was more superficial and I had wished they integrated his legacy more into the book. Though I realize this is about RBG, it feels a little ripped off to have him mentioned briefly in the intro as to how you arrived at naming– maybe I’m too sensitive, but I think Notorious BIG is an extremely relevant and important person from our culture and recent history.

My favorite part of the book was not particularly heady. I love Marty! I love the story of their relationship, marriage and life together. I love his support of her and how he backed her all the way– without ever having a doubt. I found myself crying when Marty died– and at the end of the book when RBG says no one tells her to sleep anymore, so she forgets to. (I’m getting misty at this moment). This piece of the puzzle just spoke volumes to me.

I loved the pictures of her, and the idiosyncrasies she has at work and in her life. I enjoyed getting to know RBG as a person and wasn’t worrying about the politics too, too much.

I think this approach came directly from the way the content is presented– the book is large and has a lot of photos and other added flare. I think since Daniela listened as an audiobook, it was different! I had no expectation they would really get political here, or discuss her decisions, since they are a fan club. I sort of took it for what it was and just enjoyed the ride.

Overall, I’d rate this 3.5/5 — it was a good book and if you want to meet RBG, this is a very palatable way.

I want to say that I will be catching up on posts in a few weeks, as I am taking off for Europe tomorrow and am not bringing any technology (except my camera!). So, see ya after August 4th with lots of books read (I hope!).

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