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23 January 2017


A wealth of reading suggestions, as always, CR. Thank you.

I am plodding through "Middlemarch" and wondering why, while eagerly eyeing my next read: "On the Banks of Plum Creek."


Wow, I have to say I am really impressed with the huge amount of information you are able to come up with each and every week! And your commentary is just too wonderful for words -- you always bring a smile to my face and make me feel better no matter what. Thank you!!

When I saw that headline about "personalization", I was irresistibly reminded of those ads for "Real Storybooks Featuring Your Child's Name" (remember those? Are they still around?" After looking over the article, I now know that the Hot New Thing is "Real Websites Featuring Your Customer's Name."

On a related note, that display idea is *definitely* creepy. But then again, I don't feel the need to track my digestive processes on social media, so I'm just an old-fashioned crank.

I simply adore the book 84 CHARING CROSS ROAD, but I've never seen the movie. Should I?

I also love GOOD OMENS (have an autographed copy, in fact) and have zero interest in seeing a television adaption of it. What is wrong with the world, that we are not content to simply let good books be books?

(asked the old-fashioned crank)

You're very welcome! It is my pleasure, believe me.
Ugh, Middlemarch. I should really read that one of these days but I am never in the mood. How are you liking it?
I loved On the Banks of Plum Creek (and These Happy Golden Years, I'm a sap, I'll admit it) but next up for us is Farmer Boy and I am pumped for that!

You are a sweetheart. And thanks for enjoying the crankypants commentary, Mr. CR gets tired of that sort of thing. :) Hope you have nothing but smiles this week.

Ugh, personalization. The big buzz word these days, even though as increasingly everyone has ALL our personal information everything gets less personal. How does that even work?

(Answers the old-fashioned crank.)

The movie of 84, Charing Cross Road. Well, I almost think you have to see it. For one thing, it's more interesting than you'd think (I remember thinking, how on earth do you WATCH letters?), and it's fun to see Anthony Hopkins before he did Silence of the Lambs and it became impossible (for me, at least) to look at him and NOT think Hannibal Lecter. And who doesn't love Anne Bancroft? Of course I loved the book a million times more but I think my answer is, yes, consider seeing the movie too.

In re: books and adaptations, I would guess that all authors, even Neil Gaiman, have to make money where and how it comes, and from all accounts, movie adaptation money is one of the few places to make actual coin (it certainly helped Shirley Jackson, too).

You come on over here and ask your crank questions anytime!

I don't know what I'm going to tell my nephew re: the whole Indian / Native American thing. All the Indians I've met in Louisiana have preferred "Indian," but I know lots of people prefer Native American. It seems like an issue that's still subject to a lot of in-group debate, so I'm keeping my ears open as much as I can to make sure I keep learning and listening.

Also I super want to read that book on Rumi!

Oh, Jenny,
I really didn't know anyone still preferred "Indian." A good reminder: as much nuance as you can pack in, still not enough nuance.

I will re-work our discussion to perhaps touch on the importance of not hanging too much importance on anyone's cultural labels, particularly as they change all the damn time, and instead to focus on individuals, and to try and get to know them well enough to perhaps ask them what they prefer and go with that. Kind of like how little children are always calling me Mrs. My Husband and I'm always saying, "Oh no, dear, it's Sarah."

I super want to read some poetry by Rumi? Suggestions for where I should start?

Update on Molly Wizenberg, she left her husband for a woman but still is helping run the two restaurants they own. Can't wait to read that memoir! So happy you are introducing the fellas to Little House, they were my FAVES. Now a trip to DeSmet South Dakota for the Laura Ingalls Wilder pageant play must be organized for summer.

Well, Katharine,
I'll be. Who knew?! That was kept rather quieter than Glennon Doyle Melton, wasn't it? I just looked up the blog post:

Thank you for letting me know. Interesting. Although, preemptively, I don't think I have any interest in that memoir either. Her writing just didn't do much for me. It's actually a little like Glennon's, it seems to me, only with food. Are you a fan?

I would TOTALLY love to go to a LIW pageant play, although DeSmet seems a way to go for that...how about Pepin, WI? I'd totally be in for that!

Hi CR & Jenny,

Here you go, from a friend of mine who is familiar with Rumi:

"[Here are] a few good sources for Rumi:
1. The Masnavi Tr. Jawid Mojaddedi Vol. I, II, and III Oxford University Press.
ISBN-13: 978-0199552313 ISBN-13: 978-0199549917 ISBN-13: 978-0199652037
2. Tales from Masnavi (Basic) ISBN 9781597841245
3. Rumi: Biography and Message ISBN-13: 978-1597841160

And a very good article in the New Yorker worth reading.
The article is a very good antidote for the current madness that wants to demonize Islam as a cancer."

PS I don't know if there's a new bio out on Hafiz (also written as Hafez), but he's contemporary with Rumi and shares many of the same personal and poetic characteristics; you might want to search him out as well if you enjoy Rumi.

Lynne, my dear,
You have done us a solid. Thanks so much for the suggestions--I really didn't even know where to start with Rumi--and I'll check out the article too. Thanks also for the pointer to Hafiz!

Hey CR

Not a fan of Glennon, reminded me too much of Eat, Pray, Love.Ugh. I follow Molly on Instagram so that's how I found out. I did not know about the Pepin, WI play, now I am intrigued. Back to ordering books, one of the perks of my new job :)

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