Good in a Crisis by Margaret Overton

This is a memoir by an anesthesiologist but it is not a medical memoir. It’s about her midlife crisis — her divorce, her health (she suffers an aneurysm), her attempts at dating, and raising two daughters. It is mostly very funny with some sad thrown in. She covers stupidity, spirituality and self-delusion pretty well.

Sweetness #9

The Times didn’t like this book. Pam didn’t like this book. I really liked this book. I like to read what I have often thought while grocery shopping.

“,.. though they weren’t exactly potato chips, at least not to my mind. They were pepperoni pizza flavored potato chips, chips that left you with no memory of the potato. Flavor chemists no longer pursued the Platonic Ideal, the perfect potato chip, the one chip that could unite us all. Now we developed an endless variety of flavorings — Sweet Maui Onion, Dill Pickle, Chesapeake Crab — so that everyone would be able to find that one chip developed just for them, an essentially American promise.”

The book is the story of a “flavorist,” his life in the business and what he thinks all this artificial stuff might be doing to the world. Are we “We are what we eat.”?

Sweetness #9: A Novel

Poetry nominees announced

We don’t order much poetry (since our main reader, Mr. Murphy, died) but to keep in mind good names the following were nominated for 2014 by the National Book Foundation:

Louise Gluck, Spencer Reece, Mark Strand, Edward Hirsch, Claudia Rankine, Fanny Howe and Maureen N. McLane

The awards ceremony will be held November 19th and hosted by Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket).

MacArthur Awards

Twelve men and nine women have been named the 2014 fellows of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.  The fellowship is worth $625,000 over five years and one of the most prestigious prizes for artists, scholars and professionals.

Among the 21 MacArthur “genius” awards two went to authors. Alison Bechdel (Fun Home) and playwright Samuel D. Hunter (The Whale).