"Floating down the stream of time, from life to life with meELECTIONEERING
All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece but not too much . . ."
--George Harrison, It's All Too Much
With the back of his hand, he wiped an entire estuary of sweat from his forehead. Rivulets of perspiration followed the craggy creases of his face until they merged above his eyebrows, cascaded like a waterfall before his eyes, and then finally splashed across his dirty yellow shirt. With a long iron rod he poked the fires of the furnace through a large metal grate. He was hot and bored.
He heard screaming, and as usual, it was his friend Salvestro. Taking the steps two at a time, his rat-like friend ran down the basement stairs and yelled, "Bernardo, you big dumb brute! Stopa stokein' da fire! Whasa matta wit you!" White smoke is a comin' outa da stack! They gonna thinka you elected da Pope!"
"I'm a sorry. There's a nuthin' ta do here. Can you reada book to me?"
Salvestro cuffed him on the back of the head, "We supposa be a workin', not a reading. I likea working in the Vatican. It'sa good money."
He rubbed his head, "Pleeeease Salvestro . . . "
"Okay, since nobody is around. I make exception. I reada you a book likea Stephan Pastis' Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made (9780763660505) 14.99, eh?"
"I likea dat one. But don'cha havea something new."
He smacked Bernardo on the back of the head again, and asks, "Why you maka my life so difficult, eh? Whadabout Pound Foolish (9781591844891) 27.95 by Helaine Olen? Is a real good book about investing."
Bernardo massaged the back of his head, "Salvestro, I don't wanna be foolish."
Salvestro shook his head, "It'sa not like that. But you're right. We have no money to invest anyway. How about Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead (9780385349949) by Sheryl Sandberg? It'sa all over da bestsellers! It'sa gonna be bigger than a spicy meataball!"
"Salvestro, what'sa it about?"
"Hmmm, lemme see. Ita say, 'But Sandberg's point -- which affects all of us -- is that women who have what it takes to succeed at the highest professional level face many obstacles, both internal and external . . .' I guess that'sa not gonna work, eh?"
"It figure. We only gotta two books left so you gotta picka one of deese. One isa Kate Atkinson's Life After Life (9780316176484) 25.99, where da main person keeps coming back to life until she gets it right. Da other one is Eric Kahn Gale's The Bully Book (9780062125118) 16.99."
"I likea you to read Kate's book to me, Salvestro. Cuz' I don't know no bullies."
Odds & Sods
News has reached us that R.J. Palacio's Wonder (9780375869020) 15.99 has won the Josette Frank children's award; she just barely beat out Hilary Mantel. Fortunately for Hilary, her Bring Up The Bodies (9780805090031) 28.00 is the favourite on the recently announced longlist to win the UK Prize for Women's Fiction . . .
Last week, Deb Leonard was kind enough to point out that I failed to mention the other Winter Great Lakes, Great Reads fiction title, The Aviator's Wife (9780345528674) 26.00 by Melanie Benjamin. As Matt Groening would say in the old Ackbar and Jeff comic, "Mistakes were made."