I am supposed to be in New York City for a book bloggers' convention. I couldn't do it. Not after traveling to five countries during the month of May. Home feels good just now.
Here's a quick summary of the last three books I've read:
Filthy English by Peter Silverton. Subtitled: "The How, Why, When and What of Everyday Swearing." I picked this book up in Alfriston, England. I debated the purchase. I was backpacking and had taken only two paperback books that I planned to discard after reading. Now I was without a book and wanted to read but didn't want to add to the weight I was carrying. I left without the book, but returned later to buy it. I'm glad I did. It's an entertaining exploration of cussing. BTW, I found Filthy English in Much Ado Books, which was named England's Independent Bookshop of the Year in 2007.
Notes From A Small Island by Bill Bryson. After traipsing the length of the South Downs Way, I knew I had to read a book by Bill Bryson. And I knew that book would have to be Notes From A Small Island. I read this book back in 1995 when it was first issued. I was hoping for something different from it this time around, some vertification of a shared experience, perhaps. I didn't find it. I was actually somewhat disappointed in the book. The humor seemed forced and juvenile and Bryson didn't write about any of the places I'd been. I was hoping for something about Winchester or Upper Beeding or Amberley, but it wasn't there.
Where the God of Love Hangs Out by Amy Bloom. There are many books yet to read in 2010, but this collection of short stories is going to be among my favorite reads of the year. I can't imagine too many books slipping ahead of it. Bloom's last book, Away, which appeared in 2007, was a novel. I didn't like it much, but Bloom is a wonder as a short story writer. The characters are vivid as is the writing. Bloom's perception and empathy for the human condition is extraordinary, as are these stories.