A worthwhile intervention… and funny too!
Other People’s Books! Or, My Troubling Nightstand
(There is a section of this blog “Other People’s Everything,” for brief comments on books I have read but for some reason I can’t find it today.)
Some books are challenging to “finish.” You find yourself reading and re-reading them. Dipping into them when you are actually done, or so you thought, and are already reading something else. SMALL FRY by Lisa Brennan-Jobs, (daughter of Apple computer creator Steve Jobs) a book my daughter was reading while visiting my house, was that book, recently, for me. Who was Steve Jobs, really? How much of an Earthling was he? Why was he such a cruel parent to this marvelous writer and exacting memorialist? And what of her mother, Chrisann Brennan, disdained by her daughter while growing up, for being something I had thought wonderful: a stone hippie, a state of being that I considered evolution for white people. It is such a fine book! And, in fact, I can see in it some parts of why my daughter was reading it, and left it in my house. This parent/child territory is so under-explored. Especially when parents separate and the child’s heart is required to re-balance its affection, trust, love, and especially its imagination about a future. And what of the heart-shocked parents? Usually worried, overworked, lonely, and scared. And so on! Many, many stars.
Tina Turner, My Love Story, by Tina Turner, is a delight. A true rags to riches tale of a princess whom her sorely misguided first husband, Ike Turner, took to be a drudge. Tina’s spirit is recognizable as one that always shows up somewhere, somehow, in life, no matter where the body that carries it is wandering. It will not take defeat as conclusive; it will never resist the urge to fly – if only on a rope over a stream that to others seems a bit too wide. I love the spirit of this woman. Is it showing us where the African, the Indigenous, the European contributions to soul meet and merge? I imagine spirits mingle as bloods do. In any case, a book to read on a long plane ride, or during a week of solitude in the country, or while sitting beside someone who is leisurely leaving this reality in a hospital. There is courage, faith, daring, outrageousness, and always, amazingly, the comfort of knowing how to be both naturally good hearted and generous, and to follow one’s bliss, as love shows up, unannounced, and beckons to you.
Then, alas, there is: They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South, by Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers. (More on this after I go “home” to re-visit my own Southern, Georgia roots, in a small town, Eatonton, that, to my astonishment, is collectively celebrating my 75thbirthday!)