Details: obsession vs. vicarious impact

February 27, 2017 @ Kitty’s House w/Viviane, Karen S, Mary & Yours Truly

Life & Family news:  Katie’s Dad continues the fight; Kitty’s sister’s son & daughter-in-law have twins by surrogate; Karen S Big Baby Boy in 2 months… L’chaim, everybody!

Oscars Chatter:  dresses, jewelry, etc.
Kitty’s great uncle – portraitist; new book (so cool); fascinating art talk by Viviane… bonus:  art class/samples by Viv (how colorful is YOUR white?)

Young Men & Fire by Norman MacLean

Karen S picked it due to coincidences:
– Christopher reading a lot about MT/fire watching
– CFO interview >>talked about Mann Gulch & this book
– She liked A River Runs Through It

  • Oh, Norman, how we wish you could have lived to properly edit this
  • long, draggy; REDUNDANCIES (with a few more reveals each time, yes, but the re-looping was so tiresome)
  • MacLean was rather OBSESSED that his love of research drowned out his literary skills in this ‘draft’
  • many descriptions of people & motivations were so excellent
  • historical context (behind/beyond the event) was enlightening
  • details like parachute design were edu-taining

SO… we turned to Literary Listography – My Reading Life in Lists
Randomly chose:  “Historical Period I Vicariously Lived Through” (based on Bootleg reads & what we considered ‘eras,’ not just ‘settings’) –

  1. Year of Wonder (plague)
  2. Devil in the White City (World’s Fair  & pre great CSI)
  3. In the Garden of the Beasts (Hitler rising)
  4. The Prize Winner of Defiance, OH (1950s wifery)
  5. The Help (pre Civil Rights)
  6. Nothing to Envy (North Korea, sadly still)
  7. Warm Springs (polio/iron lung transition)
  8. Elephant Company (humane training; WWI-WWII heroism)
  9. The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society (small scale WWII)
  10. The Color (NZ gold rush 2)
  11. The 19th Wife (est. cult of Mormonism)
  12. The Red Tent (Old Testament)
  13. The Dove Keepers (Masada)
  14. Memoirs of a Geisha (culture…is this an ‘era?’)
  15. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (Cultural Revolution)
  16. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (cusp of DNA discovery)
  17. [we ran out of time…]
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