Sunday, July 6, 2008

More summer reads, including a great blog - but first, HOMAGE

First, before I get to the literary stuff - DARA TORRES, you are a hero! You were a champion before Michael Phelps was even born, and you're STILL a champion now! Gorgeous! Strong! AMAZING! Athlete, mother, inspiring woman who takes our breath away! (Kneeling and banging forehead to floor repeatedly:) We're not worthy! We're not worthy! (Photo: AP)

Ok...had to get that out of my system...

Now for some great reads:

I totally dig Edwin Leap. He's a marvelous writer. Check out his fantastic article on the virtues of work/"giving back to society" here at KevinMD, and his poignant explanation of marital symbiosis here.

Here he is facing his July 4th night watch in the emergency room. This is EXACTLY how it feels to be giddily staring a night shift in the face, to know one should be catching some zzz's beforehand in preparation, and to want to say to the hours to come, "You wanna piece-a-me, hah?" -

...These isolated nights embolden me. On nights like this, I hear my ancestors, skin and leather wearing Celts, Gauls and Saxons, waving their axes in the face of Rome’s legions. (They’re saying, ‘don’t be stupid, it didn’t work out for us!’). Nights like this, lone nights, make me want to stand outside the ER and scream to the steamy, pit-smoked night sky, ‘Do your worst, previous and future patients! I’m not afraid of you! Dr. Leap is on the wall tonight, so bring it on! Bring me your cut-off jeans, your flip-flops, your Pit Bull bites! Bring me your ball-bat injuries, roll-over car wrecks and anaphylaxis from pouring gasoline on the nest of hornets to which you’re allergic! Bring me your years of dysuria, pet rattlesnake bites, your discharges of all sort! Bring me your spider-bites, MRSA abscesses, puncture wounds and blistered, tanning-bed induced burns! Make some improvised munitions! Throw catfish at each other! Try to parachute off of the house with a bed-sheet! I’m here for nine hours, and I want to see what you can do!’

Great. Now I can’t sleep. I’m too jazzed.

Dr. Leap, you're brilliant!

And because the summer reading is going surprisingly well, I'm tempted by a few more books (much as I love blog-browsing and magazine-perusing):

Uwem Akpan's short story collection Say You're One of Them. Akpan, a Nigerian Jesuit, according to Pub Weekly, "transports the reader into gritty scenes of chaos and fear in his rich debut collection of five long stories set in war-torn Africa...Akpan's prose is beautiful and his stories are insightful and revealing, made even more harrowing because all the horror—and there is much—is seen through the eyes of children." I have heard nothing but great things about this writer.

A Step from Death by Larry Woiwode (there seems to be an inordinate amount of death-mention among my summer reading titles!)

On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan (though it sounds emotionally painful, as one might expect)

Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje, given an exquisite review on by another genius writer, Jhumpa Lahiri.

and The Traveling Death and Resurrection Show by Ariel Gore, which lured me after I went to Eggbeater and read Shuna's warm recommendation of Gore's book How to Become a Famous Writer Before You're Dead, which I think I just have to read too.

If anyone has had experience with these, let me know what you thought!


Anonymous said...

I think I might have a little crush on Dara Torres. She rocks.

Finished Friday Night Knitting Club - total chick lit, but I dug it anyway. It's all about these girls and their friendships and struggles and blah, blah, blah. Still, I liked it. I needed something sort of mindless for a change.

Now I'm on to The Time Traveler's Wife. I met this girl on vacation who said it was the best book she'd ever read, but that I had to give it at least 100 pages before I made up my mind. I'm on page 37 and I'm terribly confused but I'm pressing on.

T. said...

Last Olympics I wanted to be Catalina Ponor, the gorgeous gymnast. This year, though, it's Dara all the way...yeah, IN MY DREAMS!

I'll have to check those out. Ever since I got done with residency I have been a HUGE fan of totally mindless reading as well as the more mindful kind! :)