Sunday, August 27, 2023

Life: It Goes On - August 27

Happy Sunday! I know that so many of you cannot wait for summer to be over and fall to arrive. Heck, you're already able to get your pumpkin spice lattes. But for me, I can't believe that August is almost over. But the caterpillars eating my parsley plants and the flowers that are dying off and the shorter evenings are telling me that summer is almost over. I have not spent nearly enough time on the patio, not nearly enough to get me through the winter. So I am bound and determined to spend as much time as I can in these final really warm weeks and hope for a very long Indian summer in September. 

Last Week I: 

Listened To: I gave up on My Dark Vanessa (couldn't handle the subject) and started The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty. It's a prize winner and was greatly lauded; but I think that it, too, is too dark for me right now. I may return it early as well. 

Watched: The Avett Brothers in concert in Lincoln. They were the second band and we left after they played. It was a work night and we had an hour drive home so we knew we wouldn't stay for the entirety of the headliner. But we both agreed that we preferred to leave with the songs of the band we really came to see in our heads. Besides, your girl here had had all of the "peopling" she could handle for one night. Sometimes I'm astounded by the kindness of people. Other times, like Thursday night, I'm astonished by their incredible rudeness, lack of an attention span, and self-absorption. 

Read: I started Colson Whitehead's latest, Crook Manifesto but haven't gotten too far into it. It's due back Tuesday but I doubt I'll have it back to the library until they threaten to fine me. 

Made: Caprese pasta, nachoes, salads, burgers - that heat we had last week had us eating meals that required the least use of heat. 

Enjoyed: Today we went into Lincoln to celebrate with The Big Guy's siblings (and their spouses) what would have been their dad's 100th birthday. We enjoyed whiskey sours with Black Velvet whiskey (he didn't drink much but he liked those) and cherry pie (which their mom would have made). We brought some memorabilia of his for everyone to look at again. It was a lovely afternoon. 

This Week I’m:  

Planning: To get ready for company coming this weekend. 

Thinking About: I haven't gotten one furniture project done all summer. Work has been so draining all summer that I just don't have the energy in the evenings to work on anything. But I've been thinking a lot, lately, about what projects I can still get finished before it's too cold to work outside. I need to paint some chairs for Miss H before she moves so that will get done; just need to get over and get the paint. 

Feeling: Very much in need a few days off of work. I need to not be waking up in the night, thinking about what needs to get done there. But my boss did pay me a very nice compliment the other day so I am feeling better about the work that's getting done by my team. 

Looking forward to: A fun week: dinner with friends tomorrow, happy hour with a friend Tuesday, and Friday my sister and her husband arrive from Wisconsin and Miss H also arrives. 

Question of the week: Do you get a three-day weekend this coming weekend? How will you use that extra day? 

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Tom Lake by Ann Patchett

Tom Lake
by Ann Patchett
309 pages
Published August 2023 by HarperCollins Publishers

Publisher's Summary: 
In the spring of 2020, Lara’s three daughters return to the family's orchard in Northern Michigan. While picking cherries, they beg their mother to tell them the story of Peter Duke, a famous actor with whom she shared both a stage and a romance years before at a theater company called Tom Lake. As Lara recalls the past, her daughters examine their own lives and relationship with their mother, and are forced to reconsider the world and everything they thought they knew. 

Tom Lake is a meditation on youthful love, married love, and the lives parents have led before their children were born. Both hopeful and elegiac, it explores what it means to be happy even when the world is falling apart.

My Thoughts:
Peter Duke has died. Emily, Maisie, and Nell know that their mother once knew him. In fact, for a period of time in her teens, Emily was angrily certain that Duke was her father. But they have never heard the full story of how her mother met him, how she fell in love with him, and how he disappeared from her life. Until the summer of 2020, when they are all stuck together on the family cherry farm and they demand to be told the full story. They will get the story, but it won't be the full story. Only Lara will ever know the full story. Still, as the days of harvesting go on, Lara will begin telling her daughters the story of how she came to be an actress, how she went to Hollywood and made a movie, how she ended up at Tom Lake doing summer stock, and how Peter Duke became her boyfriend. And then how he broke her heart, how she stopped acting, and how she came to marry their father. Along the way, details will come out that the girls never knew before (that Lara had once, for two weeks, wanted to be a vet, that her name was spelled Laura for the first sixteen years of her life, that she took up smoking at Tom Lake) that help them better understand the person she was before she was their mother. 

I was just 30 pages into this book when I began telling people that this book would end up on my favorite books of the year list, barring a complete letdown. Not only was I never let down, the book just kept getting better and better for me. To say I was surprised to see on Goodreads that there were reviewers who gave the book 1 or 2 stars, who called it boring, who complained that it romanticizes being quarantined during CoVid is an understatement. Did they read the same book? Yes, we are hitting the point where books set during the pandemic are hitting the book stands en masse. Yes, there is a lot of talk about the play "Our Town." No, this family is not dysfunctional. 

Regarding the pandemic? It was clear that the family experiences difficulties because of the pandemic, that Nell, in particular, felt trapped by it. But Lara is willing to admit, as many people do, that there were parts of the world being shut down that appealed to her. That being stuck with people she loved wasn't the worst thing that could happen to her. I could relate to that, to an extent (although I'd have been happier if all of my children had been with us, as Lara's were). Regarding the play? Yes, there is a lot of talk about the play and I can, honestly, see where it might have been too much for some people. But it was used to teach us so much about these characters that it never felt like too much to me. Regarding the family not being dysfunctional? Thank god! There are more than enough dysfunctional families in literature. It was a pleasure to read about a "normal" family, a family that loves each other at their core, a married couple who, after many years of marriage, still love each other and have no regrets about their pasts. 

This is my seventh book by Patchett. My first of her books was The Magician's Assistant, a book I honestly can't remember all that much about, other than that I knew I would read Patchett again. After I read Bel Canto, I wasn't sure I ever could. Not because I didn't like it but because I liked it so much that I felt certain nothing she wrote could ever live up to it. To be honest, I'm not sure any of her books have ever had the impact on me that Bel Canto did, but Patchett has absolutely lived up to my very high expectations. Tom Lake is no exception. It was a pleasure to slide into a novel that spanned decades in only 300 pages without ever feeling rushed, a pleasure to read a book, at last, that I enjoyed so much that I couldn't put it down, but, at the same time, didn't want it to end. The characters are marvelously fully drawn, Patchett covers the gamut of emotions, all with a deft touch, the settings are so evocative, and Patchett even manages to throw in a few surprises. 

The audio version of this book is read by Meryl Streep. I didn't know that when I requested this book from the library or I almost certainly would have requested the audiobook. But I could get it in print much sooner and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. Maybe if I ever reread this one, I'll get the audiobook; but as great as I'm sure it is, I can't say that I'm sorry to have read this one in print. Patchett's writing is so marvelous that I hear it in my head and it feels like I'm hearing it in Patchett's voice. 

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Life: It Goes On - August 20

Happy Sunday! Mother Nature was not having it with everyone saying that summer is over because the kids are going back to school. She turned up the heat this weekend and it's here to stay for the week. It means our tomatoes are going to ripen like crazy this week, it's unlikely that there will be meals on the patio, containers of water need to be left out for the wildlife, and I'll break a sweat just watering the plants outside. Still, I'll take that over winter any day of the week. 

The Big Guy caught a cold that knocked him out for four days last week. By yesterday I was certain that I had somehow managed not to catch it. This morning I discovered that I have, in fact, managed to catch it, although I'm not feeling nearly as knocked out by it (yet) as he was. That's what I get for being so cocky about it! 

Last Week I: 

Listened To: All The Broken Places by John Boyne. I've never read his book, The Boy In The Striped Pajamas, although it's almost certainly his best known book. I'll review this one later this week but I definitely recommend reading The Boy In The Striped Pajamas first because I think this one will pack an even more powerful punch that way. 

Watched: We were in KC yesterday (more on that later) and Miss H and I decided to watch The Lizzie McGuire Movie while we were eating dinner and vegging out on the sofa. Talk about a trip down memory lane. Why didn't that movie teach Miss H never to trust a guy who seems too good to be true?! 

 I'm reading Tom Lake by Ann Patchett. I'm about half way through it; barring a complete let down at the end, this one will end up as a favorite of the year. 

Made: Roasted tomatoes in a creamy sauce over pasta, BLT salads, BLTs...basically, if you can use tomatoes in it, we've been making it this past week as the tomatoes are ripening faster than we can use them. About time to freeze some. 

Enjoyed: Miss H is going to be moving soon-ish, into an apartment, and will finally need her own furniture and kitchen stuff. So BG decided we should load up the vehicles and rent a storage space to avoid having to move so much later. Since he was sick all week, we opted to take only one vehicle but then loaded it up twice more with things she had stored in the attic of the house she's currently in. Thank heavens the storage unit is climate controlled. Then we spent some time apartment hunting and just hanging out together. You know how much I love being with my kids, even if it is 100 degrees out!

This Week I’m:  

Planning: This will all depend on how I feel. If I'm feeling good enough, I'll be over to my dad's this week to continue getting him ready for his move in October. If not, I'll keep this cold away from him and focus on the basement since it's too hot outside to do anything out there. Getting Miss H's stuff out of the basement will free so much space in the basement, but I want to be very intentional about what we do with that space. 

Thinking About: How much I need to do and how little time I have to be sick. So frustrating. 

Feeling: Tired. I'll be going to bed very early tonight. 

Looking forward to:
Next Sunday would have been BG's dad's 100th birthday. We're getting together with his sibs and their spouses to celebrate Jack with some of his favorites including whiskey sours and cherry pie. I'll be taking some glassware to my SIL; pieces I culled from my pressed glass collection. Did I mention that after I had completely rearranged my secretary/china hutch, I hated it and decided I needed to get rid of some things and rearrange it again? I'm so happy that some of those things are going to a home where I know they will be used and appreciated. 

Question of the week: I know we're not the only ones suffering through high temps. What fun ways have you found to beat the heat lately? Have you been to a body of water? Sat in an air-conditioned movie theater? Eaten ice cold watermelon or popsicles? 

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Mercy Snow by Tiffany Baker

Mercy Snow
by Tiffany Baker
336 pages
Published January 2014 by Grand Central Publishing

Publisher's Summary: 
In the tiny town of Titan Falls, New Hampshire, the paper mill dictates a quiet, steady rhythm of life. But one day a tragic bus accident sets two families on a course toward destruction, irrevocably altering the lives of everyone in their wake. 

June McAllister is the wife of the local mill owner and undisputed first lady in town. But the Snow family, a group of itinerant ne'er-do-wells who live on a decrepit and cursed property, have brought her--and the town--nothing but grief. 

June will do anything to cover up a dark secret she discovers after the crash, one that threatens to upend her picture-perfect life, even if it means driving the Snow family out of town. But she has never gone up against a force as fierce as the young Mercy Snow. Mercy is determined to protect her rebellious brother, whom the town blames for the accident, despite his innocence. And she has a secret of her own. When an old skeleton is discovered not far from the crash, it beckons Mercy to solve a mystery buried deep within the town's past.

My Thoughts: 
Titan Falls, like so many small towns, is almost entirely reliant on one industry - Titan Mills, whose owners have ruled the town for generations. But the mill is struggling; environmental rules and foreign competition are taking their toll. The weight of that hangs heavy over the town and its residents. Still Cal and June McAllister are still allowed to lord over the town, despite the way the townsfolk feel about the mill layoffs and June's imperious attitude. Neither of them is about to give up what they've fought so hard for, so when the blame for the bus accident gets laid on Zeke Snow, they work to keep the pressure on to capture Zeke and to rid the area of the Snows. 

It turns out the McAllisters have secrets to keep hidden. Secrets that go back decades, secrets that aren't entirely hidden but townsfolk can only consider them rumor without proof. And none of them is about to push the McAllisters to find the truth. 

Mercy Snow is determined to protect both her brother and her little sister. While the accident threatens to undermine all of her efforts, it also offers her the chance to redeem her family name. The three Snow children work to stay alive and together, using their knowledge of the land and its bounty. It might just be enough to save them - if the McAllisters aren't able to turn the town against them at every turn, putting Zeke in jail and Hannah in protective custody. 

I'll admit that Baker uses too many similes for my taste and that always colors my opinion of a book. But Baker was also able to really create the feel of the weight of the town's desperation, heightened by the winter setting. She did a great job of pulling a cast of townsfolk to the fore and using them as pawns in the underlying battle between the McAllisters and the Snows. Sure, some of the people of the town were a little cliche, but there were enough really interesting characters to allow me to overlook that. 

Baker had a surprise for me just a few pages into the book that really drew me into the story. There were clues throughout the book to undercover the secrets that had been slowly being revealed and Baker pulled them together in the end. Although I felt certain that the book had to end with some sadness, I still didn't see how everything was going to end up. You know I loved that. I wasn't a fan of the final chapter of the book, with its focus on June; but, otherwise, I was very satisfied by the way everything ended. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Zero Days by Ruth Ware

Zero Days
by Ruth Ware
Read by

Published by June 2023 by Scout Press

Publisher's Summary: 
Hired by companies to break into buildings and hack security systems, Jack and her husband, Gabe, are the best penetration specialists in the business. But after a routine assignment goes horribly wrong, Jack arrives home to find her husband dead. To add to her horror, the police are closing in on their suspect—her. 

Suddenly on the run and quickly running out of options, Jack must decide who she can trust as she circles closer to the real killer in this unputdownable and heart-pounding mystery from an author whose “propulsive prose keeps readers on the hook and refuses to let anyone off until all has been revealed”

My Thoughts: 
Zero Days is the seventh book by Ware that I've read, which makes her a rarity in Lisa's world. There aren't many writers who work I've devoured so voraciously. So finding that Ware had a new book out was exciting news; and, as happens so often with my go-to authors, I didn't even look at the book's summary before I requested it. Had I done that, I still would have requested this one; I just would have known that this book wasn't in Ware's usual vein. There is nearly always a locked-room component to Ware's books and, generally, an unreliable narrator. Neither of those features in this one. 

The book started off with a bang (had I read that summary, the first chapter would not have been nearly as exciting). Jack is in the process of breaking into a building, in search of the server room. In her ear, Gabe is directing her from their home, as he explores floor plans and attempts to hack further into the building's security. Of course, we're meant to believe that these two are criminals and I bought into it, except for that part of my brain that couldn't imagine that the main characters of the book would be criminals. It made for an exciting opening scene - akin to those high energy starts to action movies that don't always entirely tie into the rest of the movie, other than to introduce us to the characters and give us some background. 

And then things kind of went awry to me, even as I raced through the book. 

What worked for me: 
  • Technology playing a big part, especially having a female lead who was savvy enough to use it to stay one step ahead of her pursuers. 
  • The fast pace of the book. 
  • Thanks to another of Ware's books, I was never entirely sure that our heroine was going to solve the mystery...or even survive.
  • The ending. 
What didn't work for me: 
  • Fairly early on in her run, Jack injures herself. You and I both know that this injury is going to continue to get worse and worse and that, in the end, it will be a race against that injury to solve the mystery of who killed Gabe. 
  • Also, that injury was, very early on, causing Jack excruciating pain. I don't know about you, but when I've experienced excruciating pain, it's laid me low. But somehow Jack just keeps pushing on. Even as the pain gets even more excruciating. We know because Ware tells us again and again and again how bad the pain is. 
  • We learn early on that Jack's sister is a journalist and her brother-in-law is a lawyer. I 100% assumed they were given these careers because that was going to come into play. It doesn't and I can't imagine why not. 
  • Jack's skills don't seem to help all that much throughout the chase, except for a couple of times. 
  • Ware tries to point us in the direction of a man we're meant to believe killed Gabe because he and Jack were once in an abusive relationship. He had told her that if he couldn't have her, no one could. But I never for a minute bought that he was the killer. Except that I'm usually so bad at predicting the actual killer that I wondered if Ware was intentionally making it too obvious. 
  • Along the chase, Jack meets a person who I was certain was going to come back to play a part in the plot, but he entirely disappeared. In a book with so few characters, this seems an odd waste. 
  • Something happens about half way through the book that should have tipped Jack off immediately as to a person she couldn't trust, but she never made the connection. 
  • AND I figured out who was behind the killing almost immediately, it was just a matter of figuring out why. And even that I had figured out well before the end of the book. You all know how rare that is for me. So rare that I began to wonder if I had read too much into some things. I hadn't. 
  • Also, the ending. Yes, I know I said it worked for me; part of it did, the part where somethings were left unsettled. But other things were tied up too neatly. 
For Ware, this one was a disappointment. Even so, I did race through it, wanting to see if I was right in my assumption of who the killer was and wanting to see how Jack might survive the loss of Gabe. If I scored books, this one would probably come in at a shaky three. Still, I'm not giving up on Ware. 

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Life: It Goes On - August 13

Happy Sunday! I'm sitting here wondering how it can possibly be the middle of August already. For those of you with school-aged children, I'm sure you're wondering how it can possibly be the start of a new school year already! On social media, I'm seeing so many folks excited that fall is just around the corner. I have nothing against fall...except that by the end of fall, all of my gardens will be returned to dirt, the leaves will be off the trees, all of the leaves will be off the trees and we could already have had our first snowfall. Fall bleeds into winter and winter lasts sooooo long! Needless to say, I'm hanging on to summer for as long as I can. The cat and I enjoyed a beautiful evening on the patio, listening to the cicadas, last night, after I had watered and harvested from my garden. Bliss!

Last Week I: 

Listened To: I finished Ruth Ware's Zero Days and restarted John Boyne's All The Broken Places. Definitely not my favorite of Ware's books; my review will, hopefully, get posted this week. 

 The Big Guy's been off to his class reunion this weekend so I've had the tv to myself. Haven't found a new just-for-me series to watch when he's gone so I watched a couple of movies, The Dressmaker (starring Kate Winslet, Judy Davis, Hugo Weaving, and Liam Hemsworth and based on the book of the same name by Rosalie Ham) and Bel Canto (starring Julianne Moore and Ken Watanabe and based on the book of the same name by Ann Patchett). Might just write up a review of the two of them later this week. 

Read: I finished Tiffany Baker's Mercy Snow and started Ann Patchett's latest, Tom Lake

Made: Easy, peasy summer foods - BLT salad, tacos with roasted corn, pasta with garden tomato and basil. 

Enjoyed: The return of my brother, his wife and their granddaughters; dinner out with my dad on Friday; a class where we worked on intention boards; and 24 hours of having the house to myself. Love BG but also love having some time with my own thoughts, my own choices of what to do or watch, and the quiet. 

This Week I’m:  

I had a couple of things yet from my parent's house that I needed to find a home for which prompted me, Friday night to completely empty by secretary and rearrange everything. I managed to get it all in but now I hate how it looks. So this week I'll probably be emptying it all back out again and making some tough choices of things to get rid of. Kim, you have any room for some more vintage glassware?

Thinking About: That long considered reread of Bel Canto. 

Feeling: Very relaxed. I really needed this laid back weekend. 

Looking forward to: Book club this week. 

Question of the week: What's your favorite movie adaptation of a book?

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Life: It Goes On - August 8

Happy...Tuesday! Wow, Sunday flew by me and then suddenly Monday was over. And, will you look at that, Tuesday is about over now, as well. I wish I could say it's because I've been accomplishing so much. But really, I've been reading a lot. And also decluttering, in 15 minute chunks. More on that later. 

Last Week I: 

Listened To: Tomorrow I'll finish Ruth Ware's Zero Days

Watched: Would you believe it when I tell you that The Big Guy has actually spent two nights this week with the television off until the news comes on? Yeah, I wouldn't believe it either, if I hadn't been here to witness it. 

Read: Racing through Tiffany Baker's Mercy Snow. I'm eager to see where it's going; but I also went to the library to pick up a book I received notice yesterday was in, only to discover that two more books came in today. So now I'm racing to finish Mercy Snow because I have a lot of books to get to before they need to go back. 

Made: Caprese salad, baked beans, cucumber dip, and an angel food cake with chocolate whipped cream frosting. 

 My brother and sister-in-law came up with their granddaughters to go to the county fair in the county she grew up in. On the way up, they stopped here Saturday and will stop by on the way home tomorrow night. Always enjoy spending time with my brother and his wife; but spending time with a four-year-old and a six-year-old I adore makes it even more fun. 

This Week I’m:  

Planning: BG is headed to his class reunion this weekend so I'll have a lot of time to myself. What to do, what to do? Movies will be watched, decluttering will be accomplished, and something might just get painted. 

Thinking About: What to declutter next. I've joined in on Go Simplified's August Challenge, which was only to spend 15 minutes working on an area and finding 10 things in that area to get out of your house. It will come as no surprise to you to find out that I've now done that several times. Because finding 15 minutes is easy and it prevents me from overthinking whether or not to keep something, especially things with sentimental value. 

Feeling: Stressed. Work has been crazy the past few months and I swear it keeps getting worse, not better. I just have to keep telling myself that we're going to work through this patch and then things will even out again. 

Looking forward to: More time with those great-nieces of ours and then a couple of days of quiet!

Question of the week: Anyone else tired of eating watermelon or is it just me? BG has kept us in watermelon ever since the Black Diamond watermelons came in; while I like good watermelon (and these never disappoint), having it two meals a day is getting old! Is he trying to get me to want to start eating hearty fall foods?! 

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld

Romantic Comedy
by Curtis Sittenfeld
320 page 
Published April 2023 by Random House Publishing Group 

Publisher's Summary: 
Sally Milz is a sketch writer for The Night Owls, a late-night live comedy show that airs every Saturday. With a couple of heartbreaks under her belt, she’s long abandoned the search for love, settling instead for the occasional hook-up, career success, and a close relationship with her stepfather to round out a satisfying life. 

But when Sally’s friend and fellow writer Danny Horst begins dating Annabel, a glamorous actress who guest-hosted the show, he joins the not-so-exclusive group of talented but average-looking and even dorky men at the show—and in society at large—who’ve gotten romantically involved with incredibly beautiful and accomplished women. 

Sally channels her annoyance into a sketch called the Danny Horst Rule, poking fun at this phenomenon while underscoring how unlikely it is that the reverse would ever happen for a woman. Enter Noah Brewster, a pop music sensation with a reputation for dating models, who signed on as both host and musical guest for this week’s show. Dazzled by his charms, Sally hits it off with Noah instantly, and as they collaborate on one sketch after another, she begins to wonder if there might actually be sparks flying. But this isn’t a romantic comedy—it’s real life. And in real life, someone like him would never date someone like her . . . right? 

With her keen observations and trademark ability to bring complex women to life on the page, Curtis Sittenfeld explores the neurosis-inducing and heart-fluttering wonder of love, while slyly dissecting the social rituals of romance and gender relations in the modern age.

My Thoughts: 
You may recall me saying, on more than one occasion, that a book every seems to like just did not seem to work for me. Here we have the opposite case. So many people on Goodreads really did not like this book at all. But me? For me, this was the right book at the right time. Summer light, but not too light, not too mindless.

The Night Owls is clearly Saturday Night Live (Sittenfeld says as much in the Acknowledgements) and I loved see behind the curtain (and I'm assuming, given the number of resources Ms. Sittenfeld lists, that it's fairly accurate). Clearly the recent spate of SNL cast members dating or marrying major stars has inspired Ms. Sittendfeld to ponder the question "why doesn't it seem to work the other way?" To be fair, have you ever seen one of the female cast members dating some knockout major celebrity? You and I both know where this is going to go, right? 

One of the strikes against this book is that it breaks no new ground. There's a meet cute. You know immediately that the Danny Horst Rule is going to be broken. But here's the thing - I expect that from a book called Romantic Comedy. More than once Sally and Noah discuss how thin the line is between cheesiness and romance. That's the same fine line Sittenfeld travels in this book and the same line she wants readers to ponder. At one point Noah says that the answer lies in whether or not you're involved in it. What made this not cheesy for me was that, although Sally was very insecure about her looks and she's had a terrible history with love, she is not ditzy, nor clumsy, nor involved in a relationship with another man that falls apart when she realizes how she really feels about Noah. None of those things we so often see in romantic comedies. Sally is smart and makes a great living without any help from any man. And how will a man win her over? Not by the grand gesture (although Sally is happy to admit that she just might be impressed by that), but by the ability of a man to show that he's a caring, real human being. I liked that. 

Plus, there's a middle section that's entirely emails between Sally and Noah. Some of those reviewers hated that part (and it may well not have been great on audio), but I loved it. Give me a good epistolary novel any day of the week. 

In all honesty, the first part of the book was better, in my opinion, and I did get tired of hearing how ordinary Sally was. But I forgave Sittenfeld for those things because there was more than enough to have me racing through this book. Right book. Right time.