I’ve been reading/listening to Save Room For Pie by Roy Blount, Jr. for a couple of weeks now. It’s the kind of book that, for me, is best read in short pieces because what he has just said makes me think of an experience or a person in my own life and I want to stop and remember that. For example, in one of the earlier chapters, Roy remembers a typical comments made at a meals during his growing up years in Georgia. I was not raised in the South, but it seemed very similar to what was said at our Wisconsin table and I had to think and talk about that for a while.
The subtitle of this book is Food Songs and Chewy Ruminations. That’s the best way to describe how the book is written. Someone said the author “just rambles.” I disagree. Maybe because I listened to the author read the audio version, but I thought he told his tale in a chatty-shooting-the-breeze sort of style. Most of the time I imagined myself sitting at a round table in a local diner, reminiscing about old times and the food we ate.
The subject is always food. Sometimes he tells a joke, sometimes a poem or what he calls “songs,” but always he’s trying to make me laugh or at least smile. Let me share a little bit of one of Roy’s songs:
Song To Hamburger
Whether you’re a dean or a minor,
a sommelier or a turpentiner,
a critic or construction worker,
you no doubt enjoy a burger.
You can get into its juices,
you appreciate its uses,
you can feel the steady pull of one,
you would like your right hand for one,
and all the way with everything.
Do bleu cheese, bacon, pickles spring to mind?
Okay, there’s plenty room. . .
Roy Blount is a former journalist and the author of well over twenty books. He is well known for his comic wit, especially on the NPR show Wait Wait and was a frequent guest on Garroson Keilor’s Prairier Home Companion. I thought Garrson Keilor summed up this book quite well when he said this:
In poems and songs, limericks and fake (or sometimes true) news stories, Blount talks about food in surprising and innovative ways, with all the wit and verve that prompted Garrison Keillor, in The Paris Review, to say: “Blount is the best. He can be literate, uncouth, and soulful all in one sentence.”
On Tuesday I attended a book club meeting which is always so enjoyable. This month we read and discussed The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan Phillip Sendker. There were a few members who weren’t crazy about the book, but the majority of us were positive about the book.
This is an emotional story about a young boy who goes blind around the age of four and then is abandoned by his mother after his father dies. The story of his survival, challenges and tremendous accomplishments makes for a compelling story. There were some parts of the story that stretched believability, especially near the end. Overall, I liked it and will give it a 3.5 stars.
In the other side of my life I had some positives and some negatives. My husband and I camped with our son and his family and about six other young families. We were celebrating our grandson’s fourth birthday. He loved having all his friends around him. We camped at Salt Point Campground, a lovely state park right by the Pacific Ocean.
My negatives this week are all technical. First my Classic iPod died. I’ve had this reliable friend for 12 years. I am truly in mourning. They no longer make this wonderful tool any more. It’s hard to even think of it, but I’m looking for something suitable as a replacement.
My next technical failure is not one with as much emotional attachment as my iPod, but absolutely critical: my computer! I have no idea what’s wrong. It just stopped last night. If my son (my personal tech specialist) can’t fix it, I’ll be taking it into the Apple Store. This computer is only about four or five years old so I think that’s too young to be dead.
We’ll see. I’m finishing this post on my iPad. (Thank God one tool is still healthy.) Unfortunately I’m not able to share any of my camping photos with you. Hopefully, if the technical gods allow, I can share them next week. In the meantime – have a great weekend.