- Fizzy Thoughts: A Mad Dash through Rain Village to Mexican Days

A Mad Dash through Rain Village to Mexican Days

Saturday, November 24, 2007

This past week in reading has been a bit odd. First, I tried this book:

But I didn't finish it. It was a freebie I got at the book expo I attended earlier this year. I read a little over a hundred pages before I realized I didn't care what happened. It's about a forty-something woman who leaves her husband because of a dog. Okay, it wasn't really the dog's fault...the dog was just the catalyst. This book (Mad Dash, by Patricia Gaffney) did absolutely nothing for me, and after one night it landed in the reject pile.

So next I went for another one of the book expo freebies, Rain Village, by Carolyn
Turgeon.
I had high hopes for this one. Unfortunately, it didn't quite deliver. I did finish it, but it was just a story. Nothing special at all. The basic story is about Tessa, a young girl who is scorned by her family because of her lack of height. She is befriended by the mysterious Mary (the town librarian) and eventually runs off to join the circus. Years later, she is haunted by the mystery of Mary's past, and sets off on a journey to find some answers. I'd classify this book as an attempt at magical realism that falls way short.

Hmmm...maybe freebies aren't the way to go.

Now I'm reading Mexican Days, by Tony Cohan. I'm almost finished, so I'm going to go ahead with the brief review.

This is a followup to his book On Mexican Time. Back in the 1980s (as best I can figure), Cohan and his wife bought a house in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. The first book described the decision behind the move, the search for the house, and the hassle/joy of renovation. This second book is about his travels around Mexico. My only complaint is that Cohan compares his wanderlust to dissociative fugue. He keeps bringing up his "fugue state" throughout the book. But since he has no memory loss (reading the book, I'm convinced the man has a mind like a steel trap...he is always citing obscure (to me) books and movies and historical people), it becomes an annoyance. I'm guessing he uses it as a way to have a recurring theme in his book, but I could very well have done without. Other than that, it's a good book that just emphasizes how little I know about Mexico and its history. Cohan travels off the beaten path, to areas rich in history and culture.

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In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

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