My next review will be on Leslie Handler’s book, “Rats, Mice and Other Things You Can’t Take To The Bank”. But in consideration of the upcoming review of said book, I wanted to write a bit about why I think what I do about it. Leslie’s book hit home for me, in a way that I haven’t felt in many, many years.
A few years back, I was looking for a book by Maya Angelou. Now I have no doubt, that each of you reading this, know about Maya and her books. In my opinion, you can’t be a decent reviewer without knowing “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings”. This… I hate to use names and labels, but sometimes you just have to do it… this nimrod of a twit, working at a now gone bye-bye big box book store, did not who she was when I went in search of it. I was in shock and because mr. nimrod was hired by that bookstore, it’s no wonder they had to close.
There are classics that appeal to all of us, individually, in each generation. Conan Doyle, Christie, Bronte, King, etc… and for me, Bombeck. As in Erma Bombeck. Now, if you’re too young to know dear old Erma, you may not be able to relate to some of her essays, but there will be some that you do. When I was 12, my parents and I moved to a then small town in Florida. My beloved aunt Jenny, who was very ill with cancer and my grandmother would also live with us. Now, my grandmother and I, well, we just did not get along. I thought I was funny and she thought I was a smartass. I thought she was a crotchety mean old bat and she thought I was a disrespectful, loud and obnoxious brat. We had no common ground. Or so I thought. One evening, I think I was about 16 or so, and I was in my bedroom reading and laughing loudly. She poked her head in, “what the hell’s the matter with you!” (I purposefully left off the ?, because it was posed as a statement to me). I chuckled some more and said “Grandma, let me read this to you.” Before long, we were both laughing and crying about grocery carts in supermarkets. This opened the door that had been nailed shut between us for years. Now, I’m not going to tell you that from that moment on, Grandma and I were the best of friends, but we did get along better. That’s the beauty of words, the magic of them: they can build bridges and tear down walls. The power lies in the sharing – “let me read this to you.”
Leslie’s book reminds me of those days with grandma and Erma.
More to come!