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Friday Fill-Ins and Friday Finds

1. You know you’re old when you cannot remember what you just said two minutes ago or what you are going to say is at the tip of your tongue.

2. My heart is divided between the people I care and teaching.

3. A big cup of latte with an extra shot (it’s 5 AM, I’ve been up watching the live broadcast of the 29th Olympics Game opening from Beijing) is what I need RIGHT NOW!

4. I have felt the pain of unrequited love, I have known the depths of the true meaning of love–that it’s a passion that defines human beings.

5. Gah, won’t these people get off the freaking cell phones and shut up! (Line of an exasperated early-morning cafe patron.)

6. Count your blessings as soon as you can!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to resting (it’s been a long week grading papers and meeting students one-on-one), tomorrow my plans include wrapping up Anna Karenina and starting Sense and Sensibility, and Sunday, I want to catch up with friends and read some more!

This week’s Friday’s Finds is really Thursday Night’s Finds since I went to the bookstore after a second viewing of Mamma Mia!. By the way, I had so much fun watching it again, tapping my feet, and grooving at my leather seat. Like last time, the audience was predominantly women. This film, albeit there are few flaws like the awkward, ambiguous handling of Colin Firth’s gay role, and Pierce Brosnan’s somewhat self-conscious and embarrassed singing (it shows on his face), is just sheer exuberance and fun. Two hours went by like a breeze with all the singing and tender moments. Anyway, I picked up two books–both popular reading. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards tells the story of a doctor who, delivering his own twins, gives the daughter, who has Down syndrome to the nurse and tells her to bring the baby to an institution. The nurse moves to another city and raises the child as her own. The other book is a beach novel, by Hilma Wolitzer, called Summer Reading. This one is totally a cold call–saw it on the feature books table. Wolitzer’s reading group is the Page Turners, a sorority of Hamptons trophy wives who have signed up for painless intellectual sun-lamp sessions by way of Trollope, García Márquez et al. What do you find at the bookstore this week?

22 Responses

  1. I’ve experienced #4 too. A great Friday Fill-In! Have a good weekend!

  2. I’m glad I found you on Friday fill-Ins…I’m a Moleskine lover too.
    I loved # 6…another FF-In I just commented on said ‘be happy’ …so maybe someone’s trying to tell me something today and I should take notice of that! I agree with # 3 and # 5 too…well said!

    Mine’s up at

    you have a fascinating place here…I’ll be back to read more.
    bella 🙂

  3. No! Sorry, my mistake….that’s the last FF-In I commented on, but you should go and visit her anyway!!

    Mine is at


  4. I have The Memory Keepers Daughter on my TBR list! I’ll be anxious to hear what you think. I didn’t watch the movie on Lifetime a few months ago because I didn’t want it to spoil the book for me. IMO books are always better. Enjoy your weekend! 🙂

  5. I agree with Lisa … books are always better than the movies. I just picked up Bear Any Burden by Ellis Goodman this week. It’s a great family epic espionage thriller that is being considered for a movie. There’s definitely something to be said for getting to the author’s words before the movie-makers have their way with them. 🙂

  6. Hey! I’m not old!

  7. I’ve heard a lot of good things about The Memory Keeper’s Daughter; I’ll be interested to see what you say. I picked up George Carlin’s last book (I think it was his last), cause I needed something light and fun. 🙂

  8. I actually did not set foot in a bookstore this past week. I attended a conference for my work and didn’t come across a bookstore in my nightly wanderings, although I did take in a movie.

    Your number one is a predicament I have found myself in several times, unfortunately.

    I hope you are enjoying your weekend, Matt.

  9. I quite liked Memory Keeper’s Daughter when I read it (last year?) but I’ve heard comments from people on both sides of the fence. I myself got a copy of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society but I’ve got a few ahead of that one so it’ll be some time before I actually get around to reading it. By then, I’m sure practically everyone in the blogosphere will have read and blogged about it.

    I also saw Mamma Mia (for the first time) and the theater was packed! It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a movie with so many people in the audience, but it made it that much more fun, as people were laughing and singing and so I didn’t have to feel self-conscious about doing the same.

  10. I’m going to see Mamma Mia tonight. I’m really looking forward to it, and your review makes me want to see it even more!

  11. soleil:
    I couldn’t leave a comment on your blog because I don’t have/forget the password of gmail. But I do agree with you on #4.

  12. bellamocha:
    Thanks. 🙂 I always say before the age of cell phones, blue-tooth, and black erries, we were all fine. I cannot stand people blaring at the phones as if it’s their own living room.

  13. Lisa:
    I agree with you about movie tie-in. I never go see the film without reading the book first. It’s weird. I don’t mind going into the movie knowing the end, but I would not spoil the pleasure of reading by seeing the movie first.

  14. Ruth:
    I love the build-up of suspenses in reading, capturing the nuances. It’s more enjoyable. 🙂

  15. elitist:
    Who says you’re old? 🙂

    That’s what I need, something lighter and page-turning.Too much Russian lit this summer! 🙂

  16. Literary Feline:
    I enjoy the convenience of close proximity to a bookstore. It’s on my way home so I usually pop in and see they’ve got new on their tables. 🙂

  17. Lesley:
    I’m looking forward to reading The Memory Keeper’s Daughter. It does sound very intriguing when I heard about it from a friend. The idea is edgy, maybe that’s why the reviews are split in the middle.

    Mamma Mia is so much fun. Even though I don’t usually enjoy a full house at movie, the dynamics of the audience–the laughing, the cheering, the clapping–makes the experience so much much lively and fun. 🙂

  18. Thom:
    Like I said from the above comment, I hope you’re digging the music. I was tapping my feet the whole time! 🙂

  19. Sadly, I can very much relate to #1.

    Hope you had a great weekend, thanks for playing 🙂

  20. Janet:
    I have always forgotten things recently. Yesterday I walked into the coffee shop without any cash! 🙂

  21. Janet:
    I have always forgotten things…little things…things I’ll tell people and only forget when I’m about to tell them. *sigh*

    Sounds like me John. That happens! 🙂

  22. I read The Memory Keepers Daughter when it first came out, and knew it would be very popular.

    I agree with Ruth. I picked up a copy of Bear Any Burden after attending the Chicago Printers Row Book Fair, where the author, Ellis Goodman was a panelist. It’s a thriller/espionage story with a little romance added and the story spans over 90 years. Highly recommended. There is talk about this book becoming a movie, and there’s even a contest to enter – naming the actors who should play the characters in the book. http://www.bearanyburden.com.

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