That is what popped into my head while reading Tracy Kidder’s “Home Town”. I’ve heard this analogy many times (tastes like chicken) when served an atypical mystery meat. As a child I was served fried- frog- legs one horrifying visit to my grandmother’s house. The little kid in me couldn’t resist the lure of telling my friends about this goulish experience, so of course I tasted it ( who are we kidding here-I HAD to taste it ) and was amazed to find it tasted just like chicken!
So what does this have to do with the book I’m reading? Tracy rides around Northampton, Mass. with a life long resident who happens to be the police chief. It is a slice of Americana that you don’t recall when envisioning Northampton. Like the juxtaposition of any exotic meat being compared to chicken -so did I find this fascinating story of two worlds colliding. That of the rich and famous, who have made real estate beyond the reach of an average wage in Northampton compared to the generations who have been raised, struggled and prospered in it’s boundaries. I’m not done with this but am loving the characters of this fascinating book. I’m a big fan of Mr. Kidder to be sure.
I also started Elizabeth Strout’s newest novel, ironically about the New England area, and like it as well. Like a nitwit I read a biography about Brenda Warner. Yep, Kurt Warner’s bride. Dare I say this out loud? I don’t like football and I think what athletes get paid is absurd. What hooked me was the subtitle “Answering Life’s Challenges with Unshakable Faith”. I found Ms. Warner’s version of her life’s journey self-serving at times and the title sounds like bragging. What is one person’s “unshakable” is another’s humility. They have funded a foundation, which is admirable, but I didn’t find her story that inspiring.
I am home today, unexpectedly, so I’m getting caught up on much needed reading and blogging. I was relieved to see a post from our library director about a book neither of us could finish. Because I admire the gift and discipline it takes to be a writer I don’t take reading lightly but I think that knowing someone couldn’t finish a book must be painful. It would be like hearing someone say “your baby is ugly” without seeing how they will turn out. It is nice to see all the good reviews this book received despite my experience. It’s all about choices isn’t it? Speaking of which, for those of you who don’t know, I will be leaving Sioux Center towards the end of March and moving to Portland, Oregon. My last day at the Sioux Center Library is March 6. So many mixed feelings. I have met the most delightful people and the best patrons ever here and will miss them all terribly. I will continue to blog here about books and my adventures in the big city but I will remove the Sioux Center Library logo. I don’t want to lose touch with you so feel free to post whenever you want…And don’t be afraid to taste frog legs!