On Sunday Mr. McGregor's Daughter did a book meme, and I thought it would be fun to play on this cold November morning. I'm scheduled to work at the greenhouse, but just got a call that instead of starting at 10:00, I can come in at 1:00. Happy Days! It's cold and windy out there this morning and I'm more than happy to do my part helping keep payroll dollars to a minimum!
On to the meme. Here are the Rules: Grab the closest book at hand (no fair going out of your way to get something intellectual, just what’s within arm’s reach of your keyboard). Turn to page 56, go to the fifth sentence and post the results - include the sentences that follow to provide some sort of context. I'll skip the part about tagging other bloggers. (I don't like rules much.) And I'll break another rule, since I didn't think page 56 would provide enough of the flavor of the only book that was within arm's reach, which happens to be the book I'm currently reading. Instead I've picked the 5th sentence from page 256:
Because it was late afternoon - chore and milking time - they were restive; but because they weren't working and their stomachs were full, in a warm room, they should be sleeping, and they blinked, yawned, and grimaced to keep their eyes open.
The farm women, nearly starved for anything resembling higher culture, demanded more from the occasion than it could possibly yield. With eyes as white as freshly peeled hard-boiled eggs they inspected the jewelry, hair, and clothes of the other women, tasted each morsel of food disapprovingly, strained to hear conversations from neighboring tables, worried about wrinkles in their faces, and frowned at their husbands to sit up straighter in their chairs. . .
Ah, to be included at the table of people whose backs did not ache and feet were not swollen, whose nurtured capacity for merriment so exceeded all unpleasantness that the bass notes of living could be blithely ignored. This was the real human technology that from time immemorial had driven small farmers off their land and muted the howl of those caught in the gears. In the scramble to secure a place at the banquet - at least for their children - the cries of those run over by the Engine of Progress could scarcely be heard.
While visiting M&M who live in the Driftless region of southwestern Wisconsin, we attended an open house at the small potato farm of friends of theirs. One of the other guests I met was David Rhodes' wife.
David was recently interviewed on NPR's "On Point." You can listen to the interview here. I've quoted the written introduction to the interview below. It's a succinct biography and history of his latest work.
Writer David Rhodes published three novels still in his twenties, was hailed as one of the best of his generation, was paralyzed in a flash, in a motorcycle accident, and dropped off the map for thirty years — living simply, quietly, almost invisibly in the rolling countryside of rural Wisconsin.
Three years ago, a young fan tracked him down. Discovered he was still writing. And brought him back.
His extraordinary new novel, Driftless, takes us deep into the lives and hollows of the world he has quietly observed, off the map, for decades.
I was intrigued upon hearing about David and his new book at the open house. Then Mom sent me a link to the interview. Having frequently visited the Driftless Region, I was naturally very interested in the book and even more interested after listening to the NPR interview.
I thought it would be an excellent read this winter, so I ordered the book from Amazon and have not been disappointed. I'm still in the middle of it, and am looking forward to reading Rock Island Line, David's last novel which I also got from Amazon, next.