Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Garrison Keillor Trivia

Today in the small town of Isle, Minnesota I found out some interesting Keillor trivia.
On the wall in my Mom's doctor's office was a framed letter from Garrison Keillor to Dr.Bracken (he was my Dad's doctor). The letter started with an apology to Dr. Bracken for reading Moby Dick.....Keillor never meant to encourage that. He said he read the first 30 pages, put it down for he only reads books that give him pleasure.
Here's his interesting quote: " I spent quite a bit of time in Isle when I was a boy and whenever I imagine Lake Wobegon I always see Isle - Isle, Holdingford and a little bit of Anoka."

Gosh, I could have been hanging out with him on Mille Lacs all those years ago........

He went on to recommend his favorite authors who he described as - " Christian comic writers, who write extensively about small towns and rural people." J.F. Powers, Carol Bly, Charles Portis and Flannery O'Connor.

After the Dr. appointment I took Mom to the grocery store where we ran into Dr. Bracken......talk about small town!!! I had a chat with him about the letter and Dr. Bracken went on to talk about some of his favorite authors and books.....I attached a review of one of those books below. Sounds like a great read.......Deb H.

Morte D'Urban

By J.F. Powers

Winner of The 1963 National Book Award for Fiction.
The hero of J.F. Powers's comic masterpiece is Father Urban, a man of the cloth who is also a man of the world. Charming, with an expansive vision of the spiritual life and a high tolerance for moral ambiguity, Urban enjoys a national reputation as a speaker on the religious circuit and has big plans for the future. But then the provincial head of his dowdy religious order banishes him to a retreat house in the Minnesota hinterlands. Father Urban soon bounces back, carrying God's word with undaunted enthusiasm through the golf courses, fishing lodges, and backyard barbecues of his new turf. Yet even as he triumphs his tribulations mount, and in the end his greatest success proves a setback from which he cannot recover.
First published in 1962, Morte D'Urban has been praised by writers as various as Gore Vidal, William Gass, Mary Gordon, and Philip Roth. This beautifully observed, often hilarious tale of a most unlikely Knight of Faith is among the finest achievements of an author whose singular vision assures him a permanent place in American literature.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I want to go to this party!

Regarding our August pick....
Greg Mortenson, the author of Three Cups of Tea is doing a book tour. He will be very near. Alas, it seems that we are not invited...yet. I am going to call them!


Sunday, October 5, 2008 at 5:00 PM (Private)
United’s 150th Anniversary Banquet
628 West Fifth Street
Red Wing, MN 55066
Contact: Pastor Randall Johnson
Phone: 651-388-3583
Limited to United Members and Special Guests
For more information go to threecupsoftea.com

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Jeanette Walls

Wanda and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Jeanette Walls at the Kahler Hotel in Rochester yesterday. She brought her amazing story to life and inspired all who listened to her story.

She was so gracious and thankful for the outpouring of love she received after sharing her story. She said she was always afraid to tell her story for fear of people rejecting her.
She gave us an update on her family: Sister Lori-an artist in NYC, did not want Jeanette to write the book. Brother- most supportive of her writing the story and helped her remember. He is a retired police officer now teaching school. Younger sister Maureen, in CA, didn't speak to each other for 10 years, now do speak, she lives in a "safe" place in CA. Her mother is now living in a trailer on Jeanette and her husband's property helping to care for their horses.
Jeanette is working on another book, it's in the early stages and she thinks it will be about her mother. She says she's not creative and therefore cannot write fiction. Throughout her talk she never said a negative thing about her parents, she says she learned to dream from her father and learned wisdom from her mother. She's taken these gifts and made the most of her life. She stressed how reading was a gift her parents gave her, she never had TV or any other source of entertainment. We briefly said our hello's to Jeanette as she signed our books......a wonderful day!!
Deb H.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Water for Elephants Revisited

So this was my favorite read of 08! I loved the insights from the nursing home, brought back many memories of working at the old Ramsey County "Poor Farm" as they called it once upon a time!

Nancy outdid her self as usual, we LOVED going to the Big Top for the evening.

Deb Wheeler, with her exceptional period and circus research, added layers on an already fascinating book.

I won't say more as I'm sure you will add your two cents worth in the comments!