Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Question of the Day

How did the last good book you read end up in your hands and why did you read it?

Technically, the last good book I read is "The Glass Castle: A Memoir" by Jeannette Walls. I'm going to fudge a little and tell you about the good book I'm currently reading: "The Woman at the Washington Zoo." Right now, I'm in the middle of Marjorie Williams' essay/interview about Vernon Jordan, "The Rainmaker." This book is a collection of Williams' writings about Washington DC and her experience leaving life too soon to liver cancer. It was put together by her husband, Timothy Noah. I learned about the book from a newsletter sent by Powell's Books. I ordered it immediately.

Marjorie Williams writes like a dream. She had the rare ability to tell another person's story with humanity, complexity and humor.

The first morning I brought this book along with me to read while waiting to have a blood test and then waiting at a Starbucks to meet with friends, a German woman (tourist) came over to me at Starbucks enthused to see we were both beginning to read the same book. We both expressed our unease at the sadness of reading about Majorie's cancer and leaving her two children and husband. But, as I read these essays published in the 1980s and early 1990s I find I'm anticipating the humanity, complexity, honesty and humor in which she'll tell her own story.

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