Tag Archives: © 2021 Book Chatter

Sunday Matters: Wasn’t Bad At All

Sunday Matters

Every day has felt like a beautiful spring day this past week. It’s amazing how sunlight and blue skies immediately perk you up. That wind though. Still up to its tricks. However, gazing out the window while working has been made quite pleasant by the sunlight streaming through.

Speaking of work, I made it through and it wasn’t bad at all. Busy, but manageable. I’ve not been sleeping at all but my body and mind are constantly racing so I think that helped me catch-up so quickly. I was on fire. My daughter is not sleeping either. She was given an RX to try but it’s not working nor are any of the natural remedies (Melatonin, Magnesium, Valerian root, ZzzQuil, etc.) She is doing meditation too. If you have something to suggest, please do.

Right Now:

All that is going on right now is lounging. We had nothing scheduled for this weekend and it was nice to not have to leave the house or really do anything.

Later, my youth group will meet on Zoom again. We don’t have much of a choice even though everyone is tired of it. One out of three people in LA County have COVID so we remain virtual.

This Week:

Here’s where we really need your good thoughts, prayers, salt over the shoulder, whatever works. Two auditions this week. Hot weather and wind. Edison threatening (again) to shut the power off. We will prepare to have fully charged laptops and hotspots just in case but for singing on Zoom, the hard-wired ethernet cable is the best way to go so we hope the power remains on for Carnegie Mellon and Arizona. Please.

I also have a book club meeting on Zoom to discuss The Memory Police. I believe my daughter also has a master class to attend so power would be good.

Monday, campus is closed in honor of MLK day. I nearly forgot.

Reading:

The Overstory. It’s a long book, 500 pages or so. I may read Miss Benson’s Beetle at the same time.

Watching:

Believe it or not, I have been watching Maine Cabin Masters. It’s on the DIY network. They remodel these cabins in the middle of nowhere, often keeping the environment and sustainability in mind. It’s really amazing what they can do with these little cabins. Sometimes they are located on an island with no running water or an easy way to transport supplies. It’s fascinating.

Grateful for:

  • My son was offered another job to supplement the hours he is currently working so he will have two jobs. Two of my fave places (Williams Sonoma and REI).
  • The Otter Pup who was feeling out of sorts is now back to her normal, quirky self. I pulled a small burr out of her coat and voila! She is back in business. She also had a thorn stuck in her back. That dog loves to jump into bushes.

What’s new with you? Oh! The inauguration is this week. Praying for a smooth transition with zero drama.

Review: The Memory Police

The Memory Police

The Memory Police
By Yoko Ogawa, Translated by Stephen Snyder
Vintage, 9781101911815, July 2020, 288pp.

The Short of It:

Ethereal and beautiful, tinged with sadness.

The Rest of It:

On a remote island, random objects begin to disappear. Birds, roses, ribbons, etc. The inhabitants wake to a feeling of change yet can’t put their finger on what has changed until they interact with others on the island. The strange thing is that the feeling that the disappearance causes precedes the actual disappearance which is followed through to completion by the inhabitants themselves. So when roses disappear, the inhabitants gather up all the roses to destroy them and send them down a river.

The disappearances are enforced by the Memory Police. How they know when someone is holding out is not explained but if someone tries to preserve something that has disappeared, they are taken away. Eventually, when all traces are removed, most of the inhabitants can no longer recall the item at all. All memory of the item has disappeared as well. But there are some who never forget. The memories of these items remain in them, and for some, they’ve even been able to preserve the actual item, such as a piece of candy. As living becomes more difficult and the situation more dire, you can’t help but compare what is going on with Orwell’s 1984.

The three main characters are for the most part, unnamed. Our protagonist, a young woman, lost both her parents and lives a solitary life. She is a writer and befriended by her editor, only known as “R” and a kind old man who knew her mother. The three navigate these disappearances as best they can but “R” happens to be one of the people who can remember and so he must go into hiding with their help. What will disappear next?

This story is beautifully written. I found myself rereading many passages as I went along. The author’s skill at evoking a particular memory is especially wonderful. I found myself mourning all the things we have lost during this pandemic. The smell of a wonderful meal, served to me in a bustling restaurant filled with laughter and happy people. Or I found myself missing movie theatres and that anticipation you feel when the previews roll or the smell of hot buttered popcorn while sitting back to enjoy a really good film. The story made me feel all kinds of things. Yes, it made me a little sad but also hopeful because I am fairly certain that the tangible things we’ve lost during this pandemic are only temporary losses, not like the ones in the story.

The author’s inspiration was Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl. This makes sense when you consider the hiding that must take place to keep these people safe. The Memory Police is a wonderful read. I have found a new favorite author in Ogawa and can’t wait to read another book by her.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.