One Flew Away From the Cuckoo’s Nest

Maybe I didn’t mention it, but I went to San Francisco for a long weekend. 

One of my dear friends from ninth grade turned 40, and it took a village and more wine than was probably prudent to get her there.  To 40 that is.  She lives in San Francisco. 

Nat is an organizer by nature, so she organized an entire weekend of events for a group of her friends, and in the midst of fascinating conversation and lots of good food several books and films came up.  It’s an eclectic assortment, but I have to say a welcomed assortment.  I’ve been trying for weeks to find a novel that could hold my interest for more than twenty minutes.  I can’t tell you how many novels I’ve started and quit because, frankly I’d rather drill a hole in my skull than continue, so I’m hoping there are a few gems.

I’ll be really honest here, Natalie gave me her copy of Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stenger because I was so taken with the premise.  I planned on reading it on the return trip.

Then I had to stop, because if I had continued reading while all of civilzation continued on its downward spiral into absolute savagery in the airport I was going to cross over into something, and I’m fairly certain it wasn’t going to be safety.  So I picked up a People and read about how Reese Witherspoon has finally found true love. 

I just wonder, when did people lose all sense of decorum and good manners?  Or is it just that I’m almost 40 and grumpy?  I don’t know.  All I know is that my trip home was not an idyllic crossing into safety, rather it was really more of a One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest sort of trip.

Anyway, here are the book and film suggestions from the weekend.  Enjoy.

1.  One Day by David Nicholls – One Day (Vintage Contemporaries Original)
2.  Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts – Shantaram: A Novel

3.  Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro – Never Let Me Go (Movie Tie-In Edition) (Vintage International)
4.  The Postmistress by Sarah Blake – The Postmistress

5.  Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman – Saving CeeCee Honeycutt: A Novel
6.  1000 Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini – A Thousand Splendid Suns
7.  Wild Swans by Jung Chang – Wild Swans : Three Daughters of China
8.  Loving Frank by Nancy Horan – Loving Frank: A Novel
9.  The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson – The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
10.  Shadow of the Wind by Carlose Ruiz Zafon – The Shadow of the Wind
11.  The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova – The Historian
12.  Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner – Crossing to Safety (Modern Library Classics)
13.  A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah – A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
14.  A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry – A Fine Balance (Oprah’s Book Club)
15.  Freedom by Jonathan Franzen – Freedom: A Novel (Oprah’s Book Club)
16.  The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen – The Corrections: A Novel
17.  Little Bee by Chris Cleave – Little Bee: A Novel
18.  Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali – Infidel
19.  The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay – The Power of One: A Novel
20.  Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett – The Pillars of the Earth
21.  East of Eden by John Steinbeck East of Eden
22.  Reach for the Stars by Serge Bloch – Reach for the Stars: and Other Advice for Life’s Journey
23.  A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza – A Mother for Choco (Paperstar)
24.  What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver – What We Talk About When We Talk About Love: Stories
25.  The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin – The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun
26.  Not Quite What I Was Planning – Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure 

1.  Requiem for a Dream – Requiem for a Dream (Director’s Cut)
2.  A Prophet – A Prophet
3.  The Secret in Their Eyes – The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Ojos)
4.  White Ribbon – The White Ribbon
5.  Gods & Monsters – Gods and Monsters
6.  The Silence – The Silence
7.  Renzel
8.  Vitus – Vitus
9.  38 –  Serbian –
10.  State of Play (the BBC TV Series)
11.  Short Cuts – Short Cuts – (The Criterion Collection)

See y’all!

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