Did You Survive the 4th?

I was anticipating a quiet 4th of July. A 4th where the most challenging task would be to crack open a bottle of Chateaux Thames Embankment and listen to some old Grateful Dead favs, reminiscing about hippie lasses that I have partied with. Instead, I found myself seated in a restaurant called the Meat Market staring at the largest cheeseburger this side of the Himalayas. “I dare you!” It seemed to grumble at me in a nasty sort of way.

BTW, Meat Market is a rather upscale retreat here in Tartu that specializes in … you guessed it. I thought I might need surgery after devouring a steak there a while back.

“I ordered the fish last time and got sick” the nice young lady sitting next to me said. And what did she expect? They call it the MEAT market for a reason, don’t they?

To make a long story short, I dared, which started a very, very late night. At least part of that night was spent searching for a waitress who was willing to demonstrate a Bulgarian folk dance (a challenge that went unmet) and a drunken, passionate discussion of the difference between serfdom and slavery. followed by speculation whether Donald Trump bowls nude in the White House. That last one was John Oliver’s thought that I cannot get out of my head.

So this morning … oops, it is no longer morning here … I long for even less engaging tasks. Making coffee? Sadly, I have only enough for a half cup, and my car is in the shop.

But the electricity is still on, and the internet obliges. Vox offers a lovely set of book recommendations from indie booksellers. Most intriguing for me was “Like a Fading Shadow” by Antonio Molina.  Here is the promo

Exploring the possibilities of auto-fiction, Spanish author Antonio Muñoz Molina lays down two different narrations that advance in parallel throughout the novel. One is the story of James Earl Ray’s flight to Lisbon after murdering Martin Luther King. The other one is focused on his personal experiences in the late ’80s while he was in the process of writing his second novel, Un Invierno en Lisboa (Winter in Lisbon, unpublished in English). This is a brilliant dialogue between reality and fiction in which the author, smartly and full of empathy, recomposes those things that must have happened but we don’t know. The best thing of this book: the insightful reflections on the process of telling a story.

See anything that  you like??


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