And Now You Can Go

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Monday, December 04, 2006
by Vendela Vida #32

This book is one of those that has so much to offer it could be 100 things to 100 people. A book about surviving a violent crime? Okay. A book about the pleasures and dangers of living in New York, San Francisco, or (briefly) the Philippines? Uh huh. A book about families, friends, lovers and how they can love you and want to help, but still not get it and make things worse? Yeah, alright. A reminder that some things you have to do yourself? Indeed. A mystery? Yes. A delight to read, despite dealing with violent crime and missionary work? Definitely.

What spoke the most to me was how gracefully Vida handles the complex nature of forgiveness -- that it is at once a selfish and generous act. (whenever the topic of forgiveness comes up, it makes me think of the excellent Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode I Only Have Eyes For You, where Buffy is feeling understandably betrayed by Evil Angel and taking it out on the MoTW ghost by saying he doesn't deserve the forgiveness he seeks. Giles tells her "To forgive is an act of compassion, Buffy. It's not done because people deserve it. It's done because they need it," which always struck me as being one of those lessons that once learned makes life so much better.)

Anyway... Vendela Vida was the one participant of the Sassy Stories panel I saw at Wordstock who did not trip my irritation mechanism, so I was most pleased to see that it was no fluke. My mechanism is calibrated correctly! The book is really good, but if that weren't reason enough, how about because her name is so delightful to say? Vendela Vida, Vendela Vida... try it a few times and you'll see what I mean! (is that creepy? I don't mean to be creepy. Maybe you should just get the book and say the name quietly to yourself...)
4 comments on "And Now You Can Go"
  1. Bill Bryson, Sam Harris and now Vendela Vida are all on my library list. I mean I have reserved something by each and am now waiting. I trust your taste in books, so I should try to get through Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything" so I can start "The Metaphysical Club" and then read "Mao" before "And Now You Can Go" comes in. A book a week? We'll see, but that is the goal. Although I am thinking Danielle Steel would be easier to get through in a week, if not a lazy afternoon...might I suggest "What Would Buffy Do?"? It is cheesy to be sure but, well, it is also lovely and does mention the quote from "Daddy" that you mentioned...I love Buffy.

  2. Oh, Wordstock! I missed Wordstock this year. I cannot remember why, but I'm thinking it was wrong of me to do so. Next time, I will have to make up for it. I wonder if Tom Clancy will be there again.

  3. BBD -- I haven't read the Bryson history book -- did you see that he has a new memoir out? (which I also haven't read) I think Danielle Steele is better in made for tv movie form. I haven't read What Would Buffy Do, either!! man! I was just thinking yesterday 'what would prince do?' so the buffy book would be a good addition. Between Prince and Buffy, i think all of life's mysteries are probably addressed.

    Martina -- I don't know where you were this year! Some animal thing, maybe? And 2007 wordstock won't even happen until THE FALL! I know! what are they trying to do to us? You'll have to find a way to get your Tom Clancy fix before then, because that's a lot of months to wait. hee hee hee.

  4. The Bryson natural history book is not easy for me to read. I have tried in the morning, afternoon and evening and, well, I just don't think it will happen for me. I did reserve his new book and I am like 112 in line or something hideous...


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