I know you've been dying to know what I've been up to lately. Well fret no more.
I've been talking a lot about dogs lately, but I've simultaneously continued my voracious reading binge. (Although a dog will turn up before this is over.) At first I concentrated on things I'd always meant to read but hadn't, e.g. Tolstoy, and then on things I read long ago that I wanted to reread, e.g. The Magic Mountain , Fair and Tender Ladies.
Then I started on a project to read every winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. That constitutes around a hundred books. Recently I’ve knocked off seventeen, pretty much starting with the most recent and going back in time. Coupled with the eight I’d already read I'm about a forth of the way through.
But I've had offshoots into other works by Pulitzer winners when I discover a writer I particularly like. My favorites of these are Bel Canto by Ann Patchet and A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles whose excellent The Lincoln Highway is under consideration for the prize this year. I'm also usually mixing in a work of nonfiction. I'm currently reading The 1619 Project. Several of its essayists have been awarded Pulitzers in fields other than fiction.
At the same time for the past month or so I’ve spent some time most days learning Spanish or somewhat relearning it. Seven or eight years ago I learned enough to be somewhat able to carry on a conversation with native speakers. I learned the first time by listening to CDs on my way to work and back and by attending the Hispanic Baptist Church at Calvary for a year or so. This time I'm relearning from unlimited lessons from Babel on my laptop.
The first time I was prompted by a mistaken notion that Spanish fluency would get me some Latino clients– mistaken because I had no experience in immigration law, a very specialized field necessary to attracting those clients. This time I'm inspired and challenged by my five year old granddaughter who’s learning Spanish at school in New Orleans. Here we see her instructing her dog Soul Train. Soul Train in his six years has developed understanding of a few words in English but as you shall see is bewildered and befuddled by Spanish.
(“No me gusta, Soul Train,” means - “You are not pleasing me, Soul Train.”)