Tuesday Thingers -The Voices won’t leave me alone!

Tuesday Thingers ROCK!

Since we’re past the Fourth of July and the summer season has officially started, what are your plans for the summer? Vacations, trips? Trips that involve reading? Reading plans? If you’re going somewhere, do you do any reading to prepare? Do you read local literature as part of your trip? Have you thought about using the LT Local feature to help plan your book-buying?

My plans for this summer are simple: READ. Read whatever isn’t nailed shut, read whatever is in English (not up for translating German, French, Spanish or Vietnamese… though I have books in those languages in my library.), read all the ARCs on the desk, finish the Jane-a-thon, and making a dent in Mt. TBR by Christmas. READ.

and review,    yes, that’s it…. My plans for this summer are simple: READ and REVIEW. Review all the books I read that aren’t nailed shut, in English, ARCs, Janes and on Mt. TBR. READ and REVIEW.

and blog?    Well, yes.. of course BLOG… that goes without saying.  My plans for this summer are simple: READ and REVIEW and BLOG. Blog my reviews of the books I read that aren’t nailed shut, not in German, French, Spanish or Vietnamese, that are ARCs and on Mt. TBR. plus blog the memes?   Yes, and blog the memes.

Why don’t you join any blog challenges?     Well I did join Fyrefly’s Ye Olde TBR(e) Challenge, what more do you want? I just started blogging!     Well you don’t have to get snippy about it, I was only trying to help!     I wasn’t trying to be “snippy”, I was just trying to get this blog written.     Well you hurt my feelings… you should say you’re sorry for that.     Alright! I’m sorry.     That’s right, you are sorry.     Can we get on with this Tuesday Thingers now? before it’s Booking Through Thursday?     a’right.     Where was I? Right, plans for the summer…     don’t forget about the giveaway!

My plans for this summer are simple: READ, REVIEW, BLOG and GIVEAWAY! I’m having My First Ever Giveaway!! for a $20 Borders gift card. It’s been open for about a week, and I have about 300 entries. When I get 400 I’ll add a $10 gift card, and at 500 I’ll add a $5. Click the pic for details!.

You could be a winner!

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Dough: A Memoir by Mort Zachter

A Memoir

Title: Dough: A Memoir
Author: Mort Zachter
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publish Date: 2008
ISBN: 9780061663413

What would you do if you found out your uncle, the one who wears the same suit he did when Reagan was inaugurated (the first time) and drives around in the same junkyard escapee that looks like an accordion for the last thirty years, had over 6 million dollars? While you’ve struggled to make a family and pay bills, your uncle’s been sitting on a mound of cash, never offering to help and always saying how broke he is.

That is what happened to Mort Zachter, grandson and nephew of Jewish Russian immigrants. “The Store”, as it has always been referred, was the family owned and run bakery. Began by Mort’s grandparents as a pushcart vendor that graduated to a Lower East Side 9th Street storefront, the Wolk family sold day old breads and cakes to the neighborhood. A beloved fixture for over forty years, it almost never closed… not for sabbat, high holidays, weddings or blizzards… Zachter’s uncles and mother moved the merchandise. They never went hungry, but they never were rich… or so Mort thought.

When his father’s illness requires Mort to take care of his uncle’s affairs, he discovers his uncle is loaded, to the tune of six million dollars. Dough: A Memoir takes the reader on the journey of discovery, realization, understanding and forgiveness. How could you not pity a man who has done without everything because he is “poor”, but has three brokerage accounts each with over a million in them?

I liked this book. It’s a short, fun and funny, touching read that is both a retelling of a life and a lesson to enjoy life now. This book is rich with texture: the smells of the bread and Suzy the cat in the bakery, Food Stamp Passovers, and complicated people. Uncle Harry wasn’t just a selfish bastard, but he was also the joking uncle who pulled people in, a Jewish Tom Sawyer who got people to work for free, oddly generous at times, and always his own man.

Harry Wolk had his faults, but he was a larger than life figure, overall, loved and well-known by customers. Zachter conveys this story without hatred, bitterness, or condemnation. One particular scene it in the book sums up how bad the uncles’ hoarding had been. While cleaning up Uncle Harry’s apartment, Mort finds boxes and boxes of unused, unopened appliances, cutlery, cookware and other stuff. The question is asked why they’d have bought stuff and never used it, the answer:

…It had to be a freebee… I was remembering the full-page savings-and-loan advertisements in the New York Post when I was a kid. Open your passbook savings account with us and receive your choice of the following gifts absolutely free… I plunged my hands deeply into the drawer and pulled out its contents over and over again. Bankbooks flowed from my fingertips, reflecting the maelstrom of New York City’s ever-changing financial history… Multiple accounts existed for each bank. All the accounts were closed…

My grandma was like Uncle Harry. She save-save-saved, even taking her own children’s pay and 4-H prizes, and never enjoying her life with it. She would manipulate others to her own purposes, and would tell her overburdened children “You’ll inherit it when I’m dead,” if they ever spoke up for themselves. The trouble is, she is now in a nursing home, dementia has taken her and her life’s savings. It’s such a waste that she didn’t enjoy life more and spend that money on her and her families happiness. At least SHE would’ve gotten the benefit of it. Now it’s all gone a golf bag and a down payment on some doctor’s second summer home.