I have been horribly negligent to the grumbleblog faithful (Hi, Mom!) and there's no way I can recap all of the books I've read and shows I've attended since (yikes) April. I don't know what the hell's wrong with me--I have no excuses. Well, I do, but I won't go into them here.
I will at least try to list some of the highlights that I can remember. I know I read the excellent Home by Marilynne Robinson and now that I've finished off all of her fictional offerings, I just have to sit back and wait for her to complete another novel. I've read Charles Baxter's The Feast of Love (good, but didn't leave a lasting impression), Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies (excellent stories), Graham Swift's book of essays, Making An Elephant (good enough to make me want to go read some of his novels) and the first volume of War and Peace. I will get back to it eventually--the drawing room scenes can be a bit of a slog, but the battle scenes are pretty amazing literary accomplishments.
The shows are more of a blur. There was the impressive Conor Oberst at the Ottobar and the amazing vocals of Neko Case at the Ramshead as well as a smattering of shows by local bands that I just can't seem to recall right now.
Oh, and this week I read The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick, the story of Philadelphia Eagles fan Pat Peoples' attempt to assimilate back into society after a long stint in a Baltimore mental facility. His comic and heartbreaking return to his parents' house, therapy, a manic depressive new girl friend and Eagles season tickets made for a hilarious read. Highly recommended (especially for Eagles fans).