Linky Randutiae

I cannot recommend last weekend’s This American Life, called “DIY,” strongly enough. Here’s the description from the website: “After four lawyers fail to get an innocent man out of prison, his friend takes on the case himself. He becomes a do-it-yourself investigator. He learns to read court records, he tracks down hard-to-find witnesses, he gets the real murderer to come forward with his story. In the end, he’s able to accomplish all sorts of things the police and the professionals can’t.” Sounds dry, right? IT SO ISN’T. It’s an unbelievable story (and the closest I’ve ever seen TAL get to the warm fuzzies) and what blew me away were the people — you will not believe these people. You can listen to it here.

If you’ve ever built IKEA furniture (or looked at the instructions), I bet these instructions for building Stonehenge will make you laugh. :o) Thanks, R.

After finishing Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth, I wandered around feeling bereft for a few hours, discovered that all the Lahiri at my library was out, then ended up at my local bookstore, where I bought her first story collection, Interpreter of Maladies. I had no idea, until I got to the end of this book, that one of my favorite stories ever is actually by Jhumpa Lahiri: “The Third and Final Continent.” I know this story because it’s on my iPod, from an ancient CD of the fabulous PRI radio show Selected Shorts, which I used to listen to when I was living in Austin and OH GOOD HEAVENS I just noticed that it’s still running and I can subscribe to the podcast. This show is basically talented people reading good short stories. I listened to “The Third and Final Continent” for the first time when I was on an airplane once. I don’t remember where I was going, but I remember that I was terrified. I could not have stumbled upon a better story to give me courage in that moment. Anyway. Here’s the CD I found it on — maybe your library has it :o).

I have more stuff I want to talk about, but no time, so I’ll sign off. With maturity. *thbbbbpppt*

(Oh, also, Germany! 14-19 March, I expect to be in Hamburg, Erfurt, Frankfurt, Coburg, and finally at the Leipzig Book Fair, but don’t have the exact details yet. I promise to post them as soon as I have them.)