Archive for March, 2019

bookmark: carrying albert home

Carrying Albert Home: The Somewhat True Story of a Man, His Wife, and Her Alligator – by Homer Hickam

Briefly, this is the story of a husband and wife taking the wife’s pet alligator back to where he came from and where he belongs. What it is really about is a woman who is not happy with her life, her marriage or her husband and is searching for something more meaningful. It’s also about a husband that takes more grief than a normal human should have to take.

The title of this book claims that it is a “somewhat true story.” Well, if even half of this story is true then the couple has more trials and tribulations on their voyage than Odysseus. While I believe that this author may have been inspired by some family story, it goes far beyond that. So if you decide to read this book, suspend your judgment and treat the story as the work of fiction that it is.

The trip takes the couple from the coal mines of West Virginia to Florida, and eventually back to West Virginia. It’s episodic in nature, with the couple going from one sub-plot to another, almost like a bunch of short stories strung together by the overarching theme of the trip. It was an entertaining book, but towards the end I was getting a bit impatient for it to end, mostly because I was so tired of the character of the wife.

For an amusing road story, it was okay.

Finished 3/23/19

So, You Want to Be Canadian: All About the Most Fascinating People in the World and the Magical Place They Call Home – by Kerry Colburn and Rob Sorensen

No, I don’t want to be a Canadian, though it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. It’s just that I was in a relationship with a Canadian for nine years and came to learn about many things Canadian. I kind of wanted to round out my knowledge with this book. In many ways I did.

This is not a book on how to apply for immigration into Canada, something that is a little more difficult to do than one might think, if one is a middle-class, white old man. Rather, it is a humorous look at the typical behaviors of Canadians and the bits of knowledge that those who are not Canadian may be unaware.

As it is, I already know more than most U.S. citizens, and can call a sofa a chesterfield as well as anything else, and am not baffled by an electric bill being called a hydro bill. And skookum has become a true part of my vocabulary.

It’s a fun read and short. Learn about our neighbors to the north. You might appreciate them more.

Finished 3/9/19