Tea with Sumana and friends

Mentioned during lovely tea “salon” at Le Marais with Sumana and many others:

  • Erma Bombeck. Wikipedia articles skimmed through on our phones. Several of us remembered liking her books when we were kids – according to Sumana the humor holds up well. I had a sort of visceral memory of a particular bookshelf in my grandparents’ basement that also held tattered paperbacks of Carlos Castaneda and some other books that must have belonged to my aunts when they were in college. (The better books were up on higher shelves all around the basement edge, hardbacks from the Heritage series which my grandma must have subscribed to mid-century; they were very nice with great typefaces and prints, and are why I read tons of Russian novels and Balzac and stuff like that in my childhood).
  • The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden. Science fiction I’m currently reading, set in approx. 100 years from now South Africa. It’s very good! Genetic engineering, AI robot assistant/pets, lots of species gone extinct. Youth coming of age, social chaos, weird espionage. There will be a sequel!
  • History of BART. Susan had the coolest damn thing which was a BART pen she was given at a BART station from answering a questionnaire. A little scrip rolls out from the barrel of the pen and lo! it’s a BART map! Adorkable. I recced the BART history book which I’ve now been given as a gift twice (and gave one copy away)
  • Jean Kerr, who wrote Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, which sounds familiar but I can’t really recall it. More 20th century humor!
  • Ruth McKenney, who wrote My Sister Eileen, another humorist and playwright
  • In this context, Sumana’s 18 short plays about Python which I hope she performs again!
  • David Graeber book Utopia of Rules, which looked good. I read some of Debt and some other book of his and thought they were OK. This looked maybe more up my alley though since I enjoy thinking about bureaucracies
  • Our friend Seth being a mime in Paris and my aspiration to join a MIT puzzle hunt team next year
  • The Wrath of Khan musical, which is AMAZING (the bits i’ve seen) Here’s a sample: Have I Still Got the Magic
  • The Play That Goes Wrong which Sumana recced and which sounds pretty good!
  • Perfecting Sound Forever
  • Tidelift as a way for open source software to be supported. You can sign up for it free which gets you a sort of audit of what packages you are using so that you can support their maintainers directly.
  • As always I recommended Happy Snak, my favorite SF book right now. I am trying to at least make it a cult classic. Best heroine. Best aliens. Best first contact. Best small business owner of a mall food court restaurant on an alien space station who becomes an unlikely diplomat and whose deep belief that everyone deserves the happiness obtainable from delicious, convenient, low cost snacks turns out to be revolutionary.

I’m sure we talked about things that weren’t books, plays, or software projects, but I didn’t take notes on those things so have no idea what they were.

liz-dolores-park

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