: views from the Hill

Monday, June 02, 2008

BONK and the bookers

The gang was over here tonight for dinner and a discussion of Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach.

Suffice to say, the comments around the table were less laudatory than the reviews we'd all read.

Dinner was a salad with a simple oil-balsamic dressing, Gorgonzola gnocchi (from Trader Joe's) and sherry Parmesan shrimp (shrimp from Trader Joe's). Dessert was chocolate macadamia nut brownies (macadamia nuts and chocolate chips from Trader Joe's). Oh, did I mention the mixed salad greens were from Costco as was the brownie mix the brownies were based on? Wines from Trader Joe's too. Sparkling cider from Costco. All well-fed thanks to Trader Joe's and Costco.

Back to Bonk. The reviews are splendid. The actuality less so, in my opinion. Had we been set up by the wonderful reviews so any reality would be a let down? Maybe.

We discussed our favorite bits and our letdowns. Wisecrackery. Tedium. Wiseassery.

Mary Roach used to be a San Francisco gel, used to be a member of The Grotto, a writers' collective that includes Po Bronson, ZZ Packer, Laura Fraser, others. Roach now lives across the Bay in Oakland and no longer is part of The Grotto.

The bookers are skipping July because too many of us will be out of town. August read is Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez. September (a week late because of Labor Day) will be PopCo by Scarlett Thomas. (The PCV in Ukraine told me to read Thomas' The End of Mr. Y and I found it intriguing. He told me to read PopCo as well. Another booker had been told to read PopCo by someone who gave it rave reviews. PopCo it is.)

October will be Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin.

Spent most of today making the house presentable. Stacking my piles of stuff. Vacuuming. Cleaning. Sweeping. Rearranging. I'd figured out the menu over the weekend and made it simple enough that cooking wouldn't be a stress.

Everything worked out just fine. I'm off the hook for hosting until later this year. (The nice thing about hosting, though, is you don't have to find a way home after.)

The August location is over in the Mission. September is just up Montgomery, off Alta. October, November are up at the top of the hill.

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