Poker Face

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I picked today's book because I thought it would be a nice change of pace from the type of books I've been reading lately. But it was quite a let down. I found it kind of boring, and so I spent most of the day forcing myself through it - when I wasn't trying to keep the dog alive that is.

Here's the description of today's book:

"Katy Lederer grew up on the bucolic campus of an exclusive East Coast boarding school where her father taught English, her mother retreated into crosswords and scotch, and her much older siblings played "grown-up" games like gin rummy and chess. But Katy faced much more than the typical trials of childhood. Within the confines of the Lederer household an unlikely transformation was brewing, one that would turn this darkly intellectual and game-happy group into a family of professional gamblers."

The description made the book sound so much more intriguing than it actually was. And the only good part of reading this book was that all of the talk of card games reminded me of some happy childhood memories that involve going to my Grandparents' house. It's odd that a book about a dysfunctional, unhappy childhood would remind me of something happy - but, oh well, stranger things have happened while reading. I am reminded of childhood family gatherings in my Grandmother's kitchen. After the meal was over the adults would sit down to play cards. But they would never let the children play because they said we would slow them down, and there were never any good toys to play with, so we would amuse ourselves by playing a game we invented called "Count the Bad Words." Apparently we had put so much effort into inventing the game that we had no creativity left to come up with an interesting name. My relatives on that side of the family all talked like a bunch of drunken sailors, and they never censored themselves around us. So we passed the time by playing a game in which we kept track of who said the most bad words. We set up a make-shift announcers booth, borrowed a wooden spoon for a microphone, and began to keep score - and then we would narrate the game as if we were sportscasters. In between rounds we would go around the table and interview the relatives. I would walk up to Grandma and say, "So, Grandma, you're in the lead with 27 bad words. Tell me, how does that make you feel?" and then my aunt, "Aunt Becky, you're falling a bit behind with only 25 bad words. Do you have a strategy for how you're going to catch up in the next round, or are you just going to go out there and wing it?" I can't print her response because I'm trying to keep this blog wholesome, but I will tell you dear readers that her response resulted in her taking the lead from Grandma. My Grandmother was amused by this game, unlike my mother who felt it was "not an appropriate game for children to be playing," so she would indulge us and toss a few bad words out just for fun. It wasn't exactly the most wholesome way to pass the time, but we had fun.

Well, that's all I have to say on this subject dear readers. I'm just not feeling terribly inspired to write about this book since it was so dull. I'm off now to go find a book that will (hopefully) be much more interesting for tomorrow.