I don't think I mentioned that I traveled to my nation's capitol last week. Most of the time, I was stuck in a hotel working, but I did manage to get out a bit. One of my favorite things to do in Washington, D.C. is to visit the monuments at night. The newest monument honors Martin Luther King, Jr.
We went after dinner and had to wait a few minutes before we visited because President Obama was there for a private viewing! If my father were telling this story, it would be all about how he visited the monument with the President, but, truthfully, all we saw was his motorcade parked and then eventually driving away. The monument is stunning. A large carved sculpture with a wall full of quotations leading up to and away from it. I found it very moving, and I made this art journal page, featuring one of the quotes, to remember my visit.
You can read more about the Memorial at this link.
The plane ride is about six hours, and I put the time to good use doing some reading. I finished my current book group book, The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka. It was very good (I gave it four out of five stars). It's written in a lyrical, almost poetic way, in the first person plural. In a mere 130 pages, it manages to convey the experiences of a group of Japanese picture brides coming to America in the early 1900's up until the time of their internment during World War II. I also read The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry. It was an interesting but overly ambitious novel about a family of women in Salem who can see the future and may or may not be related to witches. I ended up confused and a little frustrated at the end, but there were many aspects of it that I enjoyed. I gave it 3 out of 5 starts for being flawed but worth reading. I also gave 3 out of 5 stars to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, a nonfiction book about the woman whose cells were the first to be "grown" and used extensively for cell research. It was an important story to tell, but I don't think it was very well told. My biggest complaint was that the author spent too much time talking about herself and had a somewhat condescending view of the subjects. It also could have used an editor. Up next for my book group is The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga. Have you read anything good lately?