At Swim -Two- Birds by Flann O’Brien

(Book 122) Chris hosted another meeting for us via Zoom. Chris reminded us that it was Dylan Thomas, whose said that At Swim-Two-Birds is “Just the book to give to your sister, if she is a dirty, boozey girl.” This prompted my email summary.

To all my loud, dirty, boozy girlfriends, you know who you are, as well as the quieter, cleaner, more temperate members of book club, Thanks to Chris for her amazing technological skills, and to her continued amazement at being considered a person with technological skills. Thanks to all the girls who joined last night’s meeting, particularly to Melissa, who brought her own moog synthesizer. (Audio issues)
Chris’s fictional meal of the seafood pie she had in Caherdaniel a couple summers ago, which would have been served with an abundance of porter, was a much bigger success than the book At Swim-Two Birds by Flann O’Brien. I joined our zoom meeting a teeny bit late, so I didn’t hear the early comments. but my impression was that most of us found it hard to get into and harder still to keep going. Marcia told us that she made it three chapters in and no one jumped to encourage her to pick it back up after the meeting. I suggested that while there was some very clever writing, the needle on the nonsense meter was ruthlessly banging the upper limit of the scale. Some of us thought it might have been very funny if we’d read it at the time of its writing, in Ireland, with a full understanding of Irish folklore. 
We discussed whether we’d read anything that we did like and Chris mentioned the book The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin. Baldwin’s book was recommended in an article in the New York Times which was about the protests sparked by George Floyd’s murder and the conversation about race in America today.
Melissa told us she was rereading The Accidental Tourist because it is calming. I didn’t discuss the book I’d intended to because it was less pertinent to the times, but I will add it here. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell, while perhaps not a perfect book, has some lovely writing and encouraged me to purchase two more books by Ms. O’Farrell, thinking that perhaps she was the Irish writer I was meant to read this month, though there are unfortunately no birds in her titles.
Our next meeting will be held July 21 to discuss Birds of America by Lorrie Moore which will be hosted by Melissa. The jury is still out as to whether it will be virtual or in person, but I think many of us are hoping that conditions will allow for us to finally get together in the real. Stay healthy,Teresa

This is the painting Chris received. It’s entitled Wade Awhile.