Did you get S Club 7 in the US?? If not then definitely ignore the title of this post. In east use of the these: Hi Book Nerds, let’s open our brains together and talk about Patti Smith, or Man, don’t you wish you were more like Patti Smith now?, or Yay! Our First Book Club Chat! Any of those could work. Or you could add your own entirely. Up to you! Also the picture above is all of us.
Okay so as I said before when I opened my big mouth about this book club is that I am low brow and I have no idea how a book club actually works. I googled it but they all make it sound super serious and like school. I didn’t like school, but I like our book club. So let’s make it up.
Honestly, when I first started reading this I got kinda self conscious about making this book our first book club book. I read Patti’s other book Just Kids and I loooooved every page of it. But when I first started this book I was a little in my own head about getting you guys to read it. I thought maybe it was a bit too artsy and too cool for me. Obviously Patti is an artists artist so that’s just her language. And I found it a bit whimsical and dreamy for the first few chapters how she goes into such great detail about some of the smallest things that sometimes I forgot what I was even reading about. I’m also an idiot with the attention span of a Chinese fighting fish. But once I was mentally submerged into it I felt like the rhythm changed and then I was following it on a more linear line.
Okay so here’s some of the bidnezzzz that I was wrapping my little brain around during M Train. I made notes in my phone!!! NOTES IN MY PHONE….I only do that for my passwords. And now you darling pets!
In fact. I’m gonn copy and paste my notes I made so that a.) you can see I did my homework and b.) I’m kinda lazy but I’ll follow up with these.
“Mentions of the killing and Sarah linden – wearing her dumpy fair isle sweaters as a moral vest – “animal crackers” pg46
Her love of crime dramas
Why is aRaven like a writing desk? Mad hatter’s riddle. Because of the ink I’m sure of it “the Well” pg 93 finally!!
Talks about her fancy friends like Burroughs as if she’s not also the effing coolest
How I lost the windup bird chapter ( goes to Coney Island (Rockaways) to see Zac from the cafe and it actually conjured up a lot of memories for me. Going to Coney Island w my mom, I could almost smell it. And then thinking of what it’s like to be in New York for Memorial Day Weekend. One of my favorite memories of being in NY. Eating hotdogs in Greenwich, drinking beers all day and sitting in my window sill w J watching the fireworks from all of the boroughs
Her travels to Japan to start the new year. How nice to just go somewhere exotic with a mild plan and make it work.
Also in Mexico City she arrived and had Japanese type food- wasabi. Then gets to Japan and orders Chinese
“How Linden Kills the Thing She Loves” this chapter. My last chunk of the book to finish and just today I was having a conversation with J about how when you read a book and the character or setting lives with you for a while. Strikes me as funny that that’s what Patti was feeling about Sarah Linden and how great work lingers with you.
“A Flemish Madonna with the eyes of a woman from the backwoods who has slept with the devil” – great line”
Okay so if you haven’t watched the series The Killing, do her constant references of the show throw you off? And if you haven’t watched The Killing- you need to sort this out like yesterday! It’s amazing. And Holder is fantastic. She mentions Linden wayyyy more though. And Linden reminds me a lot of what Ellen Page could grow into. Physically. She’s already one of my favorite actresses and has been since like, The Tracy Fragments, Mouth, Hard Candy and of course Trailer Park Boys. She’s so damn good!! A Canadian treasure if you will. Anyway, back to the Killing- I think if you hadn’t watched the show you’d be pretty confused because it’s really the most common tread. Aside from her husband Fred of course.
Next thing. It’s cool to me that someone like Patti Smith just seems so normal aside from being a genius. She just lives her life on 6th st drinking her black coffee, eating her toast and olive oil and being cool enough to wear a watch cap. I don’t even know what that is. I thought it was like a sleeping cap from the 30’s or something. So shout out to Google. But anyways it’s fascinating how she wants to just go and sit and interview Bobby Fischer, or take pictures of Frida’s crutches and just have actual conversations with William Burroughs. Does she know how cool he is? Or is it just that he’s a total peer and she give zero effs? She’s probably fresh out of effs to give. Respect.
I really do love when a book strikes a chord with you. This book was honestly a bit of a struggle for me get into, but it was so worth it. I find any time there’s a book I’m a little ho hum on it ends up being a book I’ll think about for years. Not in a way that I’m thinking about how it unfolded necessarily but more like how when you go on a vacation and you just fondly remember those Mai Thai’s and afternoon nachos and sunsets or the concierge that spoke no English. It just kinda lives with you.
I’m a little jealous that Patti is the kind of person that makes New York what it is. The texture and the landscape of what makes New York magic is from people like her. With their cafes they spend all their time in that are off the path of SoHo, away from 5th ave and just tucked away into a pocket in Alphabet City or something. No one knows or really cares about it except for the people that are there every day. She could sit on her stoop and watch the drunk kids stumble home from the Lower East Side.
I lived in Queens and I loved it! I loved the neighborhood of Astoria and I loved my apartment, but it was still a 15 min subway ride into Manhattan. I love the grungy dirty beat down side of New York. It’ll always be magic to me. The fast paced, rude, hustle of the city it amazing. And now I absolutely love living in the desert, it’s such a different lifestyle and one that I’m so ready to embrace. I can park my car and drive to a strip mall and have a backyard. Oh and the sun’s always out. I’ll take that!! But sometimes I miss New York, so thanks to Patti for taking me back there. It was fun!!
Okay so this is pretty much a diatribe on my part. This is where we open the conversation to you guys. Have a chit chat, a chat chit. Whatever you guys want. What did this book make you think about?