1.26.2010

H & A

mr. h, the finger puppet

This is Mr. H, the finger puppet.

hanif

This is Mr. H, the man, holding Mr. H, the finger puppet.

miss a. and mr. h. on the bus

This is Miss A, my niece, holding Mr. H, the finger puppet, on her lap while touring Argentina on a bus.

Miss A and Mr. H are, to borrow a phrase from Facebook, "in a relationship". They are, IMHO, MFEO. Absolutely perfect together with one exception: they are not together. This couple is continentally challenged. You see, Mr. H is in Berkeley writing a thesis on a Henry James story while Miss A is in Chile immersing herself in the Spanish language. (I seriously envy them both).

I thought I'd help ease their separation just a bit by making a portable Mr. H for Miss A. A boyfriend she could put in her pocket, wrap around her finger, and best of all, sneak through customs. I think it's working, though maybe a little too well. Miss A recently asked her friends on Facebook if it was possible to fall in love with a finger puppet. Look out Mr. H - you've apparently got some mercerized cotton competition.

Not to worry, though, as a finger puppet can't hold a candle to the real Mr. H. I think he's just swell. It's amazing how a family can grow and envelop new people so readily and naturally. Not so many years ago (OK, 14 years ago), I was the new person to my husband's family. I'm sure they wondered how long I'd be around. Perhaps they guessed that I'd become a permanent fixture at the dinner table and bear new family members to fill up the kid's table. With nieces and nephews growing up, dating, marrying and bearing children of their own, our family has continued to grow in the most delightful way. Let me just go on record to say I hope Mr. H. is a permanent fixture at the dinner table, both the man and the finger puppet. Especially if he continues recommending great reads, such as Michael Chabon's, The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.

I had no idea who Michael Chabon was until one morning a few months ago when I heard him interviewed on Weekend Edition. He read a few snippets from his collection of personal essays, Manhood for Amateurs, and I knew at once I had to hear more. I picked up the book on CD from the library and was not disappointed.

A few weeks ago when Mr. H recommended Mr. Chabon's novel, I was intrigued but skeptical. A book about two Jewish boys in New York City circa 1940 breaking into the comic book business didn't exactly strike my fancy at first. I should know by now not to judge a book by its synopsis. I spent last week sprawled out on the living room floor in front of the fireplace completely absorbed in The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. I think I looked up more words in the dictionary last week than I looked up last year. The book made me think, made me cry, made me laugh and expanded my vocabulary. Defenestration. Need I say more?

I'm currently reading Bad Mother by Ayelet Whitman, Michael Chabon's wife, and next up on my queue is The Yiddish Policemen's Union. My dictionary is all warmed up and ready to go. I'm just in awe of The Third Most Annoying Literary Couple (according to Gawker), and it's all thanks to Mr. H, one half of The Most Adorable Couple (according to me). Thank you Miss A for bringing Mr. H into our fold.

23 comments:

  1. Kavalier & Clay is in my top 5 favorite books. I read it when it was first published (when I was in HS). Chabon is absolutely amazing. I have an autographed copy of the Yiddish Policemen's Union but haven't actually gotten around to reading it yet because school always gets in the way.
    I've never read anything by his wife. I'll have to pick up one of her books when I have time. Thanks for the (accidental) recommendation.

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  2. If you haven't read Summerland by Chabon you absolutely should. It's actually a young adult novel (about baseball- sort of) but it is so, so good.

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  3. You're in for a treat with The Yiddish Policemen's Union. I read it while up nursing my son in the first couple of weeks after he was born, and actually looked forward to more than just time with my fuzzy, snuggly bald one when he woke me up for the fifth time in a given night.

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  4. Oh, thanks for reminding about the book "Summerland." I love a good urban fantasy novel, and that one was such a fun read! I gave it to my nice for Christmas one year, then immediately borrowed it back from her so I could finish it!
    I'm definitely going to have to look up his other books next time I hit the library.

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  5. Sounds interesting, I'll have to see if I can get a copy.
    theprairiegirl.com

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  6. Mr. H, real and cotton, looks very nice. : )

    You won't need your dictionary to read Bad Mother -- I'd love to hear what you think of it. I read it recently. But I won't say a thing so as not to ruin it or bias you or anything else...

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  7. I started reading Michael Chabon when he wrote Mysteries in Pittsburgh while I was in college (gah! 18 years ago that class was!) and I've been a huge fan ever since. Love.

    You may also like Jeffrey Eugenides. He's equally wonderful.

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  8. Hi I came here from a flicker post. What a funny and sweet post!

    I have turned into an iPhone geek while reading. It is very handy for looking up words, for mapping locations, for looking up names mentioned, or for reading up on side topics on Wikipedia. I recently used my phone over and over again while rereading all 1000 pages of Gone With the Wind.

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  9. Jeff really enjoys Chabon. And one of his favorite movies is "Wonder Boys" which is based on a novel he wrote. I have no position on the movie vs. the book as I've only seen the movie, but I thought it was great.

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  10. Ooh Molly, a wordy post about literature! I'm so excited!

    You already know that I'm right there with you as a Chabon fan. I never did read Kavalier and Clay though, but after you mentioned that you were reading it last week, I picked it up too. I'm just a few pages in, but I'm sure there will be no defenestration when it comes to this book.

    Mr. Chabon may have a great vocabulary, but I'll bet he's never used the phrase "mercerized cotton competition". And I'm even more sure that he's never made such a fabulous puppet.

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  11. i love kavalier and clay. it's been sometime since i have read it, i may have to pick it up again. i remember it being good enough to read again. i liked wonderboys too, but i think i preferred the movie. though that could have something to do with robert downey jr.

    miss a. sounds very lucky! and mr. h. sounds wonderful. and you make the cutest finger puppets : )

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  12. Oooo, I love to come upon an author I've never read before! I am adding several of his books right now to my queue at goodreads.com. My 3 year old and I were just going to the library today too! Thx for the recommendations and my best to Mr. H and Miss A!

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  13. This is so, so sweet. I love it.

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  14. This is such a sweet post...I loved the part about being able to wrap him around her finger...cute.

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  15. winter and literature were made for each other I believe - course so was knitting and sleeping and warm cups of something good to drink... oh to only have more time for winter!

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  16. Hey why does it take you writing this boyfriend and MC review for me to think of picking up Kavalier and Clay?

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  17. thanks for the word of the day..I of course had to look it up. Adding the books to my very long list of should reads.

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  18. I just love this post!!! What a sweet story!

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  19. The pictures remind me of when we have been sent a "Flat Stanley" from various neices and nephews and take 'em on a road trip so we can get some really fun and unexpected pictures.

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  20. so awesome.
    will be looking up your book recommendations now, they sound intriguing!

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  21. hmm...my siser gave me The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay last year and I gotta say I feel the way you did about it. And it is at the bottom of my pile of book. maybe'll I'll put it back on the top of the stack.
    I hope Mr. H becomes a permanent part of your family, too :)

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  22. Mr. H and Miss A are going to have their own amazing story to write one of these days! Thanks for sharing a little part of their journey!
    You are one sweet Aunt!!
    I have been doing more reading lately too... I will have to add Mr. Chabon to my list! Thanks!

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  23. Be sure to watch "Wonder Boys". A terrific movie based on a terrific book. I am glad you're reading his wife too-she has said some very interesting and controversial things-they are an amazing couple.

    I believe you can download podcasts of their interviews with Terry Gross.

    Have you tried Nick Hornby yet?

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email: mollydunham@sbcglobal.net
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