Squeaking in my #bookspin stack for October.
Squeaking in my #bookspin stack for October.
Loving the fall colours 🍂🍁 And loved this book. Spark's ability to create such a vivid and compact portrait of the various inhabitants of a girls' rooming in 1945 London is astounding. There is always a surprising bite to her writing and it's here too. Between this and the Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Spark is a fascinating (and unsentimental) chronicler of girlhood. And another book for #192025 @Librarybelle
My #bookspin and #doublespin for Shorty September. I bailed on the Bowen (the stories all started to feel like the same, fraught relationships at an Irish manor house where much is left unsaid). I finished the Colwin, which I enjoyed. She works small and I like that. Although she mostly inhabits a rarified White world of wealthy/intellectual New Yorkers.
Always feels good to knock a few books off the shelf!
Finished another volume. This one felt longer, maybe because the narrator is growing increasingly annoying (and my annoying I mean a jealous, possessive a$$hole ?).That said, reading his depictions of gay men ("inverse" in early 20th century parlance) and gay relationships is fascinating knowing that Proust himself was gay. Because I would not say it's exactly flattering. (The narrator in the book is not.)
On to Volume 5! #morningswithMarcel
As delightful as everyone says!
Some literal choices for this month's #titlesandtunes theme. Lots of 🔵🔵🔵 A crime fiction modern classic with blue in the title and a cover of Joni Mitchell's Blue by Sarah McLaughlin. (Can't get the original since Joni removed her music from Spotify a while ago. 😟). @Cinfhen @BarbaraBB #blues
Latest addition to my Montgomery collection.
Second book completed for the Helen DeWitt spotlight group I joined. What can companies do to prevent sexual harassment? One business man comes up with a surprising solution. 👀😳🍑🍆 And then builds a business on it. DeWitt is clever beyond words & her ability to satirize the absurdity capitalist logic and American corporatese is amazing. Still, I will never love satire. Not for the faint of heart. A short story version would have been plenty.
A perfect, short, lazy-day read. Set in the Jazz Age, Lorelei is a smart woman who believes in fate, fun, and diamonds. 🥂 💍💃 In her diary, she recounts adventures with her 'unrefined' friend Dorothy in NYC, London, Paris & Vienna, & the men they befriend along the way. You can't help but root for Lorelei & chuckle at Dorothy My #dramaqueen for #titlesandtunes. So glad I finally read it! @Cinfhen @BarbaraBB
A disappointing & over-written Canadian novel with two timelines. One, the river, about Ronny, an orphan making his way on the streets of 1940s Vancouver. Two, the sea, about Chandra, a son of Sri Lankan immigrants growing up in 1980s Nanaimo. Both boys are trying to figure out how to become men in limited circumstances.There's promise here but the writing (too flowery x 1000) & the vague relationship between timelines weaken it. It needed a 👇
It was a weird summer and I feel like my #top10ofsummer2023reads reflects that. 😅 A real mix of genres here.
Thanks for the tag @BarbaraBB @youneverarrived
I have no idea who hasn't been tagged. @vivastory @LeahBergen @Centique @Graywacke @Lcsmcat @Leniverse @jlhammar
I decided to read this book about a young fat Black girl growing up in 1990s Harlem after hearing the author interviewed on the Virago podcast OurShelves. I figured if the book was half as engaging as the author, it would be good. And it is! From the age of 8 up, Malaya's size is a constant source of conversation, investigation, intervention & shame. Nevertheless Malaya refuses to be reduced to what she weighs. A challenging & heartwarming book!
I didn't manage to read a book of poetry for each day of August for #thesealeychallenge, but I did do it 21/31 days. So not bad! Lots of good poetry! And a pretty good mix: old and young, famous and less-well-known, local and not. There were only a few collections that left me cold. One note for next year: make sure to have lots of slim volumes to choose from.
Not sure how to rate this book. It's definitely a challenging read and pushes the limits of the novel form. It started out as an intellectual experience but by the end, I found that there was some emotional resonance. In general, it's asking some provocative questions about education and self-determination. It's not so much a book I enjoyed as one I will continue to think about. So a pick!
Book Outlet strikes again! 🙈😬🤷
In 1963, a young Dervla Murphy decided to cycle from Ireland to India on her trusty bike Ros. WHY she decided to do that is never fully explained, but I enjoyed her account of the journey. It did drag at the end & there was some inevitable cultural insensitivity. (It feels wrong to try to characterize a race of people.) But Murphy is humble, open-hearted, and brave. It's hard not to like her. Particularly enjoyed her time spent in Afghanistan.
I'm actually early this month for #titlesandtunes. 😮😀 This book has been sitting on my shelf for years and paired well with this classic 80s song by Kim Carnes. I guess #dramaqueen made me think of movies stars.
When the character of one book you're reading mentions the name of the author of the other book you're reading. Funny little book coincidence. 🤓
Promising story, clunky execution. The book follows Helen McNutt from a young girl into marriage. She faces many challenges: a taciturn mother, the early death of her father, being forced to leave school to work in factory, an abusive marriage. And yet,Helen also finds ways to be happy and to triumph. It is a heartwarming story. AND the writing kinda sucked. 😬
I hate to dump on a local publishing house, but this needed a better editor.
A soft pick. A novel about a librarianist named Bob Comet. Story starts when he's retired and inadvertently gets a gig volunteering at a seniors home. It feels a bit like DeWitt wanted to create a character study of an unexciting man (who still has a somewhat eventful life.). Between a soft pick and a so-so. Dewitt is like the Wes Anderson of fiction. (I can't be the first to make that comparison.)
Pic of my little garden bounty. 🧅🌱🥔🥒
I finished!! 🎉🎉
An old-fashioned family saga that weaves together a satisfying tale across multiple generations of a family in India. It is compelling. It is well-done. It is freaking long.
I grew to care about the characters. I was invested. There was a lot of love & generosity in the story. And this will never be my favourite kind of novel. (Oh, the sentences I could slash! 😅)
Day 6 #thesealeychallenge
Another collection by an Atlantic Canadian poet. It won the Governor-Generals awards on 2005.
The motif of the house/home runs throughout -- as memory, history, loss, protection. One upside to reading a local poet is how familiar the descriptions of landscape and weather are. 👍
My poor geraniums are finally blooming. It rained so much in June & July, they were struggling.
Day 5 #thesealeychallenge
This collection is rooted in the domestic space of a family home and the state of California where fog and smoke are increasingly present. The poems evoke the tension between being present to daily life while also witnessing the force of climate change
Due out in January 2024. #netgalley
Day 4 #thesealeychallenge
Welp, not every collection will land. This one eluded me, felt like work. Most of the poems were too obscure for my taste. A few on motherhood ("I Called Birth A Wonder Tale") did hit me, though.
A Nova Scotia poet. Trying to read some poetry from Atlantic Canada. ??
My #currentlisten. It's good. Also long.
Day 3 #thesealeychallange
A collection by a minor mid-century Canadian post from my home province of NB. I like her direct, unadorned style.
"Tired of Books"
I don't want to write
the stuff students are examined on
a few memories
as my father told me his
. . .
Day 2 #thesealeychallenge.
I bought this book at a used bookstore in Denver. Look at the sweet vintage bookmark that was tucked inside.
Lots of poems about grief following death of her sister. But this line about a hummingbird made me smile
"the fierce, brilliant faith
that pierces the heart all summer."
A short collection of works by WCW. (I believe from a poetry swap from @batsy ?)
"Flowers by the Sea"
When over the flowery, sharp pasture's
edge, unseen, the salt ocean
lifts its form -- chicory and daisies
tied, released, seems hardly flowers alone
but color and the movement -- or the shape
perhaps -- of restlessness, whereas
the sea is circled and sways
peacefully upon its plantlike stem.
My stack for #thesealeychallenge. It's my second time attempting it. Goal is to read one book each day in August. Wish me luck! 😅
Rodham imagines what might have been had Hillary Clinton never married Bill. Hillary gets her due, Bill suffers suitably and Trump, well, he makes a slithery appearance. The book is divided into 3 parts: the Yale school dating Bill years; 1990s senator Hillary; 2015 race for the Democratic ticket. I was into parts 1& 2 but part 3 lost me. It started to read less like a complicated story about a complicated woman and more like wish fulfillment. 👇
Reading on the verandah with a big ol' moon shining down.
A travel memoir that's been on my #TBR for ages and a cheesy 90s song by World Party are my picks for #titlesandtunes #theworldismyoyster.
Anyone else remember "Put a Message in the Box"? ?
?Put the message in the box
Put the box into the car
Drive the car around the world
Until you get heard. ?
Upside. My director gave everyone at work a book to read and 2 days off to read it.
Downside. I have to read this book. 😆 (I hate reading work-related stuff. 🙈)
This book is rooted in the lives of the residents of an apartment building in San Francisco. There's Mary Ann, the recent transplant from Cleveland. Mona, the embittered lonely woman. Michael's, Mona's friend and a hopeless romantic. Brian, a self-loathing straight guy. Anna, the mysterious landlady who offers a joint to any friend. And so on. The world expands to include more. We skip about to work places, date nights, society shindigs. 👇
Portraits in orange! (Couldn't resist pairing my #doublepin with my daughter's most recent painting.)
I bought this book when it came out and have avoided it ever since. But the time has come to read it! Excited to see where it falls on my Sittenfeld scale. (Please be better than Romantic Comedy! 🤞)
Volume 3 of In Search of Lost Time is ✅ This might be my least favorite volume so far. Set mostly in Paris, our narrator moves into society and we start to see what the mucky mucks are about. Lots of tracing of lineages and "witty" conversations. Also lots of annoying remakes about women & girls. ? Still Proust is a master. When he describes a colour, a scene from a window, an emotion it is worth slogging through some aristocratic namedropping.
I expected to LOVE this and . . . I didn't. Beagin is a phenomenal writer. There were passages that took my breath away. And exploring if we are our trauma is right up my alley.
And yet...something about the tone grated. It felt smug, cynical or too clever for its own good. It got to me, like an infestation, like the bees, the maggots & the stink bugs. Eventually I just wanted the story equivalent of a bug-free heated room in a regular house.