Wow! All I can say is Wow! And comparisons to Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell are apt.
Wow! All I can say is Wow! And comparisons to Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell are apt.
I won't be able to join our #NYRB Book Club discussion this week, but pictured is my review from when I read the book a number of years ago. Several members have commented on the difficulty of figuring out what was going on, and I found the intro to my edition very helpful. @batsy @BarbaraBB @sarahbarnes @vivastory ETA For some reason the pictures of my review is not posting. I will try to type it into the comments below:
I'm in NYC for a couple of weeks, right now staying at my son's apt in Brooklyn where we walked over to visit this iconic library. My Seattle friends are arriving tomorrow for a week of museum visits. My son will be visiting his wife's family in Israel and they have graciously lent us their apt for the week. ETA the top got cut off, but it's the Brooklyn Public Library.
My first 5 star read of the year, this novel is the first of a trilogy set on the harsh, bleak, cold, rocky islands of the northern Norwegian coast. Life is hard, but the taciturn islanders are resilient and ingenious. I loved this book, and have gone on to read the 2nd in the trilogy, White Shadow, which I also loved.
I 1st read Solzhenitsyn in college-One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch--and I read The Gulag Archipelago shortly after it was 1st published in English. A few years ago a revised, expanded, updated version was issued in 3 volumes. I wanted to make sure I read the whole thing, so I've just purchased all 3 volumes of the new edition, 1000 or so pages each. Now to find time to read.
It finally came! I rarely preorder books, but I did this one. An artist made one painting a day depicting the day's headlines through-out 2020, a very eventful year to say the least. Am I ready to relive 2020? We'll see.
Here's what happens when you haven't bought books in awhile, and you go online to buy the next book for the #NYRB Book Club.
I have a question--on your profile page if you click the book symbol there is a list of books you've added or noted over the years-a "wishlist" of sorts.
How do you remove a book on this list? I'm trying to update and want to remove books I've now read or am no longer interested in. Thanks!
Embarking on reading this #20thCenturyClassics. @Butterfinger @jmofo @sprainedbrain I 1st read it in college freshman English class in 1968. I can't imagine reading it the 1st time w/o some sort of guidance. Pictured is my shelf copy of the book, acquired in 1968 for my class. In it I found the chronological guide the prof provided us (on the right), and my handwritten family genealogy for the Compson family (left).
#ThoughtfulThursday @Eggs Again, apologies for the delay.
1. I like unreliable narrators, as long as they are believable and ring true. Hate it when they make no sense.
2. I don't collect bookish items (other than books), but I do have a few mugs from famous bookstores I have visited.
3. I loved the Poldark series.
#wondrouswednesday @Eggs Sorry to be so dilatory in responding to the tag-too much going on, but better late than never. 1. Recent photo-since moving to Fl last year we have enjoyed many wondrous sunsets, & I've taken dozens of photos. Here's a recent one.
2. I just returned from Tex for a visit with my Mom-1st time seeing her in 3 years, due to husband's transplant and then covid.
3. Grateful for family.
I haven't been posting much this year-will try to do better. Back in March I posted a pic of the newest addition to our family, Dulci. Here she is today, resting from her arduous job of ruling the roost around here.
@Butterfinger @sprainedbrain @jmofo #20thcenturyclassics After much delay on my part, I have finally mailed 2 books to you Tammy, Howard's End and Ceremony, both great reads. I have The Sound and the Fury, and hope to finish it by November's end. You should receive the books Tuesday-I have tracking # if needed.
I am finally, very belatedly, and with many apologies sending my #20thCenturyClassics book onto you Tammy @Butterfinger . This was a lovely family saga of life in pre-WW II Japan, as a family tries to marry off the third daughter so that the youngest (and 4th) daughter can marry her fiancee. It should arrive Thursday. @sprainedbrain @jmofo
6. Chapter XIII is partially titled "the novel is concluded without coming to an end." Skylark has recognized that something has changed in her during her week away. Mother has expressed hope for change, but Father burns the "incriminating" theater stub. Miklos sees clearly the family's "suffering collected like unswept dust," yet he believes that from the greatest pain will be born the greatest happiness. Do you agree? ??????
5. On meeting Miklos Ijas Father thinks, "How children suffer for their parents, and parents for their children." Father marvels that Miklos can speak so openly of his pain. Do you think Father and Mother have buried themselves in the "bottomless pit" of their pain with no way out? As Miklos and Mother discuss Skylark, Father hears voices within him "louder than those without. He did all he could to drown them out." What do you think ??????
4. Did Father's drunken outburst surprise you? Do you think he really believes the things he says? Mother tries to convince him that they love Skylark, but does she actually agree with Father? Do you think Father's characterization of Mother's response as "cheerful absurdity" is accurate? Deborah Eisenberg says the reader must accept that Skylark is ugly, and "not the sort of ugliness familiar from so much wishful literature, that is to ????
3. The foreword discusses the "babbling surface" as opposed to "silent depths" in literature. Is this book more about the "babbling surface" or the "silent depths"? How do the antics of the Panthers and the thumbnail sketches of the townspeople and their lives in a provincial town contribute to the book? Are we reading a comedy or a tragedy?
Photo: Gentlemen's Drinking Club
2. Deborah Eisenberg wrote about Skylark that "we encounter lives that contain no hidden exits or negotiable margins, and we come away from the book feeling that we have experienced the inalterable workings of destiny." Do you agree? The author wrote, "I will always be interested in just one thing: Death. Nothing else....For me, the only thing I have to say...is that I am dying." Is Skylark about death?
Photo: Taroc cards
1. The title of the novel is Skylark, but we spend most of it with Mother and Father. During her week away, Skylark writes a long letter to Mother and Father. What does her letter reveal to us about What kind of person Skylark is? What does Father learn reading between the lines of the letter? Why does the letter's "every word [cut] him to the quick"?
Photo: Theater in Subotica, Serbia, town on which Sarszeg is based.
A lot of eye candy awaits me in my new book!
I've been busy. Almost 2 years post-transplant we can have pets again. Meet Dulcinea, aka Dulci. And apparently today is my 3rd Lisyversary. Time flies.
I read this for Black History Month, and was blown away, tears rolling down my face at the end. Definite 5 star read, and recommended for everyone!
These are the books I read in February. The Sympathizer and The Tunnels of Cu Chi were for #FoodandLit #Vietnam @Butterfinger . Between the World and Me for Black History Month (and I‘m almost finished with Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody, which is wonderful).
@vivastory @BarbaraBB @emilyhaldi @sprainedbrain @mklong @youneverarrived @KVanRead @LeahBergen @Leftcoastzen @Liz_M @merelybookish @GatheringBooks @readordierachel @sarahbarnes @sisilia @Reviewsbylola @Suet624 @batsy @Tanisha_A @Theaelizabet @Billypar @saresmoore
The nominations for April are Skylark by Kosztolanyi, Transit by Anna Seghers, and The Child by Jules Valles.
For our #NYRBBookClub this month we read the tagged book. The edition I read was not a NYRB edition, but was from a British publisher. It was illustrated with lovely pen and ink drawings like the above, which enhanced my reading, I think. This depicts the wagon ride to the church picnic.
Rough seas and high winds today in Florida. And NYC where 3 of my 5 kids are is experiencing a blizzard.
Among quilters at the turn of the century 1999-2000, the fad was to make a quilt with at least 2000 different fabrics in it. I made this quilt completed in Jan. 2000, with more than 2000 1 inch square, in all different fabrics, entirely handpieced and quilted. (I later discovered 1 fabric I had accidently used 2x). @ValerieAndBooks
This dystopian Brazilian novel of a future Sao Paolo was written in the 1970‘s or 80‘s, I think, but it‘s absolutely chillingly conemporary, and makes 1984 look like child‘s make believe. Enter a world ravaged by climate change and unfettered environmental pollution and disaster. The rainforest is gone and is now the world‘s 9th wonder, a desert larger than the Sahara. And all governed by multinationals and “self-enrichers.” #foodandlit #Brazil
The love story of Guma and Livia, and the lives of the people of the dockside in Bahia, Brazil. I‘ve read several books by Amado, and have liked them all. He writes of poor people, but people enthusiastic for life. His characters are real, but also mythic and heroic. “It‘s the certainty that the end will be death at sea unexpectedly some night, suddenly some night.” Recommended. #foodandlit #Brazil
I‘d heard of Clarice Lispector before but never read anything by her. I was blown away by this short book: original, poetic, moving and ironic. It tells the story of Macabea, young woman “incompetent for life.” I‘ll be looking for more by Lispector, and hope you do too! #foodandlit #Brazil
I posted a pic of my mom‘s grad picture for her 90th b-day a few days ago. My sister had obtained the picture from the school. The school contacted her a few days later—my grandmother, my mom‘s mom, had graduated from the same school 21 years before my mom, and they sent along my grandmother‘s picture! My grandmother was also yearbook editor, so they sent pictures of that too.
Today is my Mom‘s 90th birthday. She has COPD, but is otherwise sharp as a tack. She has always been a reader (as was my Dad), and there were always stacks of books around her chair. She doesn‘t read as much nowadays, mostly watching old cowboy movies, but I think I got my love of reading from her and Dad. Weekly trips to the library helped. This is her H.S. Graduation picture, Class of 1948.
I'm reading one story a day by Anton Chekov from my 13 volume set of Chekov's Collected Stories. I loved this description of a reader "An Artist's Story" in Volume I. Does reading ever "exhaust your brain"?
Got the first shot of the covid vaccine today, and scheduled for the second shot 2/4, where I saw this beautiful old oak tree outside the clinic. Can seeing my grandkids again be far behind?
#foodandlit #Brazil Here are a few of the books off my shelf from Brazil. I have others as well as several on my Kindle, including the tagged book, a near-future dystopian. I will try to read a few, but will in reality probably only get to 2 at most. Most likely, the Amado and Lispector or And Still the Earth. But I also really want to read the 2 by Donoso, which have been on my shelf for years. They‘re long tho‘ & I‘m ‘overbooked‘ for January!
On the left is my 2020 reading journal, rather worse for the wear. It was not very well bound, & I lost the front cover in Jan or Feb. The back cover fell off about a month ago. Nevertheless, it has plenty of space for thoughts and comments, no prompts (which I don‘t want), tho‘ there are a few literary quotes here & there, & most of all lots & lots of pages. So I purchased the same journal for 2021, pictured in the right.
I wasn‘t planning to start a new book this morning, (I need to finish my last book of 2020, 150 Glimpses of the Beatles), but in checking out a new library book, I read the intriguing first paragraphs of this memoir and had to keep reading.
Happy New Year Littens. 2021 can only be better than 2020.
This is the view this morning from our dining room in our new home in Florida.
I loved this Japanese crime novel where the primary suspect is a famous quilter. I‘ve really liked the other books I‘ve read by this author too. And if you‘ve never seen any Japanese patchwork, it‘s usually exquisite, not to mention extremely intricate (and usually sewn by hand).
Strange, but in a very good way. Comparisons to Shirley Jackson and some of the darker Grimm‘s Fairy Tales are apt, but the novel is also somewhat Faulknerian. I was also reminded of The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski. I don‘t like horror, and this doesn‘t quite go there, but flirts with the macabre. The writing is delicious. Recommended!
Here are the books I currently have out of the library. Have finished A Small Indiscretion, and am almost finished with Valentine. The Dogs of Riga and Ragtime wld be rereads. I can possibly read 5 more books before 12/31. In 2021 I‘m going to try to read more from my own shelves, less library books (maybe only 1-2 per month). Any suggestions on choosing 5?
Also, I really need help on photo collage. Can any suggest a good free app?
#wondrouswednesday (on Thursday) @Eggs And thanks for the tag @zezeki 1. I would love to visit eastern and northern Canada--Newfoundland, Novia Scotia, Labrador, Prince Edward Island, St. Lawrence River, Quebec and Montreal.
2. Trying to finish all the library books I have out.
Just finished this, and it will be one of my best reads of 2020, probably 5 ⭐️. Of the quartet, the only other one I‘ve read is Winter, which I liked but wasn‘t blown away by, so I wasn‘t sure I‘d follow through with the entire series. Now I want to read the other 2 (Autumn and Spring) and maybe reread Winter.
Until Hiroshima appeared, “Most of the reporting...had to do with the power of the bomb & how much damage it had done to the city. In choosing to focus on individuals, Hersey was influenced by Thornton Wilder‘s Bridge of San Luis Rey, choosing the pov of victims as they came to their “moment of shared disaster.”