Happy Monday! Gardening Book Month is officially over! I know, I know – I’d said I would have a review up on Gertrude Jekyll’s Colour Schemes for the Flower Gardens. But, the truth is, I couldn’t get through it. The book is, literally, a breakdown of what flower she has planted next to what shrub (all identified by their Latin names). I guess Gertrude is where we separate the gardeners from the weed-pullers, and I seem to fall in among the latter. Overall, though, I believe it was a good run.
I’m currently reading Tokyo, Cancelled, a wonderfully written book by Rana Dasgupta. Here’s a teaser:
A strange image was fluttering in Thomas’s head while Jo was talking. All the memories of the world were stranded and terrified, like animals fleeing a forest fire. With nowhere to go, they huddled in groups and wept, and the noise of their weeping was a cacophony of the centuries that filled the skies but could not be heard. And the earth became saturated with their tears, which welled up and dissolved them all, and they seeped away into nothingness.
Also in the news: J.D. Salinger died last week. I’m hoping to have my thoughts up in the next few days. He was an author who threw an enormous shadow, and while I’m not overly saddened by his passing at age 91 (he left his readers a long, long time ago for all intents & purposes), his short stories rank high on my list of favorites.
Hmm…. this is a bit of a melancholy post for a Monday. Can’t have that. So click the link for my favorite tribute to Salinger last week – originally published June 8, 2009 in the Onion. And don’t forget to look in on J. Kaye’s other bloggers.
It’s Monday and, well, my tea is cold. That kind of says it all, doesn’t it? I’ve been trucking through Second Nature by Michael Pollan. I want to get back to my reading and finish it up today. But it’s sooooo good I feel it’s only fair to share.
As for passing animals, there’s no shortage of these. The scents and hues of ripeness in the garden set off a scramble for its fruits – preparation for winter being the animals’ agenda as well. The woodchucks and raccoons, deer, squirrels and moles rouse from their summer lethargy and pitch themselves into one last great battle for the season’s spoils. Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins by all rights mine they consider up for grabs, and their autumn assaults can rival the frost’s for destructiveness. The last year I planted corn, I hadn’t harvested more than a half dozen ears before a gang of raccoons climbed the fence one night and threw a raucous party on my tab. They toppled every cornstalk, ruining the crop yet not eating it all – half-chewed ears littered the garden like empties. It looked as though they’d take a bite or two from an ear, fling it over their shoulder, and then reach for another. They stomped through the beds, ripped the tops of the leeks and beets strictly for spite, and then deposited several turds – large, impudent turds – smack in the middle of my beds. Compared to the cat burglaries of deer and woodchucks, this looked like the work of the Manson family.
And you thought your day was looking bad.
Say what you want about Pollan, his writing is always evocative.
Of course, if gardening isn’t your thing I posted a short review of City Life by Witold Witkowzyski over the weekend for all you city slickers. So enjoy the rest of your Monday! And don’t forget to take a look at what everyone else is reading over at J. Kayes’ Book Blog.
It’s Monday…well, it’s actually been a few Mondays since I last took part in J. Kaye’s meme It’s Monday! What are you Reading? So what’s been going on?
I’ve posted reviews of Pauline Melville’s Eating Air and the Canal House Cookbook Volume No. 2 – Fall & Holiday. Both were wonderful, in two completely different ways, so I recommend checking them both out.
Also, there is an updated list of my favorite podcasts thanks to Weekly Geeks: Did Somebody Say Podcasts? Which might lead you to ask… do the British really read more than we do, or do they just sound smarter with those accents?
As for my current reading list – I’ve revisited some short stories by Flannery O’Connor in the wake of her winning The Best of the National Book Awards. Halfway thru A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories without any real change to my initial opinion, but we’ll see.
There will be a new review up on Wednesday: Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl. It will be followed by a new weekly feature, What’s So BookSexy About…? It will be a place for random thoughts, facts and additional reading related to the latest book review. If that doesn’t make much sense, hopefully all shall become clear before week end.
In the meantime, Happy Monday!