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.
And there’s the rub… what am I reading? Most of my Sunday was spent trying to decide what to read next. I’ve been looking through the piles of TBR’s on my bookshelves, trawling the blogs to see what everyone else is recommending and trying to figure out how “role playing” fits into GoodReads (umm…yeah). Plus, my credits on Audible.com just renewed. I’ll need to choose an audio book for the week as well.
The audio book should be easy. I’ve narrowed it down to Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger or The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters – both seem suitably sad and spooky for the Fall. As for the other…
I picked up two older Hilary Mantel novels last weekend: Vacant Possession and A Change of Climate. Wolf Hall is sitting next to the bed, but that thing is the size of the Bible! (I am visiting relatives in two weeks and it may be the book to bring; when not reading I’ll use it to beat back my nephew for the t.v. remote. Remember, it’s all about multi-purposing!). I’ve learned that one of the traps of blogging is trying to keep posts current, which means reading a lot of newer releases or books that are relevant to what’s going on in the world. It’s a big part of what I love about reading. It also can be a bit exhausting having set that kind of internal bar. Stepping out of the 24-hour news cycle looks pretty attractive.
SO! I’m open for suggestions. It’s Monday… what’s everybody reading? And, honestly, don’t you wish you were reading it here?
*Don’t forget to take a look at what everyone is reading at J. Kaye’s.
It’s Monday! – and here is what I’ve been up to:
I posted A Discussion of Two Novels by Margaret Atwood: Oryx and Crake & The Year of the Flood. It’s a discussion, rather than a review, because I tried to keep the focus on the narrative techniques & away from any major plot points. So much of the fun of reading these novels comes out of piecing the stories together. To give too much away would ruin the genius of the books. Both are fabulous reads and I hope I was able to do them justice.
Pauline Melville had an article up in the Guardian UK with her Top 10 list of revolutionary tales. I posted an excerpt that provides some interesting insight to her latest novel. Which led me to ask: “How much you want to know about the book you’re reading? There’s a poll up – so please check it out and let me know your thoughts.
As part of Arianna Huffington’s evil plan for complete global domination: The Huffington Post has a new Books section (and it’s about time!). There’s a nifty feature where a blogger can automatically have comments they make to an article posted directly to their blog. I did a little test run with Beth Kephart’s article on the new FTC Guidelines, entitled Do Book Bloggers Make a Difference?.
I also finished Saint Peter’s Fair, my first book in the Brother Cadfael Chronicles by Ellis Peters, and have started The Virgin in the Ice. Since finding these books is hit and miss, I’m reading them completely out of order. It would be ridiculous to try to finish the series before reviewing it, so I’ll be posting my opinion of the series so far in the next day or so. I’ve just received Into Great Silence from Netflix, a documentary on a French Monastery. I love when everything falls into place like that.
Happy Monday Everyone! Don’t forget to stop by at J. Kaye’s Blog to see more of what people are reading.
It’s Monday! What are you reading? (thanks to J. Kaye for what’s fast becoming my favorite weekly meme!)
Several years ago I attended a dinner party, the highlight of which was a beer and wine pairing that came at the end. The host worked for an imported beer distributor. The cheese had come from a local cheese maker. The results were truly amazing. I still have to wipe away a bit of drool when thinking about it.
I only wish I’d had a copy of the book I’m currently reading, The Cheese Chronicles: A Journey Through the Making & Selling of Cheese in America, From Field to Farm to Table by Liz Thorpe. A friend recommended it and I’m hoping to have the review up in the next few days. So far it’s been a fascinating read – through her work at a prestigious NYC cheese shop the author got in at the ground floor of artisanal cheesemaking in America. Simply put, Liz Thorpe knows cheese. Plus she writes well, which means her book is entertaining as well as educational. If only it didn’t make me so hungry!
Here’s a little teaser to whet your appetites:
…The sheep are milked from May until the end of September or beginning of October, and the cheeses age in the Falks’ open-air cave. There are eight lakes within two miles of the farm, and the unusually high atmospheric moisture creates a phenomenon known as “toolie fog.” From the marshes with their abundant cattails comes a low fog that hangs just above your feet. It’s ground fog, slow and creeping, and though the pastures are clear through hot days and cold nights, the toolie fog seeps off the ponds and lakes, permeating LoveTree’s caves and carrying the aromatics of the region. Mary accentuates this terroir by layering her cheese with cedar boughs and sumac, nestling and wrapping the various cheese in leaves that stew in the cool, damp wafts of toolie fog.
That’s the cheese I’d expect to be served at the Brontë ‘s table.
If you’re up in Hardwick, Vermont, Ms. Thorpe will be speaking at The Galaxy Bookshop this Tuesday, August 25th between 7-8PM.
And please watch this space for my full review later in the week.