Monday, August 18, 2008


HB to ME

It being my natal anniversary, I knocked off for the afternoon to read and have a beer on the deck, under the wind-tossed birch tree. It was very pleasant. Now I feel I should catch up a little on what I've been reading. I confess I have read some books forgotten what they were, as I had no time to blog or even note the titles, being always in the middle of some summer thing, such as packing for camping, unpacking from camping, prepared the children for camp... I'm sensing a theme here.

BUT speaking of camping, I brought many mags, plus a work-related book. …Ah! that was one I read and forgot! Abharat by Clive Barker--quite good. Imaginative but a bit too largely roving for my taste (strange adventure for its own sake). The comparison to Alice was apt, though the adventure is less philosophical, I'll wager; but the heroine is, thankfully, less passive than Alice (Eat this! Drink that!). So I'll try the sequel, even though it looks massive. (Son has it at camp this week.) Anyway, I also took camping John A: The Man Who Made Us by Richard Gwyn (Random House 2007), a biography Husband bought with birthday money and enjoyed very much. It is entertaining and eye-opening. Haven't finished it yet.

I gave up on reading The Birchbark House to Daughter--she wasn't very interested. So I went on the with the sequel myself, The Game of Silence by Louise Erdrich (HarperCollins, 2005), which I picked up much reduced at Big Chain Bookstore. I loved it. I can see once again, in the illustrations (by the author) and the careful, interested description of what the characters do and how they do it, Erdrich's answer to Laura Ingalls Wilder. How I love the complex, unusual Old Tallow! And the way the people accept her unusualness. And the formality of the people's interactions. And of course, again the story is moving and complete.

Which brings me finally to the book I just finished in my backyard: Ahab's Wife or, The Star-Gazer by Sena Jeter Naslund (HarperCollins, 1999). I waded into this in some doubt, it being a fat book of small print, but fell in love with its heroine, and the careful building of her, which is pieced all quilt-like out of so much knowledge and devotion and range that it couldn't help but be interesting. Okay, the meeting with the infant Henry James was egregious, and made me glad I wasn't overly familiar with most of the other literary figures the author stitches in, but otherwise I plumped along as "wrapped" as can be. Now that's enough of the quilt metaphor. Sister-Who-Quilts would like this book very much--if, indeed, she hasn't read it already.

And that's all!

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