Can you believe April is almost over? It’s all lost in a snowy blur for me. The only things I do remember are a few books that came in the mail during the month. I was going to take a nice photo of my very small stack and Waldo decided to help. I tried to get him to move but he was having none of it. Plus, a bird had just landed outside the window and he was chattering at it. You can still sort of see the books hiding there:

Such a helper!

Such a helper!

On the bottom is The Selected Letters of Willa Cather. I’ve seen a few articles that say there is nothing especially interesting in the letters, meaning of course, no salacious gossip and no declarations of passionate love. Just because those elements might not be there though doesn’t mean the letters are not worthwhile. I want to dive in but I am going to hold off a bit before reading this since I have a bunch of other books I need to get through first. But when I do pick this up I might also get my hands on Hermione Lee’s Cather biography.

The middle of the three books is The Education of a Gardener by Russell Page. I knew about this book years ago and haunted secondhand shops looking for it because it was out of print. The the New York Review of Books Classics published it in 2007. Given how badly I have wanted this book I have no idea why I waited so long to finally buy it. But now it is mine. Russell was a famous gardener and landscape designer in the twentieth century and these are his memoirs. Now that it is looking like spring might actually be arriving — the forecast says 70F (21C) for Saturday but I will believe it when it happens — I think I will save this book for winter.

On the top is The Crisis of the European Mind 1680-1715 by Paul Hazard. This is my April NYRB Classics subscription book. It is an intellectual history of the birth of the modern European mind. I am looking forward to reading it in May since I am in the midst of reading March’s selection, Pitch Dark by Renata Adler. The NYRBs folks are doing an excellent job at selecting great books and I like that they alternate fiction and nonfiction.

Those are the books that have come in the mail this month. I am also very excited about a book waiting for me at the library. My turn for How Literature Saved My Life by David Shields has come up. I will have to get to that one right away because there are holds on it and I only get three weeks with it. I found his book Reality Hunger to be quite good even if I didn’t agree with everything he said. So I look forward to his newest which is a memoir of sorts.

So wonderful to have such yummy things to read!

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