I intended to write about Rebecca Solnit’s book Wanderlust last night but after getting in touch with a friend who I learned is having a bit of a crisis, picking cherries, taking care of the chickens, having dinner and a few other things, it was time for me to take part in a group bike ride on which I got dropped and ended up finishing the ride alone. It was a virtual group ride on Zwift, but getting dropped virtually is just as demoralizing as it is in real life. It is not the first time that has happened and I am sure it won’t be the last. Tonight I am leading a casual virtual group ride and since I am the one setting the pace, I know I won’t be dropped! So Wanderlust will have to wait until tomorrow and tonight I’m just going for chatty.
New book alert! All you fans of Josephine Tey, have I got a treat for you! I just received a book from Library Journal to review and it is a biography of Tey by Jennifer Morag Henderson. First one ever written. I am not far along in it but so far it very enjoyable. The author is an admitted fan of Tey so the book casts her in a sympathetic light but does not go so far as to be uncritical and fannish. I have intended to read Tey for ages but just haven’t managed it yet. I think this bio is going to finally tip me over the edge. Maybe you already know a bit about Tey, but I didn’t so I am learning all sorts of interesting things. Like Josephine Tey is a pen name. Her actual name is Elizabeth MacKintosh and she also wrote plays and literary novels under another pen name, Gordon Daviot. Because Library Journal sent me the book for review I can’t write up a whole post about the book here when I am done, but I will be sure to drop a line and let you all know whether the bio turns out to be worth investigating.
I am moving along slowly through In the Darkroom by Susan Faludi. It is a really good memoir. Faludi is such an excellent and compassionate writer. The book is about her father who is transgender and went from the man she knew as a child to the woman she wants to try to get to know as an adult. Faludi refers to her as “my Father” frequently but uses a female pronoun. Both being accurate, it does a number on checking a reader’s gender expectations.
I am also reading The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. I am at page 150 of 444 in this chunkster so still have far to go. It has a slow place and moves forward and backward in time while being told from various limited third-person viewpoints. In spite of the slow pace the tension is huge because we know something really bad happened but we don’t know what. So we get the aftermath and we get the things that led up to it all but we don’t yet know about The Events. It gives me little shivers of pleasure.
Just in from the library is Grief is the Thing With Feathers by Max Porter. I learned about this on someone’s blog but I am really sorry I don’t remember whose. It is a slim book and one of those odd ones that can’t be squarely placed in a genre. The cover calls it a novel yet it is only 114 pages long. Bookman picked it up at the library for me and he commented that it was a poetry book. But having just started reading it last night it is kind of also like a play made up monologues but at the same time it has a vague whiff of short-short stories that hold a distant echo of Winesburg Ohio by Sherwood Anderson. I am enjoying it but feel like I am reading far too quickly but finding it difficult to read slowly. I tell myself that the book is so short I can read it again when I am done with it in order to sweep up some of the things that are getting by me on the first go round. To further tantalize you about this book in case you have not heard of it, the story is about a father and his two sons who have recently lost their wife/mother to an accident of some kind. A crow shows up at their door and tells them he(?) will remain with them until their grief is gone.
The next volume of Saga is also mine from the library. I am on volume five already and enjoying the story immensely. I am glad I have to wait for each volume from the library otherwise I would find myself uncontrollably binge reading the whole thing in a day or two.
One more book, this one I have not begun yet. Cirtnecce is hosting a read along of Rabindranath Tagore’s novel The Home and the World. Since I have never read Tagore and since Cirtnecce promises to provide lots of information and context for the novel, and since it is short, I figured, why not? The readalong starts in August so you have plenty of time to join in if you feel so inclined.
August. Already. Well almost. Goodness, can you believe it?