Avaland and Dukedom in 2023, part I

Tämä viestiketju jatkuu täällä: Avaland and Dukedom in 2023, Part 2.

KeskusteluClub Read 2023

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Avaland and Dukedom in 2023, part I

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 19, 7:04 pm

Welcome to 2023! We are Lois and Michael. This is our 15th year of Club Read, but we still have some books yet to go, oddly enough. Looking forward to sharing them with you!

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 12, 4:27 pm

dukedom-enough/Michael's current reading:

The Best of Michael Swanwick by Michael Swanwick
Failed State by Christopher Brown (Near future dystopia, 2020)
Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong by Terry Teachout (2014, biography)
Also reading individual short stories by various authors....

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 13, 5:35 am

Avaland / Lois's Current 2023 Reading:


Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 12, 4:25 pm

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 13, 5:36 am

Lois's Second Quarter Reading

Dark Paradise (stories) by Rosa Liksom (1989, trans from the Finnish, 2007)
Best Canadian Poetry, 2023
Sanctuary Line by Jane Urquhart (novel, Canadian, 2013)
Lois's First Quarter Reading:

Tangible Things: Making History through Objects by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich et al. (nonfiction, 2015)
Journeys by Ian R. MacLeod (UK, fantasy, 2010)
The Selected Works of Audre Lorde (US, 2020. literary studies)
Cancion by Eduardo Halfon (2022)
An Altered Light by Jens Christian Grøndahl (Denmark, 2004)
Pilgrim's Way by Abdulrazak Gurnah (fiction, UK, 1988, reread)
This Other Eden by Paul Harding (fiction, US/Maine, 2023)
Best of Australian Poems 2022 Guest eds. Jeanine Leane & Judith Beveridge
Middlemarch and the Imperfect Life by Pamela Erens (2022, Literary commentary)
The Psychology of of Stupidity Explained by Some of the World's Smartest People by Jean-Francois Marmion (trans. French, 2022)
A Memory for Murder by Anne Holt (Norwegian, 2021) skimmed the second half....
Salonika Burning by Gail Jones, (Australian, 2022)
Storytellers by Bjorn Larssen (Nordic, 2018)
Dinosaurs A Novel by Lidia Millet (US, 2022)
No Place Like Home: Poems Everyman's Library (poetry, 2022)
The Forward Book of Poetry 2023, (UK, 2023)

joulukuu 31, 2022, 9:21 pm

Happy new year! I picture you two sitting in front of the same keyboard, typing in four hands. :)

tammikuu 1, 8:18 am

>6 LolaWalser: Takes practice!

tammikuu 1, 11:20 am

Happy New Year!

tammikuu 1, 11:33 am

>8 BLBera: Yes, Happy New Year!

tammikuu 1, 12:03 pm

Yay, Lois and Michael are in the house!

tammikuu 1, 12:16 pm

Happy New Year to you both!

tammikuu 1, 12:27 pm

Wishing you a Happy New Year, and some good reading in 2023 Lois and Michael.

tammikuu 2, 8:30 am

Thanks all. I'm a bit off my game as I had foot surgery to repair a torn tendon on Friday. It was day surgery and first iff when I got home I managed to trip transferring from the scooter to the couch. What lovely red blood. Instead of the going back to the hospital we were told to see the doc at his office. Apparently, I popped a stitch and thus the blood. All fixed and he put on a boot although I still am not allowed to walk on it until late this week (if they give me the go. Then it's three more weeks wearing 'Das Boot'. Reading is more aspirational at this point as I have not slept well...yada yada. Hubby has been the best!

tammikuu 2, 11:37 am

Happy New Year! Sorry about the foot Lois, tore a tendon years go, they are no fun to heal from. Look forward to following both of y'alls reading this year.

tammikuu 2, 5:47 pm

>14 avaland: I never knew how heavy blankets were until I broke my foot. When you are feeling better, I am all set to head your way!

tammikuu 2, 6:09 pm

>14 avaland: It is amazing how much blood can result from a single popped stitch. Here's hoping you are able to sleep well and that you don't have much in the way of pain in the coming days.

tammikuu 3, 12:13 am

How awful. Please be careful. And eat lots of chocolate - unless you hate chocolate.

tammikuu 3, 9:58 am

>15 stretch:, >16 labfs39:, >17 RidgewayGirl:, >18 dianeham:

Thanks for the sympathy, everyone

tammikuu 3, 10:35 am

Thanks from me, too! Hoping to get some reading in this afternoon....

tammikuu 3, 10:39 am

I hope you will get well soon, and Happy New Year despite of this!

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 3, 11:00 am

Thanks from both of us!

tammikuu 3, 12:03 pm

Looking forward to your reading notes. Louis, hope your recovery is less eventful than the day of surgery.

tammikuu 3, 4:36 pm

>23 markon: Thanks; me too!

tammikuu 3, 9:58 pm

Well, goodness Lois. Take care, get rest. Read later. Wish you both a happy and much less painful year.

tammikuu 3, 10:00 pm

Wishing you a very fast recovery. :)

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 4, 12:54 pm

Suzy McKee Charnas (1939-2023)

Getting to be too many of these. Obit at Locus Magazine. I saw her on numerous convention panels, very thoughtful commentator. Walk to the End of the World is a classic of 1970s SF; makes the world of The Handmaid's Tale look like a utopia.

Crossposted at Science Fiction Fans

tammikuu 4, 8:09 pm

>25 dchaikin:, >26 AnnieMod: Thanks, Dan and Annie. I am tired of sitting, for sure. Might be allowed to walk on the foot tomorrow (crossing my fingers)

tammikuu 5, 8:04 am

Oh, that sounds like a drag. I guess better to be in a boot in January than May? But at any rate, I hope you heal up quickly and can start walking around.

tammikuu 5, 9:42 am

>29 lisapeet: I certainly prefer to be handicapped during the winter months. So much to do come spring. Thanks for your well-wishes. I have a pile of books I need to review, so many I'll get to that.

tammikuu 7, 4:55 pm

I finally made my way to your thread, Lois. Hopefully, you have been given the green light for walking by now. I’ll be following along, as usual, mostly lurking.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 7, 7:07 pm

Alas, no. I am still one-legged, using a scooter still. Maybe this coming Thurs. I’ll get the go ahead 🤞 Hubby is taking good care of me…

tammikuu 7, 9:42 pm

Eek, so sorry about the crummy start to the year! And yay for Michael!

tammikuu 8, 2:22 pm

avaland. I saw your generous offer in the POETRY topic. I’d like to get any of them. The Trouble with Poetry and Other Poems sounds good. I have none of his books. Thank you.

tammikuu 8, 2:59 pm

>34 dianeham: If you want to send your contact info on my profile page: I'll try to get it out asap. Profo;e page messages are all private these days :-)

tammikuu 8, 3:20 pm

Happy New Year, Lois. Hope the foot is healing well. Look forward to this year's reading.

tammikuu 9, 7:15 am

Thanks, Alison.

tammikuu 10, 4:04 pm

Hope your recovery continues to go well. And I hope you're getting lots of reading and sewing done!

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 10, 6:02 pm

>38 arubabookwoman: Thanks. Some reading but no sewing.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 11, 3:59 pm

Way, way behind in reviews, so will attempt some quickies to catch up....

Mourning by Eduardo Halfon (2018, translated from the Portuguese)

This is the 3rd book by Halfon after 2008’s The Polish Boxer and 2014’s Monastery. In this book, Halfon’s narrator, who is prone to wandering, and may or may not be Halfon himself, receives some information that is related the the long ago death of his Uncle Solomon. He immediately heads for Poland to follow the the lead.

I may have said it before, but Halfon is a wonderful storyteller, his prose is like liquid across the page, his stories so immediate, yet embracing often a difficult past. I did think this third book was a bit more congested/complex than the first two. All of the books are connected, and I’d suggest reading them in order.

Summerwater by Sarah Moss ***3/4

I think this has been too long to write a proper review of this book.

tammikuu 11, 4:08 pm

Dagger Key by Lucius Shepard

In 2007, Lucius Shepard (1943-2014) was guest of honor at Readercon, the science fiction convention that Lois and I have long attended and worked for. PS Publishing produced this signed "Special Readercon 2007 Edition" of his then-upcoming collection - same as the regular version except for the labelling and signature page.

To me, most Shepard stories follow the same pattern, closely following a man's point of view. The man is usually marginal in some way, and moves through a dark, uncertain landscape; weird events happen, often bringing a glimpse into the world's secret, terrible heart. Women are only present as companions or foils. I don't see misogyny here, just a recognition that he can't write women's interior experience. But in these nine stories, published 2002-2007, women seem to have more presence, and are more central to events, than in his earlier stories, or that's my impression. But the men still narrate.

In "Emerald Street Expansions", a man receives a sort of personality implant, and finds himself becoming the reincarnation of Francois Villon. The people around him have plans for him - especially the woman therapist who gave him the implant. Like many Shepard stories, this one doesn't really end. At the conclusion the protagonist is deep in his Villon role, perhaps doomed to reenact the poet's life and work.

"Limbo" gives us a petty criminal on the run from his former mob buddies. He's smarter than most killers, but not smart enough to avoid getting involved with the ghost of a woman, eventually joining her in a hell in which they perpetually must flee demonic tormentors. He thinks he may see a way out...

"Liar's House" is one of Shepard's Dragon Griaule stores, to be reviewed as part of his The Dragon Griaule collection someday.

"Dead Money" is a sequel to Shepard's excellent first novel Green Eyes, about a treatment that can turn the recently dead into zombies, sort of, with green-glowing eyes and extraordinary abilities. Those abilities can include reading the "tells" of poker players with amazing clarity. A small-time criminal, working for an erratic crime lord, is tasked with minding such a zombie, plus the zombie's beautiful nurse. He begins to suspect that the three of them will be eliminated after a big poker game.

In "Dinner at Baldassaro's" we gradually realize that the protagonist and his fellow diners are unaging vampires, controlling the mere humans around them and plotting how to continue their secret rule of Earth.

In "Abimagique", our man meets a woman of that name. She foresees the end of the world, and is performing weird magical rituals aimed at forestalling that end. Most of her recent lovers may have been put in wheelchairs by her lovemaking, so he'd be well advised to stay away. Of course he doesn't.

An old man in a bar recounts his long-ago meeting with "The Lepidopterist", who worked with some peculiar butterflies, and the far more peculiar products of the cocoons they spun (yes, butterflies spinning cocoons - very peculiar butterflies).

"Dagger Key" is original to this volume, appearing only here and in The Best of Lucius Shepard, Vol. 2 as i write. Fredo Galvez lives in poverty on a Caribean island. He is descended from the pirate Ann Bonny, and haunted by her ghost. Outsiders come, seeking Bonny's treasure. Is this an opportunity for him and his family? Pirate Annie was violent in life, and is still so in death.

The story that might be most congenial to a newcomer to Shepard is "Stars Seen Through Stone". Years ago, a car breakdown left Vernon and Andrea in the dying town of Black William, Pennsylvania. They made a life there, together and, later, apart. Now, eerie lights are occasionally visible, seen somehow through the stone of the town courthouse, lights that seem to be far away and approaching with great speed. Meanwhile, an epidemic of creativity breaks out among the townspeople; new solutions to issues in business and art. Vernon, a small-time music producer, finds himself coaching the most talented young musician he's ever managed - if also the most sleazy and personally repellent. This story supplies one of Shepard's rare endings that are other than tragic or fearful.

Shepard's darkness is not something I want all the time, but I enjoyed this visit to his late-career writing.

Four stars

tammikuu 11, 5:40 pm

I’ve been chasing down new or newer anthologies of contemporary poetry in English and had forgotten I had picked up this anthology last February until a friend here on LT gave me a nudge. Somewhere in the summer or fall the book slid out of sight. Anywho…

The FORWARD Book of Poetry, 2022: The Best Poems from the Forward Prizes

The poems are declared the ‘best work taken from new collections and literary journals” in the UK & Ireland. The anthology showcases a wide and wonderful array of contemporary poetry all manner of subjects, some very ‘of the moment’. And I keep finding unexpected freshness and new insights in some I thought I had finished with (that’s the gift of poetry, isn’t it?!). Here are two excellent poems, reasonably short, for your reading pleasure.

The Readiness
Alan Gillis

It could happen at sunset
on a sloping lawn.
In a yawning estate
it could happen at dawn.

In a queue for your therapist,
in the public baths,
on a road through the forest
it could happen in a flash.

Under the harvest moon,
in the life, on the stairs,
in an encrypted chatroom:
it could happen anywhere

So make sure you’re up to speed
when, at sunset or dawn,
worms vex the seed,
crows shadow the corn.

Beached Whale
Victoria Kennefick

At first I thought that enormous lump of red-brown on the sand
was the trunk of some ancient, washed-up tree.

It was only when I mounted the object,
digging my small hands into something far too pliable,
that is really hit me, the stall smell of a thousand low tides

and the mute open mouths of the many onlookers
with their hysterical dogs, the seagulls circling like squalling clouds,
my mother’s curlew scream as she ran towards me, disjointed.

Aside the whale like this,
looking at my mother move through dimensions,
planes of distance,

I thought of boutique dressing rooms brimming
with clothes and tension, like gas expanding. And of two little girls
watching their mother cry as her reflection distorted in a
fluorescent mirror.

The weight of her past made flesh on her hips,
the scars of our arrivals barely heeled after all this time,
my blind hands all over the body.

Grasping, desperate to hold something real,
not knowing what that was.

tammikuu 11, 10:00 pm

>40 avaland: I'm hoping to read The Polish Boxer this year.

>42 avaland: these are terrific and that second one, by Victoria Kennefick, just suddenly becomes super powerful

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 13, 11:26 am

>43 dchaikin: Thanks, Dan. I think you will like The Polish Boxer.

ETA. Yes. very TRUE of the Kennefick poem. I had the same response.

tammikuu 13, 3:53 pm

No Place Like Home: Poems (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets Series)
edited by Jane Holloway

This small volume of 280 pages, offers a feast of poetry — eight to ten poems from all eras in each of the twenty chapters around the theme of "home". From Derek Walcott to John Donne, Carol Ann Duffy to Marina Tsvetaeva, Wendell Berry to Thomas Hardy, Eavan Boland to Basho.
It's an enjoyable collection in a small size that might fit in a purse, briefcase, pocket or tucked into a gift basket.

STAY HOME / Wendell Berry (1934 - )

I will wait here in the fields
to see how well the rain
brings on the grass/
In the labor of the fields
longer than a man's life
I am home. Don't come with me.
You stay home too.

I will be standing in the woods
where the old trees
move only with the wind
and then with gravity.
In the stillness of the trees
I am home. Don't come with me.
You stay home too.

tammikuu 13, 8:14 pm

I do love a good anthology. No Place Like Home sounds really nice.

tammikuu 14, 10:42 am

>46 dchaikin: Agree! I also use anthologies to find new poets to investigate. The "home" collection was mostly well-known poets, dead or alive :-)

tammikuu 14, 1:54 pm

Dinosaur a Novel by Lydia Millet 2022

Gil walks from NY to Arizona as a kind of therapy after being dumped by his girlfriend. He moves in to his new Arizona home in a newly-built neighborhood, and it’s not long before a family of four move in next door and they become friendly.

This seemingly simple domestic sort of story is intimate and has depth; the reader cannot help but be drawn in. Gil is a nice guy (and very rich, as it happens); we learn his backstory as we also learn about the other neighbors. As the book flap says: “Millet explores the uncanny territory where the self ends and community begins—what one person can do in a world beset by emergencies.”

I read this nearly in one sitting…surprised to become so engrossed in it (clearly nothing was going to get done until I finished it) And while I thought one area in of the story was less clear, it did not detract much and will not stop me from rating this book highly.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 14, 2:27 pm

>45 avaland: What a wonderful theme for an anthology! I love the Berry poem.

A friend just sent me the Everyman's Books and Libraries collection—I'm keeping it on the side of my desk and am going to be dipping into it when my eyes need a rest from the screen, so I'll try and post a few on my thread. They're such a great series.

>48 avaland: I just started Dinosaurs, but had to put it down because I had a couple of library holds come in. But it's totally engrossing so far.

tammikuu 14, 2:40 pm

I like Lydia Millet, but initially the sound of this one didn't appeal. You might it sound much more intriguing, so I'll add it to the list. And, my husband's name is Gil--not that common of a name.

tammikuu 14, 3:21 pm

>49 lisapeet: Of late I've been mostly interested in exploring newer poetry, but this was a nice interlude.

>50 arubabookwoman: I think in this particular case, what the reader brings to the equation probably makes the difference. I will be looking forward to both Lisa and your thoughts when you get to it. Deborah, i'm sure your Gil is a good guy, too :-)

tammikuu 14, 7:21 pm

>48 avaland: well, you made this sound terrific. Interesting therapy.

tammikuu 16, 10:52 am

>48 avaland: This sounds interesting. Neither my local or state libraries has it but hopefully they'll get it when it comes out in paperback.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 16, 7:26 pm

Storytellers by Bjørn Larssen 2019

This seemingly self-published book sports a madcap storyline set in a very small village in Iceland in the early 1900s The story focuses on an ornery, disheveled blacksmith (and his dog, Ragnar) and the arrival of an injured stranger (an American!). The stranger is so desperate to stay out of sight that he hands over all his cash—a considerable sum– to Gunner if only he will let him hide in his house… The madcap mystery moves back and forth from this storyline to another on set further in the past.

Larssen,the author, is Polish by birth, lives in the Netherlands, and is entranced with Iceland (as many of us are!) The book could have used some good editing in some parts but it sureIy made me laugh and keep reading. I share the sentiment of one blurber on the book’s front cover:These strange, sad, funny, murderous people will stay with me for a long time.*

*Annie Whitehead

tammikuu 17, 4:31 pm

It is 1975 Nigeria. Remi Lawal mets an American, Frances Cooke, at an exhibition of work by a notable bead-maker. Frances is a collector of artisan glass beads, and Remi has a small shop selling greeting cards, postcards…etc. The two women quickly become friends and share much about each other’s lives (much to the dismay of Remi’s husband who can’t shake the idea that Frances might be CIA).

As the two women continue to talk, they compare and contrast their countries, and cover endless other topics, all fascinating for a reader interested in Africa generally and Nigeria specifically. The initial story seems to recede and one realizes that Nigeria is yet another character in the book.

My poor review here–I have waited too long after finishing the book to write my comments–should not reflect negatively on this interesting book. It’s a bit more congested than her previous books, but worth expending the patience. I also wondered why 1975 Nigeria instead of current day? I have read all of Atta’s work over the years and they are all worthwhile reads.

tammikuu 17, 4:56 pm

>55 avaland: Which is your favorite Atta? I've only read The Bad Immigrant and really enjoyed it.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 18, 9:37 am

>56 labfs39: Will get back to you, if you don't mind...I'm on a tear to write brief reviews of my read piles. The first two are sooooo long ago and I didn't write reviews, so.... I enjoyed The Bad Immigrant the best.

tammikuu 17, 5:44 pm

The Winter Soldier by Daniel Mason (US, 2018)

This is Mason’s third novel after 2007’s A Far Country and 2002’s The Piano Tuner (yes, it was a movie, too). His latest is 2021’s A Registry of My Passage Upon the Earth (which I have not read yet). It should be noted that Mason is a medical doctor.

Vienna, 1914
Lucius, a medical student, enlists to help in the war effort. What he expects to be assigned to is not what he gets, much to his surprise. He is dropped off at a field hospital in Vienna where all the doctors and trained medical personnel have fled, leaving one persistent nurse trying to keep things going. Lucius has not finished his studies, he’s not even held a scalpel….

Soon the nurse, Margaret (of the Sisters of St. Catherine), and the novice doctor are working under extremely difficult circumstances, practicing a very rough kind of medicine. And as the days go by, the two fall in love (you were expecting that, right?) The story climax focuses on one specific soldier….

The Winter Soldier is more or less a traditional war story; it’s immersive and very satisfying (don’t expect to come up for air until you finish the book).

tammikuu 18, 8:27 am

>58 avaland: I've had that on the shelf for ages—I loved his last short story collection, A Registry of My Passage upon the Earth. Have you read that?

tammikuu 18, 9:36 am

>59 lisapeet: Good to know about the collection! (it's sitting next to me on the couch amidst other possibilities -- I have log jam of short fiction collections....) If you haven't read the new Gail Jones, also set in WWI, you will likely enjoy it, I think.

tammikuu 18, 3:43 pm

>57 avaland: Full sympathy from here while you work through them all

>58 avaland: Have read the first two books by Mason, good to know there are two more. Immersive is good.

tammikuu 18, 3:59 pm

>61 SassyLassy: Just one left!

The Mason book titled A Registry of My Passage Upon the Earth is actually a short fiction collection...One has to read someone's blurb on the back of the book to realize it is short fiction. Just interesting.... You will definitely like the new Gail Jones' too.... just sayin'

tammikuu 20, 3:25 pm

>60 avaland: I haven't read Gail Jones at all. Is the new one Salonika Burning?

tammikuu 20, 4:34 pm

tammikuu 20, 11:21 pm

>64 avaland: OK good, and noted. My library doesn't have it, either in book or e, but I'll put it on the list to remember to keep checking.

tammikuu 21, 11:21 am

>58 avaland: The Winter Soldier sounds good, Lois. I’m adding to my list. And, you’ve reminded me that I have Five Bells by Gail Jones on my shelf. I should get to that one sooner rather than later.

tammikuu 23, 7:36 pm

Here in New Hampshire a storm has left us without utility electricity since 4 am. Latest word is that restoration will be slow. Lois and I are running our house on a generator intermittently, so updates here on LT will be sparse for a while. Got some good winter-wonderland photos though.

tammikuu 23, 8:50 pm

I texted earlier to see how you guys were faring. I'm sorry you lost power, miraculously ours stayed on, but we got over a foot of snow. Added to the 8" on Friday, the trees are laden. Wednesday night there's a chance we'll get more snow, then ice. That would be a disaster. Limbs will be falling left and right, and no one will have power. Stay warm and keep Lois supplied with books!

tammikuu 24, 11:24 pm

Ack—stay safe and warm! We're supposed to get our first snow of the winter down here in NYC tomorrow, but I don't think it's going to stick.

tammikuu 25, 5:10 pm

Our power came back on last night (Tuesday) at around 8 pm - so 40 hours without power. Might go out again with tonight's storm, hoping not.

tammikuu 25, 5:17 pm

I'm glad you have a generator!

tammikuu 26, 2:28 pm

Thanks, everyone!

>68 labfs39: We were without power for 40 hrs. and ran the generator off and on when we were not sleeping. We had about a foot of snow with the first storm, a few inches with the 2nd, and the 3rd storm brought some wet snow followed by 40 degree tempts, so it's all melting. We have a couple of good-sized branches on the ground.

tammikuu 26, 7:23 pm

Hope you stay warm.

tammikuu 27, 4:43 pm

>73 dianeham: Thanks, we're fine now.

tammikuu 30, 10:47 am

Salonika Burning by Gail Jones (Australian, 2022)*****

Set in 1917 Macedonia during WWI, this story takes a different narrative road by following, not soldiers nor the domestic homefront but those who volunteered to help in the medical corps. Based on the experiences of four very real Australian volunteers, Gail Jones tells us the stories of Grace, a surgeon; Olive, an ambulance driver (who brought her own vehicle); Stella, a cook’s helper, and Stanley, an artist by trade, who was “unsuited for soldiering but wished fervently for adventure” and became an orderly. As the book flap says:”Amid the destruction are those who have come to the frontline to heal….”

Jones is a wonderful writer, always infusing her stories with great compassion, and this immersive book is no different (It’s why I love her work).

tammikuu 30, 10:53 am

>75 avaland: I've been wanting to read this since you talked about it a couple of weeks ago. It's now officially added to my wishlist.

helmikuu 1, 6:52 am

>76 labfs39: Strangely, The Winter Soldier by Daniel Mason has a very similar storyline, (I'm trying to catch up on my reviews but it's not going well...I keep getting distracted....will get it done today!

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 2, 6:46 am

The Winter Soldier by Daniel Mason (US, 2018)

Vienna, 1914
After a fortuitous meeting with Marie Curie, Lucius, a medical student, decides to leave his studies and enlists to help in the war effort. What he expects to be assigned to is not what he gets. Much to his surprise, he is dropped off at a field hospital in Vienna where all the doctors and trained medical personnel have fled, leaving one persistent nun/nurse trying to keep things going. Lucius has not finished his studies, he’s not even held a scalpel….

Soon the nurse, Margaret (of the Sisters of St. Catherine), and the novice doctor are working under extremely difficult circumstances, practicing a very rough kind of medicine. And as the days go by, the two fall in love (you were expecting that, right?) The story climax focuses on one specific soldier….

The Winter Soldier is more or less a traditional or 'classic' war story (think Doctor Zhivago*); it’s immersive, very satisfying (don’t expect to come up for air until you finish the book).
This is Mason’s third novel after 2007’s A Far Country and 2002’s The Piano Tuner. His latest is 2021’s collection, A Registry of My Passage Upon the Earth, (which I have not read yet). And it should be noted that Mason is also medical doctor.

*One of my sacred favorites

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 1, 10:35 am

Middlemarch and the Imperfect Life by Pamela Erens (nonfiction, US, 2022)

I didn’t think much before buying this slim,160-page book…it had “Middlemarch” in the title and that was enough for me. It turns out that this slim book is mix of memoir and enlightened observations on the classic novel.

Erens uses her own experience wrestling with depression to elucidate Elliot’s classic…the discussion is well-balanced in the back and forth between the two. Reading this book is a bit like reading it with a book group of just two people. It worked and I enjoyed Pamela Erens observations very much (a must for serious Middlemarch fans, me thinks)

Author's website: http://www.pamelaerens.com/middlemarch-and-the-imperfect-life

helmikuu 1, 11:12 am

>42 avaland: These are incredible, that second poem is really really. Just wow.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 1, 1:28 pm

Best of Australian Poems 2022
by Jeanine Leane (Editor), Judith Beveridge (Editor)

This is the 2nd annual anthology of Australian poetry from its national poetry organization. One hundred poems were chosen by the editors out of the 4,000 poems submitted. The organization hoped the selections here would “reflect the year that has been in a cartography of poetry that speaks to some of the hopes concerns, fears, critiques and aspirations across the many different diasporas of peoples…”

This is an excellent anthology with poetry around all manner of topics. The poetry has a certain amount of seriousness as one would expect from a national organization. Speaking as an outsider only, I think they succeed in their objective. Out of the one hundred poems chosen and published, about two-thirds of the works were two or more pages*. Some of the poetry was creatively formatted for a visual effect. There were many wonderful poems, and at least a few I thought a bit obtuse (another day, another reading and it might be different).

(*Here I admit that generally, these days, I enjoy shorter poetry)

last swim before space flight / Rory Green

you'll just swap one form of floating for another
they said, you're still weightless. do they know
how heavy the ocean feels? how the harvest
moon can sow a net of light, billowing, aureate,
ensnare a season before it can even arrive...
how space smells rotten and sulfuric
nothing like the briny sweetness of a coastal swell,
the way it wraps around and dizzies you,
pulls you magnetic to its rumbling source. do
they not know the moon's shimmer of spume over water
is a mere echo a soft tug on something more unknowable
and forgiving than the limping void of space?
how can they ignore the protozoic shell whispers
of ancestors who found this rock and chose to stay,
what it means to be joined to this vital. amniotic thing, to
wallow as every perfect earthly being has before you.
you know what they don't---that the weight of it
is the point, how it feels like launching
without ever leaving the ground.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 1, 2:38 pm

This Other Eden by Paul Harding (historical fiction, US, 2023)

This is Paul Harding’s third book. This new volume is connected to his Pulitzer Prize winning novel Tinkers and his 2nd book, Enon.

This new book is based on real events. Harding tells us, through fiction, the very real story of the 1912 expulsion of a mixed race inhabitants from Malaga Island in Maine, whose families have inhabited the island since 1792. In this story, Matthew Diamond, a retired teacher, and much prejudiced, self-made missionary, comes to the island to teach the children. Not only does Matthew learns so new things, but him being on the island brings other unwanted attention….

Harding is an excellent storyteller and the narrative is infused with great empathy. I read the book in one sitting, as if under a spell, and perhaps I was.

helmikuu 1, 2:54 pm

You've been reading some great books. I've made note of The Winter Soldier (I have his book of short stories on my tbr to read first) and I'm eager to get to the Gail Jones.

helmikuu 1, 3:09 pm

>80 liz4444: Thank you!

>83 RidgewayGirl: I'm not getting any younger! If I'm not connecting with a book after a reasonable time, I jettison it.

Did you read Mason's first two, both very good!

I picked up another Gail Jones I missed, 2020's Our Shadows and also Gail Jones: Word, Image, Ethics (Sydney Studies in Australian Literature)
Not sure that other novel has shone up yet (I might have had to go to Amazon Australia).

helmikuu 3, 9:35 am

You’ve been reading some great books, Lois. You’ve piqued my interest in Paul Harding, and The Winter Soldier

helmikuu 3, 12:02 pm

>82 avaland: glad to read your take on This Other Eden. You and Diane have me excited to read it. But i’ll wait a bit.

Also cool reading about Middlemarch. And interesting poem. Like you, I prefer shorter poetry. I also prefer simple visual structure. I find the “creative formatting” distracting.

helmikuu 4, 6:21 am

>85 NanaCC: , >86 dchaikin: Thanks, Colleen and Dan. I imagine, like many books, some readers will love it and some won't. It's not perfect but it pinged all my reading buttons.

helmikuu 4, 8:04 am

I hope your power stayed on for freez-ageddon. We are doing well, although the dog walked halfway to the truck yesterday, then hightailed it back to the house and his bed, refusing to go to work!

helmikuu 4, 8:38 am

>88 labfs39:
We're fine. Huddled inside until the temperature becomes war.

helmikuu 4, 8:53 am

Is this Gail Jones that same author who wrote Sorry? I've had that on my shelf for a long time - probably from your recommendation, if so!

helmikuu 4, 8:57 am

Tämä käyttäjä on poistettu roskaamisen vuoksi.

helmikuu 4, 9:37 am

>90 japaul22: Yes. I really liked Sorry.

helmikuu 4, 10:08 am

D%$m, it's cold outside! One of our grandsons asked his mother to ask me if Pop-pop was okay because he wanted to make sure he doesn’t have a "Pop-Pop pop".... (...sicle ...7 yr old humor) Temperature is up to -4 F. Maybe I should find some laundry to dry so the birds could huddle near the hot air exhaust...we did get the feeders out at record speed.

helmikuu 4, 11:54 am

The Psychology of Stupidity: Explained by Some of the World’s Smartest People, by Jean-Francois Marmot c. 2018, English translated 2020.

When I first came across this book while book-shopping, I was amused; I thought it might be satire…but I was also intrigued….

This 360+page book really is about “stupidity” (and its synonyms) but it could also be said that it is about intelligence (“intelligence" in the title wouldn’t have garnered nearly as much attention!). Despite a somewhat light introduction, the book opens into a fascinating collection of essays and interviews with scholars and other professionals. The length of the pieces varies, but most are three to six pages. And, of course, the topics vary and I found nearly all of them interesting. Here’s an abbreviated, quick survey of some of the forty or so topics or subtopics….

Narcissism, cognitive bias, personality disorders, collective stupidity, the stupidity of dreams, why we find meaning in coincidence, “when very smart people believe very dumb things”, thinking fast and slow,., shamelessness (and emotions…) Fighting collective error, stupidity from a child’s perspective, do screens make children dumber, the internet, the death of intelligence, social networks …and so on.

I generally enjoy books and essays on psychological topics and this falls in that category. So many of these accessible short essays and other pieces are fascinating (I took to dog-earing pages!) and I started to think of those of you who would enjoy this book….

Note: I got my copy from the Book Depository.

helmikuu 4, 12:33 pm

>94 avaland: your review has me interested!

helmikuu 5, 6:11 am

>95 dchaikin: I have the UK edition (because I buy from the Book Depository), but I see the big "A" sells the book with a different cover.

helmikuu 5, 7:13 am

>94 avaland: - Definitely sounds interesting. "and I started to think of those of you who would enjoy this book..." or how this explains some people I know ?? ;)

helmikuu 5, 9:12 am

>96 avaland: I sampled it on audio - a 5 minute sample. Fun. When my mood is right, i may try it out through audio.

helmikuu 5, 9:28 am

>97 dudes22: Interesting is the word, for sure.

>98 dchaikin: It helps that the pieces are relatively short.

helmikuu 5, 9:40 am

>97 dudes22: I think you might like it, Betty.

helmikuu 5, 9:46 am

>98 dchaikin: Ah, another "mood" reader! That makes at least two of us. I can't imagine the book on audio; it would be cool if all the different contributors read their own pieces.

helmikuu 5, 9:49 am

>101 avaland: i try to set my mood for my plans 🙂 But with audio, I can sometimes wait for whatever sample actually works (and set reasons aside).

helmikuu 5, 10:00 am

>94 avaland: Who are the 'world's smartest people'?!

Seriously, it does sound like something I could get absorbed in (in which I could get absorbed).

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 5, 11:22 am

>103 SassyLassy: Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman, and two others I was familar with were Howard Gardner, Alison Gopnick. There is a fair number of French scholars, along with the Americans... Other authors include scientist journalist, a screenwriter and a marketing director. So many different ways to look at it.... I think you would find it very interesting.

helmikuu 5, 9:06 pm

>94 avaland: Great review. I think I'd love this one. Heaved onto the Wishlist.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 6, 9:12 am

>105 nancyewhite: Thanks. "...Heaved..." I love that! It does actually seem like that (as for me...I have a TBR box next to my recliner, which is next to the TBR shelves....

helmikuu 7, 7:00 pm

>94 avaland: Hmm, I suspect that's a book that might cover a lot of familiar ground for me, but it's definitely one I feel interested in, regardless. Onto the wishlist it goes for me, too!

helmikuu 8, 6:24 am

>107 bragan: The pieces are all relatively short, aimed at a wider audience. The contributors seem to be just French or US professionals.

helmikuu 9, 6:09 am

Big news! We bought a Kobo! Initially it was because I'd like very much to re-read Middlemarch in larger print. It came and the hubby has been happily using it since (it's a bit smaller than the tablet he reads on). We chose the Kobo because we wished not to sell our souls completely to Amazon.

helmikuu 9, 7:18 am

I hope you enjoy your new Kobo for those times when it's more convenient than a paper book. The larger font and ability to read without external lighting during power outages are two pluses for me.

helmikuu 9, 7:23 am

Tämä käyttäjä on poistettu roskaamisen vuoksi.

helmikuu 9, 1:53 pm

>109 avaland: So you sold it to Barnes & Noble instead :) Just kidding, just kidding. Have fun with the new eReader :) Now try not to accumulate 100 books before the week ends...

>94 avaland: You are a bad person... :) And my library has it.

helmikuu 10, 8:34 am

>110 labfs39: He is certainly enjoying it! I only want it for Middlemarch ....

>112 AnnieMod: LOL! Gee, we might have to create a stupidity discussion thread!

helmikuu 11, 10:48 am

Finally catching up on your thread, and that's some really good reading! I have the Paul Harding and the Daniel Mason (I'm probably not supposed to say this, but in addition to being a very good writer and an MD, he's adorable), and have the Gail Jones on my wishlist thanks to your recommendation. The stupidity book sounds... triggering. But maybe in a good way.

helmikuu 12, 5:28 am

>114 lisapeet: I can't disagree about "adorable".... (not so much to affect one's reading, though :-)

helmikuu 20, 2:35 am

I don't see updates on the foot... I hope that means full return to normal?

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 20, 1:43 pm

The Forward Book of Poetry 2023
The Best Poems from the Forward Prizes

"The Forward Prizes for Poetry are major British awards for poetry, presented annually at a public ceremony in London. They were founded in 1992 … with the aim of celebrating excellence in poetry and increasing its audience…" "…collections published in the UK and Ireland over the course of the previous year are eligible, as are single poems nominated by journal editors or prize organisers. Each year, works shortlisted for the prizes – plus those highly commended by the judges – are collected in the Forward Book of Poetry."

This is the second Forward Prize anthology I have read, after last year’s 2022 volume. I’m surprised that I’m going to say… that I enjoyed more of the poetry in last year’s volume than this year, but I’d be hard-pressed to explain why. While one can always appreciate the art of the poetry, and the poet’s voice and message, there is nothing, in my humble opinion, like making that individual connection with a poem. I seemed to connect with less of the poetry in this volume than last.

This is, of course, a stellar anthology and one I would recommend for an introduction to contemporary British poetry. I think it’s harder sometimes to connect with a contemporary poem than to poetry written in the past by now deceased poets. Contemporary poetry in this era and in these anthologies seems both expansive and inclusive.

Here is a few lines from the Chair of Judges Fatima Bhutto: Poetry is the art of the ordinary, the invisible, and the everyday. It is the true art of the people. In it’s ability to reach out and connect us to the tremors and longings of the world around us, it reminds us constantly about the power to surprise….

And here is a favorite poem from this 2023 volume

Padraig Regan
"50ml pf India Ink"

Opaque, & black as gravity,
the ink is perfectly unlike

the small glass pot
whose shape it occupies

so passively. It is
something’s burnt remains

that makes it black.
It is the sticky leavings

of the lac-bug
that makes it shine.

(The name of the lac-bug
has nothing to do

with absence, but means,
in fact, a multitude.)

it performs its tiny fractal
creep through the paper’s

knitted capillaries,
& finds itself astounded

with significance. It means
I am not yet dead.

I was not untempted
to leave this blank.

helmikuu 20, 4:02 pm

Pilgrims Way by Abdulrazak Gurnah, 1988

Daud was sent to England for a university education, but he dropped out of classes and now works as an orderly in a local hospital. He has not informed his family back in Africa. He goes out sometimes, has friends over and is a Cricket fan. Daud is a great storyteller.

Pilgrims Way is Gurney’s 2nd book published in 1988. As always, the author has gifted us, the readers, with another compelling story, written with compassion; less a classic 'coming-of-age' tale than–as the title suggests– more a journey of the self.

helmikuu 20, 5:08 pm

An Altered Light
Jens Christian Grøndahl
2003, translated from the Danish 2004

Irene Beckman, age 50+, seems to have a perfect life in Denmark. She’s beautiful, successful, happily married with two now adult children. She works as a lawyer and the family is well off financially….quite comfortable And then, very unexpectedly, Irene’s husband wants a divorce, and while processing that news, her mother is taken ill.

It’s a lot at once, but more so, in a bedside conversation with her ill mother, Irene is told that her father is not her biological father, but it was another man, who fled Copenhagen for Sweden at the beginning of the war. Understandably, Irene is shocked by the news.

This is a immersive story of one woman’s transformation through personal crisis (or two or three). It starts out a bit slow as the author introduces Irene to us. Interesting to read HER story written by a male author…. hmmmm.

I have read all of Grondahl’s novels available in translation now. He’s another on my list of authors who infuse their storytelling with great compassion.

helmikuu 22, 10:49 am

>117 avaland: I'm looking forward to this one, thanks to you. I don't have the previous volume to compare it to, so we'll see how it stands by itself.

helmikuu 22, 4:46 pm

>120 lisapeet: "Looking ... FORWARD"? LOL. It's a nice anthology despite the fact I liked the 2022 one a wee bit better! I look FORWARD to your thoughts or review.

helmikuu 22, 5:48 pm

>117 avaland: yes they are good I have several older editions picked up in second hand book shops.

helmikuu 23, 4:32 pm

>121 avaland: Haha OK, HIGHLY ANTICIPATING.

helmikuu 23, 9:41 pm

Hi! I was behind on your thread. I can get very aggravated with stupid people. Might not like reading about them.

helmikuu 24, 6:40 am

>122 baswood: Good to know.

>123 lisapeet: :-)

>124 dianeham: Probably not for everyone :-)

helmikuu 24, 11:13 pm

>118 avaland: ooh, more Gurnah. His second. Hmm.

>119 avaland: I don't remember seeing this author's name, Grøndahl. Hmm. Interesting!

helmikuu 25, 6:17 am

>126 dchaikin: I have just the newest Gurnah to read now, and I'm dragging my feet on it because it's the last...I will have to assume he is going to keep writing....

helmikuu 26, 12:55 pm

Empire V: The Prince of Hamlet by Victor Pelevin

V is for vampire; according to Victor Pelevin, satirical chronicler of post-Soviet Russia, vampires run everything - pretty smoothly, really - and have done for all of history. We discover the vampire world through the eyes of a young, contemporary Russian man who gets envamped right at the start, and spends the rest of the book progressing through multiple levels of revelation about his new world, and what vampires actually feed on. Blood? No, use the euphemism "red liquid"; no, it's money actually; no...

Pelevin was much more fun in the 1990s than in this 2006 novel (translated and published in English in 2016). I get the impression that he had to be more careful about whom he mocks in Putin's Russia. Mikhail Khodorkovsky's downfall is referenced once or twice, but not the big man. Maybe that's why this book feels sadly claustrophobic to me, as it leads us to a vision of a sealed, airless universe of vampirism.

Worth reading for the Pelevin fan, lots of good bits here, but for the newcomer to this author I recommend The Sacred Book of the Werewolf for an earlier, lighter work.

Three stars

maaliskuu 4, 10:29 pm

>128 dukedom_enough: I haven't read Pelevin for ages - in fact have just checked and it was all before I started using LT to log the dates so definitely pre-2006. The book sounds interesting but it can't be an easy environment these days for him to write in.

maaliskuu 5, 12:57 pm

>129 wandering_star: Far from the worst thing Putin's done, but bad nonetheless.

maaliskuu 5, 1:10 pm

>128 dukedom_enough:

I loved The life of insects and always meant to read more. But as I cling to ye olde ways of finding books --in PERSON--I rarely come across Pelevin.

maaliskuu 5, 2:20 pm

>131 LolaWalser: His moment may have passed, but then who replaced him? Hard to imagine anyone daring to write satire in Russia now. But Russians have a history of producing art in impossible circumstances.

maaliskuu 5, 4:56 pm

I just consulted Dr Google and she tells me "new realism" is the thing in Russia these days. I haven't read any of those authors.

maaliskuu 5, 5:48 pm

New realism: adopting a realistic attitude toward the danger of crossing Putin, thereby remaining alive?

maaliskuu 5, 6:16 pm

I really can't tell but overall, just based on description, it seems it would willy-nilly run against officialdom. Incidentally, Vladimir Sorokin had publicly condemned Putin and the war on Ukraine but lives still (unless I just jinxed him). Not sure how much Putin cares about literature.

maaliskuu 5, 6:24 pm

Have you read Sorokin's Ice Trilogy? Weird stuff.

maaliskuu 5, 10:57 pm

I haven't, but I've read some short stories of his. "Weird" is apt. Actually, there is a commonality between him and Pelevin and the Strugatskis, some sciency-fictiony philosophical manner that is to me very Russian, and maybe starts with Tsiolkovsky. I gather that Sorokin is more political, though.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 10, 9:08 am

Canción by Eduardo Halfon

This is the fourth book in English translation from Eduardo Halfon who, I think, is technically a Guatemalan author but also man of many cultures and many places. In this small book–and they are all small books; which is some of the charm– our narrator, (who could also be our author…), is in Japan for a Lebanese writers conference, tells a story, set in Guatemala, of his grandfather’s run-in with the notorious gangster, Canción, known as “the Butcher”.

I love Halfon’s writing, and I enjoyed much of this this small novel; however, some of the content in this particular story is ugly and violent, which I found difficult to read and certainly didn’t enjoy on any level but it’s is part of the story, just be aware.

maaliskuu 6, 7:38 pm

I enjoyed Canción, the first book I've read by Eduardo Halfon, and I'll be on the lookout for his earlier books, particularly The Polish Boxer.

maaliskuu 7, 5:14 am

>139 kidzdoc: Gosh, Darryl, I thought you would have already read them all after seeing your review of this one. I noticed that my copy of the Polish Boxer seems not to be with the others, must have loaned it to someone...hmmm.

maaliskuu 7, 9:01 am

Ha! No, Eduardo Halfon wasn't on my radar screen at the time I received an advance review copy of Canción from Bellevue Literary Press via the LT Early Reviewers program. He is now, though.

maaliskuu 7, 6:59 pm

>141 kidzdoc: He’s terribly clever. Bellevue Literary Press is one of my many favorite small presses.

maaliskuu 7, 7:54 pm

>142 avaland: Bellevue Literary Press is one of my many favorite small presses.

Agreed. I'm very grateful that I've received several free advance review copies of their books over the past couple of years, including All Else Failed: The Unlikely Volunteers at the Heart of the Migrant Aid Crisis by Dana Sachs, which I'm reading now. Your post reminded me that I wanted to renew my subscription to Bellevue Literary Review, in order to support Bellevue Literary Press, as a sort of thank you for all the free books, and especially because I enjoy reading this biannual journal, which features articles about illness and health. I did subscribe to it previously, but I couldn't keep up with the issues while I was working, especially when it was being published quarterly, so I cancelled my subscription a few years ago.

maaliskuu 9, 9:49 am

>143 kidzdoc: So many publishers, so many books. What's a reader to do!

maaliskuu 9, 9:32 pm

>138 avaland: the touchstone goes to Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

maaliskuu 10, 9:09 am

>145 dianeham: Yeah, thanks. I've been wrestling with that. Why Dickens is the default amazes me.

maaliskuu 11, 9:29 am

>140 avaland: Don't look at me, Lois! I purchased a copy from Powell's. I really enjoyed both Canción and Monastery last year.

maaliskuu 12, 6:02 am

maaliskuu 26, 6:28 am

Transferred from the "Questions" thread (from Jean)

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Sister of the Bride by Beverly Cleary
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Hannah Green
Lisa, Bright and Dark by John Neufield
Where the Lilies Bloom by Vera Cleaver
Mr and Mrs BoJo Jones by Ann Head
The Unchosen by Nan Gilbert
Nothing But a Stranger by Arlene Hale
The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds by Paul Zindel
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Paul Odelly
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Light a Single Candle by Beverly Wheeler

I've only read Mr and Mrs BoJo Jones and A Wrinkle in Time (although the latter was read later in life, I think).

maaliskuu 31, 6:13 am

Got hung up trying to write some reviews while too much other stuff is going on. Reading has been slow, too.

Still waiting for that stubborn last area of snow to melt, my PT to be done, the tree climbers to come back for their last day...outdoor chores are calling... One of the grands gave "Pop-pop" his first cold since before the covid era (I think).

Might just have to write some spare reviews to get past the log jam....

huhtikuu 1, 1:03 pm

Journeys by Iain R. MacLeod (short fiction, 2010)

I recently finished a wonderful collection of short fiction by the Scottish author Ian R. MacLeod. Journeys, brings together nine of his pieces, all previously published in various ‘zines or anthologies between 2006-2010. As examples, I will mention three of my favorite pieces…

"Taking Good Care of Myself". A man is sent into the future to assist his elder self with his own death.

"The English Mutiny", is an alternate history set in an England that has been conquered by the Raj (with help from Portugal). An old, mutilated soldier tells a story about his war days and his fellow soldier and pal Johnny, who he met as they were on their way to fight Scotland.

In "The Camping Wainwrights" a couple and their two teens set off on their annual holiday in the woods. Soon very weird things begin to happen, and everyone sees/experiences them except Dad who maintains his upbeat and jolly attitude in his ignorance….

McLeod is a favorite author of mine. His work is intelligent, beautifully written, and a joy to read. And no matter what the story is, one imagines the author smiling as sets his sentences down to paper.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 1, 2:05 pm

Tangible Things: Making History through Objects, 2015
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Ivan Gaskell, Sara J. Schlechter, Sarah Anne Carter. Photos by Samantha S. B. Van Gerbig

Tangible Things takes us into the bowels of Harvard University and into the stored collections. There are the old things one might expect but there is also a lot of weird stuff: ancient tortillas (1878), an egg-shaped stone from some guy’s bladder; various things Thoreau picked up on his walks around Concord; a wood-carved “pointing finger” wooden spoon from Africa, plaster casts of the heads of some long-dead people, papyrus pieces that have been written on both sides but in different centuries, Lincoln’s life mask…

As noted in the preface, this book was meant to be a retrospective catalog, for an exhibition, but became something else. I bought this book because one of the authors, Ulrich, is a favorite historian of mine (and then, of course, I’m a terribly curious sort…). In my estimations this is not a book one can declare as finished after one trip through its pages…I have been through it multiple times and I'm sure I’ve not read it all.

Photo on cover is of a plaster cast of the clasped hands of poets Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Cast in Rome in 1853

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 1, 3:23 pm

The 100 Best Love Poems of All Time, Edited by Leslie Pockell et al (2003)

One of probably many books claiming to have the "best" love poems. This collection (100 poems on 128 pages) covers centuries of romantic poetry. The collection had many, many poems I was already familiar with, but also some I was not as familiar with. The editor/s add a comment under a poem's title, perhaps to help those who may be less comfortable with poetry understand what the it's trying to convey.

I picked this up because of the lightweight paperback size - easy to slip into one’s beach bag or briefcase. I’ve had it around since 2007 and never thought to review it. It would be a great gift book for a friend or another loved one who might not read a lot of poetry. Here are two of the poems from the anthology…

The Avenue by Frances Cornford (granddaughter of Charles Darwin)

Who has not seen their lover
Walking at ease,
Walking like any other
A pavement under trees,
Not singular; apart,
But footed, featured, dressed,
Approaching like the rest
In the same dapple of the summer caught;
Who has not suddenly thought
With swift surprise:
There walks in cool disguise,
There comes, my heart.

Habitation by Margaret Atwood

Marriage is not
a house or even a tent

it is before that, and colder:

the edge of the forest, the edge
of the desert
the unpainted stairs
at the back where we squat
outside, eating popcorn

the edge of the receding glacier

where painfully and with wonder
at having survived even
this far

we are learning to make fire

huhtikuu 1, 7:37 pm

>152 avaland: Probably not a book I'd purchase, but a book I'd page through if I encountered it. Does it go into how Harvard came into possession of these things and why it wanted to keep them (some I can see, others not so much)?

huhtikuu 1, 10:16 pm

>152 avaland: Fascinating. Maybe one I can browse next time I visit ;-)

huhtikuu 2, 7:34 am

>155 labfs39: Of course!
Tämä viestiketju jatkuu täällä: Avaland and Dukedom in 2023, Part 2.