Spring is bursting out all over in the backyard. Himself’s flowering bonsai are gracing the back deck looking spectacular, the grass is green and lush, and the trees all leafed out. We are having somewhat cooler days here in the Hinterland after a week or so of beautiful sunshine but that is typical of our springs. Unfortunately health issues are bursting out all over as well. I am surprised at the number of cancers that have popped up with friends, family of friends, etc. all dealing with this issue. I needed a break from all the seriousness and started Barbara Pym’s An Unsuitable Attachment – such good light reading. My book group met and had an excellent discussion of My Name is Asher Lev. I also finished Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach. I found it okay, similar to Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier. I did not know that Moggach also wrote The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel as well as many other books that sound interesting (most of which are not yet available in the US). I have a third book going, The Forrests by Emily Perkins which I am enjoying a great deal.
Here is what caught my interest this week:
Vishy’s Blog has a wonderful review of Clare Morrall’s novel The Language of Others. I really enjoyed her first novel Astonishing Splashes of Colour which was shortlisted for the 2003 Booker Prize. Unfortunately The Language of Others is not yet available in the US but I see I can get her novel Natural Flights of the Human Mind is available. Natural Flights is about Peter Straker, a man who lives on the coast of England alone with no neighbors talking to no one except the 78 people he was responsible for killing almost twenty-five years ago. Although it was ruled an accident, Peter is unsure of exactly what happened. His peace is first disturbed by a new neighbor and the approaching anniversary of his “crime”. I found Morrall really good at getting inside people’s heads and then translating that to the reader.
My diet has changed once again and is even more restrictive so I think about food a lot. And then I saw a book on Alex in Leed’s blog that might indulge my fantasies while still protecting my health – then again it might be too much to read about what I can’t eat while I am still adjusting to what I can eat. Written by Niki Segnit, The Flavor Thesaurus: A Compendium of Pairings, Recipes and Ideas for the Creative Cook is an exploration of the world of flavor profiles covering 99 flavors group by similar tastes, with pairings as well as recipe suggestions and anecdotes.
Finally, Danielle of A Work in Progress has an interesting set of “Beach Reads” listed – that is books set by the sea rather than summer fluff writing. In another post she has a good list of soon-to-be published mysteries. There are additional books discussed in the comments as well. Becca (Becca’s Byline) talks about some of her favorite books that look at the mother/daughter relationship.