There was not one book think in my life this past week – I didn’t even get to reading my book blogs till today. What with coming back from vacation to an incomplete front patio, multiple technology issues (Himself has the patient of a saint), getting himself off to visit relatives and youngest ready for Europe. And dealing with a depressed dog – she is seriously obsessed with Himself and to have him to away again so quickly sent her into a “woe is me” mode. Thankfully she perked up today and hopefully this week I can get back into the swing of things reading wise.
Here is what caught my interest this week:
Danielle from A Work in Progress spent her vacation in San Fransisco – having lived across the bay in Berkeley, San Francisco is near and dear to my heart and I happily reminisced with her descriptions of her travels. Himself and I used to BART over, get off at the first stop and walk all over the city (oh to be in shape again!). Danielle visited City Light Books and came away with one title that interested me – Death of a Man by Kay Boyle. Originally published in 1936, this novel is set in Austria i n 1934 and documents the relationship between a married American tourist, Pendennis, and a Doctor at the local hospital. The Doctor is a member of the Nazi party hoping the party will help with Austria’s economic crisis and Pendennis has growing reservations about the party. Kay Boyle sounds like a fascinating woman with a history of political activism and was blacklisted during the McCarthy Era.
The second book Danielle purchased that caught my interest was a slim novel by an author I have never heard of, Glenway Wescott. He seems to have played a major part in the American writing scene in Paris and Europe in the 20′s and 30′s. Wikipedia states that he served as the model for Robert Prentiss in The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway. The novel is The Pilgrim Hawk: A Love Story and takes place in the space of an afternoon between the two wars. An American woman living in Paris entertains the narrator and an Irish man, his English wife, and their hawk. Reviews use words like “concise”, “Jamisian”, and “elegant”. Sounds like a great find.
The only Louise Erdrich novel I have read is Shadow Tag and while I thought it was very good, I have resisted reading anything else by here for some unknown reason. I may have to change that having read the review Wendy of Caribou’s Mom wrote on The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich. Set in North Dakota like most of her novels, the novel is about the ramifications of a murder in a small town in 1911. I like books where the generations intertwine and echos from the past keep coming up. I think I will put it on the list.
A friend of mine read The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker and really liked it and after reading Savidgereads’ review of the novel, I am definitely putting it on the list. Add to that, somewhere I read an article of a family that went on Mars Time for the summer – I think the father worked for NASA and it was part of his job so they did it as a family. In The Age of Miracles, the earth’s rotation along its axis starts to slow, very slowly at first and then more rapidly so that a day is a much longer length than normal. All of this is seen through the eyes of the narrator, eleven year old Julia.