Just as I was getting ready to post this last night – the computer blinked and the post was gone. I was unable to access clean copies of the saved drafts (I save frequently) so it took a while to get things all figured out.
Happy muggy Sunday to you. Four bands of rainstorms passed by last night leading to a slightly muggy morning – unusual for the fairly dry Hinterland. The week seemed to fly by – not sure where all the time went. We had some good news on Thursday; my friend’s last day of radiation will be Monday and then she will transition to the wait, scan, wait part of the journey. It is nice to see her with some energy again. The other big event this week was the Watermelon Races put on by one of the local Kiwanis Clubs. Himself and a colleague built a watermelon racer to represent their university in the Corporate Cup race. It was truly a lot of fun with a good amount of fun trash talk between the various entities racing. My favorite watermelon was done by the local library complete with a library card for “Mr. Watermelon”.
I did finish The End of Life Book Club which was painful (Will Schwalbe’s mother is dying of cancer) but also fun in a way, especially when they were reading a book I have also read. I also read The Illusion of Separateness by Simon Van Booy in one sitting as it was so delicious. I have since picked it up and randomly re-read different sections. I had checked this out of the library but will be purchasing a copy to keep on my shelves. I also started My Fathers’ Ghost ifs Climbing in the Rain by Patricio Pron (reviewed here by Winston’s Dad) and the third Department Q mystery, A Conspiracy of Faith by Jussi Adler-Olsen.
Here is what caught my interest this week:
Lyn of I Prefer Reading has a lovely post on Walt Whitman’s poetry sparked in part by one of her favorite movies, Now, Voyager. I don’t believe I have seen this film (it doesn’t sound familiar at all) which is listed as #23 of AFI’s 100 Years…100 Passions as well as being deemed by The Library of Congress as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” Based on Olive Higgins Prouty’s 1941 novel, Now, Voyager is the story of a spinster with an abusive mother. After spending time in a sanitarium, the woman is transformed and goes on a cruise where she meets a married man. They agree to separate after the cruise. Lyn ends her synopsis there and there must be more to the story – guess I will have to read it to find out.
Fleur Fisher (Fleur in Her World) has been reading her way through Margaret Kennedy’s work. Kennedy, best known for her novel The Constant Nymph, wrote her first novel in 1923 and her last in 1966. I was very interested in Fleur’s review of The Feast and added it to my list of books to look for. Now I have to add another Kennedy to the list after reading Fleur’s review of Lucy Carmichael. The novel is set in the 1950’s and Lucy is soon to marry the love of her life. Unfortunately, Lucy is jilted and then finds her way through the world, first at one job and then at another. She eventually has another chance at love but at what price. It was a very different world back then and Lucy may have to choose. I love the description of Lucy that Fleur includes, in the words of her very best friend:
She is incautious and intrepid. She will go to several wrong places and arrive at the right one, while I am still making up my mind to cross the road. She is cheerful and confident and expects to be happy. She taught me how to enjoy myself … Lucy forced me to believe that I might be happy. I don’t expect I’d have had the courage to marry you, to marry anybody, if it hadn’t been for Lucy.
Labor Day Himself and I are leaving for a vacation – driving to visit relatives and visit some national parks. So I have been compiling a list of books to take. Matthew from A Guy’s Moleskin Notebook also travels and I like seeing what he takes on his trips. He has a recent post talking about Robert Goddard and the possibility of reading his work during a weekend getaway or a plane ride. The books sounded interesting as it seems that Goddard is the master of the plot twist. Goddard’s novels feature historical backgrounds, a mystery, possible conspiracies – the best a vacation book can offer. The library has a few available and the one that looks the most interesting is Long Time Coming which features a collection of lost Picassos, WW II, supposedly dead relatives reappearing… Sounds good.
Another good-sounding travel read is The House at the End of Hope Street by Menna van Praag and reviewed by Bibliophile by the Sea. In this novel there is an unusual house at 11 Hope Street in Cambridge which has served women for generations – specifically women who need refuge; women who have lost hope. Alba is walking the streets trying to figure out how to deal with her stalled academic career (among other issues) when she is invited to stay at the house for ninety-nine days. Previous residents include Agatha Christie, Virginia Woolf, and an actress named Greer and many of these past residents are there to help the current women through talking portraits (which was is one of my favorite elements in the Harry Potter World.)