Looking Forward to September!




Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Early last week we had a few nights that dropped into the mid-thirties Fahrenheit. I didn't think too much about it--it was a much cooler than normal summer--but did I ever wake up when a day or two later all the red maples or "swamp maples" (acer rubrum) in our area started to turn to their autumnal reds and oranges. What a shock! Two weeks too early. I haven't  organized my schedules and my life to take advantage of these beautiful moments before the leaves fall to the earth. I'm not ready! Help!

I'm too busy this month, busier than I like to be, though it's for a beneficial cause.
Reading has had to assume less prominent proportions.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, I have a day to recharge batteries. Mansfield Park! Move on!

And have you heard the good news about Claire Messud's latest novel? I listened to Maureen Corrigan's review of it on NPR late this afternoon, and I will read it soon, just as I've read all of Messud's work. The title is The Burning Girl.

Messud's The Emperor's Children was my best book of the year in the year I read it, introducing me to the full majesty of Messud's literary powers. Awe-inspiring.
I also fully appreciated The Woman Upstairs--a very different novel from the one previous, but a provocative read nonetheless.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Weekend Prayers: Time for Mansfield Park and Other Books

As I've noted in a previous post, this September in particular is an overly busy one for me--not of my choosing. So I've got to capture reading moments and cling to them for dear life!

Because I'm determined to read and finish Mansfield Park this month, I must move forward with serious intent on Saturday and Sunday this weekend--not to the exclusion of outdoor activities, by any means. I guess I'm saying I need to make use of every bit of spare time this weekend that I can to move forward in MP, because it is, after all, I think, Jane Austen's longest book, at about 420 dense pages. Determined to finish it this month for James's Read-along of James Reads Books (see sidebar).

So far I'm finding it a bit of a challenge, as far as themes are concerned. And I do enjoy and feel rewarded by tackling the challenge. More to come on this topic as I read along! I highly recommend this novel, based on the first 60 pages. Such complexity!

THUS! Because MP is dense, I must have another less complex book going, and I've grabbed Sue Grafton's N is for Noose, which is proving to be just the light-hearted private detective sort of thing. For those of you who know me, it's amazing that I haven't picked up a Grafton novel in 19 months!! In this one, Lindsay is stuck in the fictional Lake Nota in the middle of the Yosemite region. It's not a happy place where she's working either, which is typical for Lindsay. In any case, the mystery is excellent fodder for that half-hour before falling asleep.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Thank Goodness for Labor Day Reading

I'm currently in enormous need of a 3-day break. I'm so grateful for three days to let down and rest my brain.

I'm going to begin Jane Austen's Mansfield Park tomorrow morning, which I'm reading for the Jane Austen Read-a-long at James Reads Books. (See sidebar.)  And I'm so glad to know that on Sunday we will have rain. It seems assured.  That will give me time to "sink in" with the books I'm reading, to let my whole being relax, without the feeling that I should take advantage of good weather and hike all day. 

I am also totally absorbed by Anita Shreve's latest novel, The Stars Are Fire, which was published in May. This novel revolves around an actual natural historic event in Maine, in the fall of 1947. My Ken was born in Portland, Maine, during the catastrophe that befell some communities during one of the worst droughts to ever afflict the region. That prolonged drought and unusually torrid summer gave way to autumn wildfires that engulfed thousands of acres in coastal Maine. Ken's parents lived in South Portland at the time, which was spared the fires, but some coastal communities were not so fortunate. (By the way, Stephen King was born in Maine in November 1947).  

Shreve has made a compelling, compulsively readable story of one young family who barely survived the ravages of the wildfires. I heartily recommend this book. I haven't finished it, but I'm glued to the page.