In the High Peaks

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Reading in Snow

Snow has been falling since noontime. At first lightly, now more moderately. It's a wet snow, so it's clinging to the bare branches of the hardwoods and to the green boughs of the conifers. I am viewing all this from the couch, Sasha asleep by my side.

Warning: Stong Opinion Coming! How do you feel?
I'm galloping through A Fountain Filled with Blood by Julia Spencer-Fleming. I agree it's not as stellar a read as In a Bleak Midwinter. What a stunning debut novel that was! (Sorry to be repeating myself.) How could a second novel surpass it?

I like the fact that the second novel is more firmly grounded in Washington County, New York, with a greater number of actual place names than in the first novel. Lots of southern Warren County place names as well. I love it when settings are authentic. I must say I strongly object to an author setting the novel in a real location, only to then go on and invent the names of every town, hill, lake, river, and bar within that area! Of course, change the names of shops and restaurants, but give us a real sense of place!

I've also been amusing myself by continuing to venture more deeply into Ian Frazier's Travels in Siberia, which is nearly 550 pages long. Lots of stories from his own journeys, lots of history, and eventually, he promises to reveal his lengthy explorations of many former gulags. That's what I'm waiting for. Why am I reading this book? I know for certain that I will never step foot in Siberia, though I am very interested in it geographically, historically, and ecologically. Hence, a book that promises to deliver all this information to me is very welcome.

Short Story Monday? I'm hopping onto this weekly adventure because I enjoy short stories immensely, but not in large doses, nor by the same author all at once. I need to search for a story for this Monday. I am told that John Munford of The Bookmine Set established Short Story Monday, but I could not find evidence of it when I visited his blog today. However, Lakeside Musing is continuing the challenge, as is ImageNations, so I'll refer you there. I will continue to search for others.

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