In the High Peaks

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Literary February!

My laptop is back, as good as new, thank goodness. Ken's fear of its demise was a worry misspent. I've had the Dell laptop since 2003--it's gone through all sorts of Windows upgrades over the past decade, now humming along on Windows 7, with all sorts of fixes and remedies over the years as well as a totally new keyboard recently, and still, it keeps kicking back! No need to retire it yet--the problem was minor. Phew! This Dell supports the reasoning behind NOT going with the cheapest laptop on the market. I admit, it's tempting to choose a low price, but I bow to Ken's professional wisdom on the matter. Forevermore, Ken!

About that "Literary February" header. All week I've consoled myself with long visits to my favorite book blogs thanks to the Nook. Yet, due to the Nook's terrible texting capabilities, I've not been able to submit even a semi-legible comment to anyone. And how I longed to respond! The posts for all the blogs on my "Blogs of Substance" blogroll this past week have been so rich and rewarding. If you haven't had a chance, by all means catch up with them all this weekend.

About Susanna Moore's The Life of Objects: I'm afraid my review will sound harsh. I did not like the novel, and I kept reading it because I had purchased it and kept hoping it would improve. To her credit, Moore certainly did her research about the lives of Germans during the war years and during the aftermath of war. Evidently she had the good fortune to spend a great deal of time in Germany researching the period, particularly reading war diaries and narratives. To be sure, the novel is full of intricate details about everything concerning setting. I ordinarily love extraordinary efforts at setting. But when coupled with what's missing, those details become meaningless. What's lacking in this novel is its heart: characterization, character development, character motivation, character reflection--all of which incapacitates any attempt to make an absorbing plot!
I was overjoyed to reach the final page.

So onward to The Flowers of War by Geling Yan for discussion on February 28 at Caroline's (of Beauty is a Sleeping Cat fame) Literature and War Readalong February selection.   Please join us! I always enjoy participating.

The novel I hope to read soon is one that has received excellent reviews, has been on the New York Times Bestsellers' List for weeks, and on The Boston Globe's Bestsellers' List for months. When I was browsing the bestseller lists last November, I was overwhelmed with delight to discover that the novel everyone was talking about was written by my good friend and colleague from Boston, Barbara Shapiro. Her book is The Art Forger, which is loosely based on the infamous, unsolved theft of priceless masterpieces (including several Rembrandts)  from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.  I want to blog about this book and about Barbara in much more detail in future posts.


  1. welcome back Judith look forward to your thoughts on flowers of war ,all the best stu

    1. Thank you, Stu!
      I haven't checked, but I hope to read your thoughts on the book as well. Thank you for keeping your blog lively this winter.


  2. Glad your computer is on the mend. Nothing scarier, I think.