In the High Peaks

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Yikes! Preparing Books and TV for Ken's Departure

Each summer Ken goes to visit the Maine island cottage, which his family has owned since the early 1900s. He usually stays a bit over a week with his favorite cousin. I have accompanied him over the years, but we have a beloved dog now, who is completely calm at home, but a crazy, nervous wreck on long car trips. (We just barely make it to vet appointments, which are an hour away from us.) We adopted our Sasha at age 3, and she unfortunately seems to have had some difficult experiences in her past, to put it mildly. Still, as long as she's in her home environment, she is as placid and happy as all get out.

Long intro, yes. Just found out Ken leaves Wednesday.
Time to stock in the books and television companionship. (We live in the boondocks, so virtual relationships are necessary.)

On Netflix: I will watch The Crown, for a second time, from start to finish. Six episodes, I think. One each night. Should take up most of the week. I thought that this series was very well done. As long as you can get used to Dr. Who as Prince Phillip, you're all set. I loved the first go-round and vowed to watch it again. At which moment, Ken said, "Why not while I'm in Maine?"   So here goes.

I think this is the perfect time to read Devices and Desires by P.D. James. So that's set in stone. I know I'm in for a treat there.

I am a devoted fan of Paul Auster. I found his latest book at the library--4321. It is 869 pages long, and it is 869 densely-packed pages. Very little leading between the lines, shallow margins, you name it. Not an easy read, by any means.
Premise: A male baby is born in 1947 in Newark, New Jersey (This is Auster's birth year and birthplace, by the way). The book then depicts four separate, very different life experiences for that baby boy.
I brought 4321 home to have a preliminary appointment with it, and to ask it, "Are you worthy of my time? Are you worthy of the books I won't be able to read because I'm reading you? I'm still adjudicating.

Next book before I even consider reading Auster:  The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. I missed this one when it was published 20 or so years ago. Have you read it? What were your thoughts?


  1. I hope Ken has a good journey and a great time in Maine, it must be lovely to have that link to his family, what a shame you can't go too. Enjoy your week! I feel I have too many books in my TBR piles to read the Auster one - maybe one day - or month!

    1. Hi Katrina,
      Oh, Ken will have a wonderful time. The best for him is when they drag the grille down over the rocks by the sea, heat the water in the big boiler for clams and lobsters and then grill the corn. And plenty of melted butter.
      This is where he spent his summers as a kid and young teenager, and when he's planning antics with his cousin by phone, he sounds like a kid! It's good for him, even the wild beer blast nights when they talk until three.
      And about TBR piles, I know just what you mean. I'm still contemplating doing a Dr. Zhivago read this summer, but feel uncertain.

  2. Little time away is so good for a relationship IMO. My husband used to travel a lot (he's been retired for 5 years now, and, I found plenty to do to occupy my time and enjoyed cereal for dinner instead of cooking LOL - enjoy your separate time.

    1. Thanks, Diane.
      I will try to make sure I enjoy it. That involves cooking lots of foods that I love and he detests. Yum! Same goes for the TV.
      Fortunately for both of us, he'll be home again the day Wimbledon starts its action. I better stock up on the champagne, strawberries, and cream.
      So good to hear from you!! Happy reading to you.

  3. Nothing like fresh lobsters with butter in Maine. I ate them on three vacations in Southwest Harbor on Mount Desert Island in Maine. Beautiful, restful vacation spot.

    On Arundhati Roy's book, I liked it a lot. It won the Man Booker Prize when it came out.

    It's very complicated and at the core, is about racism and the class and caste systems in India.

    I have her new book on library reserve. It's her first novel in 20 years. She's written a lot of essays, articles, and is an activist against war, dam building, and more.

    1. Oh, yes--Ken and I have visited Southwest Harbor--such a beautiful place.
      It's because of Roy's new book that I realized my failure to read her first novel. I hope you don't have to wait too long to get her new book.

  4. I'm on a long list, but I have so many library books on reserve, I know I can't read them all.

    I don't know if it's my health problems, fatigue, or aging, but I'm having trouble reading for long. My eyes get very tired.

    So a lot of my reading plans are in question and I"m rejecting books if I don't like them after giving them about 40 or 50 pages.