Saturday, January 14, 2017

January (second week) 2017 Reads

Snow, snow, snow
Read, read, read
Eat, eat, eat
Sleep, sleep, sleep
Sun, sun, sun

This week I finished another of my Christmas gift books, almost finished a second one, continued with Pushkin, and did a lot of online reading. (I found some fun things, much of it through blogs I follow.) I also started a real chunkster--4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster, which weighs in at 880 pages (and this is a paperback ARC). Haven't read very far, but am liking it. 

The gift I finished:
Girlfriends, Ghosts, and Other Stories; Robert Walser, Tom Whalen (Translator) (Kindle ed)
Very short stories and sketches (flash fiction?): little nibbles, each a delight to savor and digest.These little morsels are not to be gobbled up, there is a lot of wordplay, gentle satire, sarcasm, and subtlety that requires more than casual reading. To quote Walser himself "To treat food attentively enhances its value"  (in Something About Eating).

The translator's Afterword is more like a full meal. It is an informative essay with biographical material, a discussion of Walser's critics, comments on the challenges of translation, and more. The book concludes with a comprehensive list of Walser's works available in English translation.

The gift I almost finished:
Long Belts and Thin Men: The Postwar Stories of Kojima Nobuo; Nobuo Kojima, Lawrence Rogers (Translation)
American Occupied Japan is one of my favorite areas of reading, so this is a book I'm really enjoying. I've read all but one of the stories. Since I put that story on my Deal Me In 2017 Roster I won't be finishing the book until I pull the six of spades.

More Pushkin: (for a full list of the contents of the volumes I've been working with see my post
Pushkin - Contents notes
From: The works of Alexander Pushkin : lyrics, narrative poems, folk tales, plays, prose; selected and edited, with an introduction, by Avrahm Yarmolinsky.  (Random house, 1936)

  The Covetous Knight (play, p 412-427) translated by A.F.B. Clark
  Lyric Poems and Ballads, (p 50-90) various translators (an oopsie here because I got carried away with reading and ended up reading something from my Deal Me In Roster)
  Eugene Onegin (p 111-311) translated by Babette Deutsch

From: The Little Tragedies; by Alexander Pushkin; translated and with introduction and critical essays by Nancy K. Anderson.  (Yale University Press, 2008)
   A Feast During the Plague (play)

Online (Spent most of Sunday with these gems before getting back to books. 
Some days are like that.)

The Giving Up Game by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
A young woman tutors the teenage son of a famous actress. The story was ok, but I'm not sure what it wanted to say.  This was my second selection from my Deal Me In 2017 Roster Odd two Jacks in a row.

This weeks card:  The Valet de Cour from a pack of French Cards, of the time of Henry IV. Found in Facts and Speculations on the Origin and History of Playing Cards by Chatto (Project Gutenberg)

California by Amanda Fletcher
Asian Pears and Red Azaleas by Gwen Francis-Williams
Two daughters remember their mothers. Fletcher covers a period of years, while Francis-Williams focuses on a single event.Both very good stories.
  From Hippocampus Magazine "an exclusively online publication set out to entertain, educate and engage writers and readers of creative nonfiction. "

A Hard-Boiled Slang Glossary for Something More Than Night  by Ian Tregillis
Tregilles put together a glossary of over 750 terms as preparation for writing one of the characters in a novel. He has published the document on his website. Such fun to browse.

Nameplate Necklaces: This Shit Is For Us by Collier Meyerson
I'll put this one in my "I didn't know that" file. A friend of mine who died in 2001 wore one of these.  She was Latina but I had no idea that nameplate necklaces were an ethnic thing.

Changing of the Tide: The Galician Sisters Chipping Away at the Patriarchy, One Barnacle at a Time.  by Matt Goulding, Slate; adapted from Grape Olive Pig: Deep Travels Through Spain's Food Culture, Harper Wave; 2016 

I enjoyed this essay about barnacle harvesting so much that I have requested the book from library.

Photo by Michael Magers

The Wards of Old London: Fleet Street - Wordsmiths, Pubs, and an Unexpected Ghost by Mark Patton
This is a series I have been following for some time; it's always interesting and I learn a lot from it. One thing I learned from this post is that the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) maintains an English Broadside Ballad Archive "Making broadside ballads of the seventeenth century fully accessible as texts, art, music, and cultural records."

A Bill of Fare: / For, A Saturday nights Supper, A Sunday morning Breakfast, and / A Munday Dinner, Described in a pleasant new merry Ditie.
A delightful meal--this link is to the recording on the  UCSB archive mentioned above. There is also a text transcription of the lyric. What a great resource!

Crawfie and The Little Princesses by Linda Fetterly Root
Linda Root hit the mark with me with this informative essay on one of my childhood favorite books. Like Linda Root, the book made me fascinated with the Royals, but it also made me interested in reading biography.
A helpful librarian aimed me toward another royal biography--one about Queen Liliʻuokalani of Hawaii. I have no idea which bio it was but is was one written for young people.

On the Arab page by Jonathan Guyer
"Much connects art and comics in Egypt and the wider Middle East, even if publishing houses keep fine art and graphic narratives on different shelves." A discussion of the development of Arab comics in Egypt and their connection with fine art. This one had me making a list of things to Google.

Illustration “Self portrait with Spider”, 1945, Adham Wanly
Abushâdy archive

The Long, Unusual History of the Pickled Cucumber by Ernie Smith
The focus here is on the commercial history of the pickle in the USA. There are lots of links to follow if you want to know more about the salty, crunchy snack.

Poor Nancy Young, the Suspected Teen Vampire of Rhode Island A graphic history of an 1827 exhumation by Jamison Odoneby Ernie Smith
Oh my, sometimes the Atlas Obscura email newsletter has nothing of interest to me, then there is a day like Tuesday that brings pickles (above) and gruesome "comics."

The 'Balloon Maps' That Aided Exploration, War, And Tourism by Cara Giaimo
Another from Atlas Obscura. Do they know I love pickles, graphics, & old maps?

The Broomway is known as the most perilous path in Britain – "and is a favourite walk of writer Robert Macfarlane, who describes it in this adaptation from his book The Old Ways." A close up look at one of the features of the Thames Estuary. This one with georgous photographs. (see my post January (first week) 2017 Reads for more on the estuary)

This 3,500-Year-Old Greek Tomb Upended What We Thought We Knew About the Roots of Western Civilization. The recent discovery of the grave of an ancient soldier is challenging accepted wisdom among archaeologists. By Jo Marchant; Photographs by Myrto Papadopoulos.

And now--back to Pushkin and Auster....

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