Saturday, March 18, 2017

March (third week) 2017 Reads

This week, except for being snowed in on Tuesday and unable to get my car out on Wednesday, was a lot of fun. Or maybe it was fun because of the snow. Everything I read was rewarding--each in its own way.  Planes, trains, and automobiles in three of the four novels I read this week. The fourth was a math problem and the "story" of the week was a poem. Great cover art for all four novels.

 “Deal Me In 2017!”
This week's story is a poem:  ROY-G-BIV B/W by Charlie Clark (in Bat City review #8, published in 2012)
The title is made up of the initial letters of the colors in the color spectrum plus black and white. The poem has eight sections, one for each of the seven colors and one for B/W. In some sections the connection between the color and the text was clear to me, others, not so much so. I keep working on my understanding and appreciation for poetry, but it is still my hardest kind of reading.

Bat City Review "is an annual literary journal run by graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin, supported by the English Department and the James A. Michener Center for Writers." Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction and Art are included.  I have two copies (#8 and #10) which I enjoy dipping into now and then. Good stuff.

This week's card: 5 of Clubs
I selected this card to go with this poem because it is so colorful and so hard to figure out.

It is by Mengying Wang, an artist and student in Beijing, China who goes by the user name overflow8 on Deviant and also on Tumbler.

One Hundred Twenty-One Days by Michèle Audin, Christiana Hills (Translation)
A wonderful debut novel by mathematician and Oulipo member Michèle Audin. It tells the story of French mathematicians over several years (through WW1 & WW2) in a variety of ways: diaries, medical records, news reports, and other material from archives. Fictional and actual people are mingled (that led me to a few Googles). It's not necessary to know a lot of math, though that may help in some spots. I'm no math whiz and I loved the book. My copy from Deep Vellum subscription.

Dance of the Jakaranda by Peter Kimani
How great to have a novel of Kenya's history written by a Kenyan. This one is told from the prospective of the men (both the British overseers and the Kenyan and Indian workers) building the railroad from the coast to Lake Victoria. It's filled with well drawn characters and is a joy to read.
Advance review copy form LibraryThing

Cover Art Jitterbug II, 1941 by African American artist William H. Johnson   (Smithsonian American Art Museum)

The Lauras by Sara Taylor
A confusing road trip by a mother and her teenager. Two unreliable narrators as Alex, the teenager, tells the story including retelling the stories the mother tells along the way. Alex is not always a good listener and the stories aren't chronological. But it's not as much of a muddle as it could have been and it flows surprising well. Advance review copy won on LibraryThing.

Jacket design unattributed (this is an uncorrected proof copy so info is incomplete)


Crossing the Horizon by Laurie Notaro (Kindle ed)
Fictional account of the exploits of several pioneer women aviators (and passengers) as they attempted to be the first woman to fly across the Atlantic. An interesting and fun read although some of them didn't survive the trip. Notaro sticks fairly close to the facts. Each chapter is headed with an historic photo and they are fun.

Library book

Reading may be a bit sparser next week because of basketball...

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