Saturday, April 22, 2017

April (third week) 2017 Reads

From last week's trip to the library three great books and one dud. I also read one from my backlog. The story for the Deal Me In Challenge is the first story in the Library of America three volume set of Singer's Collected Stories. I won the set last year at The Mookse and the Gripes

 “Deal Me In 2017!”
This week's story: Gimpel the fool by Isaac Bashevis Singer (in Collected Stories I); translated from the Yiddish by Saul Bellow
Gimpel, a simple baker, is the butt of all the jokes in town but is he really a fool?

This week's card - the Eight of Spades - made me want to do a little Homage to Crazy Eights, a game I loved when I was a child.
On the left is a vintage pack like the one I remember using. It was published by Whitman in 1951. This and several other packs are on eBay. On the right is an electronic version of the game published by GASP Mobile Games Inc. It is available free from the Microsoft Store.

Three "great ones" from the library...
Vampire in Love and other stories by Enrique Vila-Matas; Translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa (Translation)
Nineteen delightful stories. As is often the case with me, the title story which is available online from Two Lines was not my favorite. Wish this could stay on my shelf forever...but it's a two-week loan.
Contents: A permanent home; Sea swell; Torre del Mirador; I never go to the movies; Rosa Schwarzer comes back to life; In search of the electrifying double act; Death by saudade; The hour of the tired and weary; They say I should say who I am; Greetings from Dante; Identifying marks; The boy on the swing; An idle soul; Invented memories; Vampire in love; Modesty; Nio; I'm not going to read any more e-mails; Vok's successors. (my favorites are highlighted, but they are all good.)
Cover design by Rodrigo Corral

Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller
This is both story of a marriage told from the point of view of a wronged wife and a story of a father/daughter relationship based on wrong assumptions and false memories. Wonderful writing. So very different from Fuller's debut novel Our Endless Numbered Days. Looking forward to what she does next.

Cover design by Diane Chonette
Pattern design by Ákos Néma

Turner: The Extraordinary Life and Momentous Times of J. M. W. Turner by Franny Moyle
At times I got bogged down in detail, but overall it was a rewarding read. A number of plates are included in the book, but not all the ones that are discussed as Mayle traces Turner's artistic development over a long and prolific career. I did a lot of Googling to find the referenced paintings.

Jacket design by Gabriele Wilson
Jacket art: The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, 16 October 1834; Joseph Mallord William Turner (at the Cleveland Museum of Art)

The "dud" from the library trip...
City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris by Holly Tucker
I know I shouldn't let one factual error early in a book put me off reading the book. Even though they bug me,  I often forgive geographical errors in fiction. When a book is non-fiction--especially history--such errors make me doubt everything else in the book. On page six: "On the Left Bank of the Seine sat the castle-like Châtelet compound..." (interesting error as the map in the book places it correctly on the Right Bank.) I became obsessive, fact checking everything. No fun at all, this book isn't worth the trouble; did not finish.

from my "owned-but-unread" shelf...
Go Away Home by
A pleasant, not particularly challenging story about a woman's life on a farm and in a small town in Iowa just before and during WW1.  Liddie faces the limited options available to women of the times. This book was from a 2014 (!) blog win at Let Them Read Books


I started another online course; Antarctica: From Geology to Human History  This one is taught by Dr. Rebecca Priestley, Senior Lecturer Victoria University of Wellington, and Dr. Cliff Atkins, Senior Lecturer Victoria University of Wellington.

No comments:

Post a Comment