My reading recently has been a lovely mix of new books and old friends, rereads and longtime – but neglected – residents of my shelves.
Reacquainting myself with L.M.Montgomery’s Anne of Avonlea, I warmed to the scene where Anne and Diana come upon Miss Lavendar Lewis’ house, when the sense of enchantment is so strong that Anne expects to meet a princess at the end of the road. In Jane Yolen’s Briar Rose, the younger daughter does NOT expect to meet a princess, when she begins to explore the intersection of history and fairy tale in her grandmother’s past, but she actually does discover one.
But what’s next and what is underway?
The only library loan in this stack is Scott McCloud’s The Sculptor. It is also the heaviest book in the stack, although the anthology of love letters written by Canadian poets, Where the Nights are Longer, published by Goose Lane, leaves a mark too!
This collection I have actually been reading for several weeks now; I usually read a letter or two at the beginning of the evening. It usually marks a divide between some work and some food, and the ritual reminds me that there is likely more reading in the hours to come. Eventually I will post about the collection, but I am growing anxious, because the notes I’ve been taking are several pages long already. If you love all-things-epistolary, this is a “can’t miss” collection.
Another ongoing project is Eduardo Galeano’s Open Veins of Latin America. Its subtitle “Five Centuries of the Pillaging of a Continent” is the first clue that this is a difficult read. Even if you think you have an understanding of the colonization of Latin America, I suspect you will find yourself surprised by aspects of this narrative. Because the author is a poet and storyteller, the prose style is compelling, but I tend to read only about 2o pages in a sitting. I have dabbled in the book before, but this time I am steadily turning the pages, and I would like to read/reread another of his works when I have finished this one: do you have a favourite?
Besides Scott McCloud, there are five new-to-me authors in the stack. I’ve had Sarah Hall’s The Electric Michaelangelo on my stack for years, but something about it made me think it was going to be a sad story, and I haven’t had the nerve to read it yet (am I wrong?) but I am looking forward to The Wolf Border all the same. [Edited to add: I have finished this novel. Very enjoyable, very impressive.]
Sigal Samuel’s The Mystics of Mile End is terrific; I’m about half-way into the story, and I know I shall be sorry to leave these characters behind. If you enjoy meeting quirky but heartful characters on the page, you will enjoy this one. [Edited to add: This is one of my favourites for this reading year so far.]
I’m unsure of Susanna Kearsley’s novel, A Desperate Fortune, or whether there is a match to be made with me and her writing generally, but one reading friend assures me that there is more to her work than I might expect from the oh-so-pretty covers. Have you enjoyed one of hers?
Clifford Jackman’s The Winter Family has a blurb from Craig Davidson, an impressive and disturbing writer (whether he is wearing hat-literary or hat-scary); this first novel sounds like a fast-paced read.
Elena Forbes’ Jigsaw Man is the fourth Mark Tataglia mystery; of course I have had to put the other three in my stack first, because reading out of order has been a no-no since a disastrous encounter with Kinsey Milhone when I jumped ahead to E and missed C entirely. Tsktsk. Do you enjoy this series?
Suzanne Young is a relatively new-to-me writer as well; the only one that I have read is the first book in this series, The Program. While I am not entirely hooked, I am still curious what is yet to come in the sequel. Is this a series you know?
Last but certainly not least in this stack is Marina Endicott’s new novel, Close to Hugh. Such a talented writer and a distinctly satisfying style. (Did you read The Little Shadows or Good to a Fault?) This is one which I am savouring, reading only a few pages here and there, allowing the feeling to wash over me.