Happy Wednesday, friends. I’m back to share this week’s reading with you. Today’s post is a much more reasonable offering because I’m moving through my current book much more slowly than is typical. It’s Jane Eyre and I’m very happy to be taking my time with it and am supplementing the reading with sharp feminist analyses of the text (see this podcast if you’re into that sort of critique). But I did manage to finish two books before starting with Jane, and I’m especially ready to chat about the first one!
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
“She sat back on her heels and nodded. The thought experiment she proposed was certainly odd, but her point was simple. Everything in the universe was constantly changing, and nothing stays the same, and we must understand how quickly time flows by if we are to wake up and truly live our lives.
That’s what it means to be a time being, old Jiko told me, and then she snapped her crooked fingers again.
And just like that, you die.”
There were so many quotes I could have shared from A Tale For the Time Being but this one captured my essential takeway from the novel. This will easily be one of my favorite books of the year – think Karate Kid meets Proust. The story is told by Ruth and Nao. Ruth finds Nao’s diary washed up on the shore of her island in British Columbia after the tsunami in Japan in 2011. Nao’s diary is devoted to her grandmother, a 104 year old Buddhist nun, but we learn about Nao’s own difficult situation while reading along with Ruth.
Ruth is a writer from NYC living with her husband on a relatively remote island filled with eccentric neighbors in British Columbia. Ruth becomes obsessed with Nao’s diary while attempting to write her own memoirs. I loved cozying up in Ruth’s home with the kettle on, winter storms raging outside, and Nao’s diary spread out before us.
This book tackled so many topics: mental health, bullying, climate change, Alzheimer’s, economic collapses, and finding happiness in everyday life. I was hooked after reading the first chapter and couldn’t wait to spend a little time with Nao and Ruth each evening before I drifted off to sleep. I already want to read this one again!
The Golden Temple by Katrina Charman
Last week’s readaloud was the 9th book in The Last Firehawk series. Blaze was finally reunited with her family and learned that her mother is the queen of the firehawks and that she is next in line for the throne. Everyone is thrilled to learn about Blaze’s future but our friends quickly realize that Blaze won’t be able to return to Perodia with them. Soon Skyla and Tag realize they lost the magical objects they needed to get back to Perodia, Blaze and the firehawks vow to help them return home.
(Funny thing about the image associated with this book on Goodreads: the artwork is accurate but the title of the book says “Silver Swamp,” which was the last book in the series! I think they just forgot to change the text before this image was uploaded.)
I have done a tiny bit of knitting, but no real progress to show since the last time I shared a picture. I think I might be able to link up with the wily gang of Unravelers next Wednesday. Until then — take good care!