We have passed the halfway point of August — my most dreaded month. Last week’s reading report was a big one and I’m happy to say that I’ve calmed down a bit and have a more modest helping to share. And that’s a good thing because I don’t have a ton of time to write a post this morning!
FINISHED THIS WEEK:
Thank you to Cindy for reminding me that there was a new Matthew Venn mystery published last year! The Heron’s Cry is the second in this series and is set in North Devon (I googled it to learn where North Devon is — it’s right near Cornwall and has its own rocky coast). Matthew Venn is such an interesting investigator with a hodgepodge crew working with him. In this one, they’re investigating murders taking place at a home that’s full of artists. The ending was a surprise, as most of Anne Cleeves’ books are for me. I love it when that happens! In summary: beautiful setting, interesting characters, and complicated mystery. What’s not to love?
I picked up The Colony because it’s on the Booker Longlist. Set in Ireland in 1979 just as The Troubles are beginning, an artist named Lloyd spends the summer with a family who lives on an island and practices the old way of life. Also on the island that summer: a Frenchmen named Masson who has been visiting for years and is writing a dissertation on the loss of their language. This was a complicated and beautiful book about colonization and what it means to belong — and so much else that’s difficult for me to put into words. I also learned a lot about the early days of The Troubles and how frightening it all must have been. I was touched by the Great-Grandmother’s interviews with Masson and her thoughts about why people no longer live that lifestyle. It gave me plenty of food for thought.
And Bronwyn and I finished another Josefina book last night! As her tenth birthday approaches, Josefina starts helping Tía Magdalena in her workshop and learns that she would like to become a healer as well. Her gifts are put to the test when she and her father visit a neighboring pueblo and her friend Mariana is attacked by a rattlesnake when they are out playing together.
There’s only one more book in the Josefina series for us to read and then it’s on to the next American Girl. I think Kirsten is next.
Our librarians have been cleaning off the shelves this summer and are giving away the books that haven’t been checked out in a very long time. They started with Adult Fiction and have now moved to Juvenile Fiction. When I saw what they were doing, I mentioned to the head librarian that Bronwyn and I were working our way through the American Girl books on their shelves and I was nervous that she was going to give them all away. So she very kindly put aside all of the AG books that’s she’s decided to discard (for now) and gave them to us! And now we have a small stack of our own and I expect it might grow as time goes on. Life Lesson: always become friends with your librarian!
And that’s it for me today! Things are quiet on the reading front because my attention has been elsewhere and I hope to share more about that soon. But I am so happy to have a few more finishes to share with you because there’s nothing better than sharing good books with good friends. I hope to be back on Friday with a few pictures from the gardens and some moments of joy. Until then — take good care.
(Please note that the opening picture in this post is not my own. I didn’t have time to set up a picture this morning! But this one of my favorite free pictures — I love that plant.)