Good morning, friends. The week is flying by for me; maybe for you, too? We’ve landed into our school routine pretty well and we’re all relatively happy now that we know what to expect every day. Last week’s introduction of quiet time was revolutionary because it has given me reading time that I can depend on every day, instead of just the little pockets of time that pop up unexpectedly. I love it! Since we last chatted about the BIG books I’m reading, I finished one of them, started another, and made a big decision about a third. Let’s discuss a little more.
I finished September last Thursday, despite thinking it would take me at least another week to get through it when I wrote last Wednesday’s post. But the book flies once you get to the day of the party. This one is kind of a mystery — there’s so much going on with all of the characters and Pilcher masterfully draws you into their stories, building the intrigue a page at a time. Like I wrote last week, Pilcher writes about the changing of the seasons so beautifully. Scotland in September sounds divine. This book is full of grand estates and cozy cottages, the best of both worlds, and includes the most lovely details. I also loved how complex the characters were. I found myself rooting for people, feeling disappointed in them, and then rooting for them again. The ups and downs in this book were intense! I have to say that The Shell Seekers is still my favorite, but this one is a close second. (But Coming Home was awfully good, too!! How can I rank them?) I’m looking forward to reading Winter Solstice in December.
UPDATE ON MY BIG BOOKS:
Last week I started Lonesome Dove as a buddy read on Fiction Matters. I’m about 200 pages into it, which is about 2/3 of the way through Part I. I have to say that this book would have been excellent to read during the summer because you can feel the West Texas heat pouring off the page. I have laughed out loud multiple times because these characters are perfect. I watched the mini-series back in the early 2000s when I was home sick one day and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The book is just as good, if not better. I’m having a hard time not picturing the characters as the actors on the screen, but that’s okay. I never thought I would be so excited to get a cattle drive started!
I’ve made no progress on Kristin Lavransdatter since last Tuesday and haven’t even had the urge to listen to it. Red flag, red flag! I’m over 9 hours into the audio and am not compelled to continue, so I am abandoning this one. I feel bad because I committed to doing a buddy read with Karen, but I need to move on or my entire reading life will simply stop from the guilt of knowing that this book is lingering in the background.
I will say that the descriptions in this book are gorgeous. Norway is such a beautiful setting and the author included a tiny bit of mythology in the beginning that propelled me through the first 9 hours (of 45). But since then, there just hasn’t been enough to hook me. Your mileage may vary!
AND A “TAKING IT SLOW” BOOK
When You Greet Me I Bow isn’t a big book (only about 300 pages), but I’m going to be taking it slow and you might see this pop up over the next few months. I purchased a copy because Ruth Ozeki recommended it in her interview with Ezra Klein. When I got it and flipped through it, I knew that it needed to be read with a friend. My friend and I decided to read just one section a month (there are four) and then discuss. The first section is A Buddha and a Buddha: Notes on the Joy and Catastrophe of Relationship. It is excellent — I’m marking up a ton and can’t wait to discuss. And I’m definitely looking forward to next month’s section: Form is Emptiness: Notes on Thinking, Writing, and Emptiness. Very Ozeki-like!
And that has been my reading week. Lonesome Dove, the first two episodes of Once Upon a Time… At Bennington College, and a few essays from When You Greet Me I Bow have filled me up and given me lots of inspiration and food for thought. What a strange brew! But it’s been doing good things for my soul. I hope to be back on Friday with a few good things. Until then – take good care.