Historical Fiction, A Way Back Book Obsession

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Despite writing and keeping this blog primarily for myself, as a way to keep writing casually and to share the things I’m brimming with excitement about… I can’t help but feel guilty when I ignore certain topics for what I feel is too long.

That’s why I didn’t post for two days- I’m distinctly aware that I owe books a day in the spotlight, but reading hasn’t been particularly satisfying for me recently. I only recently pulled out of the refraction period caused by Willa Cather’s The Song of the Lark. I read that over the fourth of July. Over a month ago.
The book that got me out is the one that I’m still very much in the middle of- Balzac’s Cousin Bette.

Because of this I feel like saying anything on the subject of what I’m reading right now is both premature and a bit too tenuous. I don’t want to do anything that might cause me to lose the reading momentum for another month. Especially because I need to know what happens to Cousin Bette and Steinbock and Hortense and Adeline.

So instead of talking about what i’m reading right now, I’d like to share one of my favorite middle school and high school genres: historical fiction.

Continue reading “Historical Fiction, A Way Back Book Obsession”

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Books from the Library 7/13

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I’m in a weird place with books, in that while I’m physically finished with the last one I read, I’m still lingering over it mentally and emotionally.
That would be The Song of the Lark, by Willa Cather. It was really amazing. I think I go too long between reading Willa Cather because they do leave you (me) with pretty deep feelings and they take a bit of time (but not if you swallow them in one weekend like I just did).  But I guess I’m saying they’re books you need to bring something to. Continue reading “Books from the Library 7/13”

Library Haul

Sometimes I run low on books and go overboard with hold requests the next time I’m on the library’s website.  This was one of those times.
But after the relative famine of lean book times, when three books in sequence weren’t what I wanted, searching for new material on the library is such a simple happiness.  There are so many options and then within a week you have a comparative feast, a two foot high pile of books on the desk in your room.

I’ve already finished the first of this hall- Diana Athill’s Somewhere Towards the End.  Very much recommended.

Obviously I won’t be going into details about these, because I haven’t read them yet! They’re still mysteries to me.  It’s always kind of exciting, every time you have a new book to read.  You never know when you’re going to find a new favorite, or an author you have to learn more about.

  • The Lady Vanishes, Ethel Lina White
  • Ripley Under Ground, Patricia Highsmith
  • The Day of the Jackal, Frederick Forsyth
  • The Unmade Bed, Francoise Sagan
  • Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West, Daniel Ladinsky
  • The Song of the Lark, Willa Cather
  • Innocents Abroad and Roughing It, Mark Twain
  • Books for Living, Will Schwalbe
  • The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore, Tennessee Williams

That should hold me for a little while! ^.^

Books from Bass: Back on Campus

Tragedy has struck.
A prelude:  I put holds on books at my university library many days ago so that I would have reading material ready for me on campus.  Because I’ve run out of books! I know, it’s super rare for me and thus all the more horrifying.  So I was feeling that anticipatory little tingle every time Bass Library sent me an email telling me one of my books was available for pickup.
BUT! Because of the long weekend (class only begins on Tuesday, post- MLK day (the only time Yale actually gives us the Monday holiday) combined with the winter hours of winter break… the library is closed.
Until Tuesday. 

They’re lying about the hours online, but don’t be fooled.  They have my five books in the underground (Bass is a basement library under Cross Campus).  The doors are locked an the lights are off. There’s a closed sign on the door.

Here’s what they’re holding hostage:

  • My Mortal Enemy, WIlla Cather
  • Thus Were Their Faces, Silvina Ocampo: Inspired by reading about her in Alberto Manguel’s With Borges.
  • Cornell Woolrich Omnibus: Only for Rear Window.
  • This Craft of Verse, Borges: A transcription from tapes of Borges’ lectures at Harvard.
  • Allure, Diana Vreeland

 

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There are many excellent advantages to Yale’s library service (Orbis).  Namely, they’ve got a lot of obscure and old books (you can’t check out the Gutenberg Bible, but we do have one) and they deliver the book to the check out desk, which is superb when the directions for finding a book among millions look like the photo above.  Of course, downside: I am bookless.

Back with Books II

Just like Return of the Sith, another famous Part II, this post is about the father-child relationship.  The father being Dad, who doesn’t read overmuch and is not a fan of fiction, and the child being me who reads A LOT and who counts fiction as her favorite genre.  Not quite Vader-Luke size differences, but still. Continue reading “Back with Books II”

My Favorite Authors

What qualifies an author to be counted among my favorites?
I have very high standards, as befits such a coveted distinction.  You know Orwell is just rolling over in his grave because he’s not on here.

It’s a fairly simple standard actually: if a book is written by one of these authors, I don’t have to worry too much about the risk of disliking it… because I generally won’t.

So in no particular order:

 

Henry James

The first book I read by Henry James was The Portrait of a Lady and it took me so long to begin because the first sentence was so convoluted I was terrified. But it’s an absolutely beautiful book, as are most of his novels and short stories.

Continue reading “My Favorite Authors”