June Tub 'o Books
And before I begin, let me repeat this from last month's book post:
The blog post headers I am using for this series come right off my wall where I have framed many cards and posters that reflect my love of books. Unfortunately, I do not have the artist's names anymore. If anyone recognizes an art piece, I would be deliriously happy to give credit. Until then, I hope to not rot in hell at my turn. Which is not to take it lightly; I believe in credit where due!
The Rainbow Comes and Goes, Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt
Ten Years in the Tub, Nick Hornby
Pachinko, Min Jin Lee
Born a Crime, Trevor Noah
Mrs. Fletcher, Tom Perrotta
Flaneuse, Lauren Elkin
In the Great Green Room, Amy Gary (Biography of Margaret Wise Brown.)
When in French, Lauren Collins
Girl at the End of the World, Elizabeth Esther
Bear Town, Fredrick Backman
Glass Houses, Louise Penny
Natchez Burning, Greg Iles (audiobook)
I'll Be Gone in the Dark, Michelle McNamara
Lab Girl, Hope Jahren. "There is nothing in the world more perfect than a slide rule." Thus begins a book, authored by a research scientist and Fulbright Award winner in geobiology, that immediately attracted my attention. Although I have checked this book out a few times after discovering it on the shelves, I didn't get around to reading it and inevitably time ran out. This time, I was determined, picked it up one afternoon and could not put it down. I really liked this book! A memoir by a female scientist filled with beautiful phrasing, lovely insights, so many notable passages. Lots to talk about, too.
"My strongest memory of our garden is not how it smelled, or even looked, but how it sounded. It might strike you as fantastic, but you really can hear plants growing in the Midwest. At its peak, sweet corn grows a whole inch every single day and as the layers of husk shift slightly to accommodate this expansion, you can hear it as a low continuous rustle if you stand inside the rows of a cornfield on a perfectly still August day. As we dug in our garden, I listened to the lazy buzzing of bees as they staggered drunkenly from flower to flower, the petty, sniping chirps of the cardinals remarking upon our bird feeder, the scraping of our trowels through the dirt, and the authoritative whistle of the factory, blown each day at noon."
One Perfect Lie, Lisa Scottoline. Hadn’t read her for a long time and with so many other books calling me I had not sought her out particularly, but I grabbed it as a library “Choice Read,” got into the first chapters, curious as to where it was going, and enjoyed this “ beach read.” I abandon books that don't hold my attention in my world of too-many-books, so the fact that this one kept me interested is notable.
Y is for Yesterday, Sue Grafton. I really needed an escape and Kinsey Milhone's escapades always provide. I have followed that woman since I found A is for Alibi way back before she was discovered.(Her first three were small, not trade paperbacks.) I'm going to miss her. Oh, Kinsey, I was diligent until W, I admit...I have let the last two slide although they sit on my shelf or Audiobooks library. Too many other books took precedence. But I was eager to read this last one; my sister was an avid fan, collecting all the hardbound in the series. We often guessed what each next letter would be, and were especially interested in Z, as that was the initial of Lin's last name. Both she and Sue Grafton left this world before the end of last year, within the same week. There was something about "No More Z" that compelled me to be sure to get back to Kinsey. It was a bittersweet read, knowing I would never see her again. I have loved Kinsey's sense of humor, her independence, her bit of rebelliousness, and I have loved Sue Grafton's telling of a story that didn't give the plot away and made me keep reading. I also admired her delicious descriptions of character and settings. I could picture, perhaps even draw, a character in detail based on her narratives. Well, in fact...I did!
Mozart's Starling, Lyanda Lynn Haupt. A lovely read. We read this for Book Club and found the information about birds - and Mozart - quite involving. And this author makes some intriguing statements about the animal world and all we don't know about it. Although collectively we decided we would not be interested in keeping a pet starling as the author and Mozart did (not particularly interested in cleaning up bird poop from my hair and keyboard), I found myself in agreement with so many of her observations on human-animal relationships.
"And do most of use really need a scientific document to inform us that the animals we live with are conscious beings? I believe that the human sense of connection with the more-than-human world is innate and joyous. It is our truest way of being, of dwelling, of relating. It is not new; it is very old. It surfaces in the art and culture of every civilization across place and time - in stories of human-animal relationships that are based on respect, awareness, knowledge, and love."
The Temptation of Forgiveness, Donna Leon. Currently reading and far enough along that I consider it a "books read" for the month, but I haven't completed it. Besides, I would like to savor it for next month when I can share some of the reasons I love Guido Brunetti!
"Being a reader is sort of like being president, except reading involves fewer state dinners, usually. You have this agenda you want to get through, but you get distracted by life events, e.g. books arriving in the mail/World War III, and you are temporarily deflected from your chosen path."
Nick Hornby, who got me started on this thing