July Tub o’ Books

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"There's only one very good life, and that's the life  that you know you want, and you make it yourself."      

                                                                         Diana Vreeland, quoted in Alone Time

This Tub o' Books is a  few days later than I imagined, but, because we closed up a storage space, I needed to organize the side of the garage where I keep my overflow - so to speak - and because of THAT - I needed to re-organize the studio, its own Pandora's Box. 


Alone Time, Stephanie Rosenbloom

The Art of Botanical Drawing, Agathe Ravet-Haevermans

Forgotten Women: The Leaders

Forgotten Women: The Scientists

The Destiny Thief, Richard Russo


The Armchair Book of Gardens, Jane Billinghurst

Us Against You, Fredrick Backman

12 Rules for Life, Jordan B. Peterson

The Radium Girls, Kate Moore

Crazy Rich Asians, Kevin Kwan

My Dear Hamilton, Drey & Kamoie

Janesville, An  American Story, Amy Goldstein

A Song for Issy Bradley, Carys Bray

You May Also Like: Taste in an Age of Endless Choice, Tom Vanderbilt

Picture books:  A Place to Read,, Leigh Hodgkinson, author and illustrator. Love the patterns in the illustrations; more below. 

Read (or in the midst of): 

Alone Time, Stephanie Rosenbloom. "In Paris (or anywhere else, really) a table for one can be a most delightful place." I am a fervent believer in alone time, both at home but especially at travel. I love traveling with like-minded friends and  hubby, and we always have a good time, partly because we give each other some time alone to pursue and discover individually. I have travelled alone many times - through New England, to several states and cities as part of business travel, and to Canada and Paris. This book, about travel alone in four different countries, expressed it perfectly. After thoughts about solitude in general, and especially as related to artists and creators, she summarizes alone time in Paris, which, as my readers and friends know, is a magic hook for me. 

"Walking alone in a city that's not my own, I think of what Virginia Woolf wished for the women in Cambridge who came to hear her speak in 1928. 'By hook or by crook, I hope that you will possess  yourselves of money enough to travel and to idle,' she said, 'to contemplate the future or the past of the world, to dream over books and loiter at street corners and let the line of thought dip deep in the stream.' " 

The Temptation of Forgiveness, Donna Leon. Oh, I do love this intelligent series. It is far more than a typical mystery story that Donna Leon weaves each time. This is the latest in the Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery series which takes place in Venice. Leon is an American author who has lived in Venice for many years.  Her thoughts on how Venice has changed, in most cases for the worst, is echoed through the voice of Brunetti, a learned Venetian police detective whose  thoughts and conversations with his equally learned - and opinionated - wife, Paolo,  are insightful, compelling, and with wit and wink. As he makes his way through Venice's canals, bridges, fogs, narrow streets, and the generally-despised crowds of tourists, Brunetti also navigates office politics, moral dilemmas, and family connections by using his wits, intelligence, humaneness, and the police procedures that both support and irritate him.  I have loved every Brunetti book I have read for the interactions and pinpoint dialogue between him and Paola, or his superior Patta, and Patta's secretary Signorina Elettra (who could have her own book, so memorable a character she is.)  

Still enjoying:

Light in the Dark, Joe Fossler, ed.  A compilation of short essays on writing and creativity, with an emphasis on first lines and story beginnings.  I talked a little about this book here and I have marked several observations made by a slew of writers  - Stephen King, Elizabeth Gilbert, Amy Tan, Jane Smiley, Walter Mosley among them.  

"All your life is a work of art. A painting is not a painting but the way you live each day. A song is not a song but the words you share with the people you love. A book is not a book but the choices you make every day trying to be a decent person."    
Patricia Engel, in It's Not Love, It's Just Paris,  quoted by Edwidge Danticat

Natchez Burning (it's a LONG LONG book!)  It's a good story; it's just taking me awhile to read it and I put it down when there are others calling me. 


12 Rules for Life, Jordan Peterson.   It's awfully verbose, and, I disagree with several assumptions he makes (in the first 1/3 of book, which is as far as I've gotten).  All in all, too long and wordy for me to spend more time on it. I have piles and piles to go before I sleep. 

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