Sunday, July 28, 2013

July 28, 2013 Sunday Salon update

Leaving for Maine in two weeks. Reading Paul Doiron’s latest Maine warden mystery to set the mood. Even though Massacre Pond takes place in the woods of eastern Maine, and I will spend most of my time on the beach and in the family rooms of friends in south coastal Maine, my Maine nostalgia’s triggered.  Doiron’s such a knowledgeable and wonderful writer. His Maine Guide stripes show in his descriptions of flora and fauna, people and issues.  Maybe I’ll even be ready to write the review while in Maine.
Other reading news: Finished reviewing Book two of Jane Gardam’s trilogy: The Man With the Wooden Hat. Have also read book three, Last Friendsand need to write that review this week.
On the audiobook front, I have been endlessly listening to Annette Gordon-Reed’s The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (2008), and I still have about 14 hours to go. Gordon-Reed is convincing in this heavily researched, highly extrapolated book as she makes her case for what the lives of Thomas Jefferson’s elite slave family were like – including the most famous one, Sally Hemings, the mother of his children  -- and half-sister of his wife. (Yes, I buy her views).
            Carefully constructed like a court case, the book sounds like it’s written by a lawyer --- and guess what, it is. Gordon-Reed is a professor of law and history at Harvard.
It’s not a style that appeals to me, even as I acknowledge that it is the appropriate approach to this material. I find myself an impatient listener, craving story instead of supposition and argument. I appreciate what I’m learning, but I can’t wait to move on to lighter fare. Hope to finish before the long car ride to Maine.


  1. Have heard of Paul Doiron, but never read. Same with Jane Gardam. BUT I want to. :)

    So what part of Maine are you going to? We went to Old Orchard Beach several years ago and we enjoyed it.

    1. I love that beach. Used to walk it a lot and some years we rented a house at Pine Point. I am headed for Cape Elizabeth and Freeport. Maybe Camden. I think you would really like Doiron's mysteries. He's a wonderful writer and a very good naturalist. He's a Maine Guide and really knows his stuff -- and includes it of course in the books.
      Old Filth is the best of Gardam though I like them all.