Diving into the blogging pool.
Absent since January, I need to plunge. Head first.
What happened? Well I got wrapped up in books – long, long
books. First Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch
then Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries
Then Tartt’s book a second time for book club, because I couldn’t hold onto all
the richness of the first read.
Big tomes shut me up
and the blog down for a bit. They seemed so much more interesting than my own
So I’ve been reading, not writing.
Jo Nesbo’s The Son.
A bunch of
Robert Craig --
, The Sentry,
Back to lit fiction: Anthony Doerr’s All the
Light We Cannot See,
a beautiful historical novel set in Germany and France
and after World War II.
Then Christina Baker Kline’s Orphan
for book group
(a book, which
for my taste had a setting, and characters that were too shallow and
simplistic. Think junior high school.)
reading, I argued with the writer’s sense of Maine. I know Kline has lived
there – but how and how much? Is she there, as I suspect, mostly on vacation?
It’s sometimes dangerous to read
about places you know too well.
myself am I just picky? Would any book set in Maine please? To counteract, I
picked up Elizabeth Strout’s The Burgess
And the answers came boomeranging back: Yes. I am picky. Yes. There
are writers who understand Maine and its world as I do – only better.
nail’s Maine and its people – how they attach to it and move away from it, come
back to it and reflect on it. But then why shouldn’t she?
Pulitzer Prize winner for Olive Kitteridge, Strout pulls her
from the crimes and headlines of
the recent past, and her characters from her life.
Portland, educated at Bates College in Lewiston, she now makes her home in both
Maine and New York City, with her husband Jim Tierney who has some
biographical details in common with her fictional
She sets The Burgess Boys
in both New York City and the in
fictional Shirley Falls, Maine, a small town
that closely resembles
Lisbon Falls- Lewiston area.
Shirley Falls even has a Moxie Festival, just like the one Lisbon Falls
celebrates each year.
(Moxie is a bitter
Maine cola that tastes something like Dr. Pepper).
Then, in the last two weeks,
I took a long car trip
from Virginia to Maine and back. While
driving I listened to books on the long list for the 2014 Man Booker Awards. On
the way up, I heard Richard Powers’ Orfeo.
On the way back listened to The Siri Hustvedt’s The Blazing
Both are written by
I cannot imagine living
in either’s head,
but I enjoyed lovely visits.
Both are works on and about aesthetics
Powers writes eloquently
about music in last 100 years. Hustvedt explores gender and identity in the
contemporary art world. Will follow up on these two later this week.
Enough for now or I will rattle on and never post.