Monthly Archives: August 2010

Can it really be the end of August?

Hello friends,

Another week has sped by — we spent the last one in Philadelphia (Peter had to be there for work, I went along for the ride and a quick out-of-Valley experience), where we soaked up the urban atmosphere, walked miles and miles, saw plenty of world-class (and I mean WORLD-CLASS) art, was inspired by both butterflies and dinosaurs at the Academy of Natural Sciences, snapped way-too-many photos as ideas for my next jewelry-and-junk creation, and even took in a Phillies baseball game!  (More pictures will be posted soon on FaceBook.)

And, I did some reading, finishing I See You Everywhere by Julia Glass early on. While I appreciated its take on sisterhood, and was pleased at the eventual setting  (within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem), ultimately I found its climax disappointingly dreary….. Saying more would require a spoiler alert, so will refrain. This one’s worth reading for the wordsmithing alone, however.

Since I’d already poured over just about every single page of the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide to Philadelphia en-route, we popped into one of the many bookstores in Center City, where I picked up Day After Night by Anita Diamant. Another cheerful topic (Holocaust survivors ending up in a British-run “detention camp” in Palestine), but I very much appreciated the characters, the writing, and the historic incident on which it’s based (and which I’d never heard of, ever.) Amazing how much something new will  trigger….

Lastly, I previously forgot to mention Secret Letters from O to 10, the young adult book I read recently, a request from my friend Janna Rankin, whose husband Arthur Frakt went to school with the author Susie Morgenstern. Enjoyed it immensely, for the story and its quirky characters as well as the overall concept that just one person can have an enormousimpact on someone’s life…..

Not sure how much perspective I have sometimes on the YA things (I used to read at least one YA book a week when I was at the bookstore)  — the books all seem so much more mature somehow than what I read as a kid — but then again *kids* seem so much more mature than I did!!!!

Whatever your perspective is, whether you’re reading a YA title or the most demandingly depressing thing out there, here’s to sharing it, with friends, family, fellow hikers, whatever (this to all my WHALES companions).

Best always, from someone who’s not quite sure WHAT might be the next thing I read!

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Catch-up: more than a condiment

It’s been more than six weeks since I’ve written on my blog… between the trip to the Northwest to see Joan and another to Tucson for the Up With People reunion, I have: interviewed for a job with the Teton Valley Education Foundation (my friend Deneen was hired); hiked a bunch; volunteered for my friend Ralph Mossman’s campaign for the State House; worked on the next issue of Teton Home and Living (out Sept. 8); taken care of a friend’s dog; volunteered for the Tin Cup Challenge and other events (Colter Half-Marathon and Teton Regional Land Trust’s 20th anniversary party, principally); and missed my husband when he went on a ten-day trip to Eastern Europe (!) — as you can see,  it’s been a BUSY summer!

As I had anticipated, I didn’t read much while visiting my sister, and frankly, I haven’t really returned to it at my usual speed, so there are fewer books to chat about, even in this catch-up post.

I did very much enjoy The Last Girls by Lee Smith — so much so that when Cort Conley sent me his signed copy of  Saving Grace (also by his friend Lee Smith), I dove right in. It’s a pretty quirky book, about a young girl whose beloved father is a snake-taming preacher; it’s all about the various ways we are “redeemed.”  While its subject matter is certainly a little more out there, the wordsmithing and story held my interest (as did The Last Girls, a book about old college friends reuniting on a Mississippi steamboat following the death of one of their group.)

I rarely get stuck on a book, but that’s what happened to me recently. Peter and I took the scenic route to drive home from the Columbia River in early July, and I picked up A Separate Country by Robert Hicks at the Book Exchange in Missoula. (They had a used hardback for only $10 — the paperback’s not being released until next March).  Hicks wrote one of my favorite books about the Civil War (Widow of the South), and I was optimistic about this new one, too.  A Separate Country  is a novel about the life and family of Confederate General John Bell Hood set in post-war New Orleans, and given our trip in late May to Louisiana, I thought it couldn’t miss. Plus, I knew from Widow of the South that Hicks is a master at weaving history with fiction. Unfortunately, his latest couldn’t *quite* capture me and it’s one of those rare circumstances where I haven’t actually finished something I started.

Perusing the fiction shelves at Dark Horse the other day, though, I found several new titles that grabbed my interest, and one of those, I Can See You Everywhere, by Julia Glass, is what I’m (happily) reading right now.  Glass is the author of Three Junes, a multi-layered novel about family life; I thought its characters were believable and it centered around a right-on plot with several twists — I Can See You Everywhere is promising to live up to my high expectations.

So, even though things slow down for awhile, hang in there and they’ll pick up apace…..

Until next time, happy reading!

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