|ice broke this lovely old pot of my grandmother's|
Very cold and frosty here, like the deep recesses of my mind. I feel in a slump, maybe brought on by the wintry weather, maybe brought on by an unfulfilling job.
Also, I had a back spasm this last week - very painful for the first few days, and I didn't move around much. I was only comfortable lying on my side, so it was very difficult to sip my wine in a ladylike manner. A bendy straw had to be employed.
But I was able to do a lot of reading, thanks to my new Kindle and a beautiful cover (from dobeeubags on Etsy).
I propped up the cover and could read comfortably while reclining, only having to move to tap the screen and turn the page. And I was turning pages pretty quickly. I read two amazing books that I want to tell you about.
First, I finished reading The Goldfinch (all 784 pages) by Donna Tartt, which I had started in late October. If you haven't read Donna Tartt, get thee to a bookstore!
She's a snappy dresser, and she's written three books - all very dense and rich and offbeat and compelling and funny. It takes her about a decade to write each one. Within the first page or two (of any of them) you will realize that you've just boarded a dirigible and are suddenly leaving the ground. Eventually you look around and see how enormous this craft is. It moves at a steady and persuasive pace, moving high into the sky sometimes, and other times coming so close to the ground you're afraid of what will happen next. But the captain has full control of the ship, you can't stop now, and the journey is spellbinding. The Secret History has been my favorite so far, although I also loved The Little Friend - even the scenes that involved snakes, and I hate snakes! The Goldfinch is a little more uneven and hangs a bit precariously on a small painting that seems to be forgotten for whole sections of the book. However, the author has such an incredible talent for creating characters and locations, from Manhattan to Las Vegas to Amsterdam, and it all comes together in the end. The mood and the characters still haven't left me, even though I read another book, which was also compelling.
I read Wild, by Cheryl Strayed. She writes a true account of her solo trek along the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995. But the book is more than a trail guide. She talks about her mother's death, her divorce, her experiences with men and drugs, and weaves those into her account of hiking 1,000 miles alone. I would never be that brave, but I would love to experience that solitude and being totally enveloped in the natural world - for a few nights. She was on the trail for almost two months! It is a story of healing, but it's not sappy or predictable. It's honest, determined, and incredibly well-written. They're making a movie of it now with Reese Witherspoon playing the author, but read the book. You know it'll be better than the movie.
What are you reading lately? I can always use recommendations!