Of 179 books read in 2014, here are my VGRs: Continue reading “2014: Very Good Reads”
Lucy Maud Montgomery was a Canadian author best known for her novel Anne of Green Gables and the other books that followed in that series. All of which are wonderful, but Anne of Green Gables is actually not my favorite of Montgomery’s novels, even though it is wonderful and timeless and always a great reread. No, my top three L. M. Montgomery novels that I most enjoy rereading are the following: Continue reading “Lucy Maud Montgomery”
Of 144 books read in 2013, here are my VGRs:
Two-Part Inventions, by Lynne Sharon Schwartz: As a musician, I found this book especially fascinating and thought-provoking. It starts with the death of Suzanne, a pianist who suffered from crippling stage fright and only found fame later in life through recordings. The recordings turn out to have been brilliantly edited by her husband, Phil, who inserted bits and pieces and even movements from other pianists’ recordings into Suzanne’s recordings. The book moves between the present, when listeners and websites are starting to discover the plagiarism, and the past, detailing Suzanne and Phil’s childhoods, teenage years, and beyond. Continue reading “2013: Very Good Reads”
As my 40th birthday is zooming towards me at an alarming speed (5 days away!), I thought it might be fun to reflect back on some parts of my thirties. The easiest way to start is with books, since I’ve kept a meticulous list of my reading since 2000. So, between November 1, 2003 and today, I have read (drumroll, please)… Continue reading “My Fourth Decade of Reading”
My mom emailed me a great quote a few days ago.
As readers, we remain in the nursery stage so long as we cannot distinguish between taste and judgment, so long, that is, as the only possible verdicts we can pass on a book are two: this I like; this I don’t like.
For an adult reader, the possible verdicts are five: I can see this is good and I like it; I can see this is good but I don’t like it; I can see this is good and, though at present I don’t like it, I believe that with perseverance I shall come to like it; I can see that this is trash but I like it; I can see that this is trash and I don’t like it.
-W. H. Auden, from A Certain World
Graeter’s ice cream, a college standby when I lived in Cincinnati, is absolutely wonderful. Their chip flavors are chock full of huge chunks of Ghirardelli chocolate, unlike the waxy fake chocolate crap so many ice creams sport. After leaving Cincinnati, I had to settle for having Graeter’s every few years when I went back to town. Sometimes I would get 12 pints and bring them back home with me, packed in dry ice. Luckily, Graeter’s is now being distributed nationally, though with a limited range of flavors. A seasonal flavor, strawberry chip, has long been one of my absolute favorites, but I couldn’t get it unless I happened to be in Cincinnati in the month it was being sold (often June). Lo and behold, what should appear in my Kroger’s freezer yesterday as I was picking up a few items: Continue reading “A Few Favorites”
Of 189 books read in 2012, here are my VGRs:
The Chaperone, by Laura Moriarty: A very enjoyable read about a woman in her mid-30s who travels to NYC with 15-year-old Louise Brooks, chaperoning her while she attends a dancing school. The book was focused more on the chaperone’s story than on Louise Brooks, and it’s an excellent commentary on a time in U.S. history when there were so many cultural changes happening. Continue reading “2012: Very Good Reads”
I love the library. I have always loved the library. I will always love the library. I have fond childhood memories of going downtown in Charlottesville with my family and spending hours browsing books until we were all ready to go. Even as a child (this has carried over into adulthood), I was obsessed with books about magic or witches. I read all the books by Ruth Chew, Edward Eager, Edith Nesbit, Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Mail Order Wings, Fifth Grade Magic, and all of Tamora Pierce’s novels (at that time, she had only written the first few Alanna books, which I still love to this day and reread not too long ago). I thought Encyclopedia Brown was great and read that entire series. I loved those little “orange biographies” – I think I read almost all of them. I remember being so excited when I was finally old enough to check out books from the grown-up section of the library. Continue reading “The Library”