August 2021 books read

  • Anne of Windy Poplars – Lucy Maud Montgomery, 1936. My Aunt Jean mentioned this was her favorite, and I extra enjoyed re-reading it for that reason.
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K. Dick, 1968 – quotes pulled, TBE\D
  • Time Shifting: Creating More Time to Enjoy Your Life – Stephan Rechtschaffen, 1997. A little formless and repetitive, but good on “entraining” into different time senses. Not enough material for a whole post, just a few extracts:
    • Analysis of why children constantly ask “Are we there yet?” when it contradicts the idea that children live in the present: “We are the ones who have announced the destination, put it into our head that we are going somewhere. The problem is that they can’t wait, they expect the destination ‘now.’ They are present. It’s that the destination isn’t present yet.”
    • Joke about 90-year-old man going to the doctor: “What seems to be the problem?” “I just want to show off.”
    • Good quotes in chapter headings:
      • Jean Giono “The days are fruits and our role is to eat them.”
      • Peace Pilgrim: “Live in the present. Do the things that need to be done. Do all the good you can each day. The future will unfold.”
  • The Midnight Library – Matt Haig, 2020. Very enjoyable and made me extra-grateful for having so few regrets about paths not taken.
  • The Friend – Sigrid Nunez, 2018. I appreciated that she referenced My Dog Tulip, but that’s a much better book.
  • The Sea Around Us – Rachel Carson, 1951 – quotes pulled, TBD
  • The Woman Warrior – Maxine Hong Kingston, 1976 – quotes pulled, TBD
  • Full Tilt: Ireland to India on a Bicycle – Dervla Murphy, 1965 – quotes pulled, TBD
  • My Life in Middlemarch – Rebecca Mead, 2014. I enjoyed reading this quite a bit after a slow read of Middlemarch (April-July, 2020) and before a fast, partial re-read of the beginning for a book group session I led in September. Just pulled one quote about her relationship: “Lewes adored Eliot… with an intuitive kindness and a gratitude in which there was no trace of resentment. … The sense of grateful, joyful indebtedness was mutual.” This is exactly what I feel about Jonathan. I’m so lucky!
  • The Road – Cormac McCarthy, 2006. I had started this when it came out but actually never finished it – strange since I love post-apocalyptic fiction, but I was afraid both of how dark I had heard it was, and how much I’ve disliked other McCarthy books. But it was great, and the end touched more than any book in quite a while.

Short pieces

  • Re-read of two Hemingway stories I loved as a teen: “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” and “The Snows of Kilimanjaro.” They don’t have the same impact now, but I am interested in how specific Hemingway’s voice is.
  • Evidence and Testimony: Philip Henry Gosse and the Omphalos Theory,” Peter Caws, 1962. I’ve been reading my father’s articles as I digitize them (very slowly) – this was absolutely fascinating and not at all too scholarly for the general reader. I wish I could write with one-tenth the clarity and economy of my dad.