May 2022 books read

  • Thrush Green – Miss Read, 1959. Finally checking out an author who was really popular back in my Pennsylvania library days, with the first in one of her two most popular series (Chronicles of Fairacre is the other). A little low-key for me, but appreciated the mix of characters and the “changing of the guard” between generations.
  • Justine – Lawrence Durrell, 1957. Quotes pulled, TBD.
  • We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast – Jonathan Safran Foer, 2019. Quotes pulled, TBD.
  • Snow Country – Yasunari Kawabata, 1948. Quotes pulled, TBD.
  • Firestarter – Stephen King, 1980. Multiple re-read, picked up this time because of starting to watch Stranger Things. ST is deeply indebted to this novel not only in plot and time period, but even down to the title font. I’ve never seen the Firestarter movies – they both look terrible! – but the book holds up.
  • Decision at Doona – Anne McCaffrey, 1969. I hadn’t re-read this in years… wow, the sexism is off the charts (despite being written by a woman!), but I still enjoy the alien cat-people. It’s kind of fascinating how many of McCaffrey’s plots revolve around bureaucracy – typically omnipresent, powerful but dumb, with honorable intentions miscarried by tinpot dictators, always vanquished by her cunning heroes who know how to work with the system.
  • Emma and the Blue Genie – Cornelia Funke, 2002. Very slight, got rid of it.
  • In Search of Lost Time: Swann’s Way; A Graphic Novel – St├ęphane Heuet, 2013 (tr. Arthur Goldhammer, 2015). I’ve been reading through ISoLT with two friends, fifty pages at a time, and absolutely loving it (read the whole thing in college, almost 4 decades ago, and loved it then but barely remember it). I often enjoy graphic novels. So when I found out about this series I was elated, but actually reading it was disappointing. It does have some virtues. As Goldhammer points out in the introduction, paring the text down so severely reveals aspects of the structure that are easy to miss. Heuet’s style is classic clear line style, which I adore. And it seems like he’s done his research – the time period comes alive, and it’s helpful to see the characters visually fleshed out, wearing period-appropriate clothing. But alas, his skills aren’t up to the (huge) job. The faces in particular are poorly rendered, and because Proust is so much about character, that’s a fatal flaw. Nonetheless, I’ll read volume 2, which is as far as he’s gotten.
  • The Magician’s Nephew – C. S. Lewis, 1955. Re-read for #Narniathon21.

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