icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

Picturing a World

Women of Troy

I admit I've been reading more than writing in the last few weeks, so here's another recommendation. Last night I finished Pat Barker's new novel, The Women of Troy, a sequel to The Silence of the Girls (2019). I read each compulsively in big gulps. Troy ends full of possibilities for another installment. I hope she writes it!

 Read More 

Be the first to comment

Spectrum of persuasion

This month, my library book club is reading What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad. When I picked up my copy, the librarian told me she had asked four different people what happened at the end and received four different answers. After reading the novel, I can see why. We sometimes send around questions ahead of time, so this month I did and led off with one about genre. I think it's helpful in evaluating other books, too, or even thinking about our own writing.

 Read More 

Be the first to comment

Clearing the clutter (6): Silesian map

To be perfectly honest, I have no idea where I found this. I had saved it and images of four other pages in afolder labeled "Topographia Silesia." Unfortunately, I collected it before I learned how to record information for JPEG's. Oh, well, I love it for the completeness of its depiction of a moated manor house and adjoining village, complete with church, walls, half-timbered houses, common ponds, and surrounding fields.

 Read More 

Be the first to comment

Klages’ Franny Travers

I'm having fun. One by one, at intervals to stretch it out, I'm reading stories in Jonathan Strahan's anthology, The Book of Dragons, illustrated by Rovina Cai. Recently, I read "Pox" by Ellen Klages, an author new to me. I loved it, and what a great pleasure to find that one of the delightful characters, Franny Travers, also appears in Klages' novella, Passing Strange.

 Read More 

Be the first to comment

Hokusai’s drawings

Blog post alert: Japanese woodcuts had a great influence on artists in Paris in the last quarter of the 19th C; but they could never have seen the original drawings, which were destroyed by the Japanese woodcut process. You can. Read Hokusai's Original Drawings at GurneyJourney, and be sure to watch the embedded YouTube video introduction to the British Museum's new exhibition of 103 Unpublished Hokusai Drawings.

Be the first to comment

Diana Sperling’s wallpaper

One more image from Diana Sperling's Mrs. Hurst Dancing, just because I love it and it shows wallpaper (see tags!).

Be the first to comment

Ego boost

Cathy Salter, News from Boomerang Creek (2015)

When when your novel has slipped onto the remaindered tables and then into obscurity, you still hope that it found a few readers who recognized what it was about and valued it. What a joy, therefore, for me to run across Cathy Salter's's post from last spring, Notes From Boomerang Creek: Where the light falls. Even though we are now at the beginning of autumn, I can't resist quoting her concluding paragraphs.

 Read More 

Be the first to comment

Bewilderment: A Novel

Once I picked up Richard Powers' new novel, Bewilderment, it kept me reading compulsively at the expense of other things I ought to have been doing. Throughout, I was aware that Powers was building and interweaving scientific, philosophical, and literary patterns; but until I had finished it, I couldn't see just how strong the cumulative effect would be. Then this morning, I read the last ten pages.

 Read More 

Be the first to comment

Sweetness of Water

Wow, is Nathan Harris's debut novel, The Sweetness of Water, ever impressive! You can read an excerpt (with a delightful map as decoration) here and find many reviews on line. What I want to focus on is three main points which Harris makes in an interview at Literary Ashland.

 Read More 

Be the first to comment

Mrs. Hurst and Emma

Website alert: Having borrowed Mrs. Hurst Dancing from the library, I was poking around the web for JPEGs of my favorite images and landed on Costumes in Emma. It will give you an explanation of the red cloaks, photographs of accurate period costumes,  and insights into costumes for movies. And, oh, yes—the book is sheer delight.

Be the first to comment