Showing posts from December, 2019

Two That Stuck: #2019 #History

Disclaimer: I read, and I enjoy it, and I read for many different reasons. I have opinions about books, which I might share in person but will likely not reduce to stars on any of the popular platforms. From time to time, I share books. I don't share everything, which means I quite enjoy some books but don't share them here. I wrote a little more about reading, and books, earlier this month . Which includes links to other books I've written about. THAT SAID ... I may write more about books in 2020. Today, I'm saying something about two books that have stuck with me throughout 2019. They are The Cooking Gene and All Among the Barley . One afternoon when I was old enough to think of being with my parents as "visiting" them, but not late enough in the 1990s that visits were all about my mother's Alzheimer's, a mealtime conversation turned to family history. (We Agnews were a barrel o' laughs.) While we lingered at the table, my father pul

Closing in on Winter

A lot of things are going on in a lot of places. Out here in the wilds of Shuniah, we've been playing our seasonal game, "What stinks in the basement?" We ruled out garbage and dead "visitors." Also cardboard, which can take on surprisingly foul odors. My husband saw a wolf in our area this afternoon.* He was on his way back from town, where he'd talked to some people about furnaces and plumbing and whatnot, in his effort to diagnose the source of the smell. Good times. Or rather, bad times, with some consolations. But we've got a good life. In many other places, people have behaved badly and are continuing to deny it, while others try to hold them to account. Lots of places are melting or on fire, literally or figuratively. Children are in cages, their parents in detention. It's appalling. Wearying and worrisome. Plus we're getting a stretch of really cold days. Am I ready for the dark winter days? Or should I order more books?**

So Many Good Books to Make Time For

It's the "best books of" lists. I don't make those. I don't really review books. I feel squicky giving stars on Goodreads so I don't, so far. I enjoy a lot of books, and a lot of writers , and a lot of book businesses . And a lot of book-adjacent things , like book statistics , and when and why characters might name items . Sometimes I write about things here, and sometimes I don't. That said, here's another book I greatly enjoyed: Daughters of Silence , by Rebecca Fisseha. I hope it appears on lots of "best books of" lists. It should. It's challenging in the BEST ways. Relationships aren't what they seem. Some are more destructive, some are more delightful, all are deliciously complicated. Cultures clash, several times over: several cultures, none has the "right" answers, all make demands that while obviously conflicting, all seem reasonable. At first. Fisseha is somehow able to covey the weight of family exp

Clicking Through

After a hectic month, the pace of my life has slowed. Each day still has a to-do list, and I love to cross things off. I haven't had a personality transplant or anything. BUT. I'm aware that I have a little breathing room. I have time to click through on Twitter or Instagram and read what's linked. And so I have. I've also read many of the articles I'd bookmarked during the busy season. Most recently, I read an extraordinary piece by Josie George, a UK writer . Her site holds many brief, pithy pieces and I've enjoyed every one. Bonus: she uploads audio files so you can hear her reading them, too. I first read this piece, Forest . It begins with a lovely, closely observed experience of nature, both in the past when she still walked and in the present from her wheelchair. Wonderfully pleasant and evocative. And then this: "Nature is being repackaged. To encourage us to love it better, to save it, we are told more and more that it will make us feel g