Showing posts from April, 2023

More Books in March and Some in April, Too

Here are my thoughts about some of the books I've read recently. Not homework at all! My Name is Lucy Barton, Elizabeth Strout     “I had not yet learned the depth of disgust city people feel for the truly provincial.”   I read this book a few months back but held off writing about it, hoping I’d eventually know what to say, but I still don’t quite know how I feel.   I don’t mind books in which “not much happens,” which is a criticism I’ve seen of this book. Here’s what “happens”: Lucy Barton lies in a hospital bed. Her mother comes to visit. They talk and remember. The end.   But that summary is, of course, not everything. Lucy and her mother talk about and around and behind their own relationship. Lucy wonders about the world she left behind and second-guesses her choices. She’s attentive to those who are attentive to her. She’s not sure what’s happening at times. It’s a quiet book about people.   Did I like it? It was fine. Would I reread it? I can’t quite imagine it, but never

When Everything Feels Like Homework

Sometimes it just does, you know? And not in a good way--not in the way of learning something, but in the way of doing work that you hope pays off somehow. Such as, "Maybe this homework I'm doing today will appear on the final." But. For one thing, I'm not in school, and for another, I've found that real life's "finals" are rarely based on such well-defined homework assignments. And for yet anOTHER, thinking about "finals" doesn't make the homework more appealing.  What does NOT feel like homework: playing "fox or coyote?" when this friend stops by. Current thinking: coyote. Sometimes, all the books feel like homework--things you're "supposed" to read, and even things you "want" to read, in theory, and even in reality, except that you kind of don't want to read them NOW. Reading is not the pleasure it usually is. Sometimes, the writing feels like homework, too. Robert Frost maybe said, "No tear

Things I'm Taking Into April

"Things" doesn't mean just physical things, right? Right. A representation of a physical thing: more light, as seen through a window in our walk-out basement. 1. Gratitude for all the light. Yes, Daylight Saving Time inspires a lot of feelings in a lot of people. And DST isn't necessary for experiencing more light, because the sun in relation to Earth is doing that all by itself. Regardless, it's lovely to have lighter evenings, besides having more light in general. I've even taken down the artificial lights we put up around the time of the DST change in autumn. It's officially Spring! (Don't look out the window--we're getting more than a foot of precipitation today.) 2. An extra dose of smugness. All our tax preparation documents are with the accountant. I like to get them done and off my desk so that I can be ready for whatever the email brings during these longer days. It feels like a Big Deal, likely a Bigger Deal than it needs to. Regardless,