She has to fight her way out, but the aliens have other plans for her. A unique and classic tale based upon a true story. You men will enjoy it!
For a Free E-mail subscription to this newsletter: I took a walk today, the first sunny day over 30 degrees Fahrenheit in a long time, and I was mulling over this newsletter a little, and suddenly thought, out of the blue, "What a pleasure books have been to me!
I do a lot of the work of creating the reading experience: I hear the voices, I imagine the faces, and that work makes the book much more mine than other media.
And when I reread something I first read decades ago, it is like a new experience, but with extra depth. The latter books have a wonderfully precise evoction of urban California during the height of the AIDS crisis. I also will say relatively little about most of the highly reviewed and popular books I liked: He says he writes word by word painstakingly slowly, and I believe it, because it is quite perfect, line by line.
Gilead had been on my mental list for a while, and I found it strong, slow, and moving. Indeed, it took a while for me to settle in to it, but I ended up teary-eyed.
I was also interested to find Gilead on a list of novels that are supposed to be both good literature and Christian friendly. Two Old Women by Velma Wallis, has apparently been a best seller, although I only recently heard of it. I looked for an image of her via Google, and one picture I found was of her a few years back speaking about one of her brothers who was homeless and burned to death.
It is in the form of a legend told by a mother to a daughter. It tells of two elder-women left behind by their nomadic band to die during a time of extremely tight resources. They are not simply victims-- indeed, it turns out they have been demanding and lazy.
They also have rich memories of their own lives and also of how to do things. They do extremely well on their own for a whole year, accumulating large stores of dried fish and meat, rabbit fur gloves and homemade coats.
They are contacted again by their band, who are still starving, and there is guilt and distrust on all sides, and then a slow, painstaking reconciliation. Everyone learns respect, and the two old women learn not to expect always to be taken care of-- that they need to share their efforts and knowledge.
This is a really interesting happy ending of a group experience rather than an individual one. As long as Two Old Women is short, is a book about two old men: I was raised on cowboy movies and cowboy TV shows, and while I have criticisms of Lonesome Dove, I mostly just ate it up.
The men characters are fighter-killer-drinker-whore-ers who are entertaining and amusing and incredibly hard- headed and often destructive and self-destructive. They set off almost casually on a cattle drive to claim ranch land in Montana. This is at period at the end of the Comanche wars the period detailed in the book about Quanah Parker book I reviewed recently.
There are also lots of passages of crude humor, the sort of laughing at ugliness that men living in rough conditions seem to use to keep themselves sane. The book is thoroughly successful at what it sets out to do, in spite of my annoyance when my favorite characters start getting killed off in ways that sometimes feel manipulative spoilers ensue: I assume McMurty is making a point here that anyone can go at any time which can hardly be disputedbut he is also carrying out a plan for showing— however much he delights in his cowboys and Indians and rangers and whores— that this cattle drive and maybe the whole western expansion by Europeans over the North American continent was possibly ill-fated and maybe even meaningless.
For the rest of you, read it as a fine example of Americana. I also reread-- again! I enjoyed this adult reread hugely I read it on my Kindle, but kept picturing the Fritz Eichenberg wood cuts that were in the first edition I read.
It is just so entertainingly histrionic! Jane is so brave! She stands up to Mr.
Rochester and of course he has to fall in love with her! Really, the men are hopeless.
My other reread was The Ambassadors by Henry James. It was written inand there is some reason to call it the first modern novel: Strether is determined to do right by his task, but he is also fully open to new impressions and beauty-- to Europe.
De Vionnet breaks down when she realizes she is going to lose him. And really, who can blame him for wanting to do something active with his life?
When James stops elaborating mental states and recording long conversations and does scenes, you remember that he was first a powerful realist novelist, and that everything he is doing here is exactly what he means to do. He himself rated The Ambassadors highest among his books.Kayla Apr 02 pm The story is rather basic and simple but I extremely loved this drama because of the two main leads.
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From friends, from students in my classes, from these newsletters, from other books and publications-- I discover books to read. My latest are an old American novel Anne by Constance Fenimore Woolson, a novel called Hyde by Daniel Levine (spun off the old Stevenson novella "The Strange History of Dr.
Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"), plus a book of poems, Driving with the Dead by Jane Hicks. My husband and I have a very eclectic group of friends gathered from all walks and philosophies of life. We also happen to be rather religious (I have a seminary degree and am thinking about becoming a priest) and aware of how hurt many people have been by church experiences here in the U.S.
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