Thursday, April 20, 2006

How could I have missed blogging about this book?

Almost every Saturday finds me at one of my favorite places, the Fulton Public Library. It was well over a number of months ago, falling into my usual routine of browsing the shelves displaying new acquisitions, that I first saw this book. I must have found the cover art intriguing enough to pick it up, leading to my perusal of the book jacket. Imagine my delight when I discovered that the title March referred to the progenitor of a family I had long ago met and loved in Louisa May Alcott's captivating creation, Little Women.

The author, Geraldine Brooks, apparently held Little Women as dear as I, but had been inspired to do what no other had done: she took the characters of Alcott's book, greatly expanding and enhancing them, fleshing them out in the bloodly context of our Civil War. Reverend March was mostly notable for his absence in Little Women. Brooks, through well-wraught flashbacks, introduces us to a man of flesh and fallibility. Unidimensional characters suddenly leap off the page and engage the reader in a tale that enriches the memory of Alcott's underpinning story.

Ms. Brook's Pulitzer Prize is well earned. I could have chosen no better book to win.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Reader's Reverie for April 17th

Where does the time go? It has been over two months since I posted anything here. Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa. I plead illness - that virus that seems to be taking down every usually abled bodied adult for 2 to 4 weeks - I succumbed as well.

My dilatoriness (if there is such a word) can also be laid directly to spending more time reading than blogging. I've spend many hours being hightly entertained by Kevin Anderson's three part science fiction opus: The Saga of Seven Suns, A Forest of Stars and Horizon Storm. George Guidall is one of my favorite narrators; his vocal skill brings much, much more to the audiobook. Kevin Anderson has created interesting alien races and robots, as well as believeable characters. His status as a New York Times bestselling author is well deserved.

I also finished Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking. The stark portrayal of her denial, grief and mourning for her husband of forty years made for extremely painful reading. I understand why someone would not want to remove a loved ones belongings or clothes; the magical thinking: if their items remain, the owner yet remains, as well.

I''m currently reading Restless Souls: The Making of American Spirituality. I've also discovered an additional auditory resource: podcasts. Besides subscribing to the wonderful Zencast, I've found a weekly podcast on books from NPR, a history podcast about the twelve important Byzantine emperors and a podcast of what I believe is the Sunday Unitarian Universalist sermon out of New Jersey. I do have two ears, but I've found no way to multi-task listening to two separate podcasts at the same time.