Library visit

It’s still cold,

 but less so.

My lips hurt less,

look worse,

 but, hurt less.

The Habs won last night,

high five!!

I am afraid I won’t be reading The Mere Future,

 for the book club,

because I am disbanding the book club.

I have decided to join Cass, Amy and many others,

for GLBTQ challenge for 2011.

I love Sarah Schulman,

 and will be blogging about her work,

 and what it means to me,


I don’t have the time or energy to devote to her right now,

she is a complex writer,

 and deserves not to be read in a rush,

so later,

I promise.

At the Grande Bibliotheque today,

I decided to stay away from complex and dark.

I am still working my way through,

 Genderqueer which is complex.

I have also read some good mysteries,

 about dark, hard subjects,

so I need a break from the disturbing.

A few months ago,

 tea drinker at,

 reviewed Sarah Orne Jewett’s,

The Country of the Pointed Firs.

She made it sound quite tempting.

So when I spotted it today,

in a nice compact Modern Library edition,

in to the book bag it went.

The dust jacket describes the novel this way:

The Country Of The Pointed Firs is a concisely written and beautifully wrought episodic novel of a young woman writer’s summer sojourn in the Maine fishing village of Dunnet Landing. Through Jewett, the young woman conveys the effect of her deepening connections to the people of Dunnet Landing, especially the sibylline Mrs Todd, and her empathy with the mysteries of the coastal life…

Sounds good to me.

Since I read The Shipping News by Annie Proulx,

which I absolutely adored,

I have been searching for a book about a fishing village,

I hope this novel lives up to it’s praise.

I also picked up My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier,

I have never read any Du Maurier,

 but, have been meaning to for some time.

I remember watching Rebecca,

 the Hitchcock adaptation of the novel,

and being breathless with angst and anticipation.

Talk about lesbian subtext,

so I am trying a Du Maurier.

My mother, who has impecable book taste,

says Du Maurier is a good read.

The last book I picked up is a Somerset Maugham.

My love affair with his work,

 although recent,

last few years,

 is intense.

Creatures Of Circumstance is a book of short stories.

I think I have a good haul here.

I will let you all know.

Later girls


Desert Island Books

What books would I want to have on a desert island?

I have always found that to be a interesting game to play with myself.

In a perfect world, fantasy world that is,

I would land on an island populated sparsely,

 with women.

I would wash on to the beach,

 closely followed by my giant steamer trunk,  

 filled with books.

The desert island game would then become,

 Fantasy Island.

No, but, seriously.

I have considered this game many times over the years,

played it with friends,

with customers.

To make it interesting I take five books,

 two are very small.

All would fit in an overnight bag.

Obviously, a Kindle or some such device would be great,

 because of storage capabilities but,

there is no electricity or power sources on a desert island,

and I’m no engineer.

Number one,

84 Charing Cross Road  because I love this book,

also it is tiny.

Number two, W. Somerset Maugham Collected Short Stories Volume 4

Again tiny,

 and it contains my all time favourite short story,

 The Book Bag.

I would bring my favourite novel by my favourite novelist.

The World According To Garp by John Irving.

Also I would bring Rat Bohemia by Sarah Schulman.

I see it as a work of staggering power and originality.

Schulman is one of the best writers I have ever read,

 and I wouldn’t mind spending the rest of my life rereading her.

So, that’s four.

I am very comfortable with these choices.

The fifth is tough.

The situation deserves analysis,

since I have recently been accused of over analysing,

I should figure this out.

I believe the fifth book should be a book I have never read,

just for the sheer discovery factor.

Also, it should be an acknowledged classic,

 great work of literature.

It should be a tough read,

 to keep me thinking, stimulated and prevent Alzheimer’s.

So upon analysis and reflection,

 I have narrowed it down to three,

Moby Dick, Ulysses or War and Peace.

I have read none of these,

all are considered great and,

 have been on my to be read at some point in my life, list.

All are one volume,

 and fit the requirement of the overnight bag size.

So it comes down to,

 do I want to spend the remainder of my days with,

a stoic New Englander, a weird Irishman or a Russian Count.

Do I want to read about obsession and the slaughter of Whales,

a drunken and poetic odyssey,

or the horror and heroism of war.

I think I would opt for Ulysses.

A hard and long read but, based on nothing but,

second hand info,

 a happier read.

If any of you,

 play or have ever played this game,

let me know your choices,

it would be fun.

Later girls


The Narrow Corner

Short, therefore, is man’s life, and narrow is the corner of the earth wherein he dwells.

Well, I finished The Narrow Corner by Somerset Maugham.

 It was good.

It takes place in the south sea islands and provides an astute analysis of human nature,

 as always with Maugham.

 How love can be treacherous and unrequited.

Not exactly light but, so well written.

 His prose is always so clear.

With Maugham, you always get an entertaining story and always some unexpected.


 I think Small Island by Andrea Levy.

 I want something big and meaty.

Also I would like to be transported to another land and another time.

I don’t know much about Jamaica, hopefully this novel will help me learn a little. 

Also it  takes place in London post World War II one of my favourite periods.

As always I will let you know.

 Not much else on the horizon.

Have a good one

Later girls


Finding comfort in old “Friends”

I’m trying not to feel down but, I’m not really succeeding.

Yesterday, I went to the Grande Bibliotheque.

I visit every 3 weeks or so.

I got a Henning Mankel for my mom, she loves his stuff,


 not so much.

I went with my friend Sylvain he explored and so did I.

I’ve already mentionned how I love to randomly peruse the stacks,

well, quasi randomly,

 I would never peruse in economics or  something like that.

I came across a whole bunch of Muriel Spark’s  that I have never read,

it wasn’t that difficult I have only read two or three.

The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie, left such an impression on me as a teenager.

The movie starring the wonderful Maggie Smith might have left an even bigger impression.

I love books about boarding schools or just private British schools,

 it is one of those inexplicable things,

 like my love for books about Himalayan exploration,

 go figure.

Anyway, Miss Jean Brodie, Goodbye Mr Chips and To Serve Them All My days

I would re-read in a heartbeat.

Funny, how things impress you at a young age.

Twenty years ago or so, I watched The Prime Of  Miss Jean Brodie, with my ex.

She had never seen it and I wanted to share it with her.

 Now, my ex is nothing like me,

 very logical, very Cartesian.

I think, by now you guys know, that I am a hopeless romantic.

So, she says to me, ” how can you admire that character, she’s  a bloody fascist.”

I was deeply offended but, on second look she was  right, she usually is.

Miss Brodie is blinded by beauty and ideal she doesn’t see the ugly,

 in her or in others.

If you haven’t read it you should, it is slim and a quick read.

Most, of Spark’s books are slim and yet, they are dense and full of the darkest irony.

I’m not sure I always get her irony but, I enjoy trying.

The novel I picked up yesterday is called,  The Girls Of Slender Means.

I have seen it on a list of  must read books. I’ll let you know.

Another book I brought home is, The Christmas Holiday  by Somerset Maugham.

Somerset Maugham is one of my favorite writers.

 I’m shocked to notice that I have never mentioned this fact.

I have read many of his books–  novels and memoirs as well as numerous short stories.

I think he is a master.

The book I picked up yesterday, is called Christmas Holiday  and I had never heard of it.

I love his style,

 precise, never flowery and yet not stark like Hemingway.

I also love the fact that he never rewrites the same book twice.

Don’t get me wrong I like coming back to a familiar world  ( Harry Potter)

or to an author who uses recurrent symbolism  ( John Irving-bears, Vienna and wrestling).

Maugham is an old pro, was he died in 1965,

who I am always willing to follow on a journey through the human psyche.

Although, I have read about twenty of his books , only one I didn’t enjoy, The Magician.

I have no interest in the paranormal, OK, little interest.

Should be finished Finders Keepers, the Karin Kallmaker, today.

I’ll have quite a bit to say about it.

Later girls

take care

and don’t get heat stroke