janeajones's hopeful reading

DiscussãoClub Read 2019

Aderi ao LibraryThing para poder publicar.

janeajones's hopeful reading

Este tópico está presentemente marcado como "adormecido"—a última mensagem tem mais de 90 dias. Pode acordar o tópico publicando uma resposta.

1janeajones
Editado: Nov 9, 2019, 2:06pm


Trinity College Library, Dublin

1. Sayaka Murata, Convenience Store Woman, trans. Ginny Tapley Takamori, Japanese, novella, 2016/2018:
2. Janis Londraville, Kiss, Sable!, American, non-fiction, 2018:
3. Joy Williams, The Quick and the Dead, American, novel, 2002, Kindle: 1/2
4. Johan Lier Horst, When It Grows Dark, trans. Anne Bruce, Norwegian, mystery, 2016/2017:
5. Eimear McBride, A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing, Irish, novel, 2015: 1/2
6. Violet Trefusis, Hunt the Slipper, British, novel, 1937: 1/2
7. Ernest Hemingway, To Have and Have Not, American, novel, 1937: 1/2
8. Robert Mueller, The Mueller Report, American, investigative report, 2019: 1/2
9. Miriam Toews, A Complicated Kindness, Canadian, novel, 2004, Kindle:
10. Michael Crummey, Galore, Canadian, novel, 2009:
11. Tea Obreht, Inland, American, novel, 2019:
12 Heather Lende, Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs, American, memoir, 2010: 1/2
13. Liza Wieland, Paris, 7 A.M., American, novel, 2019:

2bragan
Dez 31, 2018, 11:28pm

>1 janeajones: Ooo, I've been there! It was an amazing place to visit. Just walking in, it sort of felt like you'd just entered the platonic idea of a library. :)

3avaland
Jan 1, 2019, 4:44pm

>1 janeajones: So much brown....

Looking forward to your postings this year, Jane.

4dchaikin
Jan 1, 2019, 10:53pm

Thanks for that picture. Wish you a happy new year, Jane.

5arubabookwoman
Jan 2, 2019, 3:38pm

What a beautiful photo!

6janeajones
Jan 2, 2019, 7:11pm

Favorite books of 2018:

Muriel Spark, The Comforters
J.T. Glisson, The Creek
Magda Szabo Katalin Street
Edna O'Brien, The Little Red Chairs
Kelly Barnhill, The Girl Who Drank the Moon
Madeline Miller Circe
Paul Harding Tinkers
Jonas Jonasson, The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden

I rated them all 4 1/2 *s -- I guess I like a bit of imperfection in my masterpieces.

7janeajones
Jan 2, 2019, 7:12pm

Thanks to all who have visited or will visit. I went AWOL for the end of the year -- will try to be more present and interactive this year.

8NanaCC
Jan 2, 2019, 10:58pm

Adding my star.

9BLBera
Jan 3, 2019, 2:18pm

Happy New Year, Jane. I LOVE the Trinity College photo. That place is amazing.

You have a great list of 2018 favorites. I'm a Spark fan but haven't read that one.

I look forward to seeing where your reading leads you this year.

10auntmarge64
Jan 4, 2019, 7:41pm

Gorgeous photo - yes, the perfect picture of a library.

I love your intro thread description of how the dismal political situation, has been desperately enervating for your reading. Enervating - that's a perfect word for something I think many on LT are feeling.

11janeajones
Jan 6, 2019, 7:09pm


Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata, trans. from Japanese by Ginny Tapley Takamori

Keiko Furukara narrates this short novel about her life as a clerk in the Hiiromachi Station Smile Mart. She has worked there for 18 years since she first got the position as the store opened -- it was a brand new convenience market in a business district, and she had just finished school. In the culture of the store, she finds her perfect niche. The employees' behavior is outlined in the company manual, and all the stock is displayed in a manner most employed to catch the customers' attention and highlight the store's current sales and promotions. She eats, sleeps and lives for the position she has found despite mounting pressure from her family to find a "real" job or better yet, to get married.

In elementary school, Keiko had learned to cope with her peers by simply keeping silent. The few times she had reacted to situations, her reactions, perfectly logical to her at the time, were deemed totally unacceptable -- for instance, when two boys got into a fight, and everyone was yelling at them to stop, she simply picked up a shovel and hit one over the head. This and a few similar occurences led her loving parents to try to find an elusive "cure" for her.

While it is difficult for someone not intimately knowlegeable about Japanese culture and the kind of exploration/satire Murata is employing, for me, as a Western reader, the novel seems to be exploring the reality and coping mechanisms employed by someone on the autism/Aspergers syndrom scale. The book is wry and has some definite humorous moments as well as a fairly strong message about "living and let live."

12ELiz_M
Jan 6, 2019, 8:14pm

>11 janeajones: Alright, fine, I'll add this to my TBR. Between you, lilisin, RidgewayGirl, and Simone2 I can no longer resist this title.

13avaland
Jan 7, 2019, 10:22am

Glad you enjoyed the book. Your thoughts echo much of mine. And the book was just the right length. Lillian has a review on it in the 2018 thread, she was living in Japan at the time of her reading (don't know if she is still there).

14dchaikin
Jan 7, 2019, 1:21pm

That is a lot of positive feedback. Noting... wondering if the boy deserved the shovel.

15Nickelini
Jan 13, 2019, 11:10pm

1. Love your thread topper picture.

2. >11 janeajones: Well that sounds good, doesn't it! Added to my wishlist.

16janeajones
Editado: Fev 10, 2019, 3:59pm


Kiss, Sable! by Janis Londraville

I read this book because this week I'm having lunch with my cousin who wrote it. It's the true story of a very old horse she adopted from Whippoorwill Horse Rescue. When Janis adopted Sable, she was underweight with rain rot spots. Over the course of a summer with much veterinary care and careful, personalized feeding, the 26 year old mare recovered into a stable old age. In Kiss, Sable!, Sable tells her own story making this a charming tale for horse-loving pre- and early teens. The climax is perhaps when she is reunited with Margaret, now a young mother, but Sable's "girl" who , from the age of five until she left home, owned and trained and rode Sable through the hills of Western Tennessee. If you know a horse-loving youngster, she or he would enjoy this heartwarming tale. All proceeds from the sale of the book go to the care and feeding of adopted horses.

17NanaCC
Fev 10, 2019, 1:17pm

Every time I come to your thread, I have to stop to look at the picture at the top. It’s one of my favorite memories of my trip to Ireland.

18janeajones
Fev 10, 2019, 3:36pm

I'm glad you enjoy it.

19janeajones
Editado: Fev 12, 2019, 7:07pm


The Quick and the Dead by Joy Williams

Joy Williams is probably an acquired taste -- acquired by those who savor gallows humor and tenuous connections between life and death. Generally speaking her characters are not the kind of souls one would want to spend much time with, but they do tease the mind for a couple of afternoon or evening reads. The Quick and the Dead takes place during one summer in an unidentified Southwestern desert town. The main characters are three motherless sixteen year-old girls.

Alice, the central character, has been raised by her Granny and Poppa as her mother decamped shortly after she was born. Her school friend, Corvus, has recently lost both her parents in a freak flash flood. Annabel, a newcomer to the town, has arrived from New England with her father Carter, who is literally haunted during the night by his late wife, Ginger. Alice wants to live a singular life, and although she sees earth-threatening calamities around every corner, she is the most daring. Corvus is buried in grieving and unsure how to proceed. While trying to remember and memorialize her mother, Annabel hates the desert and longs for the "normal" life she has been dragged from.

Peripheral characters include the founder of a Wildlife Museum populated by the stuffed animals he has hunted all over the world, a piano player who wears a tuxedo all the time, an eight-year old girl who despises the man her mother is seeing, a seductive gardener who enchants Annabel's father, and a drifter -- a young stroke victim -- who believes a monkey lives in his brain.

The book was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and is brilliantly written, as are all Williams' novels (I haven't read her short story collections). Williams's landscapes contribute to or counterpoint the bizarre and bleak vision she has of the modern society.

20dchaikin
Fev 12, 2019, 1:12pm

>19 janeajones: enjoyed this review, Jane.

21lisapeet
Fev 12, 2019, 4:17pm

>19 janeajones: I like Joy Williams's short stories a lot, but haven't read that one. Sounds like it's up my alley, though.

22BLBera
Fev 13, 2019, 4:21pm

>11 janeajones: I was also a fan of Convenience Store Woman. Great comments.

I will add KIss, Sable! to my list of possible granddaughter books. She has been discussing horses recently.

>19 janeajones: I haven't read Williams, but your comments made me add this one to the list.

23laytonwoman3rd
Fev 25, 2019, 10:11am

>16 janeajones: Well, you've sold a copy of that one. My niece and her little girls (when they are a bit older) will love it, I'm sure.

24lilisin
Fev 26, 2019, 1:17am

>13 avaland:
Yep, I still live in Japan! And yes, you can read my review here on my 2018 thread. I posted my general thoughts and review and then I honed in on a few of the spots that talk about Japanese society.

>11 janeajones:
I'm not so sure that I would agree about Keiko being on the autism scale. Introverted, uninterested in the traditional meanderings of society, and certainly a personality that likes patterns and orderliness, but I don't think that implies any sort of mental disorder. I mostly think she was a very rambunctious child with lots of personality but it was hit out of her by Japan's tendency to want its citizens to be homogeneous in behavior to ensure a properly working society. She then decided that to survive this society she would have to obey its rules to the fullest, and I really think that is what the book is trying to say. But I also say this as someone who is very much uneducated in austism, but very much aware of the cogs of Japanese society.

25janeajones
Fev 28, 2019, 7:29pm

>24 lilisin: lilsin--
I appreciate your analysis. As I noted, I am quite unaware of Japanese social norms, so your insight is appreciated. I don't think Aspergers is a a mental disorder, just a different way of of dealing with society that is somewhat oblivious to accepted ways of interacting with other people. Most individuals on the Aspergers scale are highly intelligent, if somewhat emotionally challenged.

26janeajones
Fev 28, 2019, 8:01pm


When It Grows Dark by John Lier Horst

Snow, snow and more snow. William Wisting, the protagonist/police officer of this mystery, must shovel out his driveway at least fifteen times during the short course of the book; a roof laden with heavy snow collapses on hime and traps him beneath it for at least an hour; tire tracks and footprints in the snow are clues to solve the mystery. It made me cold in 76 degree FL weather -- the reason why this western NY, snow belter is happily ensconsed in FL.

That said, I have mixed reactions to this prequel of a popular mystery series featuring Detective Wisting. I found the writing in the first third of the book really plodding and slow-going. I wasn't sure anything of interest was developing, but I was cozy in bed, so I kept reading. The plot about a 60 year old COLD-case caught the attention of then young Officer Wisting, and he began to investigate the clues of a murder and robbery of a large amount of cash being transferred from one bank to another by a private hauling service.

Suffice it to say, this is the case that offered Wisting an opportunity to become an investigative Detective. I've not read any other books by Horst, but since I have one still on my TBR, I shall get to it soon.

>avaland -- thanks, Lois

27avaland
Mar 6, 2019, 7:07am

>26 janeajones: I agree about the writing, but I have given the author leeway for that because of his actual law enforcement experience (so rare) and one does settle into it. I have his latest somewhere in the pile (although I didn't read the other four (?) in proper order...) The writing reminds me a bit like that of the Icelandic author Ragnar Jónasson (another I got from the UK, although his first book has been published here in the states now).

28Petroglyph
Mar 23, 2019, 6:02pm

>11 janeajones:
I, too, read Convenience store woman, and I loved it. Thanks for the recommendation! (Review here)

29janeajones
Mar 27, 2019, 3:06pm

28> Enjoyed your review! Glad you liked the book.

30janeajones
Editado: Mar 27, 2019, 4:04pm


A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride

I wish I liked this book better than I did because I think the writing is quite brilliant. It's a stream-of-consciousness narrative of a coming-of age story of an Irish Girl probably in the 1970s-80s, though both the time and place of the novel are generic, rather than specific. Likewise, the characters, the Girl, her Brother, her Mammy, her Uncle and all the other minor characters remain nameless throughout.

Many reader/reviewers have found the novel difficult to read, despite its glowing critical reviews and many literary prizes. Although the language is fragmented, using only full stop periods as punctuation -- I found the narration flowed -- sometimes lyrically, more often savagely sordid. It was the girl's journey through the novel that I found difficult

"Skating on the beach. I dreamed it. Empty sort on a yellow sky day cliff. In the evening of it. All alone though gulls are there. Cormorants I know. Chicks and hens. Buttery throt calls squawks. Dipping fish out. Wheeling in it turn and dive. Flutter like a panic wings that they would all fall down above me. I hate those bird feet hanging. rubbery storm air as though blowing over the water. Coursing I think. That clouds and wind skiteing sand spray floats of it up. Catching at the back of me."

"I met a man. I met a man. I let him throw me round the bed. And smoked me, me, spliffs and choked my neck until I said I was dead. I met a man who took me for walks. Long ones in the country. I offer up. I offer up in the hedge. I met a man I met with her. She and me and his friend to bars at night and drink champagne and bought me chips at every teatime.... I met a man who gave me a smack. I met a man who cracked my arm. I met man who said what are you doing out so late at night. I met a man. I met a man. And wash my mouth out with soap. I wish I could. That I did then. I met a man. A stupid thing. I met a man. Should have turned on my heel."

In some ways the plot itself is cliched -- a dysfuntional family -- after the elder brother suffers from a brain tumor and the Girl is born, the father deserts the family. The deeply religious (Roman Catholic) mother is left to fend for herself and her children -- at times compassionately, at times self-pitying and violent. The brother and sister are close, the sister sometimes protective. At 13, the girl is molested by her uncle and spends the rest of her adolescence tryng to fill the void in her being with sexual encounters. The conclusion of the novel is ambiguous.

When I was about half way through the novel, I read this interview with McBride that I found illuminating:
http://www.thewhitereview.org/feature/interview-with-eimear-mcbride/

I'd only recommend this novel to readers who are fascinated by the lengths to which the English language can be stretched and don't mind graphic sexuality.

31avaland
Mar 27, 2019, 7:29pm

>30 janeajones: Seems I have a copy of that here somewhere and while I like inventive fiction, I may sit this one out. I really enjoyed your thoughtful review, though!

32janeajones
Mar 28, 2019, 10:20am

>31 avaland:. Lois, probably a wise choice. This one is hard to escape from.

33dchaikin
Mar 29, 2019, 1:49pm

>30 janeajones: I would have to be in the mood for that style. Either I would get lost in it, or fight against it the entire book.

34AlisonY
Mar 29, 2019, 3:01pm

>30 janeajones: well done for making it through that one - I tried but didn't get very far. All those short sentences just exhaust me somehow!

35janeajones
Editado: Mar 30, 2019, 11:02am

>33 dchaikin: and >34 AlisonY: -- Oddly enough, I was way more captivated by the writing style than the content of the novel.

36wandering_star
Abr 3, 2019, 9:05pm

I remember seeing a theatrical production of A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing at the Edinburgh Festival. Well, I say I remember it.... it was the final show of about 8 shows I'd seen that day, and began at something like 9.45pm. I was so exhausted I kept falling asleep! The play was a one-woman show, so a long monologue, and had stellar reviews - and I'm sure it would have been both compelling and an emotional roller-coaster if I'd managed to keep up with it. But it's not the sort of thing that you can pick up what's going on, if you've missed a bit...

37janeajones
Abr 4, 2019, 12:31pm

>36 wandering_star: -- Unfortunately, that's one of the drawbacks of jam-packed festivals. I'm sure it was an emotional rollercoaster of a performance.

38janeajones
Editado: Abr 4, 2019, 12:50pm


Hunt the Slipper by Violet Trefusis.

Well, I didn't remember reading this novel and just reread it. None of it remained in my memory, so it obviously didn't leave an impression on first reading (either that or I'm going quite senile). I think I must have been more amused this time, as I found it quite a souffle. It follows the ups and downs of a romantic liaison between Nigel and Caroline, his neighbor's wife. Nothing serious here, but a pleasant way to while away some time.

Here's my first review:
I found this a somewhat amusing book about vapid members of upperclass English society in the 1930s. In her Introduction, Lorna Sage describes the book as "a splendidly malicious commentary on England, and the on the aristocratic English society that she (Trefusis) had escaped...." If that's your thing -- enjoy.

39avaland
Abr 5, 2019, 10:22am

"Pleasant way to while away some time..." is not a bad thing :-)

40RidgewayGirl
Abr 5, 2019, 11:38am

>30 janeajones: I have this one on my shelf, unread. I read McBride's The Lesser Bohemians, which was also written as a sort of stream of consciousness, and loved it so much, although every time I picked it up, it would take me a few pages to get into her writing style.

41janeajones
Editado: Abr 15, 2019, 1:36pm


To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway

So we were in Key West a few weeks ago and, of course, visited the Hemingway house. My husband picked this one up at the bookstore. It turns out that neither of us had read it though we had seen the film, which is to put it lightly, a very loose adaptation. No place for Bogey and Bacall in this novel.

To Have and Have Not, published in 1937, is Hemingway's gritty panoramic vision of Key West in depression era Key West -- a time when he lived there, but was also travelling in Europe, involved in the Spanish Civil War, and perhaps flirting with some Communist ideology. The plot hangs on the story of Harry Morgan, a down-on-his luck boat captain who is forced by economic circumstances to charter his boat for illegal smuggling activities. It all ends violently and badly.

However, the aspect of the book I found most interesting was that wide angle lens on Key West:

the frame houses with their narrow yards....Conch town, where all was starched, well shuttered, virtue, failure, grits and bleached grunts, under-nourishment, prejudice, inter- breeding and the comforts of religion; the open-doored, lighted Cuban bolito houses ...the pressed stone church, its steeples sharp, ugly triangles against the moonlight... a filling station and a sandwich place, brightly lighted beside a vacant lot where a miniature golf course had been taken out; past the brightly lit main street with the three drug stores, the music store, the five Jew Stores, three poolrooms, two barbershops, five beer joints, three ice cream parlors, the five poor and one good restaurant, two magazine and paper places, for second-hand joints...and....

We see WWI Vets brawling in a bar; the wealthy, sleeping soundly, or not so soundly, on their yachts; writers and pseudo-intellectuals drinking and womanizing too much; the Conchs, scrabbling for any kind of a living -- and Hemingway's prejudice-tinged view of blacks, Cubans and Asians (not a pretty picture).

Not a great book, but an interesting peek into a particular time and place.

42NanaCC
Abr 13, 2019, 8:49am

>41 janeajones: Nice review. But I think I’ll stick with Bogey and Bacall. :-)

43avaland
Abr 13, 2019, 6:25pm

>42 NanaCC: Was never a Hemingway fan, though read some in my earlier days, I see what you are saying about the "wide angle lens" in the excerpt. No wonder you found it interesting.

44AlisonY
Abr 15, 2019, 4:24am

>41 janeajones: interesting reading this review. I've not read anything by Hemingway, but feel I ought to after reading a fictional account of his life with his wives at the start of this year. I'm debating bringing A Farewell to Arms with me on holiday, as I believe part of it is set in the French Alps, but I'm not sure it's really holiday reading fodder. I can see how you just had to read something by him having visited his house.

Is there much to see at the house?

45janeajones
Editado: Abr 15, 2019, 1:34pm

>44 AlisonY: Alison, the house is interesting; it actually belonged to his wife Pauline, who built the first swimming pool in Key West (it cost more than the house). The guides are amusing and full of anecdotes about Hemingway's time in Key West. There's also a studio where he wrote and about 50 six-toed cats roaming the grounds.

46janeajones
Editado: Maio 10, 2019, 3:45pm


Robert Mueller, The Mueller Report

I downloaded the PDF file of The Mueller Report because I thought I should read it for myself. It was a bit of a slog, though coherently and even succinctly written -- it took me 2 weeks to get through it. I can't say I learned a whole lot that was new as I've become a bit of a news junky, following this Presidency both on TV and in newspaper reports. The number of contacts among trump campaign operatives and Russians as described in Volume I is staggering, and in Volume II, the evidence that the the president has tried to obstruct justice in both the Mueller investigation and in congressional investigations is totally convincing to me. But go and read it for yourself.

47janeajones
Maio 10, 2019, 1:36pm


A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews

This is a coming-of-age story set in a small Mennonite town, East Village, in southern Manitoba. The narrator-protagonist, Nomi (Naomi) Nickel, lives with her father Ray as she completes her senior year of high school -- envisioning nothing in her future except killing chickens in the local slaughter house. Her elder sister Tash (Natasha) had escaped the town three years earlier with her boyfriend, and her mother, Trudi, left shortly afterward under unexplained circumstances. She's not doing well in school, especially in her English class, as her teacher refuses to accept any of the subversive topics she wants to write about. The events of the year mirror that of millions of teenagers in small towns -- taking up with a new boyfriend, smoking pot, going to wild parties, worrying about her hospitalized best friend, but Nomi also takes care of the household and her father, a devout Mennonite whose life has been shattered by the loss of his wife and his life as he knew it. I found the book beautifully written with descriptions of the natural world, Nomi's speculations about her parents' lives, and her periodic pondering of how she navigates her own life. The novel is funny and sad, but not the least bit sentimental.

48ELiz_M
Maio 10, 2019, 2:31pm

>46 janeajones: "...and in Volume II, the evidence that the the president is totally convincing to me"

I think you are missing a crucial word or phrase in the above. :)

49janeajones
Editado: Maio 10, 2019, 3:46pm

>48 ELiz_M: Thanks, I've added the missing phrase ;)

50Nickelini
Maio 11, 2019, 4:12am

>47 janeajones: glad you liked that one—it’s a favourite of mine (and only book I’ve ever read where the protagonist has my surname)

51BLBera
Maio 11, 2019, 9:48am

I do like Hemingway and haven't read this one. One of these days...

>47 janeajones: Nice comments on the Toews novel. I haven't read this one, but the others of hers that I have read were very good. I'll add this one to my "read soon" list.

Way to go, slogging through the Mueller report.

52laytonwoman3rd
Maio 11, 2019, 10:34am

>47 janeajones: I enjoyed that novel too. I heard Toews talking about her new book recently -- Women Talking...I need to check that out.

53janeajones
Maio 11, 2019, 12:28pm

>50 Nickelini:, >51 BLBera:, >52 laytonwoman3rd: -- this was the first Toews' novel I've read. I found it downloaded on my Kindle (sometime when I must have felt I needed more books). I wasn't aware of her before, but I'll certainly keep an eye out for her other books.

54avaland
Maio 12, 2019, 5:30am

>46 janeajones: I have thought about downloading a copy but have yet to do it. I admire your tenacity.

55dchaikin
Maio 13, 2019, 1:53pm

>46 janeajones: on Mueller, I’m sticking with the new reports and your review. Thanks for reading it and posting!

>41 janeajones: I found your Hemingway review fascinating. I have in mind making him a theme for reading one year...but I’m not yet sure I will like him. (Colm Toibin has a introduction to James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room where he says the influence if Hemingway is really clear. Caught my attention)

56janeajones
Editado: Maio 14, 2019, 12:47pm

>55 dchaikin:, don't really know what to advise you about liking Hemingway. I really appreciated his novels when I read them in my late teens and early 20s, and they certainly give a vivid description of the era. The ones that have stayed with me are The Sun Also Rises, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and his memoir, A Moveable Feast. Not a huge fan of his short stories, but then I've always preferred novels to short stories.

57dchaikin
Maio 14, 2019, 1:34pm

I guess I’ll have to find out for myself. Seems everyone likes A Moveable Feast. I’ve set it aside to read several times, but haven’t picked it up yet.

58lisapeet
Maio 14, 2019, 3:01pm

>57 dchaikin: What killed me about A Moveable Feast is how YOUNG they were. I mean, I knew this intellectually, but to read it is to really get the full sense of literary boyishness. Your 20s are your 20s no matter what era, no matter which arondissement, and there is something very sweet about this book for just that reason. Boys bragging, boys fronting, boys writing. The whiff of youthful exuberance is a little intoxicating, especially if you're used to Hemingway the Big Man.

59laytonwoman3rd
Maio 16, 2019, 11:11am

>58 lisapeet: Ooooh...that's very good insight into A Moveable Feast, which is one of the few Hemingway works I return to from time to time. It makes me sad, though. The "Big Man" in many ways never moved on from that bragging, posing, callow youth, and just kept up the bluff. Only the sweetness got lost.

60janeajones
Editado: Maio 22, 2019, 11:43am

Ah, the allure of youth -- I'm sure that's what drew me to the early novels, when I was also young and green.

61janeajones
Maio 22, 2019, 12:22pm


Galore by Michael Crummey

This is a sprawling multi-generational book of two families, the Devines and the Sellers, set in a the small Newfoundland fishing village, Paradise Deep, from the mid 19th c. through World War I. It begins with a miraculous "birth" of a naked, pale, white man rescued from the belly of a beached whale. But the history of the families goes back further to the mysterious feud between the Widow Devine and "King-me" Sellers the matriarch and patriarch of the two families. Crummey explores the hard-scrabble Newfoundland life through times of plenty and times of scarcity. The stories of the families are told through multiple viewpoints that work to keep the reader engaged in the lives and trials of a surprising variety of characters. A highly entertaining read.

62AlisonY
Maio 22, 2019, 1:16pm

>61 janeajones: Michael Crummey is on my 'must get to' list. This one sounds great.

63lisapeet
Maio 22, 2019, 8:57pm

>61 janeajones: I loved Galore. Very incidentally, it has one of the best brief, non-prurient sex scenes I've read.

64avaland
Maio 23, 2019, 6:59am

>61 janeajones: Jane, Glad you liked Galore. I just read his forthcoming book, The Innocents, which was excellent (the bookstore still lets me pick up arcs). I have liked most of his books and quite a bit of his poetry (which reminds me I should "review" the recent poetry collection). I put Crummey in a regionalist category along with other favorites like Jeffrey Lent and Ron Rash.

65janeajones
Maio 23, 2019, 1:00pm

>62 AlisonY:: I. think you'd enjoy it.

>63 lisapeet:: It does indeed.

>64 avaland:: Lois, it was your review of The Innocents that inspired me to read Galore.

66SassyLassy
Maio 27, 2019, 8:47am

>61 janeajones: Loved Galore. Having lived in Newfoundland it seems so spot on to me: the legend, the humour, the family dynamics, the speech, on and on.

>64 avaland: Looking forward to that one.

67wandering_star
Maio 27, 2019, 7:34pm

Ooh. I have Galore somewhere! I will have to find it.

68avaland
Jun 3, 2019, 2:10pm

I noticed you read the Mueller Report, Jane. I'm reading it when I'm in the mood and somewhat piecemeal, from the Washington Post publication, it's complete yet lightweight. There's no denying that it's a tough read, but volume II is pretty riveting in places. I doubt I'll review it.

69VivienneR
Jun 3, 2019, 11:14pm

You have been getting some good reading done! I've enjoyed all the books I've read by Miriam Toews.

Lovely header photo of the library at Trinity. I've been there and it's so impressive.

70dchaikin
Jun 5, 2019, 1:22pm

Every time Crummy comes here, I think about reading him. Then I quickly forget. Galore sounds good.

71janeajones
Jun 5, 2019, 9:51pm

>70 dchaikin:: It is good.

72Nickelini
Jun 5, 2019, 10:21pm

>70 dchaikin:

Me too! I do own Galore, but it just never seems to be the right time.