Oh, the blog posts that are left undone! It was the first week of the quarter, and somehow I found myself buried in problems and projects unrelated to this blog. But I’m not going to dwell. It’s a new week!
I did put out one post, a review of Laurie Colwin's A Big Storm Knocked It Over. Actually, it's less a review and more a consideration of re-reading.
Thanks to all of you for your curiosity about The Leaning Stack of Books Diversity Bingo Game Challenge. I said that I would write my 2015 update last week, but I haven’t done it yet. It’s coming! It’s coming!
I finished Weightless by Sarah Bannan last week. We’re discussing it in my book club this month. We’ll be meeting at the end of January, so I won’t be posting a review until then. I find that sometimes my thoughts change through dialogue. I’m also about half way through Jane Smiley’s Some Luck, so hopefully I’ll have something to say about that book soon.
In the exciting news category, My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout just arrived for me from the library. I’ve been looking forward to it, even though I wasn’t a big fan of The Burgess Boys, Strout’s previous novel. As a special bonus to me, it’s a short book! As I mentioned in my Top 5 of 2015 post, my new reading year is all about short!
The other thing that I did last week was fall down a deep rabbit hole. I recently read in Brain Pickings about the collaborative book, Hurry Up and Wait, by artist Maira Kalman and author Daniel Handler. I had seen Kalman’s art on the cover of various New Yorker magazines, but I hadn’t really explored it. I checked out Hurry Up and Wait from the library and just loved it. It’s a hybrid book, containing Kalman’s paintings, photography from the Museum of Modern Art, and Handler’s text. It’s kind of a weird meditation on rushing and waiting.
My library has a bunch of books by Kalman, so I checked out a few, including another one in the MOMA series, Girls Standing On Lawns. This book considers all the snapshots people take (think: first day of school), where they are just posing on the lawn in front of their house. In the postscript to the book, the Photography Curator at MOMA writes that the photography in the book is “vernacular,” meaning “the messy diversity of objects created without artistic ambition.” Kalman and Handler play around with the idea that these posed snapshots make people permanent, freezing them forever in a moment of significance, though the significance becomes unclear over time.
Finally, my favorite of the Kalman book bundle I received from the library is My Favorite Things, which is both memoir and reflection on beloved objects, using the collection at the Cooper-Hewett National Design Museum as inspiration and guide.
Do you ever get lost on a weird reading tangent? I’d love to hear about it!
(It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Book Date)