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Books, Documentaries, Reviews: THE GOLDFINCH, Donna Tartt–and MORE

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Books, Documentaries, Reviews:  February 5, 2014

The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt

And MORE

I promised several people I would report back on what I thought about The Goldfinch.

It’s a BIG novel–some 700 pages.

I loved it.  I loved every page of it.  I was sad to see it finished.

Many themes run through this novel.  Some are listed below:

The long-term impact of the sudden, violent loss of the mother for a child.

The long-term impact of being within a sudden, violent episode–being in close proximity of a bomb going off inside a building.

The long-term impact of having an irresponsible parent in charge of you–with no way out really.

The growing up, the life journey to maturity (whatever that is) wherein you come to grips with how much you are like the irresponsible parent you hate and how much you have refused to see that person’s good points.

The role of strangers in our lives–strangers who make a huge difference.

The depth of a friendship forged within situations that neither person can fully control and what is done to survive.  Or, to hide and just make it all go away.

The role of art, of a painting, in our lives.

Where is good really located in our lives?  And, where evil?   And can good come out of bad?

What does it mean to love without judgment?

I could go on.  And on.

* * *

So, I am reading Jeffrey Eugenides The Marriage Plot before going to sleep at night.  And, enjoying it so far.

Here’s a review:  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/16/books/review/the-marriage-plot-by-jeffrey-eugenides-book-review.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

I’m listening to Alice Munro’s Dear Life while I quilt.  I started it yesterday afternoon–I had to wait my turn to download it on the Maine Library Systems audio book downloads.  I sewed until almost 8 p.m. before stopping to organize some dinner as I was enjoying it so much.  I love Munro’s short stories.  They are brilliant.  And, warrant listening to more than once as they are like a movie, in that the first viewing is an assault and you can’t take it all in, so you have to see the movie–read the story–twice.

Dear Life is the book club’s selection this month–and our meeting is Friday, so I’m going to be sewing a lot today.

While waiting for Dear Life, I downloaded another library audio book:  a P.D. James–An Unsuitable Job For A Woman (1972)–one of the Cordella Grey mysteries.  The depth of James is a pleasure to read/hear.

Having someone read a book to me recalls the pleasure I felt when my mother read to us growing up–which she did constantly.  The all-time favorite was Gene Stratton Porter’s Laddie, which I love to this day.  I read it to my mother not long before she died, while she rested on her back porch, and we laughed and pleasured our way through it.

Turkey Tracks: January Thaw!

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Turkey Tracks:  January 12, 2014

(I don’t know why some recent posts are not separating paragraphs…  Sorry…)

 

January Thaw!

It’s a January thaw!
It’s 50 degrees!
We can see grass in the snow paths again, and the chickens came out of their coop/cage and are re-exploring the yard.  There is all sorts of talking and crowing and clucking and general delight going on in the yard.
Today’s job was to retrieve TWO glass bowls that the chickens have dragged to the back end of the cage.  The chickens, in their boredom and hunger for different foods, literally lick those bowls clean and drag them around.  Did you know that chickens have tiny little tongues?
Until today, I could not reach them from the front end of the cage with the crab net.  Or poke a broom handle through the chicken wire to push them forward from the back end as the tarps were knee deep in snow.  I’m going to try the very tall tree/limb cutter which has a curved saw on the top–and if that does not work, will try to life the tarps at the back end.
I NEED those bowls to continue feeding the chickens things like warm mash, leftovers, meat and milk, and so forth.
Well!  The tree saw was too tall to wedge into the flap/gap between the coop and the cage.  I finally got the bowls with a leaf rake–the longest one I had.  The tines kept collapsing, but patience and effort was rewarded, and I gradually was able to turn each bowl over and over until I could reach it with the thick pole I use to prop open the coop roof.  Yeah!!!!  I am easily amused, apparently.
Meanwhile, the rooster herded his girls up together next to the house and told them I was an extremely dangerous intruder into their space.  He is so cute and has come into his own.  He crows all the time now.  I’ll try to get some pictures of him soon, but we are getting more weather coming in over the next few days.
Last night I sewed the fifth row of seven of Celtic Solstice.  It’s so pretty.  Only I sewed one of the units upside down, which threw off the pattern.  I took the offending block out of the row, fixed the unit, and resewed the row together.   Now I had TWO blocks upside down.  I took it all apart and fixed both units and resewed and QUIT for the night, thinking I would finish the rows today.  But I have not yet, and I’m not quite sure where the day has gotten to.
I have downloaded another audio book:  P.D. James’s DEVICES AND DESIRES.  Oh my gosh!  There is a mini-series of this book:
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There is something so seductive about having someone read a story to you while you sew.  I finished BEST OF WOMEN’S SHORT STORIES, Vol. 1, William J. Locke, yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it.  There were a number of stories I read in school, like Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and it was a pleasure to hear them dramatized.
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I spent some time yesterday going through ALL the 1200 titles of the audio books as the search engine is not great on this system.  I found so many books I will love to hear and made lists of the same.  I thought a mystery would be fun for a change.