Books for August

 by Diana Studer

- gardening for biodiversity

 in Cape Town, South Africa

 

I pick out the good ones from my library piles. Mostly what I could read again. But some also rans this time.

 

Erin MORGENSTERN

The starless sea

~

A story between a hidden library and bees. The bees make an interesting perspective, but an ocean of honey?? A fantasy to escape into.

~

a paper star that has been unfolded and refolded

 into a tiny unicorn but the unicorn remembers the time

 when it was a star and an earlier time when it was part of

 a book and sometimes the unicorn dreams of the time before

 it was a book when it was a tree and the time even longer

 before that when it was a different sort of star

 

Bee on Aloe
Bee on Aloe

Hakan NESSER

The secret life of Mr. Roos

~

Scandi noir throwing together two random people. He has a grey drudge life; she is a recovering drug addict. This one winds, and folds.

~

In all essential respects there's less life in me than in a plastic pot plant.

~

I want to sit on a chair outside my house in the forest and look about me. Maybe take a walk now and then. Go inside if it gets cold.

Light a fire.

Could that be the point of it all?

 

Waiting for the fire
Waiting for the fire

Sarah MOSS

Summerwater

~

Happy holidays in a Scottish cabin park. It rains. Brief, and beautifully written with many vivid characters.

~

There are other boats, below. There are the bones of skin coracles and the shells of bark canoes and the hollowed-out trunks of trees that once gave shelter to bears. There are the small boats of boys in every century who never came home, and the water holds the hand-stitches of their clothes and the cow-ghosts of their shoes and the amulets that did not help when they were needed.

~

Izzie squats down with a seriousness she will lose any day now, the seriousness accorded to the ground under our feet only by toddlers and botanists, and passes him another [stone to skip]

 

Little boat at pond at Klein Champagne in 2008
Little boat at pond at Klein Champagne in 2008

Richard POWERS

The overstory

~

About trees. I've lost the page for - time circles, the core, the rim - time for trees across their annual rings, and for us across our life.

~

There come mocking and merciless rains. Rain the weight and colour of lead. Shy rain, auditioning with stage fright.

~

She pops out into the pond's clearing. The starry sky erupts above her, all the explanation a person needs for why humans have waged war on forests forever. ... Forests panic people. Too much going on there. Humans need a sky [and that is why gardeners prune]

~

[Honourable mention for our] Cedars from the Cape of Good Hope.

 

Widdringtonia nodiflora at Kirstenbosch this February
Widdringtonia nodiflora at Kirstenbosch this February

Peter CAREY

The chemistry of tears

~

(I loved Oscar and Lucinda, a book I read, rationed to one perfect chapter each day) Dancing between a museum for clocks in London. Restoration of an automaton - a duck which became a swan - built in the Schwarzwald south of Karlsruhe (where Karl II built a palace to escape his wife)

 

ducks at Clanwilliam Dam in 2010
ducks at Clanwilliam Dam in 2010

Yaa GYASI

Transcendent kingdom

~

(Author was born in Ghana and raised in Alabama) A woman forging her career, between a drug addict brother and a depressed mother.

~

There are so many things I wish I never knew ... Time does so much of the emptying for us. Live long enough and you'll forget almost everything you thought you'd always remember.

~

[Her mother's first language is Twi] she just never figured out how to translate who she really was into this new language.

 

Swiss languages in 2016 Where I was once Lost in Translation
Swiss languages in 2016
Where I was once Lost in Translation 

Donna LEON

A question of belief

~

Live in Venice, while you read one of her books. With Commissario Brunetti. Crime and murder. Meanwhile the population of Venice is about to drop below 50000.

 

Venetian glass beads
Venetian glass beads

My pictures of Venice lurk somewhere on paper in a box. String of multicoloured beads like Edinburgh rock, my mother bought, when we four were in Venice together while the Ungardener was a Zurich based tour guide. About 1990. White beads I bought when, wide eyed in wonder after finishing University, I travelled overseas, out of my country. 1977 - January in Europe, met the Ungardener here in May. And who would have imagined - living in Switzerland that September!

 

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the introduction to a new-to-me Scandi noir series and a reminder about the Donna Leon series!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Donna Leon is the only author here that I have read, Obviously I need to expand my choices.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I wasn't thrilled with The Overstory. I guess I was expecting more trees and less humans. The real-life story of woman scientist one of the characters was modeled upon, liked that more.

    You are a true reader, Diana. I admire that very much. My sister and my neighbor are, too.

    If I can get through one book a month, I'm thrilled.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I need. At least one a week. And then it must be a good one worth a week of my life. Pre blogging and online websites, I used to read a book in an evening.

      Delete

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