Writing about what I have been reading and encountering in the media.
|72. Portrait of a Lady, Henry James, (novel, first published in book form 1880) Penguin Audio, 09/26/2019, accessed at Audible.com
A friend told me they started to read this and found it tedious. I loved it. According to some critics, this is the best of James’s early books. It examines
issues of misogyny, female independence, modern vs. traditional relationships, and presents James’ thinking about the definition of a “lady.” The writing is detailed and precise. There is a quality of objectivity in detailed descriptions. The characters are well developed. I have nothing to say negative about this book and found it deserves its esteemed place in literature written in English. Because I enjoyed it so much, I started The Ambassadors, have struggled with maintaining interest, and have yet to finish it. The word “banal” may best describe what I have so far encountered. I intend to wade on and will write more when I finish. After all, how bad can it be when written by Henry James?
73. Every Word You Cannot Say, Ian S. Thomas read by the author and Roshina Ranstam (poetry) Andrews McMeel, pub. Released on Audible 03/05/19.
This, as it turns out, is great bedtime reading/listening. It is gentle, introspective, and full of subtle suggestions toward self-acceptance. Ian Thomas is a South African poet writing in English and respected internationally for his innovative work. Was I still working as a therapist, I would suggest that everyone struggling with anxiety in relationships consider reading this.
74. When Women Were Birds, Terry Tempest Williams, narrated by the author, (memoir) Wind Over Earth pub., Released 05/18/2012 on Audible.com.
I have enjoyed this book greatly. It is another great book for bedtime reading/listening. Terry Tempest Williams is a naturalist and a teacher and a devout Mormon. I think this is her fourth book. I like how she works to integrate her relationship with her mother with her relationship with nature and how she talks about her faith. She also discusses the politics of ecology in some detail.
75. Alex and Me, Irene M. Pepperberg, read by Julia Gibson (memoir) Harper Audio pub. 10/29/08. Audible.com.
I inherited a lovebird last summer. She was about 7 years old and a widow. I knew nothing about lovebirds, so I started reading. I learned that lovebirds are the smallest of the parrots and was reading about parrots in general. In the process I encountered this book. Alex is a parrot who lived in a research facility where his capacity for learning human speech was studied carefully over his entire life. The author is the scientist. This memoir includes a biography of Alex. I was fascinated by the things the author learned from Alex, and by the fact that he actually internalized and used English to express himself.
76. One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow, Olivia Hawker, narrated by Jackie Zebrowski (novel) Brilliance Audio, 10/08/2019, Audible.com.
This is a story about two families living as isolated neighbors on the frontier. They have the normal struggles that come with subsistence farming including weather, wildlife, and having no supports close enough to easily access. There are issues between the two households that are addressed. The story is about conflict, loss, and healing. I very much enjoyed this book.