Wondrous Words #355

WWWEvery week word-lovers post new words they’ve discovered while reading. It’s called Wondrous Words Wednesday and was created by Kathy at Bermuda Onion’s Weblog.

I was reading a book review of Larry McMurtry’s Last Kind Words Saloon when I came across two unfamiliar words:

“The short, stroboscopic chapters often close with a portentous one-­sentence paragraph.”

  1. According to the dictionary stroboscopic (strōbəˈskäpik) is a derivative of the word stroboscope which is “an instrument for studying periodic motion or determining speeds of rotation by shining a momentary bright light at intervals so that a moving object appears stationary.”Are you still with me? Think strobe lights. The Greek root word strobos means whirling. I think the book reviewer used this word to tell us the chapters whirled around – rapidly moved around and around. They did.

2.   Portentous: The root word is portent which means a sign or warning of something momentous or calamitous is about to happen.

_______________________________

That’s it for me this week. I hope you found some words worth celebrating. Feel free to join Wondrous Words Wednesday. Be sure to visit Kathy for the details.

Posted in Wondrous Words | 3 Comments

What Am I Reading? This House Of Sky by Ivan Doig

Ivan Doig is one of my favorite authors. It only takes one page and I am right there with him in Montana. Now that Mr. Doig has passed away, I am slowly re-reading all of his books. This House of Sky is an autobiographical account of his early years and up through the publication of this, his first book. Here’s how the story begins:

This House Of SkyTIME SINCE

Soon before daybreak on my sixth birthday, my mother’s breathing wheezed more raggedly than ever, then quieted. And then stopped.

The remembering begins out of that new silence. Through the time since, I reach back along my father’s tellings and around the urgings which would have me face about and forget to feel into these oldest shadows for the first sudden edge of it all.

What do you think?

Would you keep reading?

____________________________

firstparagraphEvery Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea shares the first paragraph of a book currently being read. Feel free to join the fun.

Posted in First Paragraph | 12 Comments

Have A Nice Long Weekend

fireworks_1The 4th of July doesn’t always fall on a Monday.

This one is special. Enjoy it to the fullest.

Happy 4th of July!!

Posted in This and That | 1 Comment

Book Review: My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

Lucy BartonElizabeth Strout has a way of observing people and then writing about them that really appeals to me. She does not look at someone and see just the public face most people show. No way. Elizabeth Strout likes to find the little details, the subtleties and the intricacies that are usually under the surface. My Name Is Lucy Barton is a perfect example. She focuses on just two people and gives us an amazing story with just that. Here’s the story’s outline:

“Now, in My Name Is Lucy Barton, this extraordinary writer shows how a simple hospital visit becomes a portal to the most tender relationship of all—the one between mother and daughter.
 
Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn’t spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy’s childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy’s life: her escape from her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters. Knitting this powerful narrative together is the brilliant storytelling voice of Lucy herself: keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable.” (from the publisher)

Elizabeth Strout, this extremely effective writer, pulled me in and immediately had me identifying with Lucy Barton. Here Lucy was, stuck in a hospital for weeks on end, missing her two little girls. No one was taking care of them like she could. Her husband, who hated hospitals, seldom visited. Lucy was becoming depressed. Finally, her husband sent for her estranged mother. It’s a good thing, because by the time her mother arrived, I was ready to go sit by Lucy Barton’s side myself. The poor thing.

The dialogue and interplay between Lucy and her mother was, for me, the heart of the novel. In just those conversations and Lucy’s inner dialogue I knew everything about Lucy’s background. My heart broke for her and I understood what motivated her.

I now consider Lucy Barton a friend. She does, finally, get out of the hospital, have a chance to raise her children and move on with her life. There are a few other people in the story such as Lucy’s wonderful doctor and her husband, but for me the heart of the story was wrapped up in that hospital visit with her mother.

I strongly recommend My Name Is Lucy Barton. It’s a fairly short novel (208 pages) and well worth reading just for the genius of Elizabeth Strout.

Posted in A, Literary Fiction | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Wondrous Words #354

WWWEvery week word-lovers post new words they’ve discovered while reading. It’s called Wondrous Words Wednesday and was created by Kathy at Bermuda Onion’s Weblog.

I found a new word this past week while reading Charm City by Laura Lippman:

1. malaprops: “This wishy-washy tendency, combined with his thick Baltimore accent and talent for malaprops, made him virtually incomprehensible to anyone but Spike.”

A malaprop is the mistaken use of a word in place of a similar-sounding one, often with unintentionally amusing effect.

That’s it for me this week. I hope you found some words worth celebrating. Feel free to join Wondrous Words Wednesday. Be sure to visit Kathy for the details.

Posted in Wondrous Words | 3 Comments

What Am I Reading? My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

I’m featuring Elizabeth Strout’s latest book, My Name Is Lucy Barton. So far I’m really  enjoying the book. I’m a little more than half-way through. This book is different from the author’s other two books that I read. I’ll share my thoughts later this week. Here’s how the story begins:

Lucy BartonThere was a time, and it was many years ago now, when I had to stay in a hospital for almost nine weeks. This was in New York City, and at night a view of the Chrysler Building, with its geometric brilliance of lights, was directly visible from my bed. During the day, the building’s beauty receded, and gradually it became simply one more large structure against a blue sky, and all the city’s buildings seemed remote, silent, far away. It was May, and then June, and I remember how I would stand and look out the window at the sidewalk below and watch the young women—my age—in their spring cloths, out on their lunch breaks; I could see their heads moving in conversation, their blouses rippling in the breeze. I thought how when I to out of the hospital I would never again walk down the sidewalk without giving thanks for being one of those people, and for many years I did that—I would remember the view from the hospital window and ge glad for the sidewalk was walking on. 

What do you think?

Would you keep reading?

____________________________

firstparagraphEvery Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea shares the first paragraph of a book currently being read. Feel free to join the fun.

 

Posted in First Paragraph | 16 Comments

Look To The Sky

Last week the night sky was so beautiful with the full moon and bright crisp stars. I’ve never been able to capture that beauty with my camera. Fortunately, my daughter Candice doesn’t have that problem. Enjoy her photo.

Full Moon (Candice)

I love the “big sky” country found in parts of the western US. Here’s one from Colorado.

IMG_1013.JPG

And one from Nevada.

100_2570.JPG

The skies in Alaska are always amazing.

100_0649.JPG

When you live in drought-country like we do here in northern California, we tend to rejoice when we see a sky like this one: Storm Clouds Over the Vineyards.

Stormy Skies

__________________________________________

I’m linking this post with others who participate at Saturday Snapshot located at West Metro Mommy Reads. For more information, visit her website.

Saturday Snapshot

Posted in Photos | 6 Comments

One More Book Series: Charm City by Laura Lippman

Charm CityI’ve been waning to read a book in Laura Lippmn’s Tess Monaghan series for a long time. I saw a copy of Charm City on sale and grabbed it, thinking I was getting the first book in the series. As it turned out, Charm City is the second book in the series. I was quite a few chapters in before I realized that, but it didn’t matter.

Charm City refers to Baltimore, Maryland. It’s a wonderful setting for a detective novel. To me, it also seemed to be one of the ancillary characters. The city has had lots of set-backs, but is always hopeful about the future. Tess Monaghan also fits that description. She’s a tough, tenacious reporter who has switched to being a tough, tenacious private investigator.

Tess doesn’t have her P.I. license yet, but she does have an office in a law firm and she’s had some paying clients. In this story one of Baltimore’s leading newspapers hires Tess to figure out who pushed through a story onto the front page when there was no editorial approval. It’s a controversial story about a man trying to land an new NBA team for the city. It exposes the newspaper to possible lawsuits. Tess digs in to the case,, but has more to investigate when the man dies, supposedly from suicide. Tess suspects murder and digs deeper.

This was an excellent, fast-moving story. There were some pretty intense moments as well as some light-hearted ones. I really liked Tess and most of the characters I met. I’m looking forward to meeting them again in future books. There was a side mystery about Tess’ uncle and a greyhound dog that was also interesting. It was a great way to meet Tess family and gave the whole story a richer quality.

In the end the author tied up all the loose ends which I always appreciate. I definitely want to know more about this author. Overall, I can wholeheartedly recommend Charm City. I liked it so much that I’m off to find the next book in the series. Have you read any books in the series? What did you think?

Posted in B+, Mysteries | 2 Comments

Wondrous Words #353

WWWEvery week word-lovers post new words they’ve discovered while reading. It’s called Wondrous Words Wednesday and was created by Kathy at Bermuda Onion’s Weblog.

I’m such a big fan of the book reviews in the New  York Times. They give me a thorough analysis of a book I’m thinking about reading, with often an added bonus of a new word or two.. This week I read a Times review of Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler and found this word:

demimonde: Ever since Anthony Bourdain, our tribal king, published his peerless “Kitchen Confidential” in 2000, we, the demimonde of Professional Restaurant, have glutted the bookstores with more accountings of ourselves and our work than anyone could possibly wish to read.

Demimonde, as you have probably guessed, originated in France. In 19th-century France the class of women considered to be of doubtful morality and social standing were given this label. Today it refers to a group of people considered to be on the fringes of respectable society. For example: the demimonde of arms deals.

_______________________________ 

Only one word for me this week. I hope you found some words worth celebrating. Feel free to join Wondrous Words Wednesday. Be sure to visit Kathy for the details.

Posted in Wondrous Words | 2 Comments

What Am I Reading? Charm City by Laura Lippman

I’ve been wanting to dabble in the Tess Monaghan mystery series for quite a while. I grabbed Charm City when I saw it at a book sale. I’m about a third of the way in and I really like Tess. She’s an interesting combination of lovable and heartwarming and “bad-ass girl.” Here’s how the book begins:

Charm CityNothing wet was falling from the sky. No snow, no ice, no hail, no rain changing to sleet, no sleet changing to rain. And that was reason enough, Tess Monaghan decided, to feel celebratory. She would walk home from work instead of taking her usual bus, maybe stop at Bertha’s and squinch up her nose at the tourists eating mussels, or nurse something warm and alcoholic at Henniger’s. A March Monday night in Baltimore would never be Mardi Gras, or even Lundi Gras, but it would have its moments, for savvy natives inclined to seek them out. Tess was inclined. For the first time in more than two years, she had a full-time job and a full-time boyfriend. Her life might not have the party-all-the-time euphoria of a beer commercial, but it was definitely edging into international Coffee Territory.

What do you think?

Would you keep reading?

firstparagraphEvery Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea shares the first paragraph of a book currently being read. Feel free to join the fun.

Posted in First Paragraph | 9 Comments