Tuesday, August 2, 2016

July Reading

I am finally getting back into reading again: after the cold-like illness that left me severely visually impaired (which led to the discovery that I have Type 2 diabetes)  I stopped reading. As my eyesight improved again, I found reading very tiring, and by the time I could easily read again, I had gotten into the habit of watching tv / Youtube. But I'm reading again, and I am so glad - my own mental pictures are so much more satisfactory than other people's interpretations.

The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure
Wendy McClure grew up loving Laura Ingalls Wilder's books. Years later, sometime after her mother's death, she found her childhood copy of Little House in the Big Wood and so her adventures began. Over the course of a year, she once again explored 'Laura World', cooking from Laura cookbooks, buying an old butter churn to make butter, and visiting museums and Laura sites. It's not just nostalgia, it's an amusingly written exploration of the differences between the books, the tv series, and the reality of Laura's life. It's also an interesting insight into how favorite books can influence a child's life and ideas right through into adulthood. I now want to read lots more about Laura's daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, who seems to have lived a fascinating life.

The Glass Butterfly by Louise Marley
A not totally convincing plot line, with a bit of woowoo, some of which annoyed me - magic for the sake of easy explanation tends to do that. And yet I enjoyed this book about a psychiatrist on the run from a murderous client. Some of the woowoo made for an interesting story, and protagonist's character was convincing.

Little Boy Blue by M.J. Arlidge
The author of this crime thriller is a tv writer who has now turned to writing novels, and I think that explains the style - I could easily imagine this being a tv series. It is part of a book series, and a bit dark for me, but although I won't go back to read the previous books, Arlidge has hooked me in sufficiently that I will be looking for the next book when it comes out: he left the main character, DI Helen Grace, in a situation such that I want to find out what happens next.

Flow: Issue 13
This quarterly (plus specials) magazine is one of the two best magazines I've ever read. (The other is the British Permaculture Magazine.) I bought it because it looked pretty and described itself as 'a magazine for paper lovers', of which I am certainly one. I feel like I want three copies: one to keep and re-read, and two to pull apart to use in my craft / art work - two so I can use both sides of every page! It has so much beauty, plus wonderful articles about 'life , the universe and everything'. I haven't quite finished reading it, but so far I have enjoyed every single article. It is the English edition of a Dutch magazine and is delightfully slightly different from English English publications. For example, in the manner of many other such magazines, there is a generous sprinkling of inspirational quotes throughout, but they are quotes I've not heard before, mostly by people I've not heard of before. There are interviews with artists. There's an article entitled "Three takes on: Why do we struggle so much with making decisions?" and the three takes are the views of a social psychologist, an author and a philosopher! It's just different and is helping me see things from slightly different perspectives. I love it.

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