Meet Me At The Museum by Anne Youngson
This novel is in the form of letters between a woman living on a family farm in England and a Danish museum curator. It begins when Tina writes to the author of a book about Tollund Man, who was the previous curator. The current curator, Anders, writes to tell her that the author is dead. The correspondence continues, and they describe and discuss their daily lives, their relationships with spouses and children, and gradual explore and expand their ideas about life.
My favourite quote, because it rings very true for me right now:
"Now I only hope for a return to hope, or at least to the feeling I once had that there is satisfaction in the little things in life."
I loved this book, probably because so much of the book reflects my own thinking, even though the circumstances of my life are very different (better!), and because, although I generally like a book to have a definite ending, this one was left undecided and that was perfect.
Three Women and a Boat by Anne Youngson
Another book about women making changes in their lives as they grow older. I look forward to more from this author.
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer
This is the book I referred to last month. It is just wonderful. Kimmerer uses her beautiful writing abilities to meld her scientific knowledge with her Native American indigenous knowledge to produce a work that leaves you wanting to do all you can to heal this damaged world. It is so well written, I kept just having to read chunks out to Mac, who was also appreciative even though he isn't a reader. The mixing of science and spiritual, even within the same sentence, makes perfect sense the way she tells it. This book has taken me nine months to read: it is so delicious I would read only a few pages every few days, savouring every moment, every word, and every thought it inspired. Reading it has been like a meditation.
Honestly, if you only read one book a year, make the next book this one. You are welcome to borrow my copy.
House of Kwa by Mimi Kwa
An extraordinary tale of a woman and her family history, in Australia, Hong Kong and China. The personal histories, the cultural histories, and the conflicts between generational and geographical changes, the trials of foreign occupation during war times, and some extremely unusual personalities make for fascinating reading. It certainly made me think about how cruisy my life has been: even in lockdown level 4, we here in New Zealand have not been bombed, had our homes and belongings taken by an occupying army who also beat, raped, and murdered. A great read, highly recommended.