It wouldn’t be summer vacation without a few great books to throw in the travel bag or take outside with a glass of iced tea for some quality time! Southern Living has put together a great list of summer books.
Commonweatlth by Ann Patchett and Before the Fall by Noah Hawley are two standouts on the list. Both are excellent reads and I can’t wait to check out some of the others! After all, summer reading is any booklover’s favorite activity!
National Poetry Month was inaugurated in 1996 and has become the largest literary celebration in the world. April, as well as being National Poetry Month, is prime time for attending steeplechases. This past weekend the Atlanta Steeplechase was held in Kingston, GA and it was a beautiful weather day with majestic thoroughbreds, playful hounds, bagpipers, and Clydesdale horses.
As at any event there are the requisite vendors and this year the Atlanta Steeplechase had someone special there. Tennent Neville, a poet from Black Mountain, North Carolina was in attendance with beautifully bound copies of his book entitled Horse Verse. Mr. Neville’s poetry is stream of consciousness verse, a literary style in which a character’s thoughts, feelings, and reactions are depicted in a continuous flow uninterrupted by objective description or conventional dialogue. According to Google, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and Marcel Proust are among its notable early exponents. Mr. Neville gave me permission to post one of his poems here for my readers:
l i f e o n a r a c e t r a c k
a m n e a r t h e f a r a w a y
t u r n o f t h e s t r e t c h
y e t n o w o n m y o w n w a y
t o t h e h o m e s t r e t c h
a n d y o u a r e h a l f w a y
a l o n g b a c k s t r e t c h
y e t o n l y o n y o u r w a y
t o o w n h o m e s t r e t c h
o f h o r s e r a c e t r a c k
My most recent book purchase has brought me a great deal of joy during this National Poetry Month and month of steeplechases. If you would like to enjoy Mr. Neville’s beautiful book and stream of consciousness verse you should write to him at P.O. Box 354, Black Mountain, NC 28711. His slim volume of poems was $20, and is well worth that for such a beautifully bound book of Horse Verse. Quite an unusual and wonderful find!
Reddit user BackForward24 has created a map where each country is represented by a book that is seen as either the most well-known or important work to come from that country. Bookstr has written a terrific post about the map and the literature the map represents. Check it out here. You will soon have 196 additional books on your “to-read” list.
Remodelista has a fascinating post today about a company named Beggars’ Velvet. For booklovers the term beggars’ velvet is interesting in and of itself and is defined as “the downy particles that accumulate under furniture from the negligence of housemaids. Otherwise called slut’s wool.”
Remodelista‘s post is entitled Beggars’ Velvet: Everyday Household Objects for the Literati and includes four objects that any booklover would covet! Check it out.
Television really seems to be having a golden age right now. A few years ago, I had completely given up on television, but with the many great dramas out there now it seems I spend quite a few hours each week watching the tube!
One show I have really enjoyed is The Young Pope. Jude Law is pleasing on the eyes and the cinematography is worth it all by itself. The music is pretty good as well. Paste Magazine posted a list of ten books to read before (or after) you watch The Young Pope. It really is a great list – every one of the books made it onto my personal “To-read” list. Now if I can just quit watching television long enough to read them.
On Goodreads, my “To-read” list has 1,237 books. I already own a few of these books (but nowhere near the entire list!) and in my remaining years, I can never hope to read all of the books on the list. Yet since January, five new books have made their way into my home. Why? Because if there is one thing I cannot resist, it is a book I want to read.
Lorraine Berry wrote an interesting essay on the history of compulsive book buying which posted to The Guardian in January. Read the entire essay. It is wonderfully written, but when you reach the end make sure you savor the last sentence. Berry’s essay only fuels a bibliomaniac’s excitement and interest in acquiring more books and that ending justifies your compulsion.
Business Insider published an article this morning on Amazon’s best book picks for the month of February. Some of the books that had already made it to my “To-read” list were also on Amazon’s list — Paul Auster’s novel 4 3 2 1 and Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. I’ve never read a book by either author, but both have been on my radar for some time. If you are a Book of the Month Club member, you may want to chose Pachinko, an epic novel that follows several generations of a Korean family.