Saturday, September 01, 2007

"In a black and far off corner of my mind, there's a box of something I can't quite define..." - "Cigarette," by The Clarks

Just finished Anne Tyler’s Digging to America on my lunch hour. A very enjoyable book. Fans of The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf should like this. The cover blurb makes it sound as if it’s about the adoption of two little Korean girls, and while that is the catalyst for the story, it’s really about Maryam, the Iranian-American adoptive grandmother of one of the two orphans. Maryam came to the United States as a young bride, and many decades on, she still feels like an outsider. Her search for and journey to belonging forms the crux of the story; she is a strong and complex character whom I liked very much. Sometimes Tyler can be a bit wishy-washy for me, but this was a well-crafted novel that I hated to see end.


John Connolly’s Book of Lost Things spawned a flurry of emails between me and dear Suse, who apparently is as intrigued by fairy tales as I am; as many readers are, I think. My list of additional reading if you liked Book of Lost Things, in one place rather than sixteen different emails, for your perusal:

The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales – Bruno Bettelheim. Part of the canon.

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall: Women Writers Explore Their Favorite Fairy Tales - edited by Kate Bernheimer; also Bernheimer’s forthcoming (October 2007) Brothers and Beasts: An Anthology of Men on Fairy Tales.

AS Byatt’s Little Black Book of Stories, The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye, and Elementals: Stories of Fire and Ice. Byatt in her usual brilliant, lush, and enigmatic form.

Blood Red, Snow White by Ellen Datlow. Datlow has several anthologies, but this is the only one I have read. Entertaining enough.

The Outspoken Princess and the Gentle Knight - edited by Jack Zipes. Fun twists on old tales. Worth reading for Patricia Coombs’ "Molly Mullet" alone. Primo has made me read him this particular story so many times I could probably recite it verbatim.

Although I admit to abusing my professional status and searching scholarly databases for interesting articles to read, honestly, the best resource I have found, one that provided hours of fun, was this one: Sur La Lune Fairy Tales.


I am trying to like The Last Witchfinder but it’s just a wee bit precious for me. Badger suggests maybe sticking with it till the protagonist gets to America; I may try that. Or I may pick up my copy of Susann Cokal’s Mirabilis at the library and read that instead. Hmmm...witches, wet nurses, witches, wet nurses...


In other news: the dog is still here. He sleeps outside or in his crate at night now. So far, so good. I don’t mind picking up dog poop OUTSIDE.

I am in my sixteenth week and heartily sick of being sick. Excedrin and regular daily doses of Coca Cola (both okayed by my OB) have stemmed the migraines, but the nausea continues unabated. In fact, it grows worse. I don’t want to eat ANYTHING right now. It is at this point in my previous pregnancies that I wound up in the hospital, dehydrated and dizzy. I am hoping to avoid that this time.

I sat down with the official refrigerator family calendar this morning and finally filled in everything for the month of September. September is looking KEE-RAZY. I am exhausted already. In fact, I could really use a nap...


Caro said...

Nausea is the worse. I'm sorry.

Iamthebookworm said...

Feel better!

Suse said...

Sur La Lune is truly fabulous, isn't it?

Good wishes for the nausea to abate soon. Keep up the fluids!

nutmeg said...

Nausea is the pits. I remember getting so angry about it cause I couldn't read while I had it!

I'm not liking that you're not getting into The Last Witchfinder -I hope it improves!

lazy cow said...

Hope you're nausea is better. You should be receiving something in the mail any day now, and I want you to be able to enjoy it :-)