Weeks 20, 21, 22, 23: Lovely Variety

I had such a run of lackluster books there for a few weeks! I am so glad the last four weeks have been better. Perhaps I just have an expansiveness of spirit due to the fact that I am getting more sleep (thank you JANE). 


Week 20/52: A Degree of Mastery: A Journey Through Book Arts Apprenticeship by Annie Tremmel Wilcox. 

I think most of you will think this hopelessly boring but I found Wilcox's long descriptions of working to restore damaged old books so relaxing and soothing. I would be a terrible archivist or bookbinder. I can't cut a straight line or sew on a button but I loved reading about the arcane details of the restoration process. I think it comes from the same place of my love of doing laundry. Through a task-oriented process, dirty clothes become clean clothes and old, damaged books become usable and lovely again. 

Week 21/52: Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Reading Uncle Tom's Cabin made me nostalgic for life as an English major. This novel cries out to be read in a classroom setting. So many layers. The obvious historical significance. Do you really think Lincoln told Stowe, "You are the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war." I think it's apocryphal. The novel as propaganda. Can't you imagine writing a term paper on that? The sentimentality but obvious effectiveness of the story. I cried! I was in the book's complete grip although the racial stereotypes perpetuated made me cringe. Obviously, Uncle Tom's Cabin is not a great work of art but it's an important novel nonetheless. Did anyone actually read this in high school or college?  

Week 22/52: An Unfinished Woman: A Memoir by Lillian Hellman

I have had this book since my freshman year of college (a gift from one of my sisters). I finally read it; mostly on our night away in Seattle for our ten-year anniversary. Hellman was a playwright working mostly in the 1940s and 1950s. She had a twenty-year relationship with Dashiell Hammett (The Maltese Falcon) but the two never married. Interesting memoir, interesting woman. I love reading about women who are not easy, who never do the expected. I am so glad they are out there.


Week 23/52: The Night Tourist by Katherine Marsh

I carted this book all the way to NYC and then never read it. But I loved it! Jack discovers the New York Underworld during a visit to Grand Central Station and finds himself mired in a ghostly in-between world. Good characters, good writing. 

Published by Andrea Y. Griffith

owner of browsers. former librarian. wife. mother to two tweens and the cutest labradoodle in the world.

One thought on “Weeks 20, 21, 22, 23: Lovely Variety

  1. Was that your first time reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin?
    I think I read it in middle school. And I’m pretty sure dad paid me $10 to read it. He was in this phase of saying he would pay us a little money to read some books he thought we should read.
    I’m planning to take a similar approach with my nieces.


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