I’m bored of packing and transporting stuff now, but there is still some to do, so I amn’t getting to do enough crocheting for my pleasure. It’s coming together, however, and hopefully won’t take too much longer. I need to get back to the Braille course as well. Somehow, though, I do seem to be getting some reading done:
134. Great Cities of the World: London by Gill Stacey
Although this book is written from an American perspective, for American and international readers, that did not grate, nor was it even so noticeable more than a couple of times. Otherwise this has good pictures among clear text.
135. The Essential Johannes Vermeer by Christopher Sweet
I have reviewed other artist biographies in this series before, but I especially like this one, despite some of the interpretations, perhaps because it includes all the paintings reliably suggested to be by Vermeer, and discusses each one as part of a flow of his oeuvre.
136. Graphic Biographies: Rosa Parks: The Life of a Civil Rights Heroine by Rob Shone, illustrated by Nick Spender
This is very clear and interesting, both in the graphic storyline and in the text introduction and appendix. I’ll look for more of the series. It is slightly hagiographic, but it is very good.
137. The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
I really like this story of M. (soon to become Taylor) Greer, who has spent her adolescence and younger adulthood preparing to leave her small town, saving money and most importantly refraining from getting pregnant. Within a couple of days of getting out she has been given a baby and in this book slowly makes them a new family circle. One thing I’m never sure of in this book is how old Taylor really is. She’s probably in her mid-twenties, but she never quite says.
The book seems very simple but there’s a lot in there, and I’m glad I reread it. I read this first a couple of years ago, and simply enjoyed and thought about it on its own merits, which are manifold. Then a few months later I found Pigs in Heaven, which is a sequel that takes apart the mechanism by which Taylor gets to keep Turtle (the baby), and which is also very good, but which for me gives this book a fairy tale gloss, as I know the happy ending can’t last and was over simplistic. I’ll probably reread that next, so will talk more about the pairing then.
Tags: Barbara Kingsolver, Bean Trees, biographies, books, children's non-fiction, Christopher Sweet, Essential Johannes Vermeer, Gill Stacey, Graphic Biographies, graphic non-fiction, Great Cities of the World, Johannes Vermeer, London, moving, Nick Spender, Pigs in Heaven, Rob Shone, Rosa Parks