Tuesday, August 30, 2016

words and music

 This guy has been on my lap every night throughout winter it seems. He is aging and spending less and less time patrolling the neighbourhood, probably more due to age than temperature. That makes three of us!

I just finished my third Donna Tartt novel, having started with her most recent (The Goldfinch, brilliant), followed by her second (The Secret History, almost as brilliant), and now the third (The Little Friend, possibly the most brilliant). Now I am onto Richard Flannigan's The Narrow Road to the Deep North which comes passionately regarded by several friends. 
There are a number of books I have read twice;
Dirt Music- Tim Winton
The Unbearable Lightness of Being- Milan Kundera
Burial Rites- Hannah Kent
Everything is Illuminated - Jonathon Safran Foer
The Buddha of Suburbia - Hanif Kureshi

..and those I have read three times;
The Razor's Edge - W.Somerset Maugham
Cloudstreet -Time Winton
Bliss - Peter Carey
A Year of Wonders - Geraldine Brooks
Cold Mountain - Charles Frazier
Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez 
Most of which, after some time, I could possibly even read again.

There are some I will definitely re-read;
Foal's Bread - Gillian Mears
The Signature of All Things - Elizabeth Gilbert
The Luminaries - Eleanor Catton
The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt
The Old Man and the Sea - Earnest Hemingway
A Little Life - Hanya Yanagihara

I want to love a piece of writing so much that I want to dive into it again and again, re-discover its jewels (a song writing teacher once spoke of Joni Mitchell's lyrics as such. A wonderful analogy). 
I think I am fairly typical in my choice of reading material -if I am looking for books on the shelf without a recommendation, then I am drawn to the ones with beautiful covers. Once that door is open, if I'm not drawn in after the first few pages, it would be rare for me to keep going, unless a trusted source assures me that I won't be disappointed! 

I haven't gone down the kindle path. I accept the practicality of such a device, especially for travel, but the joy of a paper-paged book in my hand is such that I will lug our library of books around into my twilight years. There are so many wonderful books that our kids are yet to discover. And all their beautiful books I will keep for the grand children. 

 I've been hanging out of late with these two fellas, helping them with their harmonies and being a happy guinea pig for their new material which, if you are lucky, you will one day be witness to on the streets or at a festival somewhere. They have that rare and prolific creative relationship that Jennifer Saunders spoke of when she talked about herself and Dawn French - that the minute they sat down to write, their simpatico sense of humour had its own momentum. Nice.

My (not so) little guy went busking for the first time on the weekend. It of course had the miraculous effect of inspiring practice, the results of which were evident. The experience was a pleasure for him; to over come nerves, take initiative for his independence, and see how much people enjoyed hearing him play. 
I'm swapping singing lessons for French lessons - I've been wanting to have lessons for a long time, to rejuvenate the high school French rattling around in my head and to fine tune the French songs I love to sing. Singing in languages other than English is my preferred choice. I love languages and their musical nature - every language has particular rhythm and tone. 

What are you reading, knitting, listening to, taking up, now that Spring is upon us?


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