And Back Again (plus thoughts on Ship Fever by Andrea Barrett)
I had a wonderful time with my family: cosy talks, memorable events, and plenty of love and silliness to go around. I must admit, there wasn’t much time for darkness or reading, but I managed to sneak in a bit of both nonetheless. And now I’m back in a wintry land and could not be more pleased about the months ahead of me.
I’m writing from my phone, as some unavoidable errands since I’ve been back have left me armchair bound for a bit, so I haven’t been able to do the blog freshening that comes with the new year. While I was gone I missed my eighth blogiversary, but as I’ve been more quiet than talkative lately, that felt appropriate. I hope my ninth arrives with more fanfare!
There hasn’t been much rhyme or reason to my reading so far. A couple days into the new year, I stumbled across Ship Fever by Andrea Barrett while thrifting. I remembered seeing this short story collection in a Barnes and Noble display once and longing for it (it was published in 1996 so it must have been a themed display), so I brought it home with me. Serendipity was kind and it set a wonderful tone for this year’s reading: the stories were all influenced by natural history, and anchored by women, and alternated pleasingly between historical and contemporary settings. I’ll definitely be reaching for more Barrett when I’m in the mood for scientifically bookish characters (let’s face it: I’m always in that sort of mood!). It would make an excellent group read with Martha Southgate’s The Taste of Salt and any of the fabulous women nature writers out there (a random handful: Sy Montgomery for foreign explorations, Lyanda Lynn Haupt for either her Darwin biography or her books encouraging every day amateur naturalists, Gale Lawrence for New England backyard observations, Mary Blocksma for the Lake Michigan area). Oh and perhaps throw in Chrysalis, a biography of Maria Sibylla Merian, and A.S. Byatt’s Angels and Insects. This is clearly a theme close to my heart!
And now I look forward to all of the best of lists surely waiting for me in my feed reader, as well as any new resolutions you’ve all embarked on. I’m also (somewhat belatedly) taking advantage of quiet nights to begin imagining shapes for this year. I’ll share my bookish plans as soon as they’re clear.
P.S.: please forgive any formatting errors, include a lack of italicised titles. I’m entirely new to mobile blogging.