Happy New Year. Resolution # 1 – to start blogging more often about what I am reading and finding out what you all are reading.
I am reading right now “Outside the Ordinary World” by local author Dori Ostermiller.
So far this book is pretty good. It is about Sylvia Sandon who swore she wouldn’t become like her mother (imagine that – it seems to be a common theme) but finds that she is retracing some of her steps as Sylvia tries to create a better life in small town New England (also very common in these parts) as her marriage is failing. The beginning at least is set in California in the 1970s amidst ambient brush fires that give the sense that the world is going up in flames.
I was a little familiar with Ms. Ostermiller before because she runs the Writers in Progress Workshops in Florence, MA. I have considered attending them numerous times and still plan on it at some point. I did try to contact her a few times because she did offer manuscript critiques (for a fee which I couldn’t really afford) – but I was going to see if there was a partial critique we could do. But alas, she didn’t return my calls or emails. But when I saw her book in the library the other day I figured, she must have been busy with this.
and “At Home: A Short History of Private Life” by Bill Bryson
This book is non-fiction and is one I heard about on NPR – I ordered it from the library and had to wait. It is really interesting – taking the reader through all the rooms and passageways in a home – and in doing so going off on a million tangents about the things found in them – or in ideas (somewhat) related to that room. I started reading it because I love old houses and I wanted to know the history of the rooms. Unfortunately though, Mr. Bryson does not stick to that formula. For example, he spends the entire chapter on the Cellar (which I was very interested to learn about) talking about the history of bricks and cement. Right now – we are in the study – and he is talking about the lives and habits of rats and mice. These are interesting subjects, though I do not share his particular interest in eccentric architects, and I have kept reading – but it is not solely about the house. It should have been a clue that one of Mr. Bryson’s earlier works was “A Short History of Nearly Everything.”
So What are You Reading? Please do tell.