Teaser Tuesdays, hemingWay of the day and synchronicity: Love from Boy: Roald Dahl’s Letters to His Mother, ed. by Donald Sturrock

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat.

Teaser

hembut2
Imagine my thrill to see Roald Dahl and Ernest Hemingway walking alongside one another, pictured in my galley copy of Love from Boy, a collection of previously unpublished letters from the beloved children’s author to his mother.

love from boy

I’m afraid you’ll have to buy the book to see the photo! (It’ll be worth it.)

The caption reads,

Wing Commander Roald Dahl and his literary hero, Ernest Hemingway, in London, 1944. Roald got to meet many of the great and good in the literary world while he was in Washington. He thought Hemingway ‘a strange and secret man’ for whom he felt ‘overwhelming love and respect.’

For me, this was another moment of chimes sounding, so to speak. I hadn’t realized these two had any contact; I guess I hadn’t thought much about their contemporaneity. What fun to find that Dahl – one of my favorite authors when I was a kid – shared my appreciation for Papa’s work. Strange and secret man, indeed.

I was also interested to see Hemingway looking quite short and fat, next to the tall, thin Dahl. I’ve seen a lot of pictures of Hem: mostly the flattering ones he liked released; fewer in which he appears fatter and wearing his glasses (which he generally avoided being photographed in). While he is a perfectly distinguished-looking man here, in a suit and tie and those offending spectacles, both hands in pockets, striding purposefully across a street, beard clearly dark-going-to-gray (even in black and white) – I suspect this is not a photograph he liked. This one, taken during his third marriage, to Martha Gellhorn, hearkens to a slightly older Hemingway.

I love that there is always more to know.


This quotation comes from an uncorrected advance proof and is subject to change.

Teaser Tuesdays: The Mighty Currawongs and other stories by Brian Doyle

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat.

Teaser

Brian Doyle on books! Obviously you need this in your Tuesday.

mighty currawongs
From the story called “Elson Habib, Playing Black, Ponders the End Game”:

…one only needs a hundred books, my boy; the trick is to choose carefully which books are your companions; many people simply accumulate books and do not read them, whereas a discriminating soul has fewer books in toto but swims in them regularly; and the best books bear rereading, for somehow they always contain surprises and lessons you did not notice in previous readings. It is possible that some very good books continue to write themselves after they are published, perhaps working with their companions on the shelf, which is why I rearrange them twice a year, so as to provide them with new stimuli. Who is to say that they do not communicate among themselves, in ways only they know?

There is a whole blog post hidden in here about book ownership: how many, how stored, how arranged, how loved, how many read vs. unread. Incidentally, I am preparing for another cross-country move, so packing & choosing books again. Today, I don’t want to muck up Doyle’s lovely words. That blog post will come (and you will be asked about your own habits!).

But for today, go back and reread those lines, above. Happy reading.


This quotation comes from an uncorrected advance proof and is subject to change.

Teaser Tuesdays: The Hidden Lives of Owls: The Science and Spirit of Nature’s Most Elusive Birds by Leigh Calvez

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat.

Teaser

I haven’t done a synchronicity post in a while, but here we are. Just the other day, on a mountain bike ride in Squamish, B.C., Husband and I had to stop to observe this guy (or girl?) sitting in a tree, watching us.

(click to enlarge)

Husband got up pretty close.

(click to enlarge)

My research when I got home tells me that this is a Barred Owl.

And then I started reading this book, The Hidden Lives of Owls: The Science and Spirit of Nature’s Most Elusive Birds. From the chapter on Barred Owls, which is titled “Opportunistic”:

hidden lives of owls

Barred Owls are the opportunists of the owl world. Like coyotes, Glaucous Gulls, rats, and cockroaches, Barred Owls are not picky about what they consume.*

In other words, they are the scavengers, the ones happy to be near humans – the commensal species. I guess this explains the ease with which we encountered one, too: they are considered an invasive species around here by many scientists. It would have been much more remarkable to see a Northern Spotted Owl; but they prefer old growth, where the Barred Owl is easier to please.

I am always pleased when my reading aligns with my life.


This quotation comes from an uncorrected advance proof and is subject to change.

*Note: the author states that she capitalizes all official bird names according to the customs of the International Ornithologists’ Union. In this teaser, it looks a little funny next to lower-case coyotes and rats; but I guess those aren’t the official names, anyway.

Teaser Tuesdays: Women Lovers, or The Third Woman by Natalie Clifford Barney, ed. and trans. by Chelsea Ray

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat.

Teaser

woman lovers
This was a fun, thought-provoking one: short, and simultaneously animated (if one were to read the novel alone, for enjoyment) and dense (if one were to read all the introductory materials and take an academic stance).

I couldn’t choose, so here are two teasers.

First, to outline pithily the opinion of our protagonist (a thin veil for the author herself):

(Couples) were the first bourgeois!

So boring!

Or more dramatically:

Chopped into bits, our feelings were still twitching, even though they were deprived of the very thing that gave them life.

I love the imagery: feelings not only made physical, but made to physically suffer.

Keep your eyes open for Women Lovers.


This quotation comes from an uncorrected advance proof and is subject to change.

Teaser Tuesdays: Riverine: A Memoir from Anywhere but Here by Angela Palm

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat.

Teaser

riverine

I am observing a real trend in my reading, and in the reading I’m enjoying most, toward Graywolf Press and their Nonfiction Prize. That is only one of the promising aspects of this book.

I usually handpick teasers for you, but for this one I decided to open the book randomly to a page I haven’t yet read. And I am not disappointed.

The fields that surrounded my new home were laden with a history that I could not yet unpack. They were neither romantic nor scary.

But, it is implied, they became so? This one does tease.

This quotation comes from an uncorrected advance proof and is subject to change.

Teaser Tuesdays: This Is Where You Belong by Melody Warnick

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat.

Teaser

You might have noticed my interest in writing with a strong sense of place, or place-based writing. You might have also noticed that my family moved ~2,500 miles about 18 months ago. And so books like this one always catch my eye. Melody Warnick is a quirky, likeable narrator who makes a quite serious quantity of research easily manageable in her study of the “art and science” of place attachment.

this is where you belong
Here’s a meta-meta teaser to blow your mind today.

“Edmund Wilson once wrote that no two people ever read the same book, and I’ve come to believe that no two people ever live in the same city,” notes the writer Emily St. John Mandel. Our experience of the place where we live depends entirely on who we are, how we interact with it, and how we interpret what’s happening around us. We create our places every day by the way we choose to view them.

You will recall how I’ve enjoyed Emily St. John Mandel (here, here). This is Warnick quoting Mandel quoting (the critic) Wilson: whoa. And what a perfect sentiment. I’m all about this theory of infinite relativity, myself: that all our experiences are always relative, individual, and subjective. So no one who loves a place is ever “wrong”, and a person who hates a place is only “wrong” in that they’ve failed to leave room for someone else’s love.

Lots more place-relative wisdom on offer in This Is Where You Belong. Stay tuned.

This quotation comes from an uncorrected advance proof and is subject to change.

Teaser Tuesdays reprise: The Mindful Writer by Dinty W. Moore

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat.

Teaser

mindful writerI know, I know: we just had a teaser from this book last week. I couldn’t help myself. Anyway, these are not Dinty Moore’s words, precisely. They are words chosen by him.

If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in (every) sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist.

From Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh, as quoted by The Mindful Writer, in suggesting mindfulness and the awareness of connections, seeing past the surface of things. And a lovely image & concept to keep in mind, I think.

This quotation comes from an uncorrected advance proof and is subject to change.

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