Yeah! Bingo is back and both Willaful and SuperWendy are already up on their blogs with their February wrap ups! This year, anyone that takes part in Bingo gets to call a square for the next month. Yep! Because I am soooo kind!
As for my reading, it is still very slumpy as the whole month was a write-off again as the heat has been horrid. So slumpy that I am counting both January and February in my wrap up and I STILL didn’t score a Bingo run!
But I did get to circle some:
Hot Hot Hot Hot
It has been so hot that and horrid that I am counting this March news article on how this was Australia’s hottest summer on record. This explains my inability to sleep, read, think and function.
Stephanie Lacava’s An extraordinary theory of objects: a memoir of an outsider in Paris. Lacava recounts her parents taking her whole family to live in Paris when she was 12 and discusses her loneliness, depression and subsequent attachment to objects to help herself to deal with her displacement. Displacement and migrant stories deeply interest me as they are so close to my own heart as the child of two migrants. However, this book’s layout, though quite interesting in that there are footnotes discussing the (hi)stories of the objects that Lacava is attached to, ended up being a big distraction away from the narrative of her experiences. My reading become fragmented between story and footnotes and this disjointed reading impacted on my immersion into Lacava’s recollections. I feel that I should have been moved but sadly, I remained distant to her experiences.
Marilyn Monroe fragments: poems, intimate notes, letters ed. Stanley Buchtal and Bernard Comment is the most impressive book design I have encountered in many years. Like Lacava’s objects, this book is the examination of the relics of Monroe’s life. From her letter to her first husband, to notes written on luxury hotel stationery to kitchen notes, each item is scanned in full for the reader to get an understanding of the medium that Monroe use to record her ideas. Her letters are left unaccompanied by anything but the barest of commentary from the editors, however her notes and poems are all transcribed on the opposite page of its scan. Unlike Emily Dickinson’s The Gorgeous Nothings which were also scans and transcriptions of her poetry that were a relatively dry treatment of a fascinating subject, Monroe’s book is warm and full of heart. It conveys her deep beauty, her vulnerability in her relations with other people and her deep love of reading. I highly recommend this wonderful book.
That would be grand
I am cheating here because I used Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love as my New to You read for SuperWendy’s TBR Challenge. But it sits well in this square because it is veddy veddy English.
I picked up Michael Browning’s Dog Eat Dog: A story of survival, struggle and triump by the man who put AC/DC on the world stage. There is no rock’n’roll, heavy metal music more pure than AC/DC. Having headbanged my youth at school discos (and the occasional wedding) to classics like Dirty Deeds, You Shook me All night long, Back in Black and the Highway to Hell, I thought I would look a little bit further into these Australian legends. Not only that, but I also live in the council area where the Young brothers grew up and my youngest son attends the same high school that Angus Young attended and Angus Young still wears the uniform of the school on stage. And to this day the school has not changed the uniform. And my son wears the Angus Young uniform everyday – short sleeved white shirt, short tight black shorts, black & grey striped tie – but he doesn’t wear the cap (many of the boys do). It is legendary in my ‘burb. Sadly, the book wasn’t. I read the middle part on AC/DC but I wasn’t all that interested in Browning’s impressive career trajectory. But still – ACCADACCA!
Tessa Dare’s Do you want to start a scandal sadly underwhelmed me. It is the first of her books to do this so I am not too worried. That said, I can’t really remember much. Spies, a house party etc etc.
Connie Brockway’s Highlander Undone was beautifully orated. I found myself much more interested in the hero Jack Cameron’s quest to find the blackguard Black Dragoon who betrayed troops in the Middle East than the love story between him and Addie. The story is about the consequences of bullying and love and honorable men and not judging someone by their profession. Well worth a read.
Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced Style is a photographic cornucopia of aged people rocking their fashion savvy. I loved their stories, I loved the photographs. I like to think that I have a distinctive style (a friend once called it Hausfrau Chic) but this book gave me even more convictions that I should go out and buy outfits that delight me. It made me wish I could sew!
Bright, inspirational and just deeply enjoyable. A great book to flip through.
Just like Wendy, I am upset that I did not score a Yeeha Cowboy square or even an Adonis square.
And I can’t find a square to relate to Leila Grudge’s picture book Gary – a pigeon who can’t fly yet needs to make his way home. It was just wonderful.
All the book read in this post have been borrowed from a public library in NSW.