Cites & Bytes @ Bailey

a library newsletter, a compendium of interesting tidbits, a communication tool....from Bailey Library @ Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. (Site Feed)

Monday, January 09, 2006

Recently Read...

Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry. This is a deeply moving book, very profound, although dealing with the seemingly uneventful life of a farm woman from Port William, Kentucky. Berry has written a series of books based in this small rural town and I plan to seek them out. Hannah Coulter is twice widowed, raises three children, cares very deeply for her home and community, and is "remembering" her life from the vantage point of old age. There were many vignettes and reflections that touched my heart, particularly those dealing with her children, her husband, and farm life. ...Possibly the beauty of the book is what it summons from its readers. Highly recommended.

Steeplechase by Jane Langton. This is the latest in a mystery/detective series featuring Homer Kelly, a likeable academic whose bumbling and shambling are endearing. I have thoroughly enjoyed the Kelly adventures that have featured New England and Italian settings, finding them to be a little bit classroom lecture, a little bit travelogue, a little bit mystery, with a lot of charming characters and author illustrations. This particular volume was a disappointment, as Homer and his wife were almost entirely peripheral to a historical recounting of a religious rift in Nashoba, Massachusetts. The "back story" was very interesting, but I missed my friends, the Kellys. I see that this is a sequel to Langton's The Deserter: Murder at Gettysburg, which may account for my feeling of coming in late.

Rituals of the Season by Margaret Maron. Another favorite mystery series (can you tell I am catching up on my Mystery Guild selections over break?) features Judge Deborah Knott and her extended family in North Carolina. In this entry, Deborah Knott is about to be married, a colleague is shot and killed while driving down the highway, two young law students are trying to stop an execution, and a fire breaks out in the country club where the wedding is scheduled. Not as interesting as some of the older entries in this series that focused more on the region, its culture, and its characters. ...Perhaps a sign that this series has "jumped the shark" for me.


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