It was a still, deep-breathing summer night, full of the smell of the hay fields. Sounds of laughter and splashing came up from the pasture, and when the moon rose rapidly above the bare rim of the prairie, the pond glittered like polished metal, and she could see the flash of white bodies as the boys ran about the edge or jumped into the water. Alexandra watched the shimmering pool dreamily, but eventually her eyes went back to the sorghum patch south of the barn, where she was planning to make her new pig corral.
And that, my friends is why I read O’Pioneers. Which I had not planned, but the lives of the Swedish immigrants living on their farms in Nebraska at the turn of the last century put a spell on me. And of course Willa Cather, who I decided must have been friends with Mary Oliver in another life and time, writes so beautifully.
…looking at the stars which glittered so keenly through the frosty autumn air. She always loved to watch them, to think of their vastness and distance, and of their ordered march. It fortified her to reflect upon the great operations of nature, and when she thought of the law that lay behind them, she felt a sense of personal security.
Afterwards I was swept up in this historical fiction which captured the lives of the abolitionist Grimké sisters in mid-19th century South Carolina. So now I’m convinced I need to watch THIS.
And all of that led to this…
Which coincidentally takes place on a Swedish farm, in Sweden. I’m in need of a thriller and this one may do it! It should carry me through mid-November and then I’ll go back to the last book post HERE and comb through some more of the fabulous recommendations and any you happen to leave on this post of course.
So do share, but Only 1or 2 of your current reads please, not a list of past favorites. Makes it too difficult to wade through the list. But I AM curious about what’s in your hands these long November nights.
Debbie Raymond says
As long as you’re in a Willa Cather mode, don’t miss Death Comes for the Archbishop. Willa’s words always leave me grateful and filled.
Judy H. says
Recently read The Invention of Wings and found it fascinating (though very disturbing). Did not know about the PBS series, so will be on the lookout for that.
oh, and before that I read The Hardy Boys #1, The Tower Treasure- got it for $1 at the used book store. (the 1959 edition, so it was updated somewhat, but not modernized too, too much, thank goodness.) I read Nancy Drew when I grew up, but never any of The Hardy Boys books… it was actually pretty good; I like the ‘quaintness’ or more formal tone of the language, compared to today’s manner of speaking– calling their friends ‘fellows’ or ‘chaps’ and tooling around on their motorbikes and in jalopies– it was great fun, and just like when I used to read Nancy Drew, I wished I could go along with them on their mystery-solving adventure!
ahhh, one of my favorites!! …she has such a lyrical way of describing the open plains and prairies, I can almost smell the hay fields and feel the sunshine. Right now I’m reading Barbara Bush’s memoirs, and although I can only read a few pages at a time (non-fiction is slower reading for me than fiction), it’s very interesting. She kept journals and wrote alot of letters, so her descriptions of political and historical events is written from a more ‘personal’ perspective.
I am reading ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ and loving it! Such a beautifully written book. A lot of talk about food, France and India. What’s not to like? I totally recommend it!
Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel. How is art important to humanity?
If you lived in the St. Augustine/Jax area, you might like Heart of Palm by Laura Lee Smith. I like the sense of place she conjures.
Bobette Godding says
“Rules of Civility” and “Eve in Hollywood” by Amor Towels – Rules relates to those devised by George Washington – you may find useful in your teaching.
The author’s language and rhythm had me at the first sentence so much so that I think I read in a little more than one sitting and immediately went to buy the follow up “Eve” book. Enjoy.
Kate Burroughs says
Just finished reading “All The Light We Cannot See”. Good read.
Mary Ann, have you checked out this site
Heaps of free ebooks which are public domain. Lots of books available which are no longer in print.
I also love audio books, great to listen to whilst doing arty stuff!
“Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” It’s a tough read, because of the subject matter. But as Edmund Burke wisely said,“Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” The witness based accounts are quite eloquent and the reader is given a glimpse of everyday life of many tribes.
I just read “We are All Completely Beside Ourselves” by Karen Joy Fowler. A remarkable, engrossing novel.
Just going to start A HARVEST OF SUNFLOWERS, Ruth Silvestre. I’ll be having knee surgery so I want something light and uplifting. I very much enjoyed the earlier book, A HOUSE IN THE SUNFLOWERS.
I also just finished THE BURGESS BOYS, Elizabeth Strout and am still a bit on the fence about it. Perhaps I just didn’t want such a dysfunctional family.
Recently finished THE HUSBAND’S SECRET (recommended one of your blog readers) I really enjoyed the book. Kept me guessing and didn’t figure out the secret before it was revealed. I really liked the epilogue that tells what if…..had the book continued…it was a different twist.
The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams
The Widower’s Tale by Julia Glass (Both recommended by your blog followers)
Carol Weiler says
Currently reading Some Luck by Jane Smiley….enjoying.
Currently reading Cop Town by Karin Slaughter. Last book I read was Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowelll (recommended by your sister 🙂
The Farm was a super story! It kept me engrossed – I listened to it as an audiobook. For a change of pace…The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. Loved it.
Lynda Fishbourne says
Ahh, The Invention of Wings was great. Now reading Rust by Julie Mars about a woman artist in New Mexico and Garden of Bliss by Debra Moffit about our soulful, internal secret garden.
Erika N says
Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking- an “autobiography” of the author and her family (she and her mom immigrated to the US back in the 70’s) all connected to food and the history of the USSR.
Just finished Burmese Days by George Orwell, Irish Eyes by Mary Kay Andrews and currently reading Coronation Talkies (which I saw reviewed here) and Harold Moore: A Soldier Once…And Always.
Elizabeth Helwig says
Finishing up with Edge of Eternity, last of a Ken Follett trilogy. This may take a while as they are lengthy.
Nest on my List is All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. It came highly recommended by a dear friend who shares my eclectic taste in books.
Janet Ghio says
I’m just about to finish The Invention of Wings. Really god book. Keep sharing those titles–you’ve come up with some great recommendations in the past.
History of The Rain – just beginning – “We are our stories. We tell them to stay alive or keep alive those who only live now in the telling. That’s how it seems to me, being alive for a little while, the teller and the told.”
All the Light We Cannot See -France WW II – stories within stories within stories
Both novels you submerge in and come up, sometimes, gasping for air.
lianne depino says
The Winter People. Good spooky story. Fast read.
I’m going to check out The Farm as I love a good thriller! Currently reading The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson and am enjoying it. It’s quirky.
Mary Ann Moss says
marcy in another life i lived in florida. spent much time at st. augustine beach in the 80’s. drove to key west from jacksonville with my sister once. my godmother lives in fernadina beach and i’ve spent time in gainesville & fort. meyers, st. petersburg. also drove over an alligators tail once on some little road – hwy 20 i think…in the panhandle heading towards jacksonville. total accident.
the book sounds good! i’ll check it out
The Paying Guests – yummy
Last book in the Ken Follett Trilogy The Edge of Eternity and before that Unbroken by Laurie Hildebrant. Unbroken was riveting. The Follett juries still out at 20 % done. Also reading One Drawing A Day by Veronica Lawlor. Lots of good ideas.
Loved the Invention of Wings though it horrified me too. Read every Willa Cather I could find back in school.
Connie Rose says
Just read The Invention of Wings last weekend — great book. Have you read Tana French? Irish author, writes mystery/suspense. Really good books. Start with In The Woods.
marcy Brennan says
A Land a Remembered. It’s a gripping novel of a pioneer family from Georgia who moved to Florida during the Civil War. It’s an amazing story and you’ll learn history to boot. Can’t say enough about this. Plus you live in CA. We in Florida are a “world away” from you out there. It will open your horizons to our “neck of the woods”.