June Jumping

I see June as jumping over spring. We went from low 50 degree temps to mid 90s overnight. Not sure what to make of this abbreviated spring. I’m not sure what to make of myself either. I all but stopped running (eleven miles for the entire month). Even when I was home on Monhegan I didn’t lace up. My only saving grace is I’m to start training for a half in July. Sigh…

Here are the books:

Fiction –

  • American Pastoral by Philip Roth ~ in honor of Father’s Day (AB)
  • Under the Gypsy Moon ~ by Lawrence Thornton
  • The Key to Rebecca by Ken Follett

Nonfiction –

  • Death, Taxes and Leaky Waders by John Gierach
  • Provence by Ford Madox Ford (DNF)

Series Continuations –

  • Cider with Rosie (illustrated) by Laurie Lee
  • Henry James: the Middle Year by Leon Edel (not finished yet)

For the Early Review program for LibraryThing:

  • Upstream: Searching for Wild Salmon, From River to Table by Langdon Cook
  • The World Broke in Two by Brian Goldstein (not finished yet)

Here are the short stories –

  • “Artie Glick in a Family Way” by Joseph Epstein
  • “Executor” by Joseph Epstein
  • “Mendocino” by Ann Packer
  • “Babies” by Ann Packer
  • “General Markman’s Last Stand” by Tom Paine
  • “The Spoon Children” by Tom Paine
  • “Someone to Watch Over Me” by Richard Bausch
  • “Aren’t You Happy for Me?” by Richard Bausch

Provence

Ford, Madox Ford. Provence: From Minstrels to the Machine. New York: Ecco Press, 1979.

Reason read: Ford died in the month of June in 1939.

Provence should be considered a travel book which follows the Great Trade Route “from China…to the Scilly Isles.” Aside from that, Provence is Ford’s love letter to the region. He and his travel companion will introduce you to the way to find good food in the south of France…even a good haircut.
In truth, I found Provence a bit on the didactic side. Short of being downright boring I thought it was a slow read. In the end, I ended up not finishing it.

Line that got to me the most, “But when the period of depression has been long and anxieties seem to be becoming too much for me, I make a bolt for Provence” (p 40). I get that. I’m like that about Monhegan.

Author fact: Ford had an interesting point of view concerning repeating material in different books. He felt you should have all new content in each book. So, the story he told in a previous book should not be repeated in consideration of “commercial morality” (p 14). A more trivial author fact is that Ford changed his name. That was a disappointment to learn. I liked the symmetry of Ford Madox Ford.

Book trivia: According to Ecco Press Provence in one of the neglected books of the 20th century. Another piece of trivia: illustrations in Provence were credited to someone named “Biala.” “Biala” is Mrs. Janice “Biala” Brustlein who, according to Nancy Pearl, was Ford’s lover…as they were both married to other people.

Nancy said: Nancy called Provence a “lovingly written account” (p 186).

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “Provence and the South of France” (p 186).


June Jitterbugs

May was a month of real struggle. Suicides, known and unknown, sucked the life out of my psyche and I had a hard time staying afloat myself. I became obsessed with the sinking of the Lusitania and devoured every documentary I could find. Yet, I was unsure of my own mind’s footing; enough so I couldn’t trust me or myself to stand at Monhegan’s cliff edge. A first for me. Upon returning home I found myself amazed to be so relieved at being landlocked once again.

Here are the books I have planned for June:

Fiction:

  • Under the Gypsy Moon by Lawrence Thornton
  • Key to Rebecca by Ken Follett
  • American Pastoral by Philip Roth (AB)

Nonfiction:

  • Provence: by Ford Madox Ford
  • Another Lousy Day in Paradise by John Gierach ~ June is Fishing Month

Short Stories (June is Short Story Month):

  • “Artie Glick in a Family Way” by Joseph Epstein
  • “The Executor” by Joseph Epstein
  • “Mendocino” by Ann Packer
  • “Babies” by Ann Packer
  • “The Spoon Children” by Tom Paine
  • “Gentleman Markman’s Last Stand” by Tom Paine

Series Continuations:

  • Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee
  • Henry James: the Middle Years by Leon Edel

Early Review for LibraryThing (maybe – I haven’t received it yet):

  • Upstream by Langdon Cook