Books and Spooks

If you have been keeping up with me, myself and moi then you know we love Halloween. Odd. Odd because we can’t watch Walking Dead or go to Fright Fest without peeing our pants. What I love about Halloween is the potential for witchcraft, darkness & something intangibly spooky, if that makes sense. I love mysteries and there is no greater mystery than death. Right? Jack-o-Laterns glowing on doorsteps. Ominous crows watching silently from the trees. Candlelight shadows wavering on the wall. Cemeteries shrouded in the fog…I love it all.
In other news, I bailed for the first time ever on a half marathon but made it home-home to put up a ceiling for my mother. And speaking of Monhegan, we almost got caught in Hurricane Matthew! Somehow we managed to get out just in time.
Having said all that, unrelatedly here are the books:

  • The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright – to continue the series started last month in honor of Enright’s birth month. Took me two days to read.
  • Merry Misogynist by Colin Cotterill – to continue the series started last May in honor of Rocket Day. Took me two days to read.
  • Texaco by Patrick Chamoiseau – in honor of magical realism month. Took me the entire month and I still didn’t finish it.
  • A Blessing on the Moon by Joseph Skibell – an audio book in honor of Halloween (this was my favorite story).
  • Drink to Yesterday by Manning Coles – in honor of Octoberfest in Germany. Another really short book.
  • The Ape and the Sushi Master by Frans de Waal – in honor of Gorilla month being in October.
  • The Aeneid by Virgil – in honor of Poetry month (celebrated in Great Britain).
  • Hush by Jacqueline Woodsen – an audio book in honor of kids. This was only three discs long.

For fun:

  • The Code of the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani because I saw it in a running magazine.

For LibraryThing: nada


Aeneid

Virgil. The Aeneid. Translated by Robert Fitzgerald. New York: Everyman’s Library, 1992.

Reason read: Great Britain celebrates poetry in the month of October. Virgil’s birth month is in October as well.

This is another one of those stories that has been reviewed a thousand and one, maybe two, times in this year alone. What could I possibly add that hasn’t already been said? Nothing! But, here are my observations: The Aeneid is a true adventure – a look towards the future and the promises made. There are twelve books in the epic poem. The first six cover Aeneas and his wanderings after surviving the Trojan war. The second half of the poem are the Trojan War.
And having said that, Aeneas reminds me of Dorothy Dunnett’s character, Francis, from the Lymond series. He is that deeply flawed hero that everyone loves. Much like how Gregory Maguire chose to tell the story of the wicked witch of the west, Virgil tells the other side of the Trojan War story. Instead of following Odysseus, we focus on Aeneas, the defeated Trojan.

All the usual suspects are there: Neptune, Venus, Achilles, Cupid, Pygmalion, Juno, Dido…

Quote I liked, “I sing of warfare and a man at war” (p 4 – the opening line). What promise that line brings!

Author fact: The Aeneid was the last thing Virgil was working on before his death.

Book trivia: The first edit of The Aeneid happens on the anniversary of my father’s passing, September 21st.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “Poetry: a Novel Idea” (p 186).


Aught to be October

October is…another half marathon. Maybe another trip to Monhegan (not sure yet thanks to it being hurricane season) but what I’m sure about is definitely reading more, more, more books!

  • Texaco by Patrick Chamoiseau – in honor of magical realism month
  • The Merry Misogynist by Colin Cotterill – to continue the series started in May in honor of Laos Rocket Day
  • A Blessing on the Moon by Joseph Skibell (AB) – in honor of Halloween
  • Toast to Tomorrow by Manning Coles – in honor of October being the best time to visit Germany. Note: just found out this is the second Tommy Hambledon book in the series so you will probably see A Drink to Yesterday before A Toast to Tomorrow.
  • Ape and the Sushi Master by Frans de Waal – in honor of October being Gorilla Month
  • The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright – to “continue” the series started in September in honor of Enright’s birth month (yes, another series read slightly out of order).

For fun:

  • The Code of the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani. Don’t ask.

If there is time I would like to add Aeneid by Virgil in honor of Great Britain’s poetry month.