34-36 Down

Last week I was on the road for work travel and personal travel–that means I had more time to read and get even closer to my 50 Books in 2012 goal.

A few of the recent books to share with you today:

The Ruins of Lace by Iris Anthony.  This story follows multiple characters in 16th Century Europe.  The King of France has outlawed any non-French lace – but people want Flemmish lace.  There’s an underground smuggling industry that procures the lace to use to buy anything and everything.  The women who make the lace age quickly–they make intricate lace in low-light, hunched over and kept warm by animals being kept in the same rooms where lace is made (they can’t risk the use of fires–the soot could ruin the lace).  This was a light read but an interesting look into an industry and lifestyle I didn’t know anything about prior to reading this.  There was a disturbing side to the lace smuggling – dogs were used.  The chapters told from the dog’s point of view where heart-wrenching.  I’ll just leave it at that.

Speaking of dogs…a lighter read that I was hoping would be funny–Walking in Circles Before Lying Down by Merril Markoe.  Not so much.  The only way I can explain it was that it was dumb.  It’s the story of a girl who is down on her luck–bad boyfriends, out-there sister, and her dog is her pal.  But she starts to hear voices–of her dog and any dog.  She’s not quite sure what’s going on.  Some of the lines from the dogs are funny but it was just a really odd story.

A really, really, really good book:  Eternal on the Water by Joseph Monninger.  Very sad, though.  From the first chapter you know the end of the story.  But it’s so well-written that you have to/want to keep reading.  Warning–you will need tissue to make it through the last few chapters.  This is the kind of book that brought out my ugly cry.

Main characters Cobb and Mary meet at a trailhead in Maine – they are both ready to launch on a kayaking trip down the Allagash waterway.  Cobb is a teacher and is taking time to retrace Thoreau’s own voyage.  Mary is a crow researcher who also helps at a camp for girls–girls who are fighting illness.  Mary used to be one of these campers.  She has Huntington’s disease.  Cobb and Mary fall quickly and deeply in love but face the fact that Mary’s health and well-being will decline.  Their love story is beautiful and intense.  I highly recommend this book!  Here’s an interview with the author:

 

My library queue exploded–all of these books became available yesterday–I better get cracking!

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