I'm reading everything I can. Having written THE END to the never-ending work in progress, I'm flitting from book to book like a humming bird stoking up on nectar while the flowers are still in bloom.
I just began Erik Larson's DEAD WAKE, the story of the last voyage of the Lusitania and I'm captivated by the writing and the detail.
Waiting in the wings is Ann Patchett's THIS IS THE STORY OF A HAPPY MARRIAGE. A friend sent it to me, saying it made her think of me so naturally I'm eager to dive in and find out why.
A few days ago I read this charming little book - EXIT LADY MASHAM by Louis Auchincloss. Many years ago I was enthralled by the BBC series THE CHURCHILLS about the Duke of Marlborough and and his wife, the redoubtable Sarah and the close relationship she had with Queen Anne. This book is the story of Sarah's poor cousin Abigail Hill who Sarah places as a chambermaid to the Queen and who eventually supplants the Duchess in the monarch's affections. I found it fascinating.
I also treated myself to a re-read of some five collections of James Thurber's short pieces. These books date from my college days and are mostly falling to pieces. But Mr. Thurber's quirky humor (which dates even farther back) can still make me laugh out loud.
And there's this curiosity: a book written in the early 1900s about a family in Virginia on a plantation with sixty slaves during the Civil War. I had it around as part of my background reading and dabbed at it, mainly enjoying the really lovely pen and ink illustrations. But it was still around so I read it all the way through, and realized that this said so much about the South -- the South my grandparents believed in and that today's rebel flag wavers still believe in.
It's insidiously charming -- the few slaves that are on stage are happy and loyal, even when their mistress tells then they can leave. And after the war though all leave to taste freedom, many return.
There's a good essay waiting to be written about this book. If any of you are interested in reading it, it's free or very cheap on Kindle. (My copy was acquired at a library book sale. The last time anyone checked it out was August 25, 1958.)