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Pickle Me This

March 17, 2010

Summer Summer Summer!

There are crocuses up in the garden across the street, and the sun was shining bright today. So bright so that I’ve got summer on the brain, even though it isn’t even spring until next weekend. But we’ve just booked our summer vacation, a cottage week away with a  lovely lake almost at our doorstep, and I’m so excited for that.

I’m also excited about my summer rereading project. Every summer (except for last summer, during which a newborn was all the reading restriction I needed) I make a point of spending most of my time rereading all kinds of books, each for varying reasons. I’m already compiling this year’s stack– I want to revisit February by Lisa Moore (because of all the negative reviews I’ve read since, and I’m confused as to where they were coming from), Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner (to ensure it still stands up two years later), Small Ceremonies by Carol Shields (because because because), Anne of Windy Poplers by LM Montgomery (because of Kate), something early by Margaret Drabble (because I love her), Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion (because I always do), and Still Life With Woodpecker (as part of the retro reading challenge).

3 thoughts on “Summer Summer Summer!”

  1. Mark says:

    I can recommend Drabble’s The Waterfall, published in 1969 when she was just a whippersnapper. I read it last summer and quite enjoyed it. Of course, it pales in comparison to The Seven Sisters, but that is of course a much more recent novel (2003).

  2. Kerry says:

    I’ve read all of Drabble’s novels– I first discovered her in 2004, and then devoured the rest in the next couple of years. The Radiant Way is my favourite, and also The Middle Ground. I did like The Seven Sisters, and The Red Queen too, and her most recent The Sea Lady was weird but I loved it and even more so on a second read.

    Perhaps I *will* reread The Waterfall. Her early novels have all kind of blended together in my head, so I can’t remember it. (It seems to me that her early novels were very much of their time, and so seem a bit dated now. Not to undermine their literary value, but it’s a point worth making. Perhaps is one of the biggest appeals of The Radiant Way, actually. The depiction of Britain on the cusp of the 1980s.)

    I also love her because her recent books have really challenged the limits of the novel. It’s put some of her readers off, but I am fascinated to see her trying out new things. Though I’m sad to think she doesn’t plan to write any more novels. I also very much enjoyed her memoir that came out in the UK in the spring. Very odd, but wonderful.

    Anyway, you’ve got me started. I am a Drabble maniac. I wrote her a letter a few years ago and she sent an incredibly prompt postcard reply which I will cherish for all of my days.

  3. Carrie says:

    I love Anne of Windy Poplars!!! I’ve read that one more than any of the other Anne books–and I’ve read it often as an adult, revisiting it every couple of years. It’s written more like short stories, very episodic, which might be why I love it. L.M. Montgomery has a tendency to list toward the maudlin and romantic, and that is the case in this book, too, but I don’t mind in the least. Anne is a wonderful living character in this book. Just thinking about it makes me want to enjoy it all over again.

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