Reading Recovery

  Published in the year of his death from cancer, Henning Mankell’s After the Fire is a slow examination of a seventy-year-old’s confrontation with solitude and loss.  The protagonist, a retired doctor,  lives in a archipelago being visited by an arsonist, and we begin at the site of the first fire. Finding the arsonist is relegated…

First Day of Class

There was a plan.  Drive to the station, find a parking spot, take public transport, pick up copies of my syllabus , and go to the class I was teaching with time to spare.  But where would my syllabus copies be?  There were two choices, and thinking I was being efficient,  I checked my department…

The Rain that is Raining Now

It sounds like icy rain.  A kind of sharp patter which hits the terrace in different places, making me think of hail.  The windows are blurred with it, one section of the sliding glass door thick with droplets, and the other one, on the right, is clearer.  That is because the one on the left…

What I’m Still Reading this Summer

It’s War & Peace.  I am about two hundred pages to the end.  Tolstoy has analyzed and reanalysed the crucial battle in War of 1812 between the French and Russians in Borodino.  He has come up with two excellent metaphors, one of which is likening the two sides to duelists, which makes you sigh with…

What I’m Reading this Summer

Long before I drenched myself in eau de bug spray, donned hat and gloves to weed and plant and rethink the garden, summer has meant reading.  Three months of reading novel after novel like chocolates.  For some years, when I taught full-time, I read mysteries: Dorothy Sayer, P.D. James, Martha Grimes, Reginald Hill, all of…