Stuff I’m Reading Lately, or Goin’ Dutch

Wow, busy week, but I still did manage to squeeze in a few books.

I'm currently reading The Women of the House: How a Colonial She-Merchant Built a Mansion, A Fortune and a Dynasty by Jean Zimmerman, Pride and Prejudice by Do I Need to Tell You Dear God I Hope Not, and also a volume of poetry I was sent to review for Jacket Magazine, Jagged With Love by Susanna Childress.

The Women of the House is about early Dutch settlers in the New World in the 1600s, and the detail is fascinating. Being of Dutch ancestry myself, I have ancestors who settled in this country before it was this country. What's in this book outlines what their lives would have been like. Fascinating to me, but I'm sure your average history buff would also love it, especially if you're into either colonial history or the history of some of the strong women who helped form the United States. Inspirational stuff.

I'm reading Pride and Prejudice in order to lead the discussion for the online classics book group I've recently started up for my library. It's a re-read so many times over I can't even name a number. Four? Five? Twelve? Something like that. It's a truth universally acknowledged that I absolutely love reading this book, and I'm not sure I have a limit on how many times I'm willing to re-read it. Plus, Colin Firth was really hot as Darcy in the film adaptation. But I digress.

I've recently joined the review staff of Jacket Magazine, and Jagged With Love will be the first volume of poetry I've ever reviewed. What a way to start. It's often sultry and passionate, filled with plenty of pain and angst of the dysfunctional family variety. Add a hefty dose of creativity, a well-crafted turn of phrase, shake well, and you have one great read. But don't just take my word for it, Billy Collins awarded it the Brittingham Prize for Poetry. Susanna Childress is off to an auspicious start. Rock on, Susanna.

Leftover from last week's post, I have completed Mark Haddon's A Spot of Bother: A Novel. If you enjoyed the curious incident I don't see a reason on earth you won't love his latest. Two thumbs so far up I can't help fearing I look rather unsubtle, or, as Sponge Bob would say, FANCY.

A great reading week, though more disjointed due to the intrusiveness of blasted REAL LIFE. On I journey, tally ho and pip pip.

Read on, my good man!

- Lisa Guidarini

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