I have an affiliate relationship with Bookshop.org and Malaprop's Bookstore in beautiful Asheville, NC. I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you if you purchase merchandise through links on my site. Read more on my affiliate page.
Welcome to my weekly update for March 21, 2021!
My husband and I share a car while we’re traveling with his job. I’ve been trying to drop him off at work and head over to Siesta Key for a walk as the sun comes up and before the crowds arrive. I’m not a morning person but it’s a nice way to start the day. It’s just me, a handful of other people, and the wildlife hunting for breakfast. I see dolphins almost every morning, various species of seagulls, pelicans, and even an occasional egret.
The bird below is a Reddish Egret, I believe. I had to zoom in quite a bit because I didn’t want to disturb him. The wildlife guide who took my husband and me on our “moose safari” in Maine a couple of years ago told us that a successful wildlife viewing is the one where you’re the one who walks away rather than the animal. I try to live by that little nugget of wisdom, so I’m happy with my grainy, zoomed-in cellphone shots. (If you’re curious about birds and know as little about them as I do, I recommend the Merlin app from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. I almost always find what I’ve seen and it’s easy to use.)
Unbeaten Tracks in Japan by Isabella Bird–3 Stars
Vulgar Favors: The Assassination of Gianni Versace by Maureen Orth, read by Dan Woren–3 Stars. Despite only mentioning Versace in the title, this book is essentially a biography of his killer, Andrew Cunanan. While it was pretty interesting to follow a serial killer’s descent to his final, horrific days, I don’t feel the book has aged very well since its first publication in 1999. The author seems to be titillated by details of “the gay lifestyle” because so many in the gay community were closeted at the time due to societal prejudices. Twenty years later, it came across to me as a bit voyeuristic.
The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South by Michael W. Twitty–3 Stars. Mr. Twitty has a passion for cooking and for genealogy; I don’t particularly share either interest but I do love Southern food. The book had interesting points to make but the writing style was a bit too stream-of-consciousness for my taste and left me confused about connections the author made between his enslaved ancestors and the cuisine they adapted and shared.
The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young–3 Stars. The sequel to Sky in the Deep could most likely be read as a standalone. This book tells the story of Halvard, a young boy and side character in the first book, and Tova, a girl who appeared from the sea one day and became the despised “Truthtongue” of a clan that rivals Halvard’s. The pair are very introspective, making a book about a brewing war somehow thoughtful yet largely forgettable. But I could stare at that gorgeous cover all day!
Into the Planet: My Life as a Cave Diver by Jill Heinerth, read by the author–4 Stars. This was my sleeper hit for the week. I checked it out from the library on a whim and found myself captivated by Heinerth’s journey from almost drowning as a toddler to becoming a cave diver for National Geographic. She tells some great stories, avoids technical jargon, addresses the dangers of her vocation frankly, and doesn’t pull punches when she discusses the reality of a being a woman in a male-dominated sport. Fascinating, even to this non-diver!
Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age by Bohumil Hrabal, translated by Michael Henry Heim
Slouch Witch by Helen Harper, read by Tanya Eby
I will be tremendously surprised if I finish any of these books this week. I’ve downloaded two of my current reads but haven’t started them yet and I’ve barely made a dent in Spirals in Time.
What did your week look like?
I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe in beautiful Asheville, NC. I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you if you purchase merchandise through links on my site.