March 12, 2021 | Alyssa Y
Warmer weather is right around the corner. With the spring equinox on March 20, consider picking up one of these reads to ready yourself for spring.
What unites Katherine Mansfield, Charlie Chaplin, Shakespeare, Rilke, Beethoven, Brexit, the present, the past, the north, the south, the east, the west, a man mourning lost times, a woman trapped in modern times?
Spring. The great connective.
With an eye to the migrancy of story over time and riffing on Pericles, one of Shakespeare's most resistant and rollicking works, Ali Smith tell the impossible tale of an impossible time. In a time of walls and lockdown, Smith opens the door.
The time we're living in is changing nature. Will it change the nature of story?
Hope springs eternal.
George Eliot's beloved classic novel-hailed by Virginia Woolf as "masterful"-follows the life, loves, foibles, and politics of the residents of a fictional English town set amid the social unrest during the Industrial Revolution. A sprawling work set in a provincial English town, Middlemarch boasts a large cast of characters whose stories interweave against a backdrop of political upheaval.
Visiting Florence with her prim and proper cousin Charlotte as a chaperone, Lucy Honeychurch meets the unconventional, lower-class Mr Emerson and his son, George. Upon her return to England, Lucy becomes engaged to the supercilious Cecil Vyse, but she finds herself increasingly torn between the expectations of the world in which she moves and the passionate yearnings of her heart. More than a love story, A Room with a View (1908) is a penetrating social comedy and a brilliant study of contrasts - in values, social class, and cultural perspectives - and the ingenuity of fate.
Pearl's job is to make people happy. As a technician for the Apricity Corporation, with its patented happiness machine, she provides customers with personalized recommendations for greater contentment. She's good at her job, her office manager tells her, successful. But how does one measure an emotion?
Upset about her on-again, off-again relationship with her girlfriend Laura Dean, Freddy Riley depends on her friends, a local mystic, and a relationship columnist for help in dealing with her situation. This graphic novel, in a mostly muted pink, feels like springtime.
Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness--until she meets Ernest Hemingway and her life changes forever. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group--the fabled "Lost Generation"--that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.
From the moment she entered the world, Francie Nolan needed to be made of stern stuff, for growing up in the Williamsburg slums of Brooklyn, New York demanded fortitude, precocity, and strength of spirit. Often scorned by neighbors for her family's erratic and eccentric behavior--such as her father Johnny's taste for alcohol and Aunt Sissy's habit of marrying serially without the formality of divorce--no one, least of all Francie, could say that the Nolans' life lacked drama. By turns overwhelming, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the Nolans' daily experiences are raw with honestly and tenderly threaded with family connectedness. Betty Smith has, in the pages of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, captured the joys of humble Williamsburg life--from "junk day" on Saturdays, when the children traded their weekly take for pennies, to the special excitement of holidays, bringing cause for celebration and revelry. Smith has created a work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as deeply resonant moments of universal experience.
Siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert were planning to adopt an orphaned boy to help out around their farm, Green Gables - instead, they got Anne Shirley. A plucky redheaded girl with a vibrant imagination, Anne turns first Green Gables and then the rest of Prince Edward Island on its ear
A manga adaptation of the classic Anne of Green Gables story.
Frances Mayes entered a wondrous new world when she began restoring an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. There were unexpected treasures at every turn: faded frescos beneath the whitewash in her dining room, a vineyard under wildly overgrown brambles in the garden, and, in the nearby hill towns, vibrant markets and delightful people. In Under the Tuscan Sun,she brings the lyrical voice of a poet, the eye of a seasoned traveler, and the discerning palate of a cook and food writer to invite readers to explore the pleasures of Italian life and to feast at her table.
Delve into the magical, unforgettable world of James Herriot, the world's most beloved veterinarian, and his menagerie of heartwarming, funny, and tragic animal patients.
For over thirty years, generations of readers have thrilled to Herriot's marvelous tales, deep love of life, and extraordinary storytelling abilities. For decades, Herriot roamed the remote, beautiful Yorkshire Dales, treating every patient that came his way from smallest to largest, and observing animals and humans alike with his keen, loving eye.
The publication of Leaves of Grass in July 1855 was a landmark event in literary history. Ralph Waldo Emerson judged the book "the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom America has yet contributed." Nothing like the volume had ever appeared before. Everything about it-the unusual jacket and title page, the exuberant preface, the twelve free-flowing, untitled poems embracing every realm of experience-was new. The 1855 edition broke new ground in its relaxed style, which prefigured free verse; in its sexual candor; in its images of racial bonding and democratic togetherness; and in the intensity of its affirmation of the sanctity of the physical world.
When Molly Wizenberg's father died of cancer, everyone told her to go easy on herself, to hold off on making any major decisions for a while. But when she tried going back to her apartment in Seattle and returning to graduate school, she knew it wasn't possible to resume life as though nothing had happened. So she went to Paris, a city that held vivid memories of a childhood trip with her father, of early morning walks on the cobbled streets of the Latin Quarter and the taste of her first pain au chocolat. She was supposed to be doing research for her dissertation, but more often, she found herself peering through the windows of chocolate shops, trekking across town to try a new patisserie, or tasting cheeses at outdoor markets, until one evening when she sat in the Luxembourg Gardens reading cookbooks until it was too dark to see, she realized that her heart was not in her studies but in the kitchen.
Welcome to Edgecombe St. Mary, a small village in the English countryside filled with rolling hills and thatched cottages. There Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired) leads a quiet life valuing the things that Englishmen have lived by for generations: honor, duty, decorum, and a properly brewed cup of tea. But then his brother's death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village.