Discovered the blog of a kindred spirit, literarily speaking: http://worthwhilebooks.blogspot.com/ She had me at:
If I have to pick between a Protestant novelist or a Catholic one, I almost always choose the latter.
Indeed. It does seem like our Catholic brethren and sisteren — write better prose. Maybe liturgical traditions do story better. Protestants have other strengths.
She reads a book a week, or so. I do not. I used to. The internet has done a number on me there; I find it hard to settle down for sustained reading. But her taste and criteria are very similar to mine, and I’m glad for the recommendations. Her blog includes not only “worthwhile” book (print) but also audiobooks from Librivox and “worthwhile” movies. On her recommendation I’m now listening to a Librivox version of The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. I agree, the quality of the reading is great. It’s like the reader is narrating her own experience.
Tonight was a lovely evening. Dry and not too hot out, and the mosquitos were driven away, I guess, by the neighbor’s bonfire. We grilled and ate salmon and vegetables on the back porch while ds19 serenaded us with some of his recent songs. After dinner we talked about cover songs that his band does when it performs in bars and how they compare to cover songs that bands used to do when we were young . “Proud Mary” and “Jeremiah was a Bullfrog” were enthusiastically received from the bands that played when I worked as a busgirl at Antone’s Wagon Wheel Supper Club on Saturday nights in my mid-teens. Ds19’s band gets an enthusiastic response when they play Margaritaville and Bad Romance (link goes to an a capella university men’s choir version!) — but he had never heard of Proud Mary. Imagine that!
Earlier in the day I planted an oakleaf hydrangea on the north side of the house. This is a plant I have been wanting for a long time, and never had seen at the local nurseries. Beans to Blossoms had a row of them for sale when I was there the other day, and only $11 each. I think I am going to buy at least one more. Oakleaf hydrangeas have many virtues — lovely interesting foliage, beautiful conical sprays of flowers, and the leaves change color beautifully in the fall, too.