So I’ve been busy with life lately and then also been reading a few good books. As happens though, sometimes not every title triggers the amount of thought and comment that will make a good blog post… These are some of those titles.
Tamara Drew (2008) – Posy Simmonds
A graphic novel that has been described as “loosely based” on Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd (1874). I enjoyed this read – Simmonds is a good graphic artist who can tell a fast-moving narrative, but I don’t know that I agree with others who claim it’s based on the Hardy novel. Perhaps one needs to be more of a Hardy scholar to see the majority of the references, but I could only find a few in my re-read of this graphic novel. On its own merits, Tamara Drew is a good read – it’s a bit too far-removed from my knowledge of the original source for it to be as satirical as some reviewers say wrt Hardy.
Essays of E. B. White (1977)
Although this was rather a random pick at the recent FoL book sale and mostly chosen as I was in the mood for essays that were well written, I am really enjoying this read. It’s a second volume of essays written by E. B. White (of Strunk and White, Charlotte’s Web etc.) and they were chosen by the author mostly because he just liked them. They’re not listed in any particular order and go back to the 1950’s in some cases, but the descriptions and the writing structure is *perfect*. I won’t say that every essay is fantastic, but if you’re looking for examples of extremely good writing, succinct without being barren, and with gorgeous details about a quiet life in the New England countryside, this will be a good fit for you. The action is not edge-of-your-seat, but more in line with the humor and sense of CBS Good Morning – just reflections, really, of life as it was lived by White and some of his neighbors. More later, but this is a super read.
And then, as a pop cultural aside, how about the finale of Breaking Bad?… And, if you didn’t catch this, NPR has this to say about why a lot of people still like Walter White…