A monthly post about what I've been reading.
I started the month by reading more Barbara Michaels--Sons of the Wolf, because I was reminded I enjoy Victorian gothic by February's reading and Patriot's Dream, because I remembered that it had a dream-based supernatural element, as does the book I wrote in January, and I wanted to see how Michaels handled it.
In other fiction news, I read The Atomic Weight of Love, which covers the adult lifespan of the main character who sets out to become an ornithologist but ends up married to a physicist who is hired to work on the secret nuclear installation at Los Alamos, NM. It's about the main character trying to hold onto her dreams and identity while being absorbed into someone else's world. It's sad but happy-sad, in that there's a certain amount of triumph and redemption despite it all. And I thought it was beautifully written. I also read Bewilderment by Richard Powers, which is also beautifully written but just plain sad-sad, about a single dad trying to raise an exceptional child in an ecologically damaged world.
In the nonfiction department, I read The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan, which is fun and funny (despite being about the author and her father both going through cancer treatments at the same time), although I gotta say, the idea of being part of such a loud, boisterous, in-everyone's-business family gives me hives. I also read MORE by Majka Burhardt, a memoir covering the time period from the author's early pregnancy through toddlerhood mothering twins while she was also trying to run an international conservation organization and rock- and ice-climb professionally (and also deal with the pandemic). It's ultimately about the struggle to find a way that mothers can live lives in which they do meaningful work, care for their children, and have healthy and equitable relationships with their partners. Stay tuned for my interview with Burhardt to appear in Literary Mama later this year.
And finally, for creative inspiration, I've been doing a 100 Days of Poetry project, and a friend loaned me Every Day is a Poem, by Jaqueline Suskin, which has a lovely range of exercises for all kinds of poetic expression. I also re-read Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit, which is in part what inspired me to focus on poetry now; one of Tharp's recommendations is to, after you finish a big project, put your efforts toward something totally different (thus poetry following a novel).