• Francine Cunningham

What I read in July

This month was a bit slow on the reading front. I had such a huge stack! Ah well, next month. I have my Goodreads Goal set for 80 books this year, I am so far like ten behind where I need to be. But it was a lot harder to read when I discovered Tom Hardy this month. And then realized that he is a terrific actor and that I had to watch all his films because he just kept getting better and better, I mean Bronson, Warrior, The Drop, Locke, The Take — just so good. But I digress, back to books.


Twenty EightThe Outsiders by S.E Hinton.

I am super late to this book, like 60 years too late. But I enjoyed it! I cried over Johnny. It was just so sad. I can totally see how youth are drawn to this book.

"I could picture hundreds and hundreds of boys living on the wrong sides of cities, boy with black eyes who jumped at their own shadows. Hundreds of boys who maybe watched sunsets and looked at stars and ached for something better. I could see boys going down under street lights because they were mean and tough and hated the world, and it was too late to tell them that there was still good in it, and they wouldn't believe you if you did. It was too vast a problem to just be a personal thing."

Twenty Nine, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison.

This book was a gift from a friend for Christmas after she found out I had never read any Toni Morrison. I am so happy she gave it to me. This book was incredible. I loved how we moved around in and out of these peoples lives. I have never lived where these people live, I didn't grow up at that time, but I felt, while reading it, that I gained a new understanding of that time and place. I could picture everything. This book was so alive. And it was a remarkable example of giving voice to a community.

"All his life he had a fondness for things—not the acquisition of wealth or beautiful objects, but genuine love of worn objects; a coffee pot that had been his mother's, a welcome mat from the door of a rooming house he once lived in, a quilt from a Salvation Army store counter. It was as though his distain of human contact had converted itself into a craving for things humans touched, The residue of the human spirit smeared on inanimate objects was all he could withstand of humanity. To contemplate, for example human footsteps on the mat—absorb the smell of the quilt and wallow in the sweet certainty that many bodies had sweated, slept, dreamed, made love, been ill, and even died under it. Wherever he went, he took along his things, and was always searching for others."

Thirty, Galore by Michael Crummey. 

Man, this book. I read it so fast, in one weekend. I just couldn't put it down. And then I immediately lent it to someone because I just really need to talk someone about it. That ending. I don't want to give any spoilers. But that ending was probably the best ending I have read in a long time, maybe ever. I had to force myself not to go back to beginning and start reading again.

Also, the pure brilliance of the prose. Just breathtaking language.

"It was still dark outside when he rose from the bed two hours later, the morning calm and warm as all mornings had been since summer began in earnest. The sharpest sliver of moon like a fish hook over the Tolt." "The coastline bereft of light for a thousand miles in either direction, the ocean festering below him."

Thirty OneSalvage by Michael Crummey.

After Galore I went to the library and picked up this book of poetry. I am just getting into reading books of poetry, I find I spend more time reading a single page than I do in fiction. I go back and forth and all over, reading and rereading, talking them out loud, picking out words to savour.

There were so many words, lines, images to savour in this book. I took it to the beach, laid in the sand, just enjoyed it. My favourite series was, Three Landscapes, and inside of that it was number 3.

"Moon in the crook of gravity's elbow,/pocked face as full/ as a sunflower;"

Until next month where I will be delving into some comics, more poetry and a huge novel.


Bookishly yours,

FRan

FC

ILLUSTRATIONS AND WRITING BY

FRANCINE CUNNINGHAM

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