One of my purposes for doing this crazy 99 Days of Summer Blogging project was to try and clear out my extensive backlog of posts still in drafts. I have — no lie — more than 200 such posts that need further development or a place in the trash bin.
There are quite a few sparse book reviews in those posts , some dating back as long as five years. I give those to you here, as mini reviews.
The Little Spark: 30 Ways to Ignite Your Creativity, by Carrie Bloomston
Take some inspiration, a lot of pretty photographs, a few real-life stories, and a handful of reflective writing exercises and you have both a workbook and motivational guide to jump-start your creativity. Whether your creative urges involve crafty pursuits, writing, painting, cooking or something completely, uniquely your own, The Little Spark offers 30 suggestions of how to get started and sustain your passion.
The Maytrees (audio), by Annie Dillard
Narrated by David Rasche
HarperAudio, 5 CDs
“Falling in love, like having a baby, rubs against the current of our lives: separation, loss, and death. That is the joy of them.”
Love is the theme of this novel, which takes the reader to the coast of Provincetown, Massachusetts and into the lives of poet Toby Maytree (referred to as simply Maytree throughout this story) and Lou Bigelow. The story spans several decades of the Maytrees’ marriage and how, over time, they change with it. The narrative felt disjointed at times, making for a confusing-at-times listen, but I liked the writing and David Rasche’s narration kept my attention.
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
I was sold on this by cover, which so perfectly captures the very essence of Jessie Burton’s debut novel, set in 1686 Amsterdam. Petronella (who goes by Nella) is 18 when she marries a wealthy merchant named Johannes Brandt.
After moving into his mansion, Nella quickly learns that this is a house of secrets. Johannes spends a lot of time either at work or in his study and isn’t very affectionate to Nella. Her stern and unwelcoming sister-in-law Marin is clearly the head of the household, which also consists of Cornelia and Otto, two odd servants. With its themes of feeling trapped and discovering one’s power – and what we do with that power — The Miniaturist is an engrossing read.
This is post #95 of 99 in my 99 Days of Summer Blogging project.