Snow here today; snow there tomorrow. Curses. And time for more bookish suggestions from and for snowy day frolickers.
BE A BOOK VOYEUR: LOOK AT WHAT OTHERS ARE READING
Checking out what others are reading is always fun, but it’s hard to be an enthusiastic book voyeur if you are housebound. Another look at Reiner Gerrittsen’s photographs of subway readers groups might offer a vicarious lift. Alexandra Alter had a subway book voyeur’s swoon-y experience watching Phil Klay, another reader/peeker, spot a rider reading a Colum McCann book and ask to take a picture for the author who is his friend and mentor. Living once-removed like this may only be okay on a snowed-in day, but on that day, hooray.
Roseledge Books tie: Thanks to a RBR’s suggestion, RB now usually has Colum McCann’s The Dancer for those who intend to see or have seen Tenants Harbor neighbor Jamie Wyeth’s portraits of Rudolf Nureyev (some of which are probably at the Wyeth Center in Rockland, but are currently being shown in St. Petersburg, FL, and otherwise viewable on the Internet). Not enough of a tie to RB? Then maybe it’s time to send the kayak paparazzi into the harbor to capture boat readers in the act. As a marketing ploy, RB could be ready with their next good reads.
APPRECIATE SNOWED-IN ROSELEDGE
Appreciating snowed-in Roseledge is good, but hard to do (Thank you, Ann.). Curling up with a potential Roseledge Books read is just good. (Hint, hint, you all.) Nearly snowed-in Pat’s current stack of read-and-liked-a-lot books includes Nancy Horan’s Under the Wide and Starry Sky, a bio-novel about Fanny and Robert Louis Stevenson. When in paperback, this choice clearly shouts Roseledge Books. Add it to Bella Bathhurst’s The Lighthouse Stevensons, a family saga of sorts with [okay, Scottish] rocky coasts and lighthouses, and RLS classics, Treasure Island and Kidnapped, to be read and re-loved, to be watched as seaside vacation movies, and/or to be played out near boats and water. Thus begins a week- long “package” of relevant, related reads for which I wish Roseledge Books had more requests.
KEEP READING THE NEW YORK TIMES
And keep finding “connected” stories:
Just yesterday I was reminded that North Dakota, land of my roots and childhood, lives and dances and has a three dollar hamburger. This dredged up memories a) of the Pavilion, locally-frequented dance hall that bordered Wahpeton, Breckenridge and the head of the Red River, and b) of our plans for –no, not an inexpensive hamburger, but for — cinnamon rolls and a resulting survey of best ND places, which changed to an oatmeal survey as we aged and now includes ME, most recently the Brass Compass and the Home Kitchen Restaurants in Rockland.
Scanning further, I spotted a Louise Nevelson exhibit and was reminded that Louise, I hardly knew you. In fact, I knew you not at all until I found Tenants Harbor, near Rockland where you lived with your family and where you live on at the Farnsworth. The accompanying photograph of her work reminded me of Bill Cook’s “found objects,” small sculptures with intent and humor, whch I love and you can see if you visit Mars Hall Gallery on the way to Marshall Point Lighthouse, the Monhegan ferry, or other Port Clyde attractions.
Roseledge Books tie: So, because I have found joy in a second place-of-the-heart with connections sufficient to reach even Minnesota in winter, I try to find books about others who have found similar joy in second places so that first time visitors to Tenants Harbor understand what’s going on when they don’t want to leave and give into the tugging heart by making reservations for a second visit there and then. So far, I’ve thought about Bill Holm’s The Windows of Brimnes: An American in Iceland maybe, but this is more about finding his roots, whereas Jim Sterba’s Frankie’s Place and Nicholas Kilmer’s A Place in Normandy are about unexpected special places.
FIND FAMILY, IF YOU ARE SURE YOU CAN LIVE WITH THE RESULTS
Scott has burrowed in, joined Ancestry.com, and is finding more family. Friend of Roseledge from the time it was only maybe a possbility, Scott has long been, um, very imaginative at linking a given book to Tenants Harbor or environs in the least number of steps. Now he is concentrating on linking family members and has discovered that he is related — one way or another — to virtually all of Maine, working on NH, with stops in MA and PA. He is crazed with finding connections, which is made easier with a father from a big family that goes back to earliest northeastern incomers who were not Irish, Norse or Spanish — yes, it’s another reference to the very early Irish monks, who may have taught the marauding Norse how to sail the longer distances necessary to reach North America.
Scott found my dad’s maternal grandparents, Joe Couture and Annie Madden, who were born in Quebec and Pennsylvania respectively, then met and married somewhere and lived in northern Minnesota from whence in the 1880’s they migrated to North Dakota and settled on part of Maurice Coghlan’s homestead, near the still-standing and being-renovated Coghlan Castle. Nature took its course, and lovely Delia Couture met genial William Coghlan, who together did much good and gave me my father, Charles, for which I am eternally grateful. Scott believes we are all connected, so maybe his wandering forbears met my courting forbears somewhere between Pennsylvania and Quebec.
Clearly, early paths probably crossed, but where, when and why? The promise of time-consuming and involved speculation awaits. Hurry up, summer. Roseledge Books tie of possibly pertinent books: Jane Urquhart’s Away comes to mind (emigration. Irishness)and, for different reasons, so does Kem Luther’s Cottonwood Roots (tracking family through time.). More broadly, Scott is reading Christine Kenneally’s Invisible History of the Human Race: How DNA and History Shape Our Identities and Our Futures and he likes it. This may be my “search” book — where HOW you find out matters more than what you found out –of the summer, but so far it is not out in paperback. Drat. I may have to use Charlie’s old Kindle.
Next roster of cabin fever relievers will include “big reads” others have found helpful for the long haul. Unless it stops snowing. Suggestions appreciated.