February 23rd, 2016

politics

Interesting Links for 23-02-2016

earthsea

Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver

A really lovely story, this, of three parallel narratives of lonely people finding their own paths in an Appalachian backwater community, the three stories turning out to be closely linked together (in a gutwrenching but joyful revelation on page 400). Lots of lovely observations about nature and human nature, with the core character a half-Palestinian, half-Polish widow who realises that she can adapt to her new environment and make it adapt to her. I was unaware that the American chestnut was all but wiped out by imported fungus in the early twentieth century; one of Kingsolver's characters is striving to undo that historical mistake, but by producing something new and better rather than retreating into the past. Greatly enjoyed it.

This came simultaneously to the top of three of my reading lists - the most popular unread book that I acquired in 2015, the most popular unread non-genre fiction book, and the most popular book on my unread list by a woman. The next books on those lists are respectively 1491 by Charles C. Mann; Master Pip, by Lloyd Jones; and Selected Stories, by Alice Munro. ("Popular" in all cases means as measured by LibraryThing ownership.)